Timberwolves take Surewest championship

Montes hits two-run homer in tournament named for his mom
By: Robbie Enos, Press Tribune correspondent
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It was destiny for senior Alex Montes on Wednesday night, as he ignited a Woodcreek offensive explosion with his two-run homer in the second inning. It was the championship game of the Gina Montes Surewest Tournament, named after the late mother of Alex, who passed away three years ago.

“I just wanted to hit a line drive,” Montes said. “Just hit it square. It was a fastball right down the middle, and I just drove it.”

The right-field blast was a big factor in the Timberwolves’ 11-7 win over the Roseville Tigers. Montes also had a walk and a single, Dylan Spezia went 3-for-3 with two walks and two doubles and Austin Blatnick stole four bases.

“We finally were able to hit,” said Woodcreek head coach Eric Valencia. “They stayed back and went the other way, which we haven’t been doing in the first part of the season. I’m happy that they are changing their approach at the plate.”

Said Montes, “We have just been focusing on hitting line drives. That’s what we’ve been focusing on in practice. Also hitting it on the ground, because if we hit it on the ground, that is going to make the defense make more plays. It happened, they made errors and we scored.”

Roseville mounted a small comeback in the fourth inning when they were down 8-3. Alex Roper and Braeden Eldredge led off the inning with walks before Joe Butcoff was hit by a pitch. Matt Grashoff drove in the first run on a sacrifice fly before Max Modeste brought in two more with a single to make it 8-6.

Woodcreek would seal the victory in the later innings with solid base running, with both Blatnick and Hank Pankratz scoring on wild pitches. Closer Josh Cooper struck out two batters in the final inning.

Oakmont opened up the tournament with a 5-2 victory over Valley Christian Academy and then an 8-2 win over Vista Del Lago. They would lose to Woodcreek 6-3 in the semifinal.

The Valley Christian Lions had a tough opening, with three straight losses. They would, however, close out with a 13-6 win over Union Mine, where Jimmy Shaw smoked two home runs and collect for RBI.