Woodcreek 9/10 all-stars dominate, win state crown

By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Mike Watari and his assistant coaches sat down with their Woodcreek Little League 9- and 10-year-old all-star team Friday and made a statement:

“This is not going to go into tomorrow. It will not happen,” Watari said, speaking of the Northern California Division 2 Tournament championship game. “They really listened to us and responded.”

That they did. Carter Krupp’s leadoff home run paved the way, and Woodcreek’s all-stars pounded 16 hits in a 16-4 pounding of Belmont/Redwood Shores at Los Cerros Middle School in Danville.

The victory gave Woodcreek Little League its second state championship. Woodcreek’s Junior all-star team won a state title in 2004.

A Woodcreek loss would have forced a deciding title game Saturday, but Woodcreek had a full pitching staff, and Watari believed Belmont/Redwood Shores was running out of arms.

“And, all of our bats came alive,” he said. “That was a bad combination for Belmont. When our leadoff batter leads off with a home run, that starts everything going.”

Krupp was a combined 8 for 9 in two games against Belmont/Redwood Shores, including 4 for 4 in the title game. He hit a second home run later in the contest.

Winning pitcher Daniel Susac struck out seven in four innings and went 2 for 3 with a three-run homer. He had a two-run single that missed being a grand slam by a foot, according to Watari. That hit extended Woodcreek’s lead to 16-4.

Ryan Harvey and John Martini each went 2 for 2, and Brock Thawley went 2 for 3 with a double and three RBI.

Susac, Zachery Watari and Aiden Martinez are eligible to play on the team again next year, Mike Watari said.

Watari considered the state championship — and the path to get there — to be “pretty amazing.”

Woodcreek won the District 54 Tournament by beating host El Dorado Hills twice for the title. To win the Section 4 Tournament, Woodcreek defeated West Sacramento in 10 innings and survived two close games against Tri-City of Rocklin.

“Our district tournament was probably the hardest,” Watari said. “El Dorado Hills could have gone on and done well. We were very fortunate to get by them. At divisionals, our boys were just peaking at the right time.”