The title run for the Turlock American 10-year-old All-Stars was put to a halt at this weekend's
Section tournament, where the local boys struggled and fell in two straight contests as they were booted out of the tourney at Valley Springs.
Despite losing in two straight games, the 10s of the American side had a successful season that included a District 73 title for the young guns.
“As bad as the weekend went, I was so proud of these kids, we got to play five extra weeks of baseball,” said Turlock head coach Kurtis Carr. “I enjoyed every second and, hopefully, we learned what to improve on and how to compete next year. I think we will be competitive going forward.”
Both contests were in reach for Turlock, but defensive miscues led to their demise late in the innings.
“We never gave up and we can keep our heads high about that,” said Carr. “I think the story of the weekend was that our defense let us down, routine plays didn’t work in both games. [We] almost fought back in the second game and couldn’t get in the win column.”
Seven errors became the deciding factor for Turlock in the first game against Hoover Tyler, as the Americans committed four errors in multiple two-out situations. To make matters worse, the pitch count was playing against them.
Cooper Carr started but would be subbed out after two innings of hard work due to a high pitch count.
Turlock fell to an early 2-0 hole after the first inning and the team battled back and struck next with a Zach Mayol solo homer followed by an RBI double from Griffin Sotomeyer to tie the score at two each heading into the third.
Hoover Tyler proved to be a stronger offensive team than Turlock had anticipated after retaliating with six runs scored to take an 8-4 lead by the fifth.
Mayol hit another solo homer to cut the deficit to 8-5, but by the time the game ended, Hoover had bumped the lead back up to an 10-5 to end it.
In the second contest in the losers bracket, Turlock came within two runs, but still lost to Northgate from Manteca by a score of 11-9 after a slow start.
Turlock fell 3-0 after the second inning and, much like the first contest, the local squad fought back to make it 3-3 after the third. But then the wheels came off in the fourth.
Five unanswered runs from Northgate in the fourth made the score 8-3 and by the start of the fifth, Northgate had jumped out to an 11-5 lead with only one inning left for Turlock.
The Turlock American 10s tallied four runs to cut the deficit to 11-9, but nothing else crossed the plate and Turlock was sent home after Sunday.
“We learned at the section level, we must play defense to be successful. Every team we saw was very solid defensively,” Carr said. “That’s baseball; we were surprised like everyone else. Thought we could rebound in the second day but before we knew it, it felt the same.”