Dutch Lawrence and Xavier Ruezga pitched a complete game, allowed just one earned run, while Josh Ramirez cracked a two-run homer over the left field fence to send the Turlock American 12-year-old All-Stars to the District 73 Championship after beating Los Banos on Monday, 10-2, from Julien Field.
“Honestly, we were expecting to play hard from the beginning, I didn’t know which way it would go but I was confident in our team. I thought we could take it, but it was a battle at the beginning and I think some nerves got to us,” said Turlock head coach Mike Lawrence. “Finally, our boys got ahead and I think that they decided not to go out that way and they let loose and relaxed and came back. I’m really proud of them for taking control at the end.”
They took control, but it took some time and some innings of work.
LB was able to stay in the game and capitalized on two Turlock miscues, which led to the only two runs scored by the opposition.
Turlock was up 1-0 heading into the third inning, when the score was evened at 1-1 following a throwing error by Turlock with two outs.
It stayed 1-1 until the top of the fourth when LB scored their second and final run after catching another runner from first base in a pickle.
This allowed the runner from third base to score with ease, making the game 2-1.
It took just a few minutes for Turlock to tie it again in the bottom of the fourth when Jaden Boyer scored after a wild pitch to make it 2-2.
Turlock then rallied in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring eight runs in the process.
It started off with a Joe Farinha two-run single up the middle that gave Turlock a 4-2 lead.
Jaron Rocha added an RBI double and then Boyer tacked on another RBI with a single which made it 6-2.
Garrett Shamgochian cracked an RBI double to left field to make it 7-2.
Ruezga scored the eighth run on a passed ball and then Josh Ramirez drilled a two-run homer over the left field wall to make it 10-2.
Turlock starter Dutch Lawrence was checked out after 3 and 2/3 innings, tallying 67 pitches.
Xavier Ruezga came to relieve and finished off the game going 2 and 1/3 innings.
The District 73 Championship game is slated to take place from Julien Field between Turlock American and the winner of Tuesday’s semifinal elimination game between Atwater and Los Banos, at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
“There is a lot of talent on this team, we have utility players, we’ve got deep pitching that we can bring in guys and put them in any position which is amazing,” Lawrence added. “Makes us able to play anything at any time. If someone is having a bad day, we can put someone else in because we are so deep and that is the confidence we have in our guys, knowing if we are having a bad spot at a position, we have great back-up. They come out and know what they can do, whether they execute that day or not, but that is 12-year-olds for you.”