The Turlock National Little League Majors Dodgers had their Tournament of Champions aspirations end Monday, following a 6-5 loss to Los Banos from Soderquist Park.
“We just didn’t hit the ball,” said Dodgers head coach Brian Weatherbee. “Their pitcher threw strikes and nothing we haven’t seen before, we just didn’t play particularly well, and once Josh got out of the game, we struggled to find the strike zone.”
The Dodgers started their TOC on a high note Saturday, defeating Mariposa for the first game from Soderquist. The Dodgers jumped out to an early 7-0 lead in the first inning then the team cruised to a 16-4 mercy-rule win after four innings, highlighted by a three-run homer from Aaron Sullivan.
Following their first-round win, the Dodgers met Atwater on Sunday, but were shorthanded including their head coach Weatherbee.
Atwater went up 3-0 and then in the third, the Dodgers tied it at 3-3 before the Dodgers ran out of pitching.
Atwater strung together multiple hits an on wild pitches and went up 8-3 to end it after six innings.
“They boys played well and hard, and down a leader with a broken foot as well and having my son and myself not there had to be hard on them,” said Weatherbee.
In Monday’s game, the Dodgers were eyeing a return to the winner’s side when they took on Los Banos from their home field.
The Dodgers scored one run in the first to go up early before LB added three runs from the second to third innings. By the time the third concluded, the Dodgers tied it 3-3 for the game.
A combination of errors and missed plays allowed LB to take a 6-3 lead heading into the fifth.
By the fifth, Sullivan had already drilled a two-run blast over the fence to make it 6-5.
Unfortunately, their last out came after a pick-off at first base.
“We had our best hitters up, I thought we would squeak out the win, but unfortunately our base runner got picked off to end the game,” Weatherbee added. “That is the fun and danger of a tournament and juggling pitchers. We need to have a real deep team of pitching and just didn’t have the pitching that would allow us to do that.”
The District All-Stars will take place from June 24-30.