The Turlock American 12-year-old All Star team tore through the 2015 District 73 Majors All Star Tournament last week, showcasing a high-output offense and a stingy defense that respectively earned 48 runs and allowed only 10 runs through four games. The American All Stars’ championship capstone was set on Sunday in a showdown with the Turlock Nationals that saw the Americans win 12-1 in four innings.
The Americans opened the tournament with an 18-0 beat down of Los Banos before squeaking past Atwater with a 5-4 comeback win in the second game.
“Everybody hit the ball,” American coach Scott Ericksen said of his team’s game-one effort.
The Nationals also crushed their opponents in their first game, beating Yosemite 14-4, but their second game against the Americans in the semifinals didn’t go as well. The Americans continued their winning streak with a 13-5 effort, earning a spot in the tournament final and sending the Nationals into the loser’s bracket to fend for themselves.
“We kind of expected to see (Atwater) again,” Ericksen said.
Instead, the Nationals beat Atwater 7-5 and returned to face the Americans in the championship game, this time with ace pitcher Justin Hill on the mound. With Hill pitching for the Nationals and Cam Ward pitching for the Americans, the championship became a pitching battle for the first two innings.
The Americans caught a break, however, when Hill hit his pitching limit of 85 pitches after two innings. With a new pitcher on the mound the American’s woke up their bats and swiftly won via the 10-run rule with the help of Ward, Anthony Tulio and Cole Pacheco.
“Our whole lineup has been contributing, but those have been the top guys,” Ericksen said.
Ward finished a complete game with eight strikeouts. Hill recorded six strikeouts through his two innings.
The Americans will now continue their season in the 2015 Section 6 Majors All Star Tournament in Tracy on Saturday with a 1:30 p.m. game against the winners of District 8.