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American All-Stars face Los Banos American in finals
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Caleb Welch slides into home as the American All-Star catcher drops the ball and misses the tag. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR / The Journal

Turlock’s 11-year-old National and American All-Stars met at Julien Field on Thursday to determine who would advance to today’s California District 79 Little League Championship game. The American All-Stars jumped onto the board early and continued to tack on the runs with a steady stream of offense in their five-inning, 13-2 victory.

“I knew that if we went out and swung the bat we’d pretty much be unstoppable,” American coach Nathan Mirza said.

Lucas Curtis led the American All-Stars with a base hit in the first inning that was followed by a Case Pacheco RBI. After scoring two runs in the first inning, the American All-Stars added four more in the second inning and another two in the third inning as the National All-Stars struggled to produce hits.

Pitchers Caleb Welch, Clayton Sousa, and Pacheco combined for more than 67 pitches in a near shutout game. The National All-Stars finally scored in the fourth inning, earning two runs, but the point margin was too much to overcome.

Garret Fountain hit his first ever home run to score two of the American All-Stars’ final five runs before the game was called in the fifth inning.

Now, the American All-Stars must defeat the Los Banos American All-Stars twice in order to claim the tournament championship. The two teams played on Tuesday in a lopsided 11-1 victory for Los Banos.

“We’re looking for a totally different outcome today,” Mirza said. “We’re going to try and keep them off balance and hopefully take it to them.”

Today’s game will be played in Atwater at 8 p.m. If the American All-Stars win the two teams will meet again on the same field on Sunday.