The Little League All-Star season has come to a close for Turlock's American 12-year-olds after Tuesday's loss at the hands of El Dorado Hills.
The Americans were in the final four of the Nor Cal State tournament and despite a valiant effort failed to muster enough runs to keep up with a red-hot squad from the Sacramento area.
By the conclusion of the game the Americans fell in an 8-3 decision and were sent home from River Park in Fresno with a 2-2 record in tournament play.
“You're always disappointed when it ends, but we set the goal from the beginning to make it back to State and improve on our performance from last year,” said Americans head coach Kurtis Carr.
They did just that. This time they managed to finish in the top four.
After losing to El Dorado Hills on Saturday in their opener, 12-8, the Americans felt confident that they could compete with the team from the Sacramento area in the second time around.
The Americans had proven why their success had led them here after they amassed 11 total home runs in the three games prior to their elimination game.
“We certainly did exceed our expectations and met our goal so we left Fresno with our heads held high,” said Carr about the end result.
From the onset, the Americans were diminished of any opportunity after El Dorado Hills tacked on three runs in the opening inning.
“A controversial overturned call led to those three runs in the first inning, so once again we found ourselves in a hole early,” said Carr about trailing for the third time in four games.
Two more runs were added by El Dorado Hills in the third inning as they took a 5-0 lead.
Zach Mayol then followed in the same inning with an RBI double that drove in Cooper Carr and an error off the bat of Dylan Fuller drove in Mayol to make it 5-2.
After the third, and trailing by three, a scoreless fourth led to a three-run inning in the fifth for El Dorado Hills who went up 8-2 after the fifth concluded.
“We didn't answer back,” said Carr. “We've been coming back in games for weeks now and still felt like we were in it, but we could only muster a run after that.”
Auki Flores hit an RBI double in the sixth to make it 8-3 but El Dorado Hills were able to contain any possibility of a comeback.
Aidan Aski, Griffen Sotomayor and Will York pitched the six inning game on Tuesday.
“They all combined to handle the pitching for us and all did a very nice job. To be able to throw strikes under that type of pressure is something that will always impress me,” said Carr.
“This is a special group of kids and families. It was an honor to be their coach these last three years. With that talent, I am sure we will be seeing their names in the paper for several more years,” Carr added.