With surprising ease, the Woodcreek Mariners claimed the District 54 TOC Junior title Tuesday, courtesy of an 18-2 win over the El Dorado Hills Bombers.
Woodcreek scored 10 runs in the first inning, when they sent 16 batters to the plate, nine of whom drew bases on balls. From there the outcome was academic. When it was all said and done, the Mariners scored 18 runs on 14 hits and 13 walks in five innings.
“We worked so good together,” said Woodcreek’s cleanup hitter Blake Milligan. “When one guy got a hit, it picked everyone else up and that led to more hits.”
With 14 hits in five innings, hitting was certainly contagious for the Mariners. Milligan had a great day, as he reached base and drove in runs in all five of his plate appearances. Milligan walked with the bases loaded in both of his at bats in the first inning, leading to two runs. He had a two-run single in the second, and followed with RBI base hits in the fourth and fifth innings, his final hit driving in the team’s final run.
Leadoff hitter Ryan Palmer also reached base on all five of his plate appearances with two singles, two walks and also on an error by El Dorado Hills. In his second at bat in the first inning, he rudely greeted EDH relief pitcher Caleb Palmer, hitting his first pitch for a two-run single to make the score 7-0.
Bryce Court doubled and walked three times. James Courshon had two hits, three RBIs and walked twice. Cooper Thompson hit three singles, drove in two and also walked once. Alex Moore had a pair of RBI singles and Ryan Malkiewicz also singled in a run and walked. Ethan Perrault and Peter Constant added bases-loaded walks in the first inning.
On the mound, Courshon threw four strong innings, allowing only one hit, while striking out seven. Ryan Palmer threw the fifth inning and El Dorado Hills finally got on the board with two runs; bases loaded walks by Anthony Whiting and John Reimer which scored Caleb Palmer and Anthony Verandes.
The Mariners finished the season with a 14-4 record.
“It was a whole team effort,” Manager Brad Court said. “The kids battled and had great at bats; putting the ball in play. They worked hard in practice all season. They enjoyed playing together and picked each other up.”
While the final score was not in his favor, El Dorado Hills’ Manager Geoff Gomez was happy after the game.
“We did not expect to get this far so we were happy to be here,” Gomez said. “We had good teamwork and chemistry and a sense of family with this team. We had great camaraderie and a positive vibe. It was all about improvement with this group.”