Manthei, Titans claim Legion regional win

Bishop Gorman baseball coach Chris Sheff thought his team’s pitching would have to get better to advance through the American Legion Western Regional and gain its third trip to the World Series in four years.

Gorman, the defending national champion playing as the Southern Nevada Titans, got exactly what Sheff hoped for Thursday.

Right-hander Stephen Manthei pitched a seven-inning two-hitter with 10 strikeouts, lifting the Titans to a 10-0 victory 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) took advantage of four errors.

The Titans scored six runs in the fourth inning, highlighted by RBI doubles from Cory Welch and Joey Gallo.

Johnny Field was 2-for-4 with three RBIs for Gorman, which will play at 4 p.m. today against San Bernardino, Calif., an 11-1 winner over Tucson, Ariz. The eight-team, double-elimination regional concludes Monday, with the winner advancing to the World Series, which begins Aug. 14 in Fargo, N.D.

“We’ve got an experienced club,” Sheff said. “That allows guys to settle in in these regionals.”

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