The 2018 Section 6 All-Star champions are the Turlock American Little League 12-year-olds.
They earned their banner after defeating Morada on Tuesday afternoon from Julien field in the tournament finale after a close one run ball game ended, 4-3.
“I did anticipate this sort of game. They have good pitching over there and I knew our guys were going to make it a good little league game and that is what we expected,” said Turlock head coach Bill York. “The kids are ecstatic. Going into this I told them we have a big target on our backs since we won it last year and so that is what champions do, they go out and back it up.”
Carson Gonzales started on the mound for Turlock and went 2 and 1/3 inning, finishing with 50 pitches.
Jordy Mikkelson came in to relief in the third and closed it out going 2/3 innings.
From there Dustin Newsome took over and was lights out.
He went on to pitch three innings and secured the save, getting all nine of the final outs.
“Nine out save which was huge,” said York of Newsome. “He kind of thrives in those situations, he really does. He looks forward to it, mentally he is really strong, you can’t say enough about that performance.”
The Turlock squad kicked off tournament play with a bang.
They captured a first round win over Linden on Saturday after winning in a convincing 16-0 final.
Following their first-round win, they went on to take Northgate in what resulted in an 8-2 win in Sunday’s game that then put them in the Section 6 Championship game on Tuesday against Morada.
In the game, both sides saw a run scored apiece in the opening inning that saw the score read 1-1 after one.
Then Turlock added a pair of runs in the top of the second inning to take the 3-1 lead.
Riley McCord then secured the lead in the fourth after driving in the final run on a bases loaded walk to make it 4-1.
Morada scored two runs in the bottom of the third, but Mikkelson got out of the jam.
“It was business as usual and they played loose and they are pretty ecstatic,” York added. “Last year was our main goal to reach state. 10 of our 13 were there last year so they have a taste in their mouth from last year and I think they are going to be really prepared. I peeked at the possible teams in the state tournament and almost all the same names, only one was different, we may be facing the same guys, which in baseball it’s what you want, you have a mental note about teams that have beat you or not.”
Turlock will open up Nor-Cal/State Tournament play this weekend against an opponent yet to be named from East Redding Little League at Alta Mesa Park at 9 a.m. Saturday.