A section title can happen no matter what adversities a team faces, especially working out of the loser’s bracket.
It happened for the Turlock National All-Stars at the senior level, who became Section champions after beating Amador West — twice — with the final game ending in a 13-5 win on Wednesday in the Section 6 championship game.
It wasn’t an easy road for the local boys, who are made up of 14, 15 and 16 year-olds on the 13-man roster. They squeezed out a tight one-run win over Los Banos in the District 73 title game as they battled their way into the Divisional tournament.
“It’s all been the kids. They have done a great job. It’s been without a doubt at the very least years since anybody got out of sections at this level for us,” said Turlock head coach Daryl Finney. “I don’t know if it’s ever happened to get this far, it’s a pretty big deal to go out in sections at any level.”
It all began with three straight wins in the District 73 tournament, with the only close game coming in the final against Los Banos where Turlock won 2-1.
“It was a very close game at the end against Los Banos who had a strong pitcher and kept us at bay,” said Finney. “It was a great pitching duel and we ended up winning on aggressive base running on our part.”
After the win in the grand finale, the Turlock National All-Stars then found themselves in the next round — sections.
The Section tournament started off wrong for the Turlock squad as they lost on Saturday against Spreckels of Manteca in the opener in Linden, moving into the loser’s bracket.
After a day’s rest, and no room for error, Turlock was set to play Spreckels of Manteca once again, but this time the result was in favor of the local team, booting Spreckels of Manteca 5-4, and out of tournament play.
“It was very close and went into the ninth, extra innings and our guys put a lot of people on base, hit the ball well and played good defense, but couldn’t get any runs in until the end,” Finney said.
The final was set between Turlock against Amador West and the local boys were able to beat them Tuesday and Wednesday.
“It’s been a good team effort. They all play well together and very supportive. Made for an easy overall process going to the tournament,” said Finney.
Darrin Finney, Ryan Satr, Marcuz Marquez and Joel Contreras have been standouts for this senior All-Star group, especially on the mound.
“A great job for us and the pitching has been all the way through, been in our favor and things have gone our way,” Finney said. “With the guys coming up behind, they all handled the job well and didn’t cost us or hurt us in any way.”
All the big pitchers should be available for Coach Finney when the Turlock Nationals take the field at 5 p.m. Saturday against the Section 1 winner at the American River College in Sacramento.
“Even throughout the tournament we have had key hits on times we have needed it and I am very proud of the guys,” Finney added. “I am not sure how the teams will look at Division but we will represent very well and be very proud of them.”