Montes mows down Rocklin

Woodreek smashes six homeruns during 10-0, six-inning win
By: Tom Kellar Press-Tribune Sports Editor
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The Woodcreek Majors Little League All-Stars, behind a dominating two-hit shutout from pitcher Alex Montes, routed Rocklin 10-0 Monday, laying claim to a Section 4 championship and sending the team to the Nor-Cal Finals starting Thursday in Alameda. Montes was nearly untouchable, not allowing a Rocklin base runner until the fifth inning of the six-inning contest. He appeared to possess a wicked curveball, repeatedly using it to get ahead in the count early, setting up the fastball for strike two, then going back to the curve for the strikeout. The southpaw struck out the first five Rocklin hitters he faced and 10 of the first 12, while not allowing a Rocklin base runner through the first four innings. He had pitched his team to a win over Rocklin on Friday, striking out eight of the final 10 batters – by the third inning of Monday’s game, he had retired 18 of 22 Rocklin hitters via strikeout. “He (Montes) dominated us for two games,” Rocklin manager Tim Adams said. “I thought we were prepared, but he just threw a great game and we didn’t have an answer for him. He’s a big lefthander that throws hard and has a really good breaking ball.” Meanwhile, the Woodcreek offense got an early lift from No. 2 hitter Adam Corbett, who hit the first pitch he saw from Rocklin starter Jake Faulkner over the 200-foot sign in center for a home run. “My bat cracked, so I had to use a teammate’s bat and it’s shorter and lighter,” Corbett said. “I like it.” It would be the first of six home runs swatted by Woodcreek, as Corbett, Montes and No. 9 hitter Stephen Sullivan all finished the game with two home runs each. The second home run off the bat of Montes came in the sixth inning and was arguably the highlight of the tourney, as the ball cleared the right field fence, flying over the spectators camped out on the grass behind the wall, then over the backstop of an adjoining field before finally landing. Woodcreek manager Tom Bryce appeared to push all the right buttons after seeing his team struggle during a 3-2 loss to Rocklin on Sunday during the double-elimination tournament. Bryce moved Corbett up in the order from No. 3 to No. 2 and Sullivan down. The move paid off handsomely, with both players having big games at the plate. “Today, we were focused,” Bryce said. “With Alex’s great pitching and his signature-shot home run, that put the icing on the cake.” In all, Woodcreek pounded out 11 hits, with Bryce Johnson going 1-for-4, Corbett 3-for-4, Cy Hynes 1-for-4, Montes 2-for-4, Mitch Corbett 1-for-3, Zach Warner 1-for-2 and Sullivan 2-for-3. Rocklin pinch hitter Garrett Van Roekel became Rocklin’s first base runner when he stroked a single to left field with one out in the fifth inning. Left fielder Dan Walker had the team’s other hit in the bottom of the sixth.