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American 10s notch 2-0 start in District tourney
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The 10-year-old Turlock American All Star team is rolling.


After winning back-to-back games over Mariposa and Los Banos, the Turlock American 10s are now in the semifinal contest, just one win away from making the District 73 title game.


“Starting off 2-0 we can breathe a little easier now,” said American head coach Kirk Johnson. “After Sunday's game, the kids were physically and mentally drained but I am so happy that were staying out of the losers bracket because they play so much, and we're fortunate.”


The victory streak started against Mariposa on Saturday and the Americans did not fail to produce for coach Johnson.


Cole Hendrix and Matt Leonesio pitched a combined one-hitter over six innings and managed to keep the Mariposa bats off balance throughout the game.


“The mound is a foot higher so kinda steep and had some more walks than we would like, but we still pitched great,” Johnson said. “Just a phenomenal job and we expected to win but what helped was the weather in Saturday's game—it was perfect.”


The team even felt a few raindrops with the somewhat overcast weather and after taking a 3-0 lead early on the team eased their way to a dominating performance.


Kyle Ericksen got on base to start the rally in the first, then Tyler Knapp drove him in for the first run of the game.


Sean Clark blasted two homeruns for the Americans, which rallied on to win a big first round game by eight runs, 11-3.


“We were excited and stoked and jumping around after the first win,” Johnson said. “The kids were excited after day one, but we knew we went out and played well overall and got the win but still had lots of energy.”


The energy transcended into the next day's contest against Los Banos in the quarterfinal matchup where the blistering sun became a factor.


Behind the arm of starting pitcher Ericksen, the American side was able to surge past the Los Banos All Star team after Ericksen retired the first four batters with ease.


Cole Hendrix hit a homer and Ericksen tossed four shutout innings and struck out eight and the Turlock Americans pulled off the 11-6 victory.


“Our hitting was great and with three homers in two days, that is unlike many other 10-year olds,” said Johnson. “Our guys one through 13, they all put the bat on the ball, they were not chasing they were having productive at bats.”


The next game for the Turlock American 10s is a semifinal contest against Atwater at 7 p.m. today. The winner moves on to the District 73 championship game.