By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Spreckels Park junior teams advance to semifinal
Tyler Ray Hewitt scoops up the groundball before turning a fourth-inning ending double play for the Northgate Bulldogs Wednesday at Paul E. Weston Park. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO
WESTON RANCH — Anything can happen in baseball tournaments, but one thing is for certain: Spreckels Park will be represented in the championship round of the junior division District 67 Tournament of Champions.

The Spreckels Park Bulldogs and Titans worked some late-inning magic in quarterfinal showdowns Wednesday at Paul E. Weston Park.

First were the Bulldogs, who climbed out of an early deficit and sent the Tracy American Angels into the consolation round with a 5-4, nine-inning victory.

In the nightcap, the Titans were locked in a see-saw battle with the Weston Ranch Ports, scoring three in each of the final two innings for an 11-6 win.

The Spreckels Park teams will meet in the winner’s bracket semifinal Saturday at 10 a.m.

“To have both Spreckels Park team is gravy,” Bulldogs coach Eddie Koeller said. “We tried to split these two teams up evenly at the beginning of the year, and here we are battling out for a spot in the championship (round).

“It’s exciting stuff. To have both teams undefeated in the tournament at this point shows something about our league.”

Jonathan Barry unleashed the big hit for the Bulldogs in the sixth inning, tying the score with a two-run double to right with two outs. Anthony Flores and Tyler Ray Hewitt reached on back-to-back singles to set it up.

Zack Leon-Guerrero drove in Nolan Kelly with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the ninth for the winning run, and he picked off the tying run at second base for the second out in the bottom half.

Leon-Guerrero was sensational in his three hitless innings of relief, striking out two to just one walk for the win. Starter Anthony Flores struck out four and scattered six hits in six innings.

Logan Sanders led the offense with a 2-for-3 effort and two steals, while Leon-Guerrero was 2 for 4 with a run.

The Titans won in similar fashion just hours later.

Weston Ranch led 6-5 going into the sixth, but Josh English’s two-out, bases-clearing double pushed the Titans ahead for good. Jayson Manuta sparked Spreckels’ second straight three-run rally with a run scoring double of his own in the seventh.

The Titans set the tone early against Weston Ranch ace Tyler Scharnow, plating three in the first inning. Buddy Reeder (2 for 2) set the table with a one-out triple, and Manuta (3 for 3, three RBIs) drilled a double to score him. Alex Jorgensen followed with a triple, and Marc Wilson with a two-bag knock.

“(Scharnow) was throwing well, but the guys were just on him and hitting him hard,” Titans manager Chris Van Warmerdam said.

Jorgensen earned the win from the mound after logging three innings. He retired the final six Ports batters in order to seal it, inducing three infield grounders in the sixth, and three pop flies in the seventh.

“We played good defense today, and I think that was the difference,” Van Warmerdam said. “Everybody had a hand in today’s win and from all directions — be it base running, defense or hitting.”
— Jonamar Jacinto