Hollister American 9-10s overcome early deficit, play for
Division 2 title Thursday
Rocklin –It was a test of their championship mettle. And by acing it, they sit one win from a state title.

Forced to play from behind for one of the few times in their dominant postseason run, the Hollister American 9-10-year-old All-Stars calmly bided their time, believing their big inning would come. And come it did.

Behind a six-run fourth inning, Hollister American overcame its early deficit to defeat River Park (Fresno) 7-2 Tuesday night to land a spot in tomorrow’s Division 2 championship game.

Hollister American will play the winner of tonight’s River Park–Alameda contest, with two chances to claim the equivalent of the Northern California state title.

“These kids are unbelievable,” manager Robert Fabing said. “They’re die hards. They play through any adversity that happens. They continue to battle back and rally.”

River Park took a 1-0 lead from the get-go, scoring a run in the first inning and threatening to chase Hollister American starter Austin Wahl with repeated rallies. But on this night, Wahl was up to the challenge of leading his team in the big-game spotlight.

The right-hander kept River Park at bay long enough for his offense to come around and give him the lead. And once Hollister American put him out in front, Wahl took care of the rest, allowing just one more run in the fourth inning in his complete-game effort.

“He was a battler,” Fabing said of Wahl, who struck out six while allowing just five hits. “He got out of some tough jams. Austin Wahl just put us in the title game on Thursday night.”

Hollister American fought back with a string of singles to blow past River Park in the fourth. Josh George, Robert Soto and Wahl all hit safely to load the bases with no outs, putting River Park in a bind it could not escape from.

The local All-Stars tied the game with one of their patented base-running misdirection plays and then their bats came through when the team needed them most. A two-run single by Tony Diaz gave Hollister American its first lead at 3-1, and then a two-out, pinch-hit RBI single by Christopher Cook and a two-run knock by Daniel Gonzales padded the lead.

Hollister American scored its final run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by George that scored pinch-runner Cook, who re-entered the game for Marcos Perez, the rally-starter with a single.

Fabing said three of his reserves have played an irreplaceable role in the team’s postseason success, crediting Mavrick Enz, Connor Fabing and Cook with solid contributions from a difficult spot.

“Without them,” the Hollister American manager said, his voice trailing off, “Our substitutes have been very strong and these three kids have contributed tons to get us to this point.

Fabing also applauded the crowd support from the traveling party of parents.

“It’s amazing the adrenaline my parents have shown these kids,” Fabing said.

One win away from completing their postseason run with a division championship, the highest level of play for this age group of Little Leaguers, the All-Stars and their manager were practically floating with excitement.

“This is unbelievable,” Fabing said. “We’re going to the title game. We’re going to the ultimate. We’re going to the show.”

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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