TURLOCK — By the time you’re reading this, the Los Banos Cardinals may or may not be en route to winning the District 73 Minors TOC. That’s the Tournament of Champions for the rest of us.

They started off hot, beating Modesto-Empire 17-7 on Saturday. But Sunday morning the Atwater Dodgers were there to hand Los Banos an 11-1 defeat.

Action was set to resume on Monday afternoon, with play through the week until the championship series opens Thursday.

The Cardinals had punched their ticket after winning the Los Banos Little League Triple-A title last month.

“It’s a big deal for the kids,” Coach Matt Yruegas said of his team, who has only one player who’s been on an LBLL-winning team.

Last season, though, Enzo Lopez and the Los Banos Giants didn’t get to play in a TOC as the other towns in the district instead focused on fielding teams for All Stars.

The champions from Turlock-American and Turlock-National round out the field of five teams.

Los Banos was set to face the winner of Sunday’s game between Modesto-Empire and Turlock-National. The winner of Monday’s game then would have played Wednesday against the loser of the Turlock-American and Awater-Dodgers game.

After that is the championship series Thursday and if-necessary game Friday. Both championship games are at 7 p.m. at the Little League field on 1100 Flower Street in Turlock.

With the bases loaded, third baseman Favian Villegas throws home to get the force out. Delton Lowery/The Express
Jeremiah Gonzalez eyes the ball as he connects on a single with the bases loaded to bring in a pair of runs. Delton Lowery/The Express

The Westside Express