TRACY — Sante Duarte was in the zone Thursday.
The second batter Duarte faced was Northgate Cubs second baseman Ivan Alvarez, who roped a double to center.
After that the Cubs did not even get the ball out of the infield, while Duarte did not allow another hit, striking out 11 and walking one as the Spreckels Park Giants won 7-0 at Legacy Fields and earned a berth to this weekend’s District 67 Majors Tournament of Champions title round.
Duarte issued a leadoff walk in the second before retiring 15 in a row. Third baseman
Fred Taylor made a diving catch on a short line drive off the bat of Ivan Vieira in the fourth inning to keep that streak alive.
With Zach Grabowski striking out five Spreckels Park batters and allowing just one hit through two innings, the game appeared to be a pitcher’s duel until he was replaced after two innings.
Spreckels Park took full advantage, with Kainoa Ontai (2 for 3, double, run) and Duarte (2 for 3, double, triple, run) sandwiching a pair of doubles around a two-RBI triple by Zac Cook and by the time the dust settled the Giants led 4-0 after three.
Spreckels Park strung together four consecutive hits in the fifth inning. Duarte hit a one-out triple and came in to score on Cailyann Craig’s double. Noah Aguirre (2 for 3, RBI, run) singled Craig to third and Craig and Aguirre both came into score on Alex Gatty’s double for the game’s last runs.
The Giants have the day off today while the Cubs will face the Manteca Giants at 5:30 p.m. in the consolation final. The winner plays Spreckels Park on Saturday at 10 a.m. for the championship.
Manteca Giants 8,
Patterson Dodgers 5
Landon Chamberlain hit a two-RBI double in the bottom of the fourth to give the Giants a 5-4 lead they would not relinquish in the consolation semifinal win.
Nate Dorn was 3 for 3 with a run for Manteca. Reece George (triple), Bryan Lopez (two runs) and Andrew Villa (run) were all 2 for 3 and Michael George doubled and had two runs.
Eli Terpsma pitched the final two innings for the Giants, striking out two and allowing one hit. He almost closed the game out but his second strikeout was misplayed and to keep his pitch count low Jojo Brizuela came in to pitch to the final batter and ended the game on three pitches.
Manteca faces the Northgate Cubs in the consolation final today at 5:30 p.m. with the winner to face the Spreckels Park Giants for the championship on Saturday morning at 10.