TRACY – Bang, bang, bang.
The Manteca major all-stars celebrated the Fourth of July a little late this year with three two-run home runs in the fifth inning Friday before holding off a sixth-inning charge by Delta (Stockton) to win 7-4 in championship-round action of the Little League Section 6 Tournament at Monticello School.
The result sets up a winner-take-all match for the championship today at 5:30 p.m.
Isaac Searcy (3 for 4, home run, three RBI) led off the game for Manteca with a single and came in to score on Garren Genilla’s infield single for a 1-0 lead. Thanks to clutch pitching by Austin Kovacs, that lead held through five innings.
Kovacs struck out nine – including the side in order in the fifth – and struck out the side in the second, getting the last out with the bases loaded. And after Genilla doubled in the bottom of the fifth, Kovacs got the first of three two-run home runs in the frame.
Harley Boynton got the second home run, scoring Karson Kondit, and Searcy got third blast of the inning, plating Jackson Brunn.
Kovacs came off the hill in the sixth and was responsible for one of the four Delta runs scored in the frame, but four was not enough and Manteca got the win. This avenged the heartbreaking one-run second-round loss Manteca suffered to Delta on Monday.
Senior Division II
Manteca 13, Rocklin 9
Manteca needed two runs in the seventh inning to stay alive Tuesday and got eight to defeat the tournament host Monday at American River College in Carmichael.
Jonathan Murillo, Andrew Brunn, and Tyler Miloslovich had RBI singles in the seventh for and Mitch Balmut an RBI double. Devin Sullivan and Zach Chamberlain drew bases-loaded walks and Pressley Keltner was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded for another seventh-inning run.
Chamberlain and Brunn held Rocklin to two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to keep Manteca alive.
Earlier in the game Chamberlain had a two-out two-RBI single, Tyler Graves-Kelso an RBI double and Isaac Maldonado an RBI on a sacrifice fly.
Manteca plays either San Lorenzo or Oakland today in the consolation final.
Branham Hills 1 (5)
After losing to Branham Hills to start the tournament, Manteca enjoyed a five-inning mercy rule victory to send the San Jose team home Monday.
Graves-Kelso started on the mound for Manteca and went three innings, allowing three hits with no walks. Sullivan then came in and struck out five of the six batters he faced, giving way to Brunn. Kyle Rachels replaced Brunn and came in with runners at the corners and two outs and catcher Balmut threw out the runner attempting to steal second for the final out of the game.
Graves-Kelso (3 for 4, double, 4 RBI), Tyler Miloslavich (2 for 4, three RBI), Devin Sullivan (2 for 3, double) and Rachels (2 for 4 double, RBI) spearheaded the Manteca offensive attack.
Manteca played tournament host Rocklin in consolation action Tuesday and the results were not available at press time.