Major A's of Roseville West knock out Folsom National Giants

By: Galen Kusic, Special to The Press Tribune
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It was a District 54 Little League Tournament Of Champions version of the "battle of the bay" series Sunday evening in Roseville as the Roseville West A's defeated the Folsom National Giants 6-4 in a contest that remained very much in doubt until the final out was made at Mahany Park. The A's got out to an early advantage when leadoff hitter Logan Ash reached on an error in center and Max Fereira singled. Matt Grashoff came to the plate and doubled sharply to center, scoring Ash and Fereira. Grashoff advanced to third on the throw home, and with John Burcham at the plate Giants' starter Cody Creason threw a wild pitch, allowing Grashoff to score and increase the A's lead to 3-0. The Giants didn't get on the board until the third when Anthony Lawson was hit by a pitch and Nick McCormick singled to deep center driving him home. The A's struck again in the bottom of the third when Brad James singled and proceeded to take second and third base. After a lack of communication from the Giants, James took off from third and stole home, giving the A's a valuable 4-1 lead. "My coach just told me to go," James said. "He told me to get a big lead, and when he told me to go, I went.” That run proved to be huge as in the fourth the Giants would get two more as Josiah Deguara singled to center and Logan Guller reached on an error. Deguara scored on the error, and Freddy May singled home Guller on the next at-bat, making the score 4-3. In the bottom of the fourth, the A's tacked on two more runs when Ash singled and Grashoff belted a first pitch fastball deep over the left field fence for an opposite field bomb, increasing the Roseville lead to 6-3. "He (Creason) was throwing really hard, and it was coming over the plate no matter what so I just thought I'd drive it," said Grashoff. In the fifth, the Giants' Creason went deep to right-center off Grashoff for a solo shot, closing the lead to 6-4. It was as close as the Giants would get. James alluded to his theft of home and Grashoff's two-run blast to be the difference makers in the game. "I think that was the changing point in the game, or when (Grashoff) hit the home run," said James. Creason finished with 87 pitches for the Giants, giving up six runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out eight. A's starter Grashoff threw 87 pitches as well in five innings of work, giving up four runs on five hits and one walk while striking out eight Giants. Jacob Vaughn came in to close it for the A's - battling through the sixth after plunking T.J. Fulton and giving up a single to Andrew Romero before striking out Jack Sa to end the game and the Giants season. "We expected a tough game," said Grashoff. “They were an A team and we were a B team, but we scored the most runs in our league, so we were very confident." Next up for Roseville West is a Tuesday night date with Woodcreek’s B team, the Angels, in a 7 p.m. start at Mahany. The contest is the last hurdle before the district championship game that will be played Wednesday night at Mahany Park.