SAN JOSE The Los Banos Little League 10-year-old all-star team's dream season finally came to an end Tuesday with an 11-4 loss to Los Gatos in a state tournament elimination game at Alex Anderson Elementary School in San Jose.
But despite going 1-2 at the state tournament, coach Mike Wilson couldn't be more proud of his players.
"Ten-year-olds lose focus pretty quick, and these kids never lost focus. We played 12 or 13 games all summer, and win or lose, they kept their focus every inning, every pitch," Wilson said. "It was all them. I'm not going to take any credit."
Los Banos opened the tournament with Saturday's 5-3 loss to River Park out of Fresno. LB took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when a four-single streak started with Landon Ramos and ended with Peter Eliorraga singling Ramos home.
River Park responded with a four-run third inning centered around a 2-run double by Josh Williams. Los Banos closed the gap in the bottom of the inning with two runs one on a Connor Cascia groundout and one on an Alex Martinez double down the right-field line.
LB threatened again in the fifth, but when River Park brought in Max Phillips to pitch relief, the LB bats went silent. Phillips struck out three straight in the sixth after walking Eliorraga.
"The same thing happened in sections we lost that first game and ran off four in a row," Wilson said. "These kids believed even five minutes after the loss they were over it. They came out like nothing happened and beat Chico. And even Tuesday, they believed we would get all the way to Sunday and win the whole thing."
The LB squad returned Sunday to defeat Chico Eastside 8-4 in the elimination bracket, but Los Gatos was too much for LB on Tuesday.
"After the game, the tournament director came up to the kids and everything, and he made a good point," Wilson said. "He told us at the beginning of this, there's 360 teams, and we took fifth place. That kind of made it, when you think about it that way, that's not too shabby for our little town."
Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org