The American 10s failed to top Northgate in the Section 6 final on Wednesday, which eventually cost them a banner.
On the brink of elimination, the Turlock American 10-year-old All-Stars were sensational as they overcame a strong Northgate squad on Tuesday from Julien field to top them in an 8-6 decision.
Both sides followed with the finale on Wednesday in what resulted in a lopsided effort from the Americans who never quite found their groove and in the end, Northgate from Manteca was able to walk out victorious with a 10-2 final and the Section 6 banner.
“It was a good run especially the two nights in a row we played Northgate,” said American head coach Kirk Johnson. “What I am so excited about is the next two years for these kids.”
On Tuesday, the bats were lit up and the effort behind starter Carson Gonzales was unmatchable by Northgate, who struggled to keep up with the Americans power.
Gonzales pitched 3 1/3 innings and allowed just three runs on six hits while walking one and striking out five.
As a team, the Americans combined for 11 hits total and Gonzales and Lujan paved the way after both went 3 for 3 for the game.
“Carson Gonzales pitched really well, was able to bear down and pitch into the fourth inning and our bullpen was good and we hit like crazy on Tuesday,” said Johnson. “It's what we expected so it was fun, but beating a team two games in a row was tough”
The Americans then faced Northgate’s top pitcher and he was lights out, allowing just two runs in four innings of work.
The offense struggled as Daniel Mazon, Gonzales and Jordan Mikkelson were the only ones who managed to get a hit for the game.
Northgate flooded the scoreboard with hits standing at 15 for the game and committed no errors, while the Americans had a pair of errors and never found their groove.
“I mean Northgate’s pitcher is good,” said Johnson. “But we never got anything going.”
The Americans tallied five walks for the game and in the first they had an opportunity to tack on runs but left runners at second and third base with two outs.
Then in the third, with no outs and runners on first and third, again, the Americans failed to bring any runs in.
“We just couldn’t get the big hit and that was the big part, they hit, we didn't,” said Johnson.
Northgate’s six through nine hitters tallied nine hits and combined to go 9 for 13 and had six RBI for the game.
“The stats did determine a lot and their bottom half of the lineup just hit the ball well and it was one of those nights where the ball didn't roll our way at all,” said Johnson. “They were a good team no question about it, but not much went right for us either.”
Only two runs were scored in the third inning but other than that, Northgate was able to hold any runs from crossing the plate as they held on for the win and the Section crown.
“We played in four championship games, two in district and two in Sections, and I compare these 10s with this years 12 and there is so many similarities — good pitching, hitting and defense, good athletes,” he added. “Good families and all these comparable things that are so important and very excited to watch these kids especially when they get to high school, no matter what they do.”