Woodcreek comes back late to top El Dorado Hills in D54 Junior tourney

By: Brett Ransford/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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In double-elimination tournament baseball, surprises can be detrimental.

El Dorado Hills held a 3-2 lead over Woodcreek for more than five innings Friday, but it was El Dorado Hills that found itself in a corner after Woodcreek came back to win 5-3 in the District 54 Junior all-star tournament at Mahany Park.

Quality pitching kept El Dorado Hills alive — until the sixth inning. Starter John Cross and first-time pitcher for El Dorado Hills Klaiton Dimauro combined to hold Woodcreek to two hits through three innings.

Woodcreek reliever Joey Pankratz earned the win, allowing three hits and striking out six in 3 1/3 innings. Pankratz also drove in the go-ahead run with a two-RBI single off Dimauro in the top of the sixth.

“It was a 2-0 count so I knew he had to throw me a strike,” Pankratz said. “He gave me one down the middle, and I just hit it down the first-base line. I was trying to hit it to the right side and get the run in, but it ended up being a two-RBI hit.”

El Dorado Hills took a 3-1 lead after being down 1-0 in the first. It had two runners in scoring position in the fifth and sixth innings and had runners at first and second on two singles in the seventh when Cross lined out to Pankratz for the final out.

Luke Johnson drove in a run for El Dorado Hills, whose other two runs scored on a passed ball and an error.

“Woodcreek is traditionally very dominant,” El Dorado Hills manager Cliff Moody said. “Last year, they were really good so we were a little leery going into it but played really well against them.”

Ponderosa and Lakeside play at 8 p.m. Saturday. The winner advances to face Woodcreek in the winners’ bracket final at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 7. El Dorado Hills will play at 5 p.m. Thursday against the Snowline-Folsom American winner.