Monday was a good day for Caleb Wilson of the Turlock American Little League Majors champion White Sox, as he led his team from the mound to a City Championship title against the Turlock National D-Backs.
Wilson tossed six innings and threw 69 pitches from Julien Fied against the D-Backs as he picked up the win in a 4-0 shutout that earned the White Sox bragging rights and the trophy for the best Majors squad in town.
“Defense was phenomenal and… this may be (Caleb’s) fourth complete shutout this season, he has had a spectacular season,” said White Sox head coach Kevin Wilson.
“They were a little nervous since we didn’t have our best hitter,” said D-Backs head coach Jorge Orozco. “The two errors were the big difference, but we came in and did what we wanted to do. Obviously, the errors killed us, other than that my kids came to play.”
D-Backs ace pitcher Nicholas Simmons took the mound and was effective after helping his team secure the National Majors title. Simmons pitched the entire game (five innings) while allowing just a pair of earned runs.
“Nicholas actually practiced really well, I am really proud of him,” said Orozco of Simmons. “He was phenomenal. Georgie the catcher was putting him in the right position of where to throw it and it was excellent, can’t do much better than that.”
Simmons and Caleb Wilson battled back and forth, controlling the game until the fourth inning.
A pair of errors in the bottom of the fourth inning led to the first run being scored by the White Sox when Dominic Chipponeri slid into home plate after a passed ball to make it 1-0.
The D-Backs offense continued to stay stagnant as they went three up and three down in the fifth.
The White Sox notched three more runs in the bottom of the fifth to extend their lead to 4-0, which was highlighted by a Bubba Lujan two-run double.
“Lot of guts, I think the most thing I am proud of them, that they are an average group of players that gelled and played well together,” said Wilson. “…it’s been an honor to watch them.”
Caleb Wilson shut down the offense in the top of the sixth to secure the win.
Both teams advance to the Tournament of Champions.
“They are great competition and we knew they would be good, and we knew it would be a tight game and their pitcher kept us at bey for least half the game,” said Wilson. “I think our bats came up slow at the beginning but they then ramped it up, great game and hats off to D-Backs they did a great job.”
The D-Backs went 20-1 during the regular season while the White Sox went 15-3 and were part of a three-way tie for first during the year.
In their league tournament, both went on an impressive run, respectively.
It was the White Sox, however, that saw some of the best progress from a season ago.
“Started off last year and the team was decimated from the previous year and only had two returners and my coaches and I, we drafted 10 players last year,” said Wilson. “Doing that we had a good year last year finished .500, then at the beginning of the season. You could tell these kids were gelling and they took care of business and they never let go. I don’t know how many comebacks wins we had, they just hung in there.”
The White Sox will take on the Los Banos Red Sox from Yosemite Lakes Park Rec Center at noon Saturday.
“I kind of expect the same thing we had here tonight, some good competition because it’s going to be a bunch of teams like us who won their league and should be fun, lots of competition,” Wilson added.
The D-Backs will take on an opponent yet to be determined at 3 p.m. Sunday.
“They learned a lot from this loss. For some reason they pick it up every time and get stronger and stronger, I have a feeling we will do great in the TOCs,” Orozco added.
Both sides are also expecting to boast multiple All-Stars after the TOCs.