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Folsom, Roseville teams battle in District 54 9-10-year-old All-Star Tournament

By: Matt Long of the Telegraph
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Two Folsom teams battled a pair of Roseville teams Thursday night in the District 54 9-10 All-Star Tournament at McFarland Park and it turned out to be a draw as each city picked up a win.

In the opener, Roseville West got the best of Folsom National, 5-2, while Folsom American picked up a 5-1 win over Woodcreek in the nightcap. The two winners will square off at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the championship game of the winner’s bracket. Folsom National will play El Dorado Hills at 5 p.m. Friday, while Woodcreek will play Maidu at 7:30 p.m.

Roseville West and Folsom National were locked in a pitcher’s duel between Max Wyles and Evan Sakazaki until Roseville West leadoff hitter Owen Faith hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning to put his team in front 4-0. Later in the inning, Roseville West scored another run on a Folsom miscue to make it 5-0.

Wyles held Folsom National at bay, while driving in the game’s first run in the bottom of the third. Faith pitched the final inning to secure the win, as he and Wyles held Folsom to a pair of hits, both by Jacob Crumley.

“Our kids are getting better every day,” Roseville West Manager Stan Helleckson said. “We’ve been at it every day for two weeks and we’re just starting to gel. We had very good pitching tonight, and Owen hit the big home run. This was a big win because it’s so tough to come through the loser’s bracket. Plus we get some rest before our next game.”

Folsom managed two runs in the final inning on a single by Crumley, but it was too little, too late.

“We played better than we did in the win over Cosumnes River, but we just didn’t hit the ball,” Folsom Manager Ryan Carey said. “Evan pitched a great game, but we just couldn’t muster up any hits. Our bats need to wake up against El Dorado Hills.”

The second game of the night was similar to the first in that it was a 1-0 game until a big home run broke things open. Woodcreek’s Ashton Burnett and Folsom American’s Jaden Thomson both threw well. Folsom American scored a single run in the third after threatening in the second. Jake Tremain doubled, moved to third on Ryan Brown’s single and then scored on Gavin Green’s groundout.

The score remained 1-0 until the fifth inning when Folsom’s first two hitters, Spencer Marr and Jake Zan, reached base on a single and a walk, respectively. Brown’s single loaded the bases and Marr came into score on a wild pitch to make it 2-0. Kaden Knapp then stepped up to the plate with runners on second an third. After flying out to the warning track in the third inning, Knapp hit a mammoth home run to center field, scoring three runs and giving Folsom a 5-0 lead.

Woodcreek’s only run came in the bottom of the fifth when Eric Owen singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Christian Waters’ base hit.

Thomson pitched the first 4 2/3 innings, while Tremain came in to get the last four outs.

“I was happy with our approach at the plate,” Folsom Manager Chad Tremain said. “I don’t know how many hits we had, but we were constantly putting the ball in play. Kaden had the big hit with his first home run of the year. We’ve been waiting for it, as we’ve seen it in practice, so it was nice for him to get it.

“Our pitching and defense is the heart and soul of the team and I think that showed tonight. We made some unbelievable 10-year-old plays in the field and Jaden and Jake were hitting their spots both inside and outside.”

Some of the defensive highlights for Folsom included Brown throwing out a runner trying to steal third base; Bryce Stockton made a diving catch in right field, a nice dig by Tremain at second base fielding a low throw from Thomson and a diving catch and throw from Green at second.

Woodcreek has a quick turnaround, as they face Maidu at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

“We’ve got to come back and play hard and execute,” Woodcreek Manager Makani Lum said. “If we pitch and play defense the way we can, we will be OK. We’ve got to find a way to compete.”