PATTERSON — The Manteca Little League Dodgers took advantage of 23 walks and a hit batter in their lopsided 15-5 win over the Spreckels Park Orioles on Tuesday, but Logan Qualls gave the winning club a memorable moment in this District 67 Tournament of Champions minor-division quarterfinal.
It was the No. 8 batter who capped off the Dodgers’ staggering nine-run sixth inning, clearing the bases with a triple to deep left-center field and later scoring on Mateo Espinoza’s groundout.
The Dodgers had just two hits going into the inning. Espinoza helped ignite the one-out flurry with an infield single and was followed by back-to-back RBI infield hits from Brixton Ortiz and Louis Rivera.
Spreckels Park’s pitchers, six in all, struggled to find the strike zone throughout. Seven of Manteca’s runs were scored on bases-loaded walks, and the go-ahead score in the third was plated on a wild pitch. Rivera reached on an error to start the third and scored after Drake Krippene’s base hit. Carson Sablan walked and gave the Dodgers the lead for good on the wild pitch.
The Dodgers reached the five-run limit in the frame, jumping ahead 5-1.
Orioles pitcher Jackson Fay started strong, striking out the side in the first while leading a runner stranded on third. Sprekels Park seized the lead in the bottom half when Derek Barton walked and advanced three times on wild pitches.
Rivera shook off the early rust from the mound, finishing with five strikeouts in 2 ½ innings. Espinoza pitched the next two in relief for the win, striking out four.
Spreckels Park — the defending TOC champion in the division — showed some life in the fourth to close in, 6-3. Clean-up hitter Julian Ruiz slugged an RBI double to left and advanced on Jimmy Burns’ single to left. Ruiz was then knocked in by Brandon Cruz. In the sixth, A.J. Chapman hit an infield single and Ruiz grounded out for the Orioles’ final two runs.
Manteca will face the Tracy American Tigers in the winners-bracket semifinal Thursday back at Patterson Community Sports Complex. Spreckels Park looks to stave off elimination tonight against Tracy National.
Tracy American 12, Northgate 9 (8)
The Tracy American Tigers plated three runs in the top of the sixth to force extra innings, then went ahead for good in the eighth on three consecutive bases-loaded walks.
The Red Sox of Northgate led 9-6 after three innings. They started with a bang, as JP Abrew hit an RBI single, Koa Rodriguez (2 for 3, two runs, two RBIs) hit an RBI double and Anthony Morales (3 for 3, two runs) crushed a home run.
Northgate struck for five more in the third, getting another homer from Anthony Oteri and a double from Isiah Yanez. The Red Sox had chances to late to come away with the lead but left runners in scoring position in the sixth while hitting into a double play in the seventh. Tigers reliever Izach Brewer struck out the side in order to end the game.