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Victory Over Empire Gives All-Stars First Win
After relinquishing early leads in both tournament opening contests of the Ceres Tournament, the Riverbank 7-8 year-old All-Star team held on for a 15-10 victory over the Empire All-Stars.

Riverbank finally got the thrill of victory after continually putting together offensive outbursts that seemingly would have had the team in the win column long before their second tournament of the summer.

"You could really tell the kids came out ready to play," Riverbank head coach Carlos Gonzalez said. "It was really the first time in the tournament that we were able to do it from both sides of the ball."

The victory advanced the team into the tournament's semi-final round, but a match up against the No. 1 seeded Ceres Red team left Riverbank with short-lived momentum.

Ceres Red got the best of Riverbank 12-4, yet the tournament ending loss was not something that the team allowed to take the joy from their brightest moment.

"In the win we came out and banged the ball around," Gonzalez said. "It was a total team effort and they got things rolling in a hurry.

"I don't think anyone could have had a chance against us in this one."

Riverbank opened tournament action with solid play, jumping out to early leads in both of their first two tournament defeats. They chipped out to a 6-3 lead against a talented Ceres Blue team, and then held a thin 8-6 lead against Chowchilla before letting the leads slip away.

"Chowchilla scored four runs in the opening inning," Gonzalez said. "That inning plagued us again this week, we definitely lacked that closing experience, but I was proud of the way our guys continued to battle."

Grabbing the victory in their next contest was something the team came into their summer work set out to do. Doubt obviously had begun to creep into the minds of the young players when opportunity after opportunity continued to fall by the wayside.

Now with that taste of victory still fresh, Riverbank will look for some momentum as they head into the 10-team double elimination Bel Passi Tournament, July 18 through 24. Riverbank will kick tournament play off with a 4:30 p.m. contest against Newman.

Hopefully the team will get their same potent offensive production from their standouts. Connor Brandon put together a 3-for-3 performance in the tournament, as did Nicholas Allen and Luis Avilla.

Carlos Gonzalez, Jr. got the bat going in the latter half of tournament action, going 6-for-6 in the final two games with seven RBI. Teammate Jared Barron had a 3-for-3 performance as did teammates Jacob Solario and Jerryn Grundy.