The Yankees are the 2015 Turlock Little League City Champions.
After sweeping through the Turlock American Little League Majors last week to win it all, the Yankees and their deep lineup met the National League champion Giants on Monday afternoon at Soderquist for a very interesting matchup.
Both starting pitchers dominated the first two innings, and then the Yankees broke open their bats with a four-run inning in the third that gave the squad a nice lead.
With a solid lead, Yankees starting pitcher Dominic Rodriguez was nearly untouchable as he struck out 16 and pitched a complete game en route to the Yanks' 10-0 win over the Giants.
“There was a lot of talk about their pitcher...our kids were a bit nervous and scared and we saw that early,” said Giants head coach Lyle Zimmer. “Then we started to make contact but by then we were down and against a good team like that, it's hard to recover.”
“We knew we would be okay with Dom, but we knew it would stretch as the game goes on. It did not feel like a 10-0 game to us at all,” said Yankees head coach Kurtis Carr.
The Giants were without their ace pitcher Justin Hill on Monday. Matt Morris started off very well, keeping the Yankee bats in check for the first two innings. The Yankees put the ball into play in the third after Cameron Ward led off the inning with a single on a 1-2 pitch.
Rodriguez hit an RBI single to drive in the first run of the game and before it was over, Aidan Askil's two-run double with bases loaded and two outs gave the Yanks a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom half of the third.
“We play very confidently when Dom is on the mound, so we knew that we just needed to put up some runs on the board but I tip my hat to the Giants because their pitchers kept us off balance,” Carr said. “They controlled the outside part of the plate.”
Nathan Bittner came in to relieve for the Giants and struck out two to end the inning followed by retiring six consecutive batters until the fifth inning.
“I thought it was a good tough game up until the errors starting happening and when that happened the kids got down and it’s hard to recover on something like that,” Zimmer said.
Five runs in the top of the sixth inning gave the Yankees a 10-run lead and Rodriguez was able to strike out three in the final inning after tossing 88 pitches for the game and he earned the victory and gave his team a first round bye heading into the Tournament of Champions tournament this weekend.
“It feels like a really nice accomplishment. I am so, so happy for the kids,” Carr said. “They have put in the work. We put them through some work early in the year with lots of running and push-ups and now it feels like it’s all worth it.”
“In a game like this, the team that makes the errors are losers, because both are champions,” Zimmer added.
The Giants are scheduled to compete in the Tournament of Champions, which begins this weekend with the first game set against Los Banos at noon Saturday.
The Yankees will have a first round bye but will be scheduled to play on Sunday at Soderquist with a time yet to be determined.