After tearing through the District 73 Majors All Star Tournament a week prior, the Turlock American 12-year-old team brought their confidence into the Section 6 tournament that begin on Saturday and concluded on Monday.
Unfortunately, the Americans were stunned in the opening contest against the Delta All-Stars from District 8 in a shootout that ended with a 15-14 contest on Saturday at Monticello Elementary in Tracy.
In the following game on Sunday, the Americans met Amador and crushed them in a 10-run mercy rule victory that was led by a Monday falter to Manteca.
“I felt like we had good results, obviously I wanted to win, I felt we had the team but a couple plays in that first game could've made it different but that got us,” said American head coach Scott Ericksen. “We pitched well, but in Sections people hit and they play a lot of ball like us.”
The Americans end the tourney with a 1-2 posting, notching consecutive 13-plus-run games.
“I am proud of how we did,” Ericksen said. “We had to battle last year...but we got one more game than last year and played more ball. But honestly, the kids were disappointed and felt like they could do better but we did our best, just didn't happen, just fell short.”
Just enough to hold back a team that averaged 10 runs per game in the tournament with the likes of Cam Ward, Cole Pacheco, Ramon Grande, Landon Magina and Anthony Tullio, all of whom contributed with multiple hits and RBI.
In the first game of the tourney against Delta, the Americans started off with a fury, swinging at nearly everything as they went through the entire lineup and tacked on six runs to lead 6-0 by the end of the first.
Settled in with a big lead, the Americans were set nicely but Delta answered with more in the bottom half of the first inning as they went up 10-6 by the end of the first inning alone.
Turlock outscored the Delta team, 8-5, in the next five innings but it wasn't enough and the Americans went down into the losers' bracket after their first game of the tourney with a one-run loss and bases left loaded.
“We just couldn't get that last guy in, it was heartbreaker,” said Ericksen.
Eager for redemption, the Americans got it when they met Amador on Sunday.
The Americans picked up where they left off, notching up 13 runs in their second contest as they won 13-2, when Pacheco hit a walk-off grand-slam.
Tullio started the game and went 4 and 1/3, striking out seven in the process.
In Monday's game against Manteca, the Americans seemed off sync when they began the game with a error, then the tables turned and they never regained their rhythm.
“After that bad first inning they seem to hit it where we didn't, when we hit it hard they caught,” Ericksen said. “But Manteca's pitching kept us off balance, it was just one of those games and thought we would get a break but it wasn't our game.”
The Americans went down 0-8 after the second inning and by then, the team just couldn't produce the hits when they needed it and fell 3-11.
“We held them off only for a little bit and they got a lot of hits. They had a good day and we didn't,” said Ericksen. “But the kids didn't give up, even when we were down the kids and parents were rooting and fighting and cheering till it was done and the kids had great attitudes but that's the way baseball is.”