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Ward outduels Cummings as Manteca beats Lathrop
BB--Lathrop-Manteca pic 6 WEB copy
Lathrop infielder Matt Julien forces Mantecas Mathew Ender before completing the double play. - photo by DAVE CAMPBELL/The Bulletin

Manteca got to Lathrop ace Shawn Cummings for four hits in the fourth inning Tuesday, and that was good enough for three runs as the Buffaloes downed the visiting Spartans 3-0 in Valley Oak League baseball action.
“First of all, Shawn Cummings pitched us really tough last year and once again he came out this year and threw really well against us,” Buffaloes coach Neil MacDannald said. “We knew that when we saw him on the slate that we had better bring it.
“They played a heck of a game and kept us on our toes for seven innings —  hats off to them. I am really proud of the way Ryan (Ward) threw for us after struggling his last time out. His command today was really good. He hit his spots all day long.”
Manteca (5-4 VOL, 12-8-1 overall) left runners stranded in scoring position in the first, second and third innings.
“We stranded some runners early on and couldn’t get that clutch hit but the good news is how we responded,” MacDannald said. “Things really haven’t been going our way lately overall so to stay poised and calm and keep faith in the process was nice to see.”
Alex Gouveia had a two-RBI double in the fourth inning for the Buffaloes, scoring Ward and Dylan Guice. Gino Campiotti added an RBI double, scoring Zach Chamberlain (2 for 2, run).
“I felt confident,” Chamberlain said. “I was seeing the ball well.”
Ward struck out nine and allowed six hits with no walks. He pitched into the seventh and was relieved by Campiotti who retired the only two batters he faced to end the game.
“I was just pounding the strike zone,” Ward said. “I let my defense do the work and they did a pretty good job.”
Cummings went the distance, allowing just two hits outside of the four-hit fourth while walking three.
“Shawn (Cummings) did a great job on the bump today,” Lathrop coach Doug Goff said. “Defensively, we had three double plays. We did a great job defensively — our bats just didn’t help us out.
“As a group it has been a bit of a tough time for these guys, but they are dealing with it and they keep moving forward. They enjoy playing the game of baseball and they keep fighting. That’s a good thing for them to do, both in baseball and in life.” 
Cummings reached base three times, going 2 for 3 and reaching on an error. Teammate Colin Weis was 2 for 3.
The Spartans drop to 0-9, 6-11-1.