The highly anticipated matchup between the Turlock American and Turlock National All-Star teams in the 12-year-old District 73 bracket resulted in a lopsided game that ended in a mercy-rule decision on Tuesday afternoon.
It was the Americans who got the better of the National squad after crushing the ball from the start and providing reliable and consistent at-bats from the entire lineup.
By the conclusion of the game, the Americans had pulled out of Julien field with a convincing 13-0 win over the Nationals to begin tournament play with a victory.
“The boys just showed up and were ready to go,” said American head coach Kurtis Carr. “Boston throwing strikes really set the tempo for us, he was very efficient, and gives us a lot of confidence when we go into the dugout; we just need to score a couple runs.”
“Our bats were off and we struggled batting-wise against their tough pitching,” said National head coach Harpreet Singh.
Souza ended up tossing just 42 pitches over three innings and picked up the win although Aidan Askil came in to relieve in the fourth and final inning to close it out.
The Americans scored two runs in the first inning but then went on a scoring frenzy in the next two innings, truly showcasing the team’s ability to hit with power.
“When they went up 2-0, the nerves really got to our kids and they need to get those out and move on,” said Singh.
Askil started off the second inning with a three-run homer after Cooper Carr and Kaden Petersen had gotten on base safely to begin the inning.
With a 5-0 lead intact and no outs, the Americans followed up with back-to-back homers from Dylan Fuller and Griffen Sotomayor after each leveled a homer over the right center field wall to extend their lead to 7-0.
“In the game we have a good supportive dugout and I feel like we are fortunate not having too many egos on the team,” said Carr. “The kids do get along well and they help each other out and pat one another on the back no matter what, it’s fun to watch.”
The fun continued in the next inning as Petersen led off with a solo line drive home-run to the green wall on the backstop on a 0-1 pitch to extend the lead to 8-0.
Will York then got up, and with no outs, drilled an RBI double to make it 9-0. Sotomayor followed with an RBI sacrifice to make it 10-0 in the third.
Four more runs crossed the plate in the third and with a 13-0 lead, the Americans were able to fend off the Nationals bats with strong pitching behind Askil’s closing performance.
Askil got the final out with two runners left in scoring position to capture the opening round victory.
“We told them not to read into this game too much because there is so much baseball left to play,” said Carr. “Baseball is a strange sport, it can be 13-0 win today but come out and lose the next game 2-1 or something like that and it’s just the way it goes, we told them not to get too high but stay focused.”
The American side will take on the winner of Los Banos and Mariposa at 7 p.m. today.
The National side will take on the loser at 4 p.m. Thursday.
“Go in and take one game at a time and hopefully we play them again in the championship game, I want to meet these guys again so that is the plan,” said Singh.