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Red Sox claim TOC title after mercy-rule win
Red Sox 1
The Turlock American Little League Red Sox claimed the Majors District 73 Tournament of Champions title after defeating Yosemite, 10-0, on Thursday. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal

The Red Sox's road to the final game of the District 73 Majors Tournament of Champions came to successful conclusion on Thursday afternoon from Soderquist Park after they showcased more of their powerful ability to dominate, defeating Yosemite in a mercy-rule ending.

Yosemite struggled against this year's Turlock American Little League Majors and City winners as the Red Sox wasted no time proving why the banner belonged to them.

“We never looked to the next game,” said Red Sox head coach Grady Welch. “We took it one by one and when we came into the game, it wasn't about tomorrow, it was about pitching for today in this game and our hitting was lights out.”

A three-run and seven-run inning in the first two innings secured the double-digit lead while starting pitcher Tyler Ness threw a complete game shutout, tossing just 38 pitches in four innings of work in his team's 10-0 victory.

“These kids are incredible. I have 12 young boys that play very good baseball, they work hard, they come out and put out hard work from practice to the field,” said Welch. “We are the only team that have the boys call their own pitches. It's about them... they won this, I didn't.”

The Red Sox started off right from the onset in the bottom of the first with a flurry of RBI hits from Kyle Ericksen, Drew Walker and Cole Hendrix that gave them a 3-0 lead heading into the second.

Starter Ness tossed two scoreless innings and had just 16 pitches thrown after attacking the strike zone with consistent pitching.

In the bottom of the second, the Red Sox went up 6-0 after Ness, Welch and Walker each had an RBI.

The bases loaded followed and the hottest hitter in the tournament—Hendrix—continued his onslaught after blasting a grand slam over the center field fence to make it 10-0, essentially ending the game.

“Cole Hendrix is probably the strongest kid I have ever coached, when he makes contact he is going to send it far,” said Welch. “They play great quality baseball and I wanted to also say thanks to Little Caesars for sponsoring us. Thank you to all the sponsors and businesses in town for supporting little league.”

The team had confident outings in back-to-back games that were perfect on the defensive side, not committing a single error in their final two contests.

“They have been a very confident group,” said Welch. “When you come out and put up the numbers we have, you can be relaxed, they have fun and are a great group of kids that get along. This is a team that we don't keep stats or batting averages, I don't believe in that.”

In the Minors, the Turlock National Little League representatives in the Tournament of Champions—Redwings—fell 13-3 to Atwater.

 “We played five straight days and these boys were spent,” said Redwings manager Michele Helwick. “(They played) extremely well, so proud of them.”

The All-Star tournament is scheduled to begin on June 24.