Roseville West makes quick exit in District 54 Major double elimination

By: Brett Ransford/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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Few would have guessed the Roseville West Major all-stars to be the first team to exit the Little League District 54 double-elimination bracket.

But Roseville West was eliminated by Ponderosa 15-7 on Tuesday at Feist Park, meaning there will be no repeat for players who won the 11-year-old tournament last summer.

“We were prepared. I just don’t think we knew what we could do,” Jared Tavares said. “Teams just kind of got the best of us.”

Last summer, the 11-year-old team became the first from Roseville West to advance to the Section 4 Tournament since 1994. The team won one game in the Section 4 Tournament and last week jetted through District 54 pool play by beating Gold Rush 23-3, Lakeside 18-3 and Woodcreek 16-1.

Tavares led Roseville West with three RBI against Ponderosa. Starting pitcher Ben Welker blasted a two-run homer in the top of the third inning, drawing Roseville West to within 8-6.

Welker’s homer was the fifth of the day. The other four belonged to Ponderosa, including a solo homer and three two-run shots. Two homers came in the second inning and were separated by a walk. They also separated Roseville West from its 4-1 lead.

The two-game skid to close the season was a 180-degree turn for Roseville West, which was shut down by Maidu pitcher Justin Salisbury in a 9-1 loss Monday.

“Because we won last year, I think our biggest problem was we were looking past the district. Maybe they don’t remember how hard they worked last year,” Roseville West manager Andy Sachs said. “We worked our butts off, but that’s not to take anything away from Pondo or Salisbury, because they beat us. They earned it.”