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Woodcreek 11s in survive and advance mode

By: Staff Report
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Needing a win to stay alive in the Little League Section 4 all-star tournament, Woodcreek did not make it easy. It did, however, manage to survive and advance with a 7-6 win Sunday over Land Park Pacific at Babe Best Park in Rio Linda. Casey Fischbach had a strong start on the hill for Woodcreek with an eight-pitch first frame that included three ground ball outs. The Woodcreek offense that had struggled in Saturday’s opening round loss to Tri-City came to life in the first inning of this one, as a Matthew Ornelas double scored two runs, and the team added another when Ornelas raced home on a passed ball. Two doubles and a single allowed Land Park to pull within one in the second before any outs were recorded. Catcher J.C. Santini limited the damage when he threw behind the runner at first to record the first out and clean the bags. Joey Pankratz got the call out of the bullpen in the third, as he came on record the final out with two aboard by getting the inning-ending strikeout. Santini walked ahead of a long Pankratz home run in the home half of the third as Woodcreek increased its advantage to 5-2. It stayed that way into the fifth, when both teams got some additional offense going. A sequence of hits in the top of the inning allowed Land Park to even the score at 5-5, but then Woodcreek came right back in the home half, doing all of the damage after two were out. A pair of two-out walks put runners on when Justin Smith’s ground ball was botted, allowing Drew Robinson to score. Jack Tapia singled to load the bases and then Noah Kravich singled to plate a run. A potential second run on that hit was erased as Smith was nailed on a bang-bang play at the dish. With Santini on the bump looking to preserve a two-run lead, a walk and a double got on of those runs back and put the tying run 120 feet away. A strikeout delivered the second out and then catcher Jack Rotteveel bounced out of his catcher’s stance for the second time in the inning to field a chopper out in front of the plate. He gunned down another runner to seal the win and leave that runner at second base. Kravich had two hits to pace the Woodcreek offense. The loss eliminated Land Park from the tournament, while Woodcreek moves on to face West Sacramento at 5:45 p.m. Monday in another elimination contest.