Justin Schober’s sixth-inning grand slam turned out to be the key for the Tracy Little League Junior National All Stars in their 9-8 win on Thursday over the Spreckels Park All Stars.
In a continuation of Wednesday’s semifinal game at Monticello School, which was postponed because of darkness with the score 3-2 in Tracy’s favor with two out in the fifth inning, the Tracy team got one more run on a base hit from Jonathan Wesely and held onto the 4-2 lead going into the sixth.
Schober’s bases-loaded blast over the left field fence came after Noah Velasquez was hit by a pitch and Matt Nunes and Marco Gigliotti both singled.
Schober said he swung away at a fastball down the middle of the strike zone, and was glad that he could contribute to the win.
“It’s a relief to win this close game,” he said.
The homer turned out to be the cushion that Tracy needed after Spreckels rallied for five runs, including a bases-loaded triple, in the bottom of the sixth.
Schober finished the game with three hits, including the homer, a double and a single, and Velasquez had two hits. Starting pitcher Nunes gave up three hits and two runs over three innings and got the win, Daniel Chartier pitched two innings and gave up three hits and three runs, Preston Barber gave up a triple and two runs, and Jacob Terry pitched the final 1 2/3 inning, allowing no hits and one unearned run.
The win moves Tracy National to the championship game on Monday, a game that was rescheduled from Sunday because Wednesday’s postponement also forced Thursday’s game between Tracy American and Weston Ranch to be rescheduled.
Spreckels Park gets another chance Saturday against the winner of the elimination-bracket game between Tracy American and Weston Ranch.
On Wednesday, Tracy National scored in the first inning after Matt Nunes walked and advanced to second on Marco Gigliotti’s single. Nunes scored on a pickoff attempt when the Spreckels catcher’s throw to second base went into center field.
Spreckles tied it up in the third with a walk and a triple to deep left field and made it a 2-1 game when the base runner scored on a missed pickoff attempt at third base.
Tracy scored two runs in the top of the fifth inning on six walks. Spreckels made two pitching changes in the inning and, with two out and the bases loaded, was about to make a third pitching change when the umpire halted the game because of darkness, with the game to resume Thursday night where it had left off.
The start of Wednesday’s game was delayed because Northgate and Weston Ranch were tied 11-11 at the end of six innings Tuesday in an elimination game in the double-elimination tournament. Weston Ranch won it 19-16 on Wednesday after an hourlong seventh inning in which Weston Ranch scored eight runs in the top of the inning and Northgate responded with five in the bottom of the seventh.
Tracy American 17, Salida 10
Solid pitching carried the Tracy American team through its elimination-bracket game against Salida on Monday at Monticello School. Pitcher Grant Lasserre went five innings and Nico Barrios pitched three innings. Jacob Juarez and Mateo Molieri had four hits each.
Tracy National 9, Tracy American 2
Tracy National advanced Sunday and bumped Tracy American to the elimination bracket. Game details were not available.
Tracy National 12, Northgate 1
Winning pitcher Matt Nunes controlled Tracy National’s first game of the District 67 tournament on Saturday. Nunes allowed no hits and one unearned run through 3-2/3 innings and struck out six batters. Backing him up at the plate were Preston Barber and Marco Gigliotti, with two hits each, while Daniel Chartier doubled and batted in two runs.
Tracy American 4, Northgate 2
Tracy American moved forward in the elimination bracket on Thursday with 4-2 win over Northgate at Lincoln Park in Manteca. Starting pitcher Jacob Burns went three innings, and Blake Ornellas got the win after he went three innings and allowed one hit. Ornellas and Matthew Giuliacci batted in Tracy’s go-ahead runs in the fifth inning.
Tracy American now plays Manteca on Friday for a chance to play Spreckels Park in Saturday’s championship game.
Tracy National was eliminated on Wednesday with a loss to Northgate.
Tracy American 5, Northgate 4
Tracy American’s Carson Cripe hit a three-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to secure a win for his team on Thursday at Monticello School. Tracy American now moves to the championship game at 5:30 p.m. on Monday. Logan Colbert and Isaac Segura also had two hits each. Segura pitched all six innings, allowed four runs and six hits and struck out nine batters.
Tracy National was eliminated Wednesday with a loss to Manteca.
Tracy American 6, Tracy National 1
Tracy American starting pitcher Joel Wesely struck out seven batters over five shut-out innings and Carson Cripe struck out two and allowed one hit and one run. Wesely also led the team at the plate with two hits, and Isaac Segura and Caden Duke contributed with one hit each.
Tracy American 10, Spreckels Park 0
Tracy American pitcher Isaac Segura struck out nine batters over six innings for a complete-game shutout on Saturday. Logan Colbert had three base hits and Miguel Contreras and Joel Wesely had two hits each.
In the 9/10 bracket, Mountain House played Northgate A, and Tracy American B played Manteca on Thursday for a chance to make Saturday’s semifinal at Neil Hafley School in Manteca. Those game results were not available. Tracy American A plays Northgate on Saturday in the elimination bracket.
Tracy National A was eliminated with a loss on Wednesday to Northgate B, and Tracy National B was eliminated with a loss to Patterson on Tuesday.
Contact Bob Brownne at email@example.com or 830-4227.