Bishop Gorman baseball coach Chris Sheff felt his team’s pitching would have to improve to advance through the American Legion Western Regional and earn a third trip to the World Series in four years.
Gorman, playing as the Southern Nevada Titans, got exactly what Sheff hoped for Thursday.
Gorman right-hander Stephen Manthei pitched a seven-inning two-hitter with 10 strikeouts, lifting the Titans to a 10-0 win over Albuquerque, N.M., in a regional opener at Fairfield, Calif.
“He pitched great,” Sheff said of Manthei, a departing senior who has signed with Arizona. “He’s our Game 1 starter and threw exactly how he needed to set us up for the rest of the tournament.
“If we have to bring him back on three days rest for Monday, we can.”
Gorman (58-12), the defending national champion, took advantage of four Albuquerque errors in the game.
The Titans scored six runs in a fourth inning highlighted by RBI doubles from Cory Welch and Joey Gallo.
Johnny Field was 2-for-4 with three RBIs for Gorman, which plays San Bernardino, Calif., at 4 p.m. Friday. The eight-team, double-elimination regional concludes Monday.
“We’ve got an experienced club,” Sheff said. “That allows guys to settle in in these regionals.”