The Turlock National Senior All-Stars had a storied year after winning the District and Section title, but at the Northern California divisional tournament, things didn’t quite turn out the way head coach Daryl Finney anticipated.
The squad went into Saturday’s game at American River College in Sacramento with two titles to their name, but the competition from top-ranked Granada Hills of Livermore proved to be too much. The All-Stars dropped their first game, 9-3, after the Livermore squad had six-run rally in the fourth inning.
“The difference in the game was one bad inning where they could not do anything wrong and we could not do anything right,” said Finney.
After Granada Hills jumped out to a 1-0 lead after the first, Turlock shifted the momentum over to their side with a 3-2 lead.
“We were two pretty evenly matched teams all around,” said Finney.
Six-runs later, the lead vanished for Turlock and the score read 8-3 by the end of the fourth, daunting the team and their ability for a comeback.
“Their starting pitcher had the best and had command of all his pitches,” said Finney. “Take that inning away it would be 3-2. Eliminate that one inning and it would have been a different game. It’s also the first game that we left lots of runners stranded and couldn’t get them in.”
The loss caused Turlock to drop into the loser’s bracket where they met with North Bay out of Oakland in Monday’s second contest.
Monday’s game would slip away from Turlock early on as the pitchers struggled to find the strike zone, walked batters and allowed hitters to jump out with nine runs in the second inning leading to an 11-0 loss and the boot out of the divisional tournament.
“First time we have had any let down at all,” Finney said. “Great accomplishment to win district and section but things didn’t work out our way in the end.”
Things didn’t shape up in the final contest as the offense was put in check and struggled to make contact with any pitches.
“I am very proud of the kids. That’s the hard part about talking about these kids. It was just two games that didn’t represent these boys at all,” Finney said. “They did a fantastic job and everybody is disappointed it ended how it did because they had a lot more left in them. It was a good team effort all the way around.”