DANVILLE — Manteca Little League’s 9-10-year-old all-stars hadn’t faced a pitcher they couldn’t hit until Monday.
Hard-throwing Sean Lee was sensational from the mound for Belmont/Redwood Shores of San Mateo County Monday, and his teammates weren’t too shabby either.
Lee pitched 4 1/3 hitless innings, and Belmont bashed two home runs in an 11-2 victory in the California Section 3 Tournament at Los Cerros School’s Synergy Field.
Manteca, which defeated District 14 champion Newark American 8-6 in its opener Saturday, will next play Wednesday in the consolation-bracket semifinals, where it awaits today’s San Lorenzo American-San Ramon winner.
Belmont of District 52 is now 3-0 in the tournament and won’t play again until Thursday’s first of possibly two final-round contests.
Lee walked Manteca standout Alex Gouveia to start the bottom of the first but retired nine straight before allowing Jacob Moon to reach base on balls in the fourth. After walking Moon, Lee started a 1-6-3 double play.
He was relieved after throwing his 65th pitch with one out in the fifth, finishing with seven strikeouts and the no-hitter still in play.
Bobby McConlogue rapped a two-base hit off Belmont reliever Evan Jones in the fifth to break up the no-no. And in the sixth, Gouveia started a rally capped by Dylan Gross’ two-run single to right.
But by the time Manteca got the bats going, the damage had already been done.
Lee helped his own cause in the top of the fourth when he smashed a two-run triple down the first-base line. Four pitches later, he was driven home by Dominic Susa’s two-run homer to center field.
Belmont plated a run in each of the first three innings and four more in each of the fourth and sixth. In the sixth, Jones knocked in two runs with a groundball single to left and later plated Belmont’s final run on an error.
To Manteca’s credit, it made Belmont earn 10 of its 11 runs. The defense was phenomenal behind its three pitchers for five innings before committing two errors in the sixth.
Noah Marcelo (2 for 4, double, two runs, RBI), Susa (2 for 3, two runs, three RBIs) and Samuel Bean (2 for 3) combined for six of Belmont’s eight hits. Nicolas Lopez slugged a two-out, solo jack to center in the third.