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Mercy-rule win for American 11s over National side in District opener
LL All Star 11s pic
Turlock American Jackson Hart reached base safely on a walk during the second inning at bat. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

An unspoken statement was made by the Turlock American 11-year-old All-Star team after a powerful performance over the National side that ended in a mercy-rule decision.

A total of five home-runs were hit by the American team who went up 13-0 after just the second inning concluded and then from there, the bullpen took over and shut down the National team to end it 15-2.

“I knew coming in that we had a legitimate hitting team, one through 13 can hit at any given moment to give us a big hit, walk or anything, but it’s what I expected from this group of kids,” said American head coach Grady Welch. “They are just an outstanding group that can play both offense and defense.”

“Our kids came out tight and they weren’t ready for the game, unfortunately, but that is our fault, the coaches and managers' fault,” said National head coach Brian Weatherbee. “We came out tight and didn’t make plays on some balls and then it snowballed.”

It seemed as if very little went right for the National team and the American side just wouldn’t stop hitting, well, everything.

Every starting player reached base safely at least once for the American team.

American starter Matt Leonesio was also lights out after tossing two shutout innings on 27 pitches and a strikeout.

Tyler Ness drilled a pair of homers for the American side, including one in the first and followed up with the pair in the second inning after smacking a two-run shot to extend the Americans lead to 12-0.

Leonesio followed the next at-bat with a solo shot over the left center fence and the team was already set with a nice 10-plus run lead at 13-0.

“Baseball is baseball, that is what is great about this game,” said Welch. “You can be beaten at any given moment, whether you score 15 runs the game before. But what is different than years before is we have the pitching, our hitting is great, sure but we are dominant in pitching.”

Lefty haulers Gavin Farinha and Drew Walker each pitched an inning for the American side in the third and fourth, respectively, and allowed just two runs to cross on stolen bases for the National team after some pass balls in the third.

Unfortunately for the National side, that was it for the team who went on to get shutout in the fourth.

The Americans scored six runs in the first, seven in the second and two in the final two innings.

The American side will take on the Los Banos at 7 p.m. today at Soderquist.

The National side will take on the loser between both sides at 7 p.m. on Thursday.