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Woodcreek Juniors fall one win short of NorCal title

7-6 loss to team from San Jose ends strong postseason run
By: Press Tribune sports staff
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Back-to-back losses on Thursday and Friday night in San Jose spelled the end of the line for the Woodcreek Junior all-stars, as they bowed out of the Little League Northern California Division 2 tourney. After defeating Mission of San Jose in extra innings the first time the two squads hooked up on Tuesday, Woodcreek was unable to duplicate the feat, as it lost 6-1 and 7-6 on consecutive nights to that same Mission team. The District 54 and Section 4 champions committed six errors in Friday night’s finale, a number they could not overcome. An error in the home half of the first allowed Mission to take a 2-1 lead after one, and by the time the fifth frame rolled around, Woodcreek was facing a 7-3 hole. Tyler Milani did score the game’s initial run in the Woodcreek first, as he was chased home by a Joey Dirkes hit. Dirkes reached third with an apparent triple, but was ruled to have missed second base and called out after an appeal. Derek Guerra had a pair of hits in the contest, and also delivered a sacrifice fly, but the game was a story of missed opportunities for the crew from the west side of Roseville. “We didn’t come to play tonight,” said Woodcreek manager Mike Valdez. We made too many errors and left too many runners on base.” Not that there was any quit in this team, but the hole was too deep. Woodcreek tallied once in the fifth and added two more in the sixth, an inning that ended on a diving play by the Mission right fielder with the bases juiced. The play left Woodcreek down a run, which is where it would stay. The play in right followed a substitution controversy after a Mission player who had not received his minimum play was unable to continue. The insertion of the starter back onto the field caused a Woodcreek protest, and a delay, but the decision stood and the game continued. “We were down to them before and came back,” Valdez said. “We battled back again tonight, but it was too late.” The loss ends Woodcreek’s season one win short of a trip to the Junior division Western Region tournament, but the squad hung two more championship banners – district and section – at Mahany Park.