By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
American 12-year-old All Stars stacked with talent
American 12s
James Ericksen will be one of the big guns for the Turlock American 12-year-old All Star team. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

The Turlock American 12-year-old All Star group is a unique squad for first year All Star head coach Scott Ericksen.

Along with assistants Craig Pacheco, Eric Ward and Brandon Smith, the team is filled with some of the best young talent in the entire county for their age group and looking to compete for a District 73 title.

Ericksen led the Turlock American Little League Major runner-ups Red Sox to the championship game before being eliminated by the Yankees.

Now, with a handful of those Yankee members on the roster, the group of 13 is hoping to make a serious push for a title.

“I'm excited because it’s my first year as the head man for an All Star team,” said Ericksen. “It’s gonna be fun because we seem to be deep in pitching this year and I think our group of guys can throw strikes and play a little defense and some good things will happen for us.”

Yankees Cam Ward, Landon Magina, James Ericksen, Cole Pacheco, Anthony Tullio, Logan Smith and Avery Sleeper will join their former rivals on the American All Star squad.

“Really, the whole team is good and everybody if we needed to could about pitch an inning or two for us... I mean they are all-stars,” Ericksen said.

Out of 13, Ericksen said that he can call on one of seven pitchers and feel comfortable putting them on the mound — a change from last year's shallow pitching line-up.

Expectations are high with such a deep and talented roster.

“The way I look at it is that baseball is a team sport. We have some standouts, but it will take a whole team,” he said. “Our nine have to be better than their nine and I think we're strong from top to bottom and it will be a fight to get us off the field."

The American 12s' first game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. today against Atwater at Los Banos.