The Los Banos Little League Junior All-Star team had two goals in mind for this postseason win the District 73 tournament and make a run in the Section 6 tournament.
And the team did that, coming up short in a 14-5 championship loss to Amador West in the Section 6 tournament.
"I thought they battled all the way through," Los Banos coach Gary Silva said. "They played really well, it's just Amador West had our number both times we played them. We just didn't play the way we played in all the other games."
Los Banos opened the tournament with a 6-1 win over Sunrise Little League on Saturday, with Gabriel Bueno starting the scoring in the third inning on a two-out, full-count hit-and-run triple that scored two runs.
Amador West took out Los Banos 10-0 in the next game, dropping LB to the bottom bracket in the double-elimination, four-team bracket.
"They were just on fire," Silva said. "It didn't matter who we threw, what we threw, they were hitting it."
Los Banos rebounded with a 6-2 win over Salida in an elimination game, highlighted by Steven Domanski's bases-clearing triple. Domanski took the mound Tuesday night in a championship rematch against Amador West, with LB needing to win twice. Los Banos took an early 2-0 lead.
"They answered right back. I think it took a little wind out of our sails," Silva said. "We just didn't have an answer for their bats. Steven Domanski had been lights out in District and Section, and they hit him pretty well."
The loss ended the season for a Los Banos juniors team with three returners from last year Domanski, Julian Arrechavala and Jadin Silva. Only two from this year's team are 13-year-olds, and eligible for next year's team Christian Corral and catcher Emily Lonetree.
"I'm proud of all the kids. A lot of these kids have played all-stars together before, and it was their first district championship as a group," Silva said. "We were hoping to go farther, but it's hard when you run into a team as hot as Amador."
Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org