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Woodcreek Juniors drop a dozen in sixth to beat Roseville West

Win brings District 54 title back to Mahany Park
By: Kurt Johnson, The Press Tribune
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The dreams of the Roseville West Little League Junior division all-stars turned to nightmares in the sixth inning Thursday night at Lembi Park in Folsom. Through the first five frames, Roseville West left-hander Kyle Downie was sailing along, tossing a two-hitter and facing just three batters over the minimum (18) as his team clung to a 3-1 lead. Then came the top half of the sixth, when Woodcreek sent 16 hitters up to the dish and scored 12 runs to run away from Roseville West. Woodcreek’s 16-7 win keeps the District 54 Junior division all-star title at Mahany Park for one more year. Roseville West got on the scoreboard first with a run in the home half of the first. It scored without benefit of a hit as Matt Razzano walked in the leadoff spot and then stole second and third while Cy Hynes retired the next two hitters. Therin Heryford then drew a two-out walk, allowing Roseville West to execute a double steal to plate the initial run. Woodcreek leveled the contest in the second on a Carson Farnworth sacrifice fly. Austin McCarty opened the stanza with a single, he advanced to second on a ground out, and then took third on an errant pick-off attempt to get into scoring position for Farnworth’s fly ball. Three Woodcreek errors allowed Roseville West to plate two more runs without a single hit in the fourth. The 3-1 advantage that set up carried into the sixth, when Woodcreek finally solved Downie. Hank Pankratz led off the extra-long inning with a double and his aggressive base running helped opened the door to the fireworks. Brennan Spezia grounded to shortstop and Pankratz broke for third, drawing the throw, which he beat. Instead of having a runner on third with one out, Woodcreek had two on with no one out and then the floodgates opened. With a walk to McCarty mixed in, Woodcreek proceeded to bang the ball all over the yard. Dylan Bell had a run-scoring single, Hynes singled, Farnworth singled one home and then Dylan Spezia hit a sacrifice fly to very short right field. Even after Nick Williams made the second out on a sacrifice bunt, the inning was far from over. Stephen Sullivan singled and the Downie hit Pankratz and Brennan Spezia back-to-back, and hit his pitch limit in the process. Woodcreek continued to bang against reliever Daniel Nakamoto. A base on balls to Bell forced in a run prior to the inning’s big blast, a double to the wall in right field by McCarty that cleared the bases. Kyle Dust delivered the final blow, singling home a pair of runs before being thrown out by Heryford while trying to take second to finally end the inning. Nakamoto singled in two runs in the bottom of the sixth to force the game to its final inning, avoiding the mercy rule. The Woodcreek seventh featured a two-run double by McCarty and then Chris Anderson picked up an RBI base hit in the seventh before Woodcreek finally picked up the final out. Ian Codina had two hits to lead the Roseville West offense, while McCarty’s three hits paced the Woodcreek attack. Hynes and Dust each had a pair of knocks for Woodcreek. The win clinches the district championship for Woodcreek and sends it on to the Section 4 tournament beginning Saturday at the Sacramento Army Depot Field. Woodcreek will open that tournament at 10 a.m. Saturday against Rocklin.