It wasn’t supposed to end like this.
The Turlock American Little League All-Stars of the 13-14 age division were ahead from the very start, but unfortunately things happened on their way to a tough 3-2 loss in extra innings to the Chowchilla All-Stars at Pedretti Sports Complex on Monday night. The crowd was stunned, especially at how it ended. Aaron Deatherage walked in for the game-winning score after Chowchilla teammate Jacob Roduner got beamed.
“It’s tough to accept,” Turlock American coach Daryl Jordan said. “We were ahead the whole game. We were never behind until the last inning.”
For awhile, it looked like Turlock American players were going to earn their first All-Stars victory after jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Eric Garibay got on base after a fielding error and was later moved by a single from Blake Cederlind, also the starting pitcher.
Garibay scored thanks to an RBI single to center field by cleanup hitter Byron Baker.
Turlock American didn’t score again until the eighth, as Adrian Gonzales knocked in Zack Jordan with a two-out single to left field. In between, the players had their opportunities — highlighted by having runners in scoring position in the fourth, fifth and seventh.
“All in all, we wouldn’t change anything,” Jordan said.
It’s hard to especially after the kind of day Cederlind had on the mound. He finished with three strikeouts and allowed three hits before exceeding his pitching-count limit in the fifth inning.
He also made a big-time play: With one out in the fifth, Cederlind picked up a short hit in front of home plate. He faked the throw to first, giving the runner on third — Sean Kinsley — the impression that he had time to sneak in for a score. But Cederlind caught him and threw him out.
However, Chowchilla still managed to score after a throwing error for a 1-1 tie.
It could have been worse for Turlock American if it wasn’t for a heads up play from Baker, the catcher, who chased down a loose ball to tag out a Chowchilla runner who was trying to steal home.
But for Turlock American, the end came anyway.
Chowchilla managed two runs in the bottom of the eighth to earn back-to-back wins, including the walk-in score. Jordan, the Turlock American coach, said after the game that the tough ending would only motivate his team heading into elimination Tuesday night.
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.