The American 12-year-old All-Stars from Turlock absolutely dominated their run to a District 73 title and it started the same way the tournament began, with a win over their crosstown opponents, the Turlock Nationals, and ended in a 15-2 decision on Saturday at Julien Field.
“It was a great run but the Americans had a better team overall and they deserved to win, great players and give them all the credit in the world for advancing,” said National head coach Harpreet Singh.
“Pretty similar from last time,” said American head coach Kurtis Carr. “Our only concern coming in was possibly starting flat, but that wasn't the case.”
Cooper Carr opened the game with a hit-by-pitch then Aidan Askil blasted it open with a two-run home-run for the Americans who went up 2-0.
The Nationals scored a run in the first and added their second and final run in the second after walking in the run and the score read 2-2.
“It was a close game for first two innings, 2-2, after the third inning we fell apart and their batters came alive and our guys gave up, pretty much,” said Singh.
Those were the only runs allowed by the Americans in their three tournament games after shutting them out previously, as well as Mariposa.
“It felt like they were thinking we are still rolling and do what we do, I think the nerves were immediately gone after that first inning and it showed,” said Carr.
The Americans outscored their opponents 40-2 during the tournament and became the second American All-Star team to capture the District banner this season, following the 11s and on Sunday the 10s completed the trifecta.
“There is always a sense of relief to accomplish our immediate result and we want to advance to Section and that is what we did there. The kids were happy afterwards,” said Carr.
A scoreless third inning stranded multiple base runners for the Americans but they responded by going on an 11-run inning in the fourth, batting through the lineup once.
Boston Souza led off with a solo homer and then four batters later Dylan Fuller drilled a three-run shot which then was followed by a Drake Browning two-run homer.
Three homers later and a couple of RBI doubles, the Americans had taken a huge 15-2 lead.
“Great hitting from our guys, outstanding job from them and catcher Gabe Gutierrez,” said Carr.
Souza started and tossed three innings, allowing two runs via walks.
Souza was able to settle in after allowing two runs in the first two innings and then Zach Mayol came in to retire the side in the fourth with a three-up and three-down inning.
“Our guys felt like they were going to win District but still had to go out and play and they did it,” said Carr. “Our first goal is done, now moving forward to our second goal and hope to keep playing great like we have been.”
As a team, the Americans went 12 for 25 with five homers and 15 RBI. Kaden Petersen and Askil each had multiple hits. Petersen added four RBI and Fuller had three after going 1 for 3.
Souza was 1 for 2 with a solo homer and Drake Browning was 1 for 1 with a homer and a pair of RBI.
“We told our kids that we got here and to keep their heads up, they deserved all the success and had fun and a great run and don't look down,” Singh added.
The win launches the Americans to the Section tournament that will take place at Calaveras Little League in San Andreas against the Delta All-Stars from Stockton at 9 a.m. Saturday.