Steven Manthei struck out 10 in eight innings, and Jeff Malm struck out the side in the ninth as Bishop Gorman’s American Legion baseball team edged Taylorsville (Utah) 5-4 to move into the championship round of the Western Regional tournament in Surprise, Ariz., on Sunday.
“(Mantei) gave us eight strong, and pretty much kept our pitching intact,” said Gorman coach Chris Sheff, whose team has allowed just 12 earned runs in four tournament games.
The Titans (69-7-1) play Honolulu (27-4) at 5 p.m. today. Honolulu would have to beat Gorman twice to claim the title and advance to the American Legion World Series in Shelby, N.C.
Manthei allowed three earned runs on seven hits. Gorman had 12 hits, but was unable to pull away.
“We left some runners on,” Sheff said. “We didn’t execute offensively. We had some opportunities to open it up a little bit. It became a dogfight, and fortunately for us, Jeff closed it out for us.”
Joey Rickard, Matt Hall, Johnny Field, Scott Dysinger and Malm each had two hits for Gorman, which beat Honolulu 14-4 on Saturday.
“We’re set up pretty good, and obviously in the driver’s seat where somebody has to beat us twice. It’s where we want to be,” Sheff said.