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American Junior All Stars win District 73
National side finish as runners-up
American junior all stars
The Turlock American Little League Junior All Stars captured the District 73 title this summer. - photo by Contributed

Turlock American Little League captured another District 73 banner after the Junior All Stars won it all back on July 2, against Turlock National in a 4-1 final that earned them a berth in the Section 6 All Star Tournament.

“We won District 73, I am so very proud of our players,” said Turlock American head coach Andrew Mojarras. “Also, we were supposed to have played Atwater, but they forfeit, so we went on with four teams in the tournament.”

Mojarras was quick to thank the coaches that assisted his team along the way into the Section 6 Tournament.

“I want to thank coach Sergio Vasquez and Craig Meadows along with John Claes as well for all their help,” said Mojarras.

The tournament kicked off on June 28 from Pedretti Park with Los Banos taking on the Turlock National squad.

The Nationals won 19-2, booting LB into the elimination bracket while they moved on to take on Turlock American just the day after.

In that game, the National team got the better end after they picked up the victory, 5-2.

Following the loss for the American side, they were booted to take on LB in a win or go home game.

The Americans won the game on June 30, 11-1, setting up the District 73 Championship game against the Turlock Nationals the following day.

Fortunately for the National side they just needed one victory while the Americans had to win twice in order to capture the title.

In the first game on July 1, there were major momentum shifts that saw the game go to eight innings, while the Americans clinched the win, 8-7.

“Our kids fought hard and never gave up, they showed great character that day,” said Mojarras. “On the first game that we won during the top of the 5th we were down 7-1 and rallied back to win the game on the 8th, 8-7. Talk about players fighting to the end. All the players supported and convinced each other they could win. The first game that we won made the difference in the players’ mindset, we won that game through pure desire and battle to the end.”

This set up the winner-take-all game the next day on July 2.

This was another wild game that saw limited offense. 

In the final game it was Samuel Mojarras who tossed a complete game, throwing 91 pitches while allowing just a single run in a 4-1 win.

In that game, the Nationals used three pitchers to the Americans’ one.

“The last game we were like a fine-oiled machine, no errors and Samuel Mojarras pitched nearly lights out to finish it out,” said Mojarras. “The second game was magic, we had the confidence and we put in the right pitcher. Heading into the District tournament I questioned how well we would do, because TNLL pick the best players from the three teams in their league. I never anticipated such intense games.”

The championship American squad consisted of Luke Appleby, Samuel Mojarras, Alex Vasquez, Jackson Hart, Derek Meadows, Evan Johns, Levon Shamgochian, Lucas Ramirez, Cohen Harris, Jakob Garza, Jack Claes and Tristan Castelli.

The Americans kicked off Section play on July 7 against District 15 but lost their first contest and then were forced to forfeit their next due to limited numbers on the squad.