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National All-Stars advance to semi-finals
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National All-Star Luke Redman prepares to tag out a Sierra All-Star out at second base at Soderquist Park on Saturday. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR / The Journal

After walloping the Sierra All-Stars on Saturday, the Turlock National All-Stars 10-year-olds skirted past the Los Banos American All-Stars, 4-3, in the second round of the California District 73 Little League All-Star Tournament on Sunday. The back to back victories earned the National All-Stars a spot in Thursday’s semi-final game against the Yosemite All-Stars.

“They’re very excited to be in the semi-finals,” National coach Rob Tury said.

Saturday’s first round matchup saw both teams score early. Sierra jumped onto the board first, scoring one run in the first inning off a double into center field. The National All-Stars responded immediately and repeatedly with RBI singles from Ryan Tury and Daniel Orozco to take a one point lead. Orozco, Holden Baldwin, and John LeGrand added three more runs in bottom of the first as Sierra errors led to multiple plate crossings from base.

The National All-Stars scored eight more runs between the third and fourth innings before the game was called, making it a lopsided 13-2 victory.

“I thought we had a good team but I didn’t think it was going to be that easy,” Tury said.

The Los Banos American All-Stars, equipped with stronger pitchers, proved to be a tougher challenge for the National Leaguers. Los Banos scored a two-run home run in the first inning to take the lead. Christian Avalos scored the first run for the National All-Stars in the second inning but it was Orozco’s two-run single in the fourth inning that brought the momentum back to Turlock’s side with the lead. Noah Baltazar scored the fifth and final run to close out the inning.

“Our pitching kept us in the game after that two-run homer,” Tury said. “Our defense got us out of a lot of jams.”

The pitching combination of Baldwin, Orozco, and Avalos kept Los Banos off the board after the first inning until the fifth inning, when Los Banos scored their final run of the day.

Thursday’s semi-final matchup against Yosemite will be played in Turlock but the field and time have yet to be determined.