It was a white-hot start to the 2015 District 73 9/10 All Star Tournament for the Turlock American All Stars who beat Mariposa 11-3 in the opening game before taking down Los Banos 11-6 in the quarterfinals. Turlock's heat didn't last for long though, instead it dissipated over the next two games with a 6-9 loss to Atwater in the semifinals and a 8-11 loss to Mariposa in the losers' bracket.
“We ran into a bit of a buzz saw,” American head coach Kirk Johnson said of the loss to Mariposa. “We beat them the first day 11-3 and they put the ball in play maybe three times. Then we see them six days later and in the first inning they brought 10 guys to the plate and scored four runs on 22 pitches.”
After allowing four first-inning runs, the Americans managed to battle back and knot the score 7-7 in the fourth inning. Mariposa answered back a pair of runs in both the fifth and sixth innings, however, to avenge its first-round loss and advance into the championship game against Atwater.
“We battled and the kids played hard, but we ran into a team that was playing well and playing on adrenaline,” Johnson said. “We were in the wrong place at the wrong time with that group.”
With the Little League season now over, Johnson's 13 All Stars will regroup for next season where they will once again chase district championship dreams at the conclusion of the regular season.
“They're a great group of kids and I'm really looking forward to watching them when they're 11 and 12 in our league,” Johnson said.