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Roseville West stays alive in Section 4 Senior tourney

Team blasts Northridge after dropping opener to Rocklin
By: Robbie Enos and Brett Ransford/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondents
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A boatload of runners, a player ejection and a base-running extravaganza led to a bittersweet game for manager Shane Nelson, but ultimately, his Roseville West Senior all-stars defeated Northridge 14-7 on Sunday night to stay alive in the Section 4 Tournament at American River College.

Roseville West scored nine runs in the final three innings to pull away from a 5-5 tie. Carlos Guzman and Adam Starr smacked triples in the cavernous outfield, and Roseville West drew five walks.

“Patience was a lot better (Sunday night),” Nelson said. “So they got the opportunity to hit the ball. That was better.”

Roseville West combined its solid hitting with aggressive base running, swiping six bases during their rally.

“I liked our jumps,” Nelson said. “As aggressive as it looked like we were playing, we were trying to be even more aggressive. So we missed a couple of signals. Hopefully, that changes.”

In the sixth inning, Roseville West’s runner at first attempted to steal. John Kidder, the runner at third, took off for home. The throw to second was cut off by the second baseman, who fired it home. Kidder made contact with the catcher, resulting in an ejection.

“I still consider ourselves lucky to have won that game,” Nelson said in reference to the ejection. “We played, in my opinion, some selfish baseball and hopefully (Monday) we can turn that around. More team instead of me baseball.”

Roseville West will play Antelope at 7 p.m. Monday.

“We need to hit the ball, and we just need to play defense,” winning pitcher Spencer Bracco said.

July 14: Roseville West is rocked by Rocklin

The road got bumpier for the only Roseville West Little League team still alive in Section 4 All-Star Tournament action.

Roseville West’s Senior all-stars fell to Rocklin 10-4 in its tournament opener Saturday night at American River College. The lone black and orange team was unbeaten in three games through the District 54 double-elimination tournament.

Rocklin banged up Roseville West starting pitcher Daniel Nakamoto for eight runs and four hits through five innings. Nakamoto retired the side in the fifth, including two strikeouts.

“They’re great hitters. I just needed to keep the ball down more,” Nakamoto said. “Our offense came through in the fifth inning, but it just wasn’t enough.”

A bases-loaded walk to Nakamoto began a four-run rally in the fifth. Rocklin made two pitching changes in the inning. Another run scored on a bases-loaded walk, and Adam Starr drove in a run.

Roseville West grew accustomed to scoring runs in the District 54 tournament but managed just three hits against Rocklin’s hard throwers.

“We swung at a lot of high 0-2 counts, a lot of curveballs in the dirt, and we faced a little better pitching than we’ve seen,” Roseville West manager Shane Nelson said. “That’s still not an excuse.

“We still have all our pitching. We’ve only lost Daniel. We’re going to keep our nose to the grindstone and get out of those losers’ bracket hopefully Tuesday.”

Nakamoto threw 94 pitches.