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Turlock All-Stars rally late to earn extra-inning win
Andrew Pulido of the Turlock All-Stars pitches Thursday evening at Pedretti Sports Complex. He pitches a solid in a 10-6 win. - photo by CHHUN SUN / The Journal
When things began to look uncertain, the Turlock Senior All-Stars huddled up near the dugout at Pedretti Sports Complex. Coach Ben Cantrell said a few words and the players listened.
Then the players joined hands, one on top of another.
In unison, they said: “Believe!”
This was a team that didn’t give up, despite coughing up a one-run lead late in their game against the Atwater All-Stars in Little League action on Thursday night. What happened in Turlock’s last plate appearance perhaps surprised everyone in the stands, as the All-Stars scored six runs in the top of the eighth inning to win 10-4 in a game that lasted more than three hours.
Now, the Turlock All-Stars have a bigger goal — to win 15 games. That would be enough to take them to the state championship game, Cantrell said. Next up is a contest at 7 p.m. today in Los Banos.
“I think we did real good,” catcher Jose Mendoza said. “We kept our focus toward the end of the game.”
Andrew Pulido, also the starting pitcher, broke a 3-3 tie in the sixth with an RBI single that sent in Jesse Meraz. But, the Turlock All-Stars then committed a fielding error that allowed Dosten Light to eventually score in the following frame.
“The boys really talked in the dugout that they knew as a team they could pull this off,” Cantrell said. “Atwater is a really, really tough opponent and you couldn’t take them lightly.”
But the game took a dramatic shift in the eighth, when the Atwater All-Stars put in Jordan Rodriguez, who had been catching all night, to pitch. Cantrell said his team had faced Rodriguez before and remembered him getting easily rattled on the mound.
The Turlock All-Stars finished the eighth inning with six runs on six walks and one hit.
In the end, Pulido pitched five innings with five strikeouts and allowed four hits and three runs before Meraz came in to relieve. Pulido also did well at the plate, getting on base with all five at-bats to collect two hits and two runs scored.
“I think we had opportunities at the end of the game, but we had a few errors to allow Atwater back into the game,” Cantrell said. “They ended up tying us 4-4. We let them back in ... But the boys are battle-tested. They really believe they can do something together this year.”
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.