STOCKTON — What started with small ball ended with patience Thursday as the Spreckels Spark Giants defeated the Weston Ranch Rivercats 11-1 in six innings for the championship in the District 67 Junior League Tournament of Champions at Paul Weston Park.
The Giants tallied five runs in the fifth inning behind just one hit with seven walks and one hit batter. The game ended in the sixth inning via the mercy rule when Hunter Hallech and Austin Cook walked for the Giants and after stealing third Hallech came home on a single by Joel Gallo for the 10-run differential.
Manteca put up four runs in the first inning with five singles followed by two walks. Jessie Ortiz-Martinez (three runs), Slyder Bluth (two runs), Rafael Diaz, Steven Eaves (3 for 3, RBI, run) and Jacob Nagy (RBI) each had a hit with Eaves and Nagy both posting an RBI. Austin Cook and Gallo followed the hitting barrage with back-to-back bases-loaded walks.
Following that rough first inning, Rivercats pitcher Isaiah Maxie settled down and allowed just one unearned run through the next three innings. It looked like he was going to make it through the fifth inning when third baseman Rylan Tinsley and first baseman Carlos Souza completed a 5-3-5 double play, but Maxie walked the next two batters before he was forced to leave the game after reaching the maximum pitch count.
Slyder Blyth started on the hill for Manteca and after a 1-2-3 first inning pitched into the second, being charged with the lone Weston Ranch run. Blyth and his battery mate Rafael Diaz traded places in the second inning and Diaz gave up four hits and four walks the rest of the way with eight strikeouts, striking out the side in the fourth and fifth innings.
Tinsley (2 for 3, double) doubled to lead off the second inning for the Rivercats, advanced to third on a single by Maxie (2 for 3) and came home on Rigo Ruiz’s single.
Spreckels Park Tigers 16, Tracy Rockies 4
The Tigers erupted for 12 runs in the last two innings Tuesday at Lincoln Park behind eight hits – five for extra bases – to advance in the consolation bracket.
The big hit of the final two frames for Spreckels Park was a three-run home run in the fifth by Sonny Elder, scoring Mauricio Arnoldus and Jacob Martinez. Mikey Elder added a two-RBI single to score Aiden Burk and Joey Oboractha. Sante Duarte and Zelmar Vedder each took home on an error, with Duarte leading off the inning with a double.
Elder and Vedder each had RBI triples in the sixth, with Elder’s plating Martinez and Vedder’s scoring Elder. Martinez hit a single that scored Arnoldus and Vedder scored on a single by Brycen Diego. Joey Oboractha drew a walk and worked his way around to score on an error.
Vedder got the Tigers on the board in the second inning when Diego grounded out to first. In the fourth inning Diego tripled in Elder and came in to score on a passed ball.