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1940: 9th inning rally sends Buffs past Modesto
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Seventy years ago, on April 19, 1940, a five-run rally in the ninth inning of the ball game against Modesto High enabled Manteca High to squeeze out a hard-earned 8-7 victory. The thrilling win placed Coach Larry Siemering’s tossers on top of the Modesto Sub-league loop with three wins and no losses and three games remaining to be played in league competition. Stellar relief hurling by Bill Blodgett, who took over the mound in the seventh, turned the trick after the Panthers had blasted Lou Bronzan’s offerings for a total of six runs and eight base hits in six frames. Jimmy Theiler captured hitting honors for the day with four base knocks in five trips to the platter. Perry Tipton had a homer for the Buffaloes.

In other sports stories from the Bulletin files:

90 years ago
: April 23, 1920 - Manager P. J. Peltier’s Maulers won the opening game of the league, defeating Keyes by the score of 6-2. Benny Fauls led the locals with two hits and scored two runs. Peltier was pleased by the way his Maulers showed up but figures to make a change in the infield which will complete one of the fastest clubs in the valley.

80 years ago: April 24, 1930 - Manteca High triumphed in its fifth CIF game of the season when it defeated Hilmar High on the local diamond, 14-2. The Buffaloes just would not be stopped and got 11 hits to Hilmar’s seven. Fred Theiler pitched for the locals and struck out 11, while Percival, Forsell, Candini and Gubbins each got two hits for Manteca.

The Manteca Maulers were defeated by National Towels of Stockton Sunday, 12-6. The game was played at Oak Park in Stockton. This was the Maulers first game in the San Joaquin County League. Errors were the cause of several of the Towel runs.

70 years ago: April 25, 1940 - Harold Garvine’s sagging Merchants finally won a game! Coming to life for the first time this season, the Merchants pounded out a 9-7 win over the Modesto Shannon Rangers on the local high school diamond Sunday to register their first win in the Central California League. “Frenchy” Espinal gathered a home run and a pair of singles in four trips to the plate to lead the hitters for the afternoon. “Bucky” Yearicks also connected for circuit clout.

60 years ago: April 27, 1950 - Journeying to Modesto Tuesday for a warmup prior to the Valley Oak League meet, Manteca High took second in a three-way meet with Modesto and Ripon High Schools. As usual, Jack Gatto won the 880 yard run in 2:10, easily outdistancing all opponents.
With player-manager Fred Lacey turning in a fine relief job and getting credit for the win, the Manteca Merchants opened their baseball season in fine style by defeating the Lathrop Larks last Sunday, 8-7. Bill Bianchi, hefty first sacker for the Merchants, was the day’s heavy sticker, batting two for three, driving in three runs and scoring two runs.

In one of the best games in the VOL this season, marked with no errors by either team, Manteca High gained first place with a resounding 7-2 victory over previously unbeaten Oakdale High last Friday on the Buffaloes’ diamond. Jess Payan pitched a superb game, striking out 10 batters. Bob Wheeler and Bob Turk each had two hits for Coach Bob Theiler’s Buffalo nine.

50 years ago: April 28, 1960 - Walker Vick, former Chico State left-hander, made his first appearance in a Manteca Merchants uniform a successful one last Sunday by twirling a two-hit, no-run game against the always strong Lodi Wine Guild. Vick faced just 22 batters in his seven-inning stint as the Merchants took an easy 6-0 win over the Guild.

Larry Hopkins broke a school record in winning the 100 yard backstroke event Monday afternoon as the Manteca High swim team defeated the St. Mary’s High team in the local pool, 60-17.

Manteca High collected 14 hits Tuesday in taking an 11-2 decision from Tracy High. Right-hander Walt McDonald tossed a four-hitter and struck out 11 batters in coasting to his seventh win of the season. Tim Brumley, Gary Heaton, Wade Richards and McDonald each got a pair of hits for the Buffaloes.

Ken Wolf broad jumped for the first time this season last week and the Manteca High speedster won the event, along with two sprints to lead the Buffalo track team to an easy win over Atwater High. John Zimmerman was also a double winner for the Buffaloes as he captured both hurdle events.

40 years ago: April 22, 1970 - East Union High came back from three straight losses to down the Falcons of Atwater High, 4-2. Bob Holmes led the Lancers at the plate, picking up a triple and a single.

30 years ago
: April 22, 1980 - Some outstanding doubles play sparked East Union High to a 9-6 VOL badminton triumph over rival Manteca High Monday at MHS’s Winter Gym. The Lady Lancers’ top doubles pair of Tanya Belz and Sherrie Lewallin notched a pair of wins in the afternoon, as did EU’s second duo consisting of Sara Ramos and Robin Willson. Singles representative Gina Barroga also played a prominent role in the team’s win as she collected three consecutive victories.
Some good news eminated from the headquarters of the 1980 Kiwanis North-South All-star Basketball game, set for June 20 at Delta College’s Joe Blanchard Gym. The good news was that Manteca High’s 6-5 senior center Mitch Crawford will be participating.

It was almost a replay of last Friday’s game with Sonora High. But this time relief pitcher Troy Vickerman came on in the clutch to help East Union High edge Ceres High yesterday 2-1 in VOL baseball action at EU. The victory was the Lancers’ first in league play this season. EU’s runs were scored by Tony Martin and George Herrera after two were out in the fifth inning.

Manteca High’s track squad evened its VOL record at 2-2 yesterday afternoon with  76-55 victory over Sonora High in Sonora. The Buffaloes of Coach Bill Davis also managed to cop the girls meet, winning 64-45. Fred Nelson and Mike Cimoli were double winners for Manteca as Nelson took the 440 and 220 yard runs, while Cimoli was victor in the shot put and discus. MLHS’s girls were paced by Terry Reeves, who captured first in the mile and two-mile runs. Pam Filippini was also a double winner for the Lady Buffs, taking the shot put and the discus events.

Last Friday, three East Union High pitchers allowed seven walks during a six-run fifth inning and paved the way for Manteca High to post a 10-0 shutout victory. Coach Sostenes Rodriguez’s Buffaloes coaxed a total of 10 walks en route to their first VOL victory in four starts. Senior right-hander Keith Jackson came through with his best performance of the season for Manteca, limiting the Lancers to a pair of harmless singles, while walking six and striking out six.

Meeting little in the way of resistance, the Manteca High tennis team stormed to its fourth straight VOL victory last Friday by blanking rival East Union High 15-0 at the EU courts. Manteca winners were singles players Jeff Brock, Jon Shaefer and Jody Ruble, along with the doubles teams of Clay Burkett-Tim Wun and Grey Toy-Allen Franscella.

Coach Bob Lee’s East Union High softball team evened its league record at 2-2 last Thursday with a 9-8 cliff-hanger victory over Ceres High on the Bulldogs’ diamond. Lisa Klingman had two hits for the Lady Lancers, including a run-scoring double.