Woodcreek 9-10s, 11s, Majors reach District 54 Little League championshipsBy: Ike Dodson■Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
Woodcreek Little League has a chance to accomplish an unthinkable sweep of all five divisions of the District 54 Little League all-star tournaments this summer.
The seniors already did their part by earning the pennant July 1.
The juniors joined the club with a 6-3 win over Folsom American Monday to become one of four Woodcreek teams to collect huge tournament victories on the same day.
By winning, the 9-10, 11s, and major division Woodcreek squads still have a shot at their respective championships.
A string of four towering home runs across a two-inning span lifted Woodcreek to an 11-4 triumph over previously unbeaten Lakeside Monday to force Tuesday’s “if” game for the District 54 title at Feist Park in Granite Bay.
Woodcreek’s Aiden Martinez started the parade with a solo bomb to open the bottom of the third. With his team trailing 3-1 two outs later, James Courshon lifted a three-run jack over the left field fence to take the lead.
An inning later, Andrew Paolini smashed a three-run home run out of the park to force a Lakeside pitching change. On the very next pitch, Jake Headington easily cleared the centerfield fence for a solo shot.
“These kids have hit the ball well, no doubt,” Woodcreek coach Eric Gums said. “We knew we were going to come up against a good ball club today. Lakeside beat two very good teams to get here.
“We have had to play seven games in nine days and now we have won six of them.”
Woodcreek’s Paolini ended 3 for 4 while Zachary Watari hit 2 for 4.
All four Lakeside runs were scored on home runs. Bear Bews went yard in the game’s opening at-bat while T.J. Patterson smashed a two-RBI home run the same inning. Drew Walling belted a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth, but Lakeside couldn’t manage the comeback.
“We had a nice lead, but we let them back in,” Lakeside coach Tom Northam said. “Their pitcher was good, no doubt, but we didn’t go up to bat.”
J.T. Bauser pitched four and 1/3 innings (11 strikeouts) for Woodcreek. Courshon (strikeout) downed the final two batters without incident.
The Woodcreek all stars punched their ticket to Wednesday’s finals at Jeff Mitchell Field in El Dorado Hills by ousting host El Dorado Hills 15-1 Monday. Cooper Thompson pitched the four-inning game and watched his entire lineup come alive against El Dorado arms.
Anthony Martinez and Carson Keim had over six hits combined and didn’t relinquish an out from their 1,2, positions in the order.
“We just came out on fire, hitting the ball,” Woodcreek coach Gary Aubin said. “Everybody was hitting.”
Roseville West made it to Monday’s consolation semifinal, but slipped 9-2 to Folsom National to see their tournament exit.
Woodcreek was beaten by El Dorado Hills 11-6 Sunday, but stayed alive Monday by eliminating a hard-fighting Roseville West squad 9-2 in the consolation championships at Roseville High’s Richards Field.
Braden Sloan pitched a gem for Woodcreek while Josh Alger took the mound for Roseville West.
Woodcreek watched Caden Thompson smash a home run while Alger (two hits), Brayden Dotoli, Joey Plise and Caden Stringer had base knocks for Roseville West.
Woodcreek plays El Dorado in a vengeance match Tuesday. They have to beat El Dorado to force the “if” game Wednesday, and then win that game to claim the 9-10 title.
Follow Ike Dodson on Twitter for updates on the Little League postseason, @Ike_Dodson.