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Riverbank All-Star Boys Searching For Win
So far this summer there seems to be one inning that is plaguing the Riverbank 7-8 year-old All-Star team and that inning has the team of young Riverbank all-stars in search of their first win through two days of the Ceres Tournament in Ceres.

Riverbank left the Pedretti Tournament winless after holding or sharing a lead in three of their four contests and the same tendencies have spilled over into the opening of the Ceres Tournament, where Riverbank has seen an 8-2 lead disappear over the final three innings of action.

"We just weren't able to stop the bleeding," All-Star head coach Carlos Gonzalez said. "A couple of errors just lead into a big-inning rally and we couldn't find an out."

Riverbank bounced back from that first round 16-9 tournament loss to jump out early against Chowchilla's all-star squad, yet even a six-run lead was not safe as Chowchilla chipped their way back into things before walking off with a 14-11 victory.

"I think we are very close to grabbing that first win," Gonzalez said of his squad. "All we have to do is get these kids a little more experience and hopefully one game everything will come together.

"We have a lot of first year all-stars, so I think it's really just lack of experience in pressure moments."

Tournament formats give teams an opportunity to pull themselves back into a contest when they are trailing by removing the five-run limit during a team's offensive half of an inning.

This "open-inning" has cost Riverbank on more than one occasion, most recently when the Ceres Blue snagged their lead for good with a 12-run frame, keeping Riverbank in search of that elusive win.

Riverbank clearly understands that they are playing well enough to have won on more than one occasion, yet even though the team has not put together its best contest, the squad is still poised to keep playing with everything they've got.

"One thing with these 7- and-8-year-olds," Gonzalez said. "They definitely want to get their first win, but in the long run they forget about it and they show up the next day ready to play.

"That's what excites me the most is the things are focused on what's up next."

Riverbank will be seeded for the rest of the tournament action in a round robin format based on record, runs scored and runs scored against. Nine teams will be chasing a spot in the tournament championship game July 10 including teams from Atwater, Bel Passi, Chowchilla, Oakdale, Empire and two teams from host Ceres.

Riverbank also will see their 10-year-old boys in action in a separate Ceres Tournament as well as the leagues 12-year-old boys squad. The Riverbank 14-year-old boys all-star team will be playing in the Hughson Tournament beginning July 11-12 followed by a trip to Modesto for the Bel Passi Tournament beginning the following week.

Riverbank softball will be seeing action in the Hilmar Tournament kicking off July 11 with 10, 12 and 14-year-old squads prepared for action. Riverbank will also be hosting its Second Annual Riverbank All-Star Tournament July 18-19 and have over 20 teams already committed to the annual event.