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Woodcreek Juniors take D2 opener; Lakeside Majors lose for first time

By: Press Tribune sports staff
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The Woodcreek Little League Junior all-stars did everything right Saturday in their Northern California Divisional tournament opener except for allowing their opponent to hang around a bit longer than hoped. “We should have put them away in five innings (by the 10-run mercy rule),” said Woodcreek manager Mike Valdez, “but we let them hang around.” The result was a 10-2 win over Visalia in the six-team double-elimination tournament that will send its winner to the Junior division western regional tourney. Woodcreek banged out 16 hits to back five shutout innings from starting pitcher Stephen Nogosek in backing up Thursday’s come-from-behind Section 4 championship win with an impressive start at the next level. The win, at Willow Glen High School in San Jose, featured outstanding hitting from George Corp, Derek Guerra and Nogosek. “The guys were fired up,” Valdez said. “There was a lot of carryover from the wins over Rocklin.” The District 54 and Section 4 champions scored one run in the first and added three in the third before tacking on four more in the fifth frame to take an 8-0 lead. The large advantage allowed Valdez to replace Nogosek with Nick Hoag, who tossed the final two stanzas. Woodcreek is right back out there Sunday morning for a 10 a.m. contest against the teams that is closest to home. Los Altos, from the host section (Section 5), had a first-round bye, so it will at full strength with its pitching when the two teams hit the diamond Sunday. ************************** In Major division play, the Lakeside all-stars lost their first game of the postseason when the dropped a 6-0 decision to Los Altos in the first round of the Major division Northern California Division 2 tournament in Danville. Lakeside has Sunday off, and then will need to take the hard route to a title through the elimination bracket, beginning with a must-win game at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Osage Station Park in Danville.