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Northgate takes care of Manteca in Little League TOC
Cubs will face Ripon Blue Jays in final Friday
TOC Majors Northgate-Manteca
Northgate Cubs shortstop Graham Allen receives the ball before tagging out Manteca’s Aiden Freitas on a steal attempt. - photo by SEAN KAHLER

TRACY — Batterymates Eli Jimenez and Nolan Mendes combined to pitch a one-hit shutout Wednesday at Legacy Fields, and they also powered the attack as the Northgate Cubs’ 9-0 blanked the Manteca Mets in the District 67 Little League Tournament of Champions semifinals.

Northgate will cap the single-elimination tourney Friday in the title game against the Ripon Blue Jays, who soared past the Tracy Braves in come-from-behind fashion in the other semifinal.

Jimenez was credited with the win after pitching the final 3 2/3 innings in relief. He fired eight strikeouts while giving up no hits and three walks.

Mendes got the start and struck out five against two walks before switching positions with Jimenez in the third inning. With a runner on third base, Jimenez got out of the jam with two strikeouts. Mendes later had a highlight while playing catcher, throwing out a runner trying to steal second base in the fifth inning.

The Cubs wasted little time in leaving their mark offensively, plating five runs in the opening frame. Mendes drove in the first run with the first of his two RBI doubles. Carson Beck, Marcus Martinez and Royce Robinson each followed with one-run singles, and Alex Garcia knocked in one on a groundout to first.

Beck led the Northgate assault, going 3 for 3 with three runs scored and two driven in. Mendes finished 2 for 3 with two RBIs, Jimenez was 2 for 2 with an RBI double and a walk and lead-off batter Graham Allen was 2 for 3 with a run. The Cubs totaled 12 hits.

Dominick Jimenez got the lone hit for Manteca in the bottom of the first. He reached again the fourth when his sharp grounder was misplayed by the third baseman.

Logyn Dias did well to pitch into the fourth inning, striking out seven. Grayson Keller took over during the fifth inning and was able to get the final four outs without giving up a run.


Ripon 7, Tracy 5

The Blue Jays trailed 4-0 after the first inning but exploded for five runs in the top of the sixth to take the lead.

Hudson Rushing and Bronson Dietrich drilled back-to-back, two-out hits to highlight the rally. The left-handed Dietrich then closed it out from the mound, striking out all three batters he faced in the bottom half of the sixth. He finished 2 for 3 with a double at the plate.

Kayne Vega also was 2 for 3, scoring once. Lead-off hitter Jude Segura walked twice and scored twice.