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Woodcreek all-stars top Lakeside for 11-year-old crown

Explosive offense fuels Woodcreek run
By: Brett Ransford, Press Tribune Correspondent
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Growing increasingly impressive, the Woodcreek 11-year-old all-stars now add District 54 Champions to their resumes. Returning victorious from Monday’s 17-7 thumping of Lakeside,Woodcreek finished off Lakeside in the fifth inning for a 19-2 title winner, defeating Lakeside for a second time this week at Richards Field. “We wanted to end this game early and the kids showed up once again to bang the ball,” said Tapia. “Our defense was a lot better than it’s been in the past. Pitching again came through for the third game in a row and did what we needed to do.” On the bump for Woodcreek was J.C. Santini, holding Lakeside to just one hit through four full innings. The one hit just so happened to break a 10-0 shutout and force an extra inning. Brett Walston blasted Lakeside’s only runs on a two-run homer over right center. Santini bounced back after the homer to walk one, and force two ground outs ending the inning. Replaced by Joey Pankratz in the fifth, Santini went four innings with five strikeouts and two walks. Unable to get balls through on Woodcreek’s defense, the Lakeside batters reached first on four separate fielding errors against Santini, three came in the fourth alone. A 3-0 first inning came thanks to a three-run homer by Santini, but the inning could have been much bigger but for a bizarre interference call after Jake Gross’s apparent double that wiped two runs off the board. Woodcreek tallied three more in an encore second inning begun by two walks and Drew Robinson’s bloop single to the mound. With no play on Robinson’s grounder the bases were loaded for Jake Tapia to drop a two-run single into shallow right field. Jacob Baranowki’s night on the hill for Lakeside ended down 6-0 when he was relieved by Alex Dailey, who didn’t have any better luck against Woodcreek, walking his first batter faced and hitting the next. “Baranowski threw a very tough game against Woodcreek last time so it was a very logical decision to start him,” said Lakeside Manager Mike Briare. “We had a really good tournament and this team has improved a ton from last year. We will continue to improve as well. We had good hitting, but we just had a tough time in the field and pitching today. There’s a lot of good things to work on, the kids had a great time and had a ton of fun and that was the most important thing.” Casey Fischbach ripped his first hit of the night, a three-run double to the right field corner in the third, and Woodcreek sat on a 10-0 lead with their mouths watering for their title banner. Walston’s homer staved off their celebration for six more outs, but it only allowed Woodcreek one more time at bat, a nine-run outburst in the fifth. Dailey loaded two on walks and advanced them into scoring position on wild pitches. The second walk urged Matthew Ornelas to take off from third stealing home for the 11-2 first run of the inning. Justin Smith singled in a run in and put his team back up 12-2 ready to end the game an inning early. Run support for Manager Tapia’s plan to retire Lakeside early came first from Fischbash scoring on a passed ball. Pankratz singled in one, Ornelas was hit by\a pitch with bases loaded and two more singles followed. Facing a mountain of 17 runs between his team and a comeback, let alone district title, Lakeside Manager Mike Briare’s squad loaded the bases against Pankratz in the bottom of the fifth. Pankratz walked one before Cole Jacobi doubled off him and Voelker hit a soft fly ball that fell into shallow center loading the bases. In the clutch Pankratz showed that all-star mentality in three consecutive outs. He struck out his first two, the second on a nasty curve ball to Dailey and grounded out Walston into a force out at third. With that, Robinson touched his base at third and joined his teammates in celebration. “This is my first time involved with all-stars so we’re co-managing heading into Rio Linda,” Tapia said. “As I understand it the bracket is the exact same as last year so it’s not going to be easy. We’re going to be facing some tough teams so we have to be ready. Our pitching should still be in line for Saturday’s game so I think we’ll be okay.” Saturday the Woodcreek 11’s travel to Rio Linda for the six-team double elimination Section 4 Tournament. They play the champions from District 11, the winner of a Wednesday night game between Rocklin and Tri-City, at 5 p.m.