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1970: Lancers pound Tracy High 11-0 in baseball season finale
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Thirty years ago, on May 24, 1980, East Union High’s 1980 football season nearly went up in smoke--literally--when a fire swept through a metal storage shed and team locker area in the boys’ locker room at the Union Road campus. The blaze broke out between 11:15 and 11:30 am and, according to Captain Ron Waddle of the Manteca Fire Department, the first alarm sounded at 11:32 am. Lancer varsity football coach Vern Gebhardt said that although the investigation is continuing, preliminary reports indicate the fire may have started when a smoldering cigarette was tossed between the storage shed and the team locker area, igniting some paper wrappers.

In other sports stories from the Bulletin files:

70 years ago: May 30, 1940 - Manteca High School met defeat in its championship playoff game at Orestimba High Friday by an 8-3 score. Manteca outhit the West Side League champions 11-8, but could not punch runs across the plate in the pinch, while the Gustine High nine took advantage of six Green and WHite errors to aid them in the victory. Al Phillips, local right fielder, picked up two singles and a double in five tries. Lou Alexander hit a home run in the sixth inning.

Harold Garvine’s in and out Manteca Merchants came to life with a vengeance Sunday at Modesto’s Municipal Park when they pounded out a total of 20 base hits to win their third Central California League game of the year by  a 13-7 score. Their opponent was the Shannon Rangers. Lee McAllister, Merle Kleist, Ted Gaines and Harry Lourentzos all ripped four singles for Manteca, with McAllister wielding the meanest bat of the afternoon. He collected a single, two triples and a home run.

60 years ago: June 1, 1950 - Making good use of nine hits, the Manteca Merchants last Sunday tallied eight runs to knock over Camp Stoneman, 8-3. The Army boys slugged out 10 hits, but Manteca pitcher Fred Lacey was stingy in the clutch. Pete Evenson, Roy Platt and Pep Valverde each had a pair of hits for Manteca.

50 years ago: June 2, 1960 - Tim Brumley, junior left-hander for the 1960 Manteca High baseball team, was named the outstanding player of the year on the Bulletin’s All-Valley Oak League team. Brumley, who pitched and batted the Buffaloes to a tie for the VOL crown, had a 9-1 record on the mound and hit .386. Other local players named to the first team were Gary Heaton, Frank Lambert and Wade Richards.

The McFall-Grisham Junior Legion baseball team got its season off to a winning start by capturing the championship of the Archie Closson Memorial Baseball Tournament in Lodi last weekend. The local squad won the championship by besting the Lodi team in the final game, 5-4. The locals won the opening game of the tournament by downing a good Manuel Roxas club, 5-3. Eron Grisham, 14 year-old right-hander up from the frosh-soph squad, tossed a masterful five-hitter to get credit for the win. Leading Manteca in the hitting column was Bob Teicheira, who rapped out three hits in four trips to the plate. The locals then picked up a forfeit win from Escalon.

The Lodi Wine Guild gained revenge for an early-season loss to the Manteca Merchants by downing the locals, 4-3 Wednesday night in Lodi. Jim Leatherwood cracked a two-run homer in the second inning for Manteca. Dale Ocken and Bob Silva led the locals at the plate, with two hits apiece.

40 years ago: May 27, 1970 - Manteca High’s Denny Letcher scored a major upset in the Sac-Joaquin sub-section track meet held at Manteca High, when he won the high jump at 6-4. Later, three other athletes cleared the height, but the Buffalo leaper took the gold medal on fewest misses.

East Union High ended its 1970 baseball season on a high note last Tuesday when they walked all over Tracy High, 11-0. The Lancers pounded out 11 hits to gain the win. Jerry Nixon and Chuck Dimas were the leading hitters in the game for the Lancers. Nixon and Dimas each collected three hits in four trips to the plate. Nixon batted in three runs and Dimas had four RBI’s.

The Manteca High champion golf team alternated victory with defeat last week as they dropped the VOL meet to Lincoln High and Oakdale High Schools, finishing third and then came back in the sub-section meet to tie the Trojans for second and qualify for the Northern California Section meet on May 26.

The Lathrop School softball team won its second straight Acorn League championship, sharing it this year with Lincoln School. The team also won the championship of the annual Acorn League post-season tournament, also for the second straight year. Coach Marion Elliott’s squad finished the season with a record of 9-4.

Manteca High baseball coach Walker Vick was named co-Coach of the Year in the VOL by a vote of his fellow coaches.

Mark Winter was named Outstanding Senior Athlete of the Year at Manteca High’s annual Spring Sports Banquet. Winter had a truly admirable record: captain of the football team, voted most inspirational basketball player and captain of the baseball team.

30 years ago: May 27, 1980 - It’s not that Formula Vee driver Joe Wickham doesn’t believe in self-improvement. Let’s just say that he’s a model of consistency. Wickham, a teacher at Manteca’s Nile Garden Elementary School, started in the fifth position at Monday’s Sports Car Club of America’s San Francisco Regional Formula Vee encounter at Golden State Raceway at Sears Point and wound up in the same position.

Manteca and East Union High Schools were not ignored in the balloting for the all-VOL baseball team which was chosen Wednesday night by a vote of league coaches at the Sundial in Modesto. Coach Sostenes Rodriguez’s Buffaloes wound up with a pair of representives in outfielder Robbie Steves and utility man Frank Triglia. Meanwhile, Coach Doug Smith’s East Union Lancers had one player selected in utility man Troy Vickerman.