A pair of back-to-back losses led to the elimination of the Turlock American 11-year-old All Stars in the Nor Cal State Tournament this past weekend, but the team’s season was much more successful than their tourney ending.
Saturday's first matchup with Tri City ended in a 12-2 mercy-rule final, setting up a win or go home situation in their second meeting with Redwood Empire on Sunday from Fremont Little League field.
Unfortunately, that game ended in another mercy-rule decision after falling 11-1.
“The funny thing, we only have 250 kids and both the teams we played have over 800 kids in the program,” said Turlock head coach Bill York. “Bigger pool of leagues. We are the smaller program; Turlock American has some really good ball players.”
Turlock also has more to be proud of after finishing in seventh place out of 250 teams that started on day one.
“That is very good, I told them we are very proud of them for their accomplishment,” said York. “We finished four mercy-rule wins in District and Sections. It was tougher when we saw some big kids in the state tournament, (we) didn't perform, but the experience to use next year, absolutely excited for next year.”
In Saturday's game, Turlock managed to only come away with three hits while Tri City mounted 15 hits while scoring a dozen runs.
Tri City scored first adding four runs in the bottom of the first followed by a run in the bottom of the second. They followed with four runs in the fourth and finished it with three in the bottom of the fifth with two outs.
Turlock's two runs were scored in the top of the fourth after Ryan Flora drilled a two-run shot.
In that game, Rob York tossed two innings allowing five runs while Bubba Lujan pitched 1 and 2/3 innings. Daniel Mazon pitched one inning.
The loss was followed by Sunday's elimination game, which was also one of the worse outings for Turlock defensively. The American 11s committed a total of four errors for the game.
Redwood got seven hits to Turlock's five, however they scored 11 runs while the Turlock batters struck out nine times combined and left five runners on base.
“If you don't get going right away, the ball starts rolling downhill and we couldn't get much together,” said York. “Struck out way too many times. My goal was to get experience for next year, I think we only struck out in sections and district not as many percentage wise, until State then we ran into a buzz saw.”
Carson Gonzales pitched 2 and 1/3 inning while Dustin Newsome went two innings. The game ended in the bottom of the fifth with one out after the 10-run rule. Lujan managed to smack a homer for the teams only run of the game.
“That is what is special about the state tournament, everyone deserves to be there and we weren't fresh on pitching but no excuses,” said York. “The cool thing was the kids were not super disappointed, they were happy to perform at district and sections but leave hungrier for next year to come out and hopefully go deep in the tournament and build success on opportunity from this year.”