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Coming out strong
Turlock Americans stay alive in tournament
Little League pic 1
Chad Pettee of Turlock American Junior All-Stars takes a swing during his teams 15-0 on Tuesday at Pedretti Sports Complex. His team stays alive in the District 10 tournament. - photo by CHHUN SUN / The Journal

The last time the Turlock American Junior All-Stars stepped onto the baseball field of Pedretti Sports Complex, they waited until the final inning to knock in runs and make a rally.

This time, it didn’t take long for them to get things started.

Leadoff hitter Cody Justus scored Turlock American’s first run, leading his team to an early lead. That was only the beginning, as Turlock American won 15-0 in five innings over Turlock Nationals on Tuesday night in the District 10 tournament, ending the Nationals’ run.

Next up for Turlock American is Atwater, with the do-or-die game set at 7 p.m. today at Pedretti. Both teams have one loss each in the double-elimination tournament, and the Americans hope to continue Tuesday’s surge.

“We just knew we needed to come out and win,” said first baseman Chandler Callaway, who got on base all four times with three of the appearances resulting in three hits. He also had two RBIs. “We really wanted to stay and play.”

Last week, the Americans came back from a five-run deficit against Los Banos Nationals only to lose the tournament opener in 7-6 fashion.

On Tuesday, they went up 10-0 after three innings, thanks to an 8-run third with two big hits from Callaway and Christian Standridge. The duo finished the frame with two RBIs each, as Austin Taylor, the starting pitcher, had an RBI single. CJ Ferguson scored in all four of his plate appearances, while Standridge added two scoring runs and Justus went 3-for-4 with three hits.

“Sometimes when you lose that first game, it makes you stronger in the long run,” Turlock American manager Lance Justus said. “And they came out and showed it today — the pitching, the hitting, everything.”

For the Nationals, they finished with four hits. They opened the tournament with a loss to Atwater, the same team the Americans play today at Pedretti.

To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.