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Turlock American 10-year-old All-Stars advance to District 73 title game
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Mason Hackler of the Turlock American Little League 10-year-old All-Stars started Tuesday's game as the American side defeated Los Banos, 4-0, to advance to the District 73 Championship game on Thursday (EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal).

The Turlock American 10-year-old All-Star baseball team is heading to the District 73 Championship game after they shut out Los Banos on Tuesday in the semifinal from LB, 4-0.

“The boys are excited and motivated and playing really hard. They are working through all their fundamentals and trusting their skills, which is the most important thing,” said Turlock American head coach Courtney Keyler.

In their first game on Sunday, the American side toppled Mariposa, 11-0.

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Braydon Keyler runs towards third base during Tuesday's 4-0 win over Los Banos (EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal).

This set them up with an opportunity to play in the semifinal against the hosts, and a chance to reach the final.

The Turlock Americans didn’t start out great, as is was a one, two and three first inning.

Then Turlock American starting pitcher Mason Hackler took the mound and struck out three in the bottom of the first inning.

He was subbed out in the second, after throwing 33 pitches. From this point on, Cruz Contreras took over the duties from the mound and was nearly untouchable.

Contreras pitched four shutout innings for the American side as he kept all the LB batters off balance with his quick release.

“We have 13 boys who are putting in 100 percent effort and playing sound baseball; two shutouts is good so far,” said Keyler. “Los Banos is a really good team and they have some strong hitters. Our pitching was extremely timely. Mason started and then Cruz Contreras came in and was economical and Cam finished the game in tremendous fashion and our defense was great all game.”

Cam Kelley came in the sixth and pitched a shutout inning.

The offense was limited, but clutch for the Turlock Americans.

Noah Suarez hit an RBI sac to right field in the top of the second inning and scored Braiden Fuentes to make it 1-0.

Brock Arrellano drove in Braydon Keyler in the fourth inning, which made it 2-0.

Turlock American added a pair of runs in the fifth inning. First, when Keyler drove in Contreras to make it 3-0 followed by an Aidan De Los Santos RBI triple to extend the lead to 4-0.

“Fortunately for us, but unfortunately for Los Banos, they gave us some runs on errors, which helped us and helped us extend the lead. The team is amazing and the boys are motivated as well; everyone is having fun and that is what it’s all about,” Keyler said.

The District 73 Title game is slated to take place from Los Banos at 7 p.m. Thursday.

“We have every pitcher available for Thursday’s game, so we are in great shape but we have to come out and play sound baseball if we hope to win that one,” Keyler added.