Lakeside comes back to win District 54 Major title
Fans rushed the field in celebration after Lakeside Little League’s Matt Voelker pitched the third strike to Woodcreek’s Cody Lindsey.
The strikeout was the final out in Lakeside’s 5-3 victory over Woodcreek on Sunday in the District 54 Major All-Star Tournament championship game at Feist Park in Granite Bay.
Four of Lakeside’s top pitchers were ineligible, according to Lakeside coach Steve Dailey.
“Frankly, we needed a fantastic pitching performance by Matt Voelker," Dailey said. "He just came through and probably pitched the game of his life.”
Lakeside rebounded from two losses to Woodcreek — in pool play and the semifinals — to advance to the Section 4 Tournament. Lakeside opens against the District 5 champ at 5 p.m. Saturday in Lincoln.
A day after being knocked into the losers’ bracket by Woodcreek, Lakeside eliminated Roseville West 14-6 and then forced a second title game by holding off a late rally and beating Woodcreek 11-9 on Saturday. It was Woodcreek’s first tournament loss after six wins.
In the deciding game, Lakeside piled on its runs early, scoring four in the bottom of the second inning. With the bases loaded and none out, Darren Baker singled home Darren Nelson for a 1-0 lead.
Woodcreek pitching issued back-to-back bases-loaded walks, and Chris Weber drove in Baker to give Lakeside a 4-0 edge.
“The kids had a rough day,” Woodcreek manager Jamie Clifton said. “We went up against a pitcher who kept us off balance all day.”
JC Santini homered to left-center field to put Woodcreek on the board in the fourth, but Lakeside scored on a throwing error in the bottom of the inning.
Woodcreek had four consecutive singles, including RBI hits by Noah Kravich and Austin Loeb, to pull within 5-3 in the fifth, but Voelker forced a popup and struck out two in the sixth to clinch the win for Lakeside.
“I was just thinking focus on that one batter and then after him go on to the next,” Voelker said.