Fresh off a Section 6 Championship, the Turlock American Little League 12-year-old All Stars dove right into the Northern California Divisional Tournament with aspirations of reaching Williamsport—the mecca of Little League.
It would be a long and grueling road, but they were hopeful to make a run.
Things didn’t go as expected, and they closed out the year from Alta Mesa Park in East Redding, dropping back-to-back games on Saturday then on Monday.
“We were very fortunate to have the first two tournaments at our place,” said York. “I think it gave our kids a lot of confidence. At District you get your bearings and in Sections we worked on our lineup and stuck with it and had success there. State was icing on the cake, did some mixing and matching and I wanted to make sure all the kids had an experience to play because they are all All Stars, I thought we were evenly matched but we were on the upward trend and there was buzz saw pitching.”
Turlock was one of seven section champions to join the Northern California Divisional Tournament.
Turlock kicked off tournament play on Saturday when they squared off against Petaluma.
In a tough contest, Turlock came out on the losing end, 8-1.
The loss put them in a win or go home situation on Monday afternoon when they took on Half Moon Bay. The Turlock Americans lost, once again, in a 7-0 contest.
“We ran into some really good pitchers, and that is it, good pitching beats good hitting and those kids were well prepared and pitched well,” said York. “I explained it to them… it’s an end to a really good career. My advice, if you love the game like I do, it’s time to work hard because before you know it, you are playing in the big field and it will take hard work and effort, but always to know it’s a game, it’s a fun game, and never lose sight that you are able to enjoy yourselves on the field.”
This group now advances into the next step.
“It was pretty fun with this group, first year as 10s, they made sections and had a good run, last year made it to state as 11s, and now as 12s, they are here,” said York. “First two tourneys we had a target on our backs, since they were looking to beat us, and we had timely hitting and played sound when we got to state, that is the icing on top, we reached a pinnacle. It’s different in 12s since it’s international, but once you get to state it’s icing on the cake, cap to a really good little league career especially as 12s.”
Turlock had an interesting run through District and into Sections.
In seven games played altogether, Turlock outscored its opponents, 65-6.
They allowed just one run in four District 73 games played.
They allowed just five in three games played during the Section 6 tournament.
“I was trusting the kids and they trusted in us and we put a good product on the field,” said York. “One thing because of the hard work in regular season, they saw fruits of labor in this tournament and I didn't do much, they were talented and I want to make sure these kids will learn a lot and I told them that high school will come before you know it.”