Three years ago, a group of Turlock Little Leaguers made a serious run into the World Series.
That group — most of it, to be exact — is back.
Half of them are on this year’s American League Rangers, who produced a 14-0 win in five innings over the National League Diamondbacks in the Senior (15- to 16-year-olds) City Championship at Pedretti Park on Monday night. Rangers ace Tyler Murphy was unhittable, striking out 13 of 15 batters.
A walk in the first inning killed his chance at a perfect game.
“When you have a kid who pitches like that,” said Rangers manager Tony Murphy, who’s also Tyler’s father, “it’s hard to determine how good of game it could’ve been.”
Tyler’s performance was highlighted by the fact that the Diamondbacks accounted for no hits. He did well at the plate, too, finishing 3-for-4 with two doubles. His teammates also weren’t shy with hits and runs. The Rangers combined for 16 hits, with Tyler Lucas, Jordan Gonzales and Blake Cedarlind also all collecting three each.
Nick Mirza, Patrick Dudley, Brett Potter, Luis Mendez and Tim Mitchell each had one hit, contributing to the win.
Now, the Rangers will look to make a run in All-Stars. Their District 10 tournament begins July 8, as Tony Murphy hopes his team’s experience will help the Rangers along the way. About a half-dozen of the players were on the 12-year-old squad that reached the Little League West Region finals in San Bernardino, a step from the World Series.
“This is a great group of kids,” the Rangers manager said. “A lot of them play together for a while; great group of kids, respectful young men. I’m proud of the whole group.”
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