Turlock had a treat on Sunday when the American and National Little League majors met for a Tournament of Champions showdown at Los Banos' Colorado Park.
Although the outcome couldn't result in wins for both sides, the game provided many highlights, including three home-runs and 14 runs combined.
In the end, the A's were able to get past the Dodgers in their second game of the tournament in a 12-2 mercy-rule win that was called in the fourth inning.
“We are lined up pretty good right now and it's been going on for like three weeks,” said A's head coach Kirk Johnson. “They are having fun. They are seeing the ball and they are getting down on the count and staying in there and putting the ball in play and hitting the ball hard.”
“What hurt us was defense because we dropped a few balls and the defense wasn't there in this one, hopefully, we can see these guys again,” said Dodgers coach Tim Gilbreth. “It's just a blessing to be here. We just hope to represent Turlock National with honor and well.”
The Dodgers took over the vacated spot left by the D-Backs in the tournament and began the tourney on a high note in the opening round with a 5-3 victory over Yosemite.
The Dodgers record was 20-1 heading into the game but the A's didn't fold. Griffen Sotomayor and Matt Leonesio went a combined 7 for 8 and 7 RBI along with three home-runs. Sotomayor had two of those homers and 4 RBI.
“Three homers in this one is big, but the other thing is we have four 10-year olds and they all got hits today, everyone seems to be heating up, we are tough right now,” said Johnson.
The A's scored three runs in back-to-back innings and then followed it with a five-run inning in the third to take a big 11-2 lead.
From there it was all set for a final opportunity to end it in the fourth and the A's responded.
Leonesio singled and Sotomayor drilled a line drive double off the left field fence. Then, after a walked batter, Leonesio scored on a sacrifice and the game ended with one out.
“Second or third innings it looked like everyone was hitting with two strikes on them in critical situation but the best part about this group is that they are telling each other what needs to be done,” said Johnson. “They are learning the game, so it's a lot of fun.”
The A's outhit the Dodgers 16-4. Combined, the A's went 16 for 25 and walked five.
“We have five 12-year olds and they are the core of this group,” said Johnson. “And we saw it when we drafted them all, they are the core and so they complement each other, they do it for themselves which is great.”