No ifs, ands or buts, Lakeside is District 54 11-year-old champ
EL DORADO HILLS — Jim Radler on Saturday said his Lakeside Little League 11-year-old all-star team needed to flush its 10-7 loss to Woodcreek a day earlier.
Lakeside missed on its first chance to win a District 54 championship, but it didn’t miss on its second opportunity.
With seven runs in the bottom of the second inning, including a grand slam by Zach Voelker, Lakeside took command and beat Woodcreek 13-3 in five innings.
Ryan Fina, affectionately known by his teammates as “Aquafina,” drove in the walk-off run, and a crowd of green swarmed the field.
“It was really exciting. I knew we had it in a combination of our hitting and our pitching, especially with Justice (Radler) on the mound,” Voelker said.
Radler allowed six hits and struck out five in a complete game. Two of Woodcreek’s three runs were earned.
Carter Krupp and Greg Rotteveel hit solo homers off Radler, who relied on his defense.
“I was nervous in the beginning, but I had a little confidence since we beat them the last time I pitched against them,” Radler said. “I was more prepared (Saturday) than (Friday) for what I was going to see.”
Lakeside had five hits in its seven-run second. After the bases cleared on Voelker’s grand slam, R.J. Dumke homered on the next pitch. Lakeside scored five runs on three hits in the fourth and one run on two hits in the fifth.
Eight players from last year’s 9/10 Northern California Division 2 championship team played for Woodcreek’s 11-year-old squad this season.
John Brusa said it was a privilege to manage the 13-man team.
“It starts with them dying their hair and giving each other nicknames and just being goofy. We came up a little short, but that’s baseball and they’re a great group of boys,” Brusa said. “They fought hard until the end, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Lakeside moves on to the Section 4 Tournament and will open at 5 p.m. Sunday at Mahany Park against the District 11/District 7 winner.