Woodcreek, Lakeside on clash course in Major tourney
Woodcreek and Lakeside little leagues will meet again in the District 54 Major all-star tournament at Feist Park in Granite Bay. So will Roseville West and Maidu.
Host Lakeside, the second seed out of Pool B, hit two grand slams and four home runs total to crush Pool A No. 1 Roseville West 16-3 on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, Woodcreek scored its first decision, 6-2 over Maidu, after a series of knockout victories to advance to the winners' bracket final at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
Woodcreek on Sunday punctuated its 4-0 run through Pool A with a 10-0 whitewash of Lakeside. Roseville West and Maidu met Saturday in the final game in Pool B, Roseville West winning 10-4.
The stakes are different now. Roseville West and Maidu meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in survival mode, the loser eliminated from the double-elimination championship round. Woodcreek and Lakeside meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, the winner advancing to the championship game at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
"It's going to be a tough challenge, but we're looking forward to giving them our 'A' game," Lakeside manager Steve Dailey said.
Jay Razzano homered in the first inning to give Roseville West a quick lead. Coach Hunter Heryford said it was the second time in the tournament that Razzano homered over two fences and into a neighboring yard.
"He's a little guy, but he's a big package," Heryford said.
Dalton Heryford also homered for Roseville West.
Lakeside immediately drew three walks before Chris Weber launched a grand slam, and the home run derby was on. Jacob Baranowski pounded another grand slam in the second inning, and Darren Baker and Bobby Soran hit back-to-back shots in the third.
Dailey said Weber's slam appeared to loosen up Lakeside.
"We were a little fragile and tight until we hit that home run," he said. "We finally got our bats going."
On the mound, Darren Nelson and Matt Voelker split four innings and each threw fewer than 35 pitches, making both eligible to pitch Thursday.
"It went about as well as we could have hoped," Dailey said.
Woodcreek, which outscored four pool-play foes 47-2, led Maidu 4-2, and Maidu had runners at second and third. Maidu couldn't get the big hit, and Woodcreek scratched out a win against 11-year-old pitcher Justin Salisbury.
Maidu manager Brian Alvarez, who has done the all-star coaching thing for 10 years, described Salisbury's outing as "one of the better pitching performances I've seen."
"Sparky," as Salisbury is known, is "a little raw," according to Alvarez, but is mature beyond his years, he's athletic, and he listens. Salisbury lasted 5 2/3 innings before reaching his pitch count.
"The Woodcreek kids played well," Alvarez said. "We kept them off balance. The game plan was to keep the ball in the park, keep the ball low, have them start pressing, squeezing down."
At the 10-year-old tournament in El Dorado Hills, Woodcreek blasted Roseville West 10-0 in four innings and will advance to the winners' bracket final against El Dorado Hills at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Maidu lost to El Dorado Hills 18-8 on Tuesday and will meet Roseville West in an elimination game at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Braeden Holliday went 3 for 3 for Maidu.
Woodcreek pitchers Zachery Watari and Brock Phawley combined to throw 50 pitches in the four-inning win over Roseville West. Phawley threw 10 pitches in the final inning.
Woodcreek escaped an early jam when center fielder Greg Rotteveel threw out a Roseville West runner at home who was trying to score on the only hit Watari allowed in three innings.
"It's nice when the boys are pitching to contact, which is what we're asking them to do," Woodcreek manager Mike Watari said. "They pitch to contact, and we play defense behind them."
Woodcreek piled up 10 hits over three innings. Zachery Watari and Daniel Susac each had a double and single, and Kaden Siska drove in two runs with two hits.
"That's good for us to start seeing him come around. I'll take singles and doubles any day," Watari said of Susac.
Also on Wednesday, the Junior tournament continues at Lembi Park in Folsom with Lakeside playing Snowline at 5 p.m., and the Senior tournament opens with Roseville West taking on Woodcreek at 8 p.m.