TRACY — There is dominant, and then there is Manteca dominant.
With two of three wins in the District 67 12U All-Star Tournament coming via the mercy rule and the third within two runs of it, Manteca entered the championship round Sunday morning against Northgate needing one win to bring home the championship banner.
Manteca finished the tournament with three of four wins via the mercy rule.
With the game tied after one inning, Manteca scored 10 runs in the next three innings and Manteca pitcher Jeremy Cross allowed just two more base runners as Manteca rolled to a 12-2 four-inning win at the Tracy Sports Complex and will now represent District 67 in the Section 6 championships.
“Ahio had a big hit for them,” Manteca coach Bubba Carebello said of Isaiah Ahio’s home run that tied the game for Northgate at 2-2 in the bottom of the first. “That kept them in the game for a little bit but I knew our bats were going to hit, eventually. Our lineup is just too deep. We hit one through 13, not one through nine, and I knew with (Manteca pitcher Jeremy) Cross and our defense we were going to be fine.
“These kids can hit the ball.”
The big inning for Manteca was a six-run fourth. Brody Carabello (two runs) led off the frame for Manteca with a single followed by Mateo Ceja (three runs) reaching on an error. Brixton Ortiz walked to load the bases and was thrown out on a Fabian Nuno grounder, scoring Carabello. Nicholas Garcia (2 for 3, RBI, double, run) doubled in Ceja and My’kal Cerna (two RBI, two runs) snuck a single through the infield, scoring Garcia and Jacoby Salinas. Cerna scored on an error off the bat of Alberto Cervantes.
Cross was masterful on the mound. After Ahio’s home run, he struck out six in a row and eight of the next 10 batters he faced, finishing with 10 strikeouts against three hits and no walks.
Manteca outscored its opponents 48-4 in four games and will bring that potent attack to Ione on Saturday when it opens the Section 6 championships at 1 p.m. at Howard Park.