Lakeside, Woodcreek finish strong in pools, advance in 9/10 tournament

By: Robbie Enos/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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Area Little League all-star teams were dominant in District 54 9/10 all-star tournament pool play, and it forced a meeting in the first round of double elimination.

Woodcreek defeated El Dorado Hills 11-0 on Saturday, and Lakeside beat Folsom American 9-5 at Richards Field. Woodcreek (4-0) wrapped up the top seed in Pool 1, and Lakeside (3-1) secured the No. 2 seed in Pool 2. Woodcreek and Lakeside play at 5 p.m. Monday. Pool 2 winner Roseville West (4-0) meets El Dorado Hills (2-2) at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

“We have to play really well. We can’t make mistakes,” Lakeside manager Tom Northam said. “We want to put the ball in play and make plays when they hit it. And when they hit it, it’s not going to be easy.”

Woodcreek’s Zachery Watari no-hit El Dorado through 2 2/3 innings, fanning five. Left-hander Owen Cuffe finished the shutout with another three strike outs.

“We really stress first-pitch strikes,” Woodcreek coach Mike Watari said. “That sets the tone for the entire at-bat. And hitting spots, that’s big. Even though at this age, they don’t really know where the ball is going, we call pitches and give them locations where we want them to throw it.”

Woodcreek’s offense totaled five doubles along with a big three-run homer off the bat of Aiden Martinez in the fifth inning.

Lakeside’s offense has been a powerhouse all tournament, scoring below double digits once. Matt Soran led the way with four singles and solid play behind the plate, gunning down two base stealers.

“They went up there swinging,” Northam said. “They’re swinging the bat good.”