The Turlock American Little League 10-year-old All-Star team will be recognized by the Mayor of Turlock today, following a historic state run that saw them win a District and Section title in the process while finishing top four in Nor Cal with a 7-2 overall record during summer play.
“Neat honor for the boys, awesome to be recognized, they deserve to be recognized,” said Turlock head coach Courtney Keyler.
From top to bottom, this roster was identified as one of the best in the area and in their age group, they dominated.
Following their District 73 title, they claimed the Section 6 title, both in convincing fashion.
They outscored their opponents, 57-4, in six games played during that stretch.
“I told the team that they have a lot to be proud of,” said Keyler. “They all became great friends and became a great team and look at the results... should be proud of how they did and what they did, of course we wanted to win, but not always about winning, but about life lessons and we taught these kids the most we could.”
They did win a lot heading into the Nor Cal State Tournament from Twin Oaks Park in Rocklin.
A perfect 6-0 to be exact.
Prior to the start of the tournament, Turlock also dominated in the home-run derby that took place last Friday.
Turlock had three contestants in Cameron Henard, Mason Hackler and Braydon Keyler.
“Each team got three entrances, kids with most power and our entrances… we were the only team with all three who hit a homerun over the fence in the first round,” said Keyler. “A lot of fun, the crowd was behind the boys and neat to see that everybody was excited for the Turlock boys and how they hit the ball.”
Hackler and Keyler reached the final.
In the end, it was Keyler who won after smacking 13 total homeruns, including five in the second round.
In Saturday’s first game of the State tournament, the Americans fell to McKinleyville in a 5-2 final.
They followed up their loss with a victory over Danville, 14-7, including a four-homerun performance.
“Historic performance from 10-year-old boys to win a State game and for the city of Turlock,” said Keyler. “We had a lot of fun, a lot of camaraderie, practiced a lot, and encouraged the boys and worked hard, and look at the results. The results speak for themselves.”
Following their seven-run win over Danville, the Americans were forced to meet McKinleyville once again in an elimination game that came down to the wire.
They notched a run in the first inning, then an unfortunate play cost them in the first as well.
Before they knew it, the score saw them down 6-3 after two innings.
“The boys were upset, tried to keep their spirits up and keep fire on their bellies, and hopefully they can perform next year as an 11-year-old since we have an excellent program being in Turlock and a lot of talent,” Keyler added. “Very thin line of little mistakes can make or break it, since these kids played with a lot of heart and very fortunate to be able to coach them. It was like a summer camp of baseball for them and I think all 13 enjoyed it.”