WESTON RANCH — Isaiah Perez of the Manteca 11-12 year old All-Star squad only gave up one hit in two starts against Northgate during the District 67 Little League All-Star Tournament hosted by Paul Weston Park and Weston Ranch Little League.
Perez pieced together a one-hitter against his team’s cross-town rival during a shortened 11-0 victory Sunday morning, which crowned Manteca District 67 All-Star Tournament champions for a second consecutive season.
“Perez just throws hard,” Northgate’s 11-12 year old All-Star head coach Todd Hardcastle said. “With him, you’ll be lucky to score two or three runs. The kid is good no doubt. And we knew we were going to face him right after we beat (Manteca 5-3 on Saturday). We knew he was eligible to throw (Sunday).”
Manteca bounced back after a two-run loss on Saturday to complete a 10-run mercy rule for a second time in five days to cap the weekend. Perez no-hit Northgate last Tuesday during a 10-0 win that knocked Northgate into the consolation bracket.
Perez went four innings and tossed six strikeouts while facing just 14 batters. He walked two and gave up his only hit in the second inning against Northgate All-Star Andrew Mount.
“We got a wake-up call on Saturday,” Manteca’s 11-12 year old All-Star head coach Robert Gross said. “(Fernando) Segura pitched a great game against us, and we were a little overconfident. (On Sunday), we got up early and we hit the ball hard.”
This was the third straight year that Manteca Little League won the District 67 All-Star Tournament title. Two summers ago most of these players won at the 10-11 level, and last year a good core of them won at the 11-12 level as well, which made them repeat champions for the majors division – the only level that is eligible to perhaps make a run at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA.
Manteca has to keep winning first, and the next step is the Little League Section 8 Tournament slated to start on Saturday.
Manteca put together a nine-run bottom of the third inning to take a hefty cushion and propel itself into the section tournament. Manteca’s second baseman Zach Chamberlain sealed the victory with a walk-off, two- run home run in the bottom of the fourth to make up the final – his second jack of the game.
In the bottom of the third inning Chamberlain jumped out for a homer as well, which was the highlight of Manteca’s six-hit, nine-run frame. Perez and Manteca’s All-Star shortstop Chase Costa both had doubles in that third inning as well.
“All I was trying to do was move (the runner) over,” Chamberlain said of his second home run that ended it. “The goal now is to win sections, and we haven’t done that yet.”
Last year Manteca came up short in the section championship against Turlock, but after Sunday’s district championship, there were no celebrations from the Manteca dugout.
Just a few smiles and handshakes as a Manteca assistant coach reminded the ball club that “this was expected”.
Northgate 5, Manteca 3
On Saturday, Northgate forced Sunday’s winner-take-all championship after breaking the tie with a two-run top of the fifth inning that kept its season alive for another day.
After Northgate tied the game at three apiece, Brayden Hardcastle broke the tie with a sac-fly RBI that scored Segura, who earned the win and went five innings and tossed seven strikeouts on the bump. Daniel Ruiz scored Northgate’s final run on passed ball.
Northgate ended the game with a 4-5-3 double play after second baseman Ruiz flipped it to the shortstop Mount, who then tossed it to first baseman Daniel Ault to end it.
Manteca All-Star Dylan Gross hit a solo home run that broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the third.
To contact John-Joel Griffiths, e-mail email@example.com.