The Turlock American 10-year-old All-Stars are advancing to the District 73 Championship game after handling Atwater on Tuesday night from Soderquist Park in a 17-2 mercy-rule win in four innings.
“I am excited because we have all the pitchers back and they all play great as a team, great defense,” said Turlock American head coach Todd Feldman. “Also want to thank my assistant Paul Cooper who coached my other assistant Erik Hart way back when.”
The Turlock American side was coming off a first-round romping over the Turlock National squad that ended in a 14-3 win. In that game, the Americans went up 12-1 by the fourth before the National side battled back with a pair of runs to force a fifth inning.
The Americans held onto a double-digit lead in the game that ended with a throw out. Nick Feldman was 2-for-2 with three runs scored in that game. Seth Salabor and Vincent Gonzalez each had four RBI.
“That was just a huge game for us,” said Feldman.
Coming off that game, the squad was even more determined with one game remaining until making the title game.
On Tuesday, they met an equally determined Atwater squad. But American starting pitcher Dutch Lawrence erased any possibility of an Atwater victory, after tossing two strong innings while allowing just one run.
Gonzalez had an RBI single to open up the game in the first then Salabor extended the lead to 3-0 by the time the inning ended.
The Americans added six runs on a second inning rally that extended the lead to 9-1.
Defensively, they looked nearly perfect, not committing a single error for the game.
“No errors at all in this game,” said Feldman. “In the first game, we had a couple at the beginning, but haven’t had an error in eight straight innings.”
The lead was extended by the American squad to 11-1 after the third and then they went up 17-1 by the start of the bottom of the fourth.
Jaron Rocha pitched a shutout inning in the third and Max Mankins tossed the fourth inning, allowing just one run.
“It was the first time Max was pitching,” said Feldman. “Also, Joe Farinha threw out a runner and Salabor, Vincent and Farinha also crushed the ball to the fence, all hit the fence at least once.”
The Turlock team will advance to the District 73 final from Soderquist Park at 7 p.m. Thursday.