Three of seven hits were triples for the Manteca Little League Tigers, who ran away from Tracy American 14-5 Tuesday in the quarterfinal round of the District 67 Minors Tournament of Champions at Brock Elliot School.
The Tigers got two triples and four hits in the first inning. Alex Murrietta (triple, two RBI, three runs) tripled in leadoff batter Andrew Maki and Micah Aguilar (2 for 3, triple, RBI, two runs) added an RBI triple, scoring Brandon Salisbury (two RBI, run). Ashley Maquin (3 for 3, triple, three RBI, two runs) and Salisbury had RBI singles in the inning to help give Manteca a 5-2 lead it would not relinquish.
In the Tigers four-run fourth Murrietta singled in Maki (three runs) and Maquin added a two-RBI triple.
With Manteca leading 8-4 in the fourth inning the Angels were threatening but had the door closed by first baseman Ryan Nelson. With two out and the bases loaded, Tracy leadoff batter Dustin Schober hit a line drive down the first-base line that Nelson stabbed out of the air to end the inning and the threat.
Stellar defense helped limit the Angels to just two runs in the third inning. With the bases loaded, no out and one run already across Tigers third baseman Zach Johnson fielded a sharply hit ground ball, stepped on third and got the ball home to Alex Murrietta in time for a double play. Johnson added a putout in the sixth inning when he ran down a fly ball just inside the out-of-play line.
Brandon Salisbury came in to pitch for Manteca in the fourth inning with one out and two on. Salisbury issued a walk to load the bases and then got a strikeout before Nelson got his threat-killing catch. Salisbury went the rest of the way and yielded two hits with one run.
The Tigers face either Patterson or Northgate on Thursday in a semifinal contest at 5:30 p.m.