Fields are set for section baseball playoffs

Roseville, Woodcreek are in from SFL; Granite Bay is out
By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Woodcreek High School turned what could have been the last inning of its baseball season into a fresh start in the postseason Wednesday.

The Timberwolves, after frittering away a 7-1 lead and then falling behind by three, scored six runs in the top of the seventh inning to win at Del Oro 13-10.

Meanwhile, Granite Bay’s 6-5 win at Roseville put the Timberwolves and Grizzlies in a tie for third place in the Sierra Foothill League. Woodcreek’s 2-1 record against Granite Bay in their three-game series, played a month ago, gave the Timberwolves the SFL’s third and final berth in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs next week.

“A lot of it for us has been about how we got there because we were what? 10-3?” Woodcreek coach Kelly Mayo said.

The Timberwolves were 10-4 after pounding Vista del Lago in the Gina Montes SureWest-Woodcreek Varsity Invitational. That included taking two of three from Roseville — all one-run games — to start the SFL.

Woodcreek went on to lose five in a row, including its first two games against Rocklin, before salvaging the third game of the series and stopping the bleeding.

The problem wasn’t hitting. The Timberwolves are hitting a collective .339. Shaun Mize is batting .516, and Kyle Dixon is at .486 after leading the league for much of the season.

“The game isn’t like football. It hasn’t changed. It’s still pretty much what it’s been,” Mayo said. “You have to play catch. You have to throw strikes. We don’t throw the ball over the plate, so you give other teams opportunities.”

That’s what happened Wednesday. Timberwolves pitching surrendered 10 hits, walked five and hit three. Del Oro’s Max Magleby hit for the cycle.

But Woodcreek came back in the seventh. Austin Hagarty had two of his three hits in the inning, including a leadoff single. Dixon, Stephen Nogosek and Devin Astor all singled, and Mark Smith doubled. Kramer Sutey was walked intentionally, Wade Brill and John Peska each had a fielder’s choice, Mize singled, and Hagarty singled again.

Mayo brought in Nogosek to close, and close he did.

“Bam-bam-bam, 1-2-3,” Mayo said.

Woodcreek (14-12 overall, 8-7 SFL) will face Casa Roble at 7 p.m. next Friday, May 20, at Sacramento City College in the first round of the playoffs. Woodcreek beat Casa Roble 4-0 on April 2.

Casa Roble (16-10) earned the top seed from the Capital Valley Conference on a tiebreaker with Del Campo (15-12) and Bella Vista (19-8). All were 9-6 in the CVC.

Losers of first-round games are eliminated. The Woodcreek/Casa Roble winner will advance to face either Roseville (18-9, 9-6 SFL) or Rosemont at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 21, in the first game of a best-of-three series. Rosemont (19-8) is the No. 2 team from the Metro League.

In the other half of the bracket, SFL champ Rocklin (17-9, 10-5 SFL) will play at 4 p.m. next Thursday, May 19, against either CVC No. 2 seed Bella Vista or Metro No. 3 Sacramento, followed by Metro champ McClatchy (21-5) against CVC No. 2 Del Campo at 7 p.m.

Bella Vista will be host to Sacramento (18-8) at 4 p.m. Monday in an outbracket game.

For Granite Bay (14-12-1, 8-7), Ryan Rosa went 3 for 3 with a home run and two RBI, and freshman Vinny Esposito had a triple and three RBI. Roseville’s Nick Blaser homered for the third game in a row and drove in three runs. He has six homers this season.

In Division VII, Sacramento Metro Athletic League runner-up Valley Christian (14-8) will meet Mountain Valley League runner-up San Andreas-Mountain Oaks (8-8) at 7 p.m. next Thursday at McAuliffe Memorial Ballpark across from Sacramento State.

Oakmont (15-11, 7-8 CVC) lost its finale to Rio Linda 6-3.