For the first time this season, the Turlock American 11-year-old All Stars found themselves on the losing end of a game.
This after falling to Manteca on Tuesday night in the Section 6 Championship game from Julien field in a tight 3-1 final, setting up a winner take all situation on Wednesday.
“We just didn’t have very good at bats today and the kids were not as aggressive as they have been the last couple of games,” said Turlock American head coach Bill York. “We just told them right now to be aggressive come out and play their game and we will see success.”
Coming into Tuesday’s finale, the Turlock American squad had won back-to-back games.
In that semifinal contest, Turlock won, 14-11.
“They are a really good team. We went seven innings with them on Sunday,” said York. “That was one of the best Little Leagues I have ever been a part of.”
However, their second meeting resulted in the opposite turnout.
Manteca added their first run of the game after a pass ball and a miscue on the outfield and never looked back.
Altogether, Turlock committed three errors from the outfield—the most of any prior games played this season.
“We had three errors in the outfield, and that hurt us,” said York. “We play lockdown defense, but we faltered on defense.”
Carson Gonzales started on the mound for Turlock and pitched three innings before Dustin Newsome came in to relieve and close out the game.
Manteca added two runs in the third inning to go up 3-0, while their starter, Seth Van Dyk, was able to keep the Turlock batters at bey after tossing a complete game and allowing just one run.
Van Dyk finished the game with 86 pitches after tossing six innings.
“Sometimes you have to tip your hat to the pitcher,” said York. “But at the same time, there was no momentum swing, they have to sweep us. And if we play our game, we are confident.”
Turlock was used to have big innings, scoring half a dozen runs or more.
On Tuesday, however, they left seven runners on base, including five in scoring position, in the final three innings of the game.
“We usually have timely hitting and start to get momentum our way, the big hit didn’t come today,” said York. “In the past when we have had three different innings where we scored nine or more runs and it starts with those clutch hits, but today the clutch hits weren’t there and then our defense let us down.”
Turlock nearly battled back to tie the game in the top of the fourth inning when they loaded up the bases with no outs.
Unfortunately, only one run was added after Daniel Mazon drilled an RBI single to cut the lead to 3-1.
Three straight outs followed as Van Dyk managed to get Manteca out of the inning with little damage done.
Despite the confident atmosphere in the Turlock dugout, the rally never came as they were kept off the scoreboard and the game ended in a loss, forcing a second game on Wednesday.
“It was great in the dugout, everybody was confident and we aren’t going to change much,” York added. “This is a great team. We won a few in a row, first little stumble. We don’t need to change anything. Carson is the only one who can’t pitch, so we have a full staff and throw everybody at them and we are looking forward to last year.”
Competing on the road, the Turlock American 10 and 12-year-old All Stars each fell in their respective Section 6 Championship games on Tuesday, forcing a winner take all situation on Wednesday.
From Christa Mcauliffe Middle School in Stockton, the 12s fell to Morada of Stockton after a 13-2 final.
The 10s led after the fifth but couldn’t hold on to the lead as they fell 7-4 to Linden.
The 11s will take on Manteca at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The 10s and 12s will both play at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday from Mcauliffe taking on Linden and Morada, respectively.