MANTECA — Tracy Little League claimed the District 67 title in the Majors division when the Tracy National Astros beat the Northgate Little League Yankees, 5-1, on Monday at Hafley Elementary School in Manteca.
Both teams went after big hits and got them. The Yankees’ Nick Lucchetti scored first with a solo home run in the top of the first, and the Astros answered in the bottom of the first with Braeden Oki’s leadoff solo home run to tie it up.
The Astros’ Jared Finney put his team in the lead as he bashed one over the left-field fence in the third inning, and he followed with a three-run shot over the left-field fence in the fourth inning to put the game out of the Yankees’ reach.
“At the beginning of the game, coach said I was opening up a little, so I closed my stance like he said,” Finney said, adding that, at the No. 3 spot in the batting order, his team counts on him to be a power hitter.
“Everybody was saying, ‘Jared, hit a home run.’ It was 1-1, so there was a lot of pressure.”
Finney also pitched a complete game, allowing four hits for the day. Coach Rick Helzer also credited Isaiah Blue as the Astros’ other starting pitcher in the tournament.
“The kids, no doubt about it, worked hard all year. That was the difference,” Helzer said. “We had great pitching all the way through and timely hitting. The guys came up big when they needed to.”
Oki was 2-for-3 on the day and scored twice, Blue was 1-for-3 with a double, and Skyler Oki had a base hit and scored once. Devin Nelson also had a base hit.
The Astros went undefeated through the tournament with a bye in the first round, an 8-4 win over Spreckels, a 2-1 win over the Tracy American Mariners, and a 6-4 win over Weston Ranch on Saturday on their way to the championship game.
They also went undefeated in the Tracy Little League local championship tournament.
After their loss to the Astros last Wednesday, the Tracy American Mariners stayed alive with a 9-3 win over Salida on Friday, but fell 7-5 to the Northgate Yankees on Saturday.
The Tracy American Yankees earned a place in Thursday’s championship game with a 13-1 win over the Spreckels Park Dodgers in the semifinals Monday. Yankees pitcher Hayley Nunes struck out eight Dodger batters in 41/3 innings, and Matthew Nunes struck out two more to end the top of the fifth. Hayley Nunes also went 3-for-4 with two doubles, including bases-loaded shot in the fifth to drive in three runs and end the game. Also batting in runs were Matthew Wooten and Daniel Sandoval.
The Yankees are undefeated so far in the District 67 tournament at Jefferson and Monticello schools. They had a bye in the first round and beat Northgate on Friday. The Yankees then took a 15-3 win over the Manteca Angels on Saturday, fueled by big hits from Ryan Rivera, who ended the game with a grand slam, Marco Gigliotti with an inside-the-park home run, and Matthew Nunes with two doubles.
On Thursday, the Yankees will face the winner of Wednesday’s game between the Spreckels Park Dodgers and the Salida Bears. The Dodgers got a second chance in the losers bracket after Monday’s loss, and the Bears moved up in the losers bracket with a 13-2 win Wednesday over the Manteca Angels.
The Mountain House Yankees took a 13-3 win Saturday against Patterson as Julian Sainz pitched a two-hit compete game and also hit a double and a triple. That moved Mountain House up in the losers bracket, but the Yankees then fell 13-3 to Northgate on Sunday.
The Tracy National D’Backs were eliminated after two games. The D’Backs had a bye in the first round, lost to Salida on Friday and lost to Lathrop on Sunday.
Both Tracy teams were eliminated in the Juniors District 67 tournament at Paul Weston Park in Stockton — the teams from Spreckels Park Little League took a co-championship.
The Northgate Pirates eliminated the Tracy National Mets on Thursday. The Tracy American Angels lost one to the Spreckels Bulldogs on June 17, but stayed in it through the semifinals with wins over Lathrop on Friday and the Northgate Pirates on Saturday.
The Angels lost to the Spreckels Titans on Sunday morning, and the Titans went on to beat the Spreckels Bulldogs, 3-2, to force a second championship game Monday. Prior to Monday’s game, the Spreckels Little League coaches declared that the league’s two teams would share the championship.