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Woodcreek Seniors ride early offense in section opener

Corp continues to swing hot bat
By: Brett Ransford, Press Tribune Correspondent
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On a day when other Woodcreek teams were taking a beating, the Senior all-stars carried the burden of victory. In a relatively smooth opening to the Little League Section 4 tournament at American River College on Saturday night the Woodcreek Senior all-stars opened the tournament with a 14-3 win over Citrus Heights. It only took five innings for Woodcreek to score 14 runs on 10 hits. Four of those were doubles and as a team they had at least one hit in every inning, scoring all of their runs in the first two innings and the final fifth. “Tonight we hit the ball very well, which I’m very happy to see because in district we were leaving a lot of guys on base,” said Woodcreek manager Rich Hagarty. “We had a lot of key hits and most importantly we hit the ball hard. So, hopefully we get some confidence from this game.” Looking plenty confident already was George Corp at the plate. He had the big hit in the team’s district title clinching win over Roseville West and took his first section plate appearance out to right field for the first RBI and run of the game. On an error in the outfield Woodcreek brought in two and Corp walked into second base up 2-0. Alex Montes crushed the first double of the game out to deep left field, scoring Corp for the 3-0 first inning. Perry Beaber moved Bobby Pajer to third on a stand-up double with one out in the second. Austin Hagarty scored Pajer with a sacrifice fly. With two runners in scoring position, Corp again took hold of the game with a two-run double that scored both Beaber and Hagarty. Joey Valdez laced an RBI double to follow Corp but was thrown out taking third to end the four-run inning. Corp’s night wasn’t over as he made a third curtain call in the fifth whenWoodcreek scored six runs on just three hits. Four runs scored before Corp would go 3-of-4 at the plate totaling three RBIs. “He was basically throwing strikes and wasn’t throwing hard so it was just about getting out early, staying back and looking for a pitch to drive,” Corp said. “I had some good pitches to drive. I popped up one, but I drove as many as I could.” Admittedly working successfully on his swing with his Hagarty, who is also his coach for the Woodcreek High junior varsity team, Corp said he’s been working the tee and trying to stay back on pitches. “It’s really worked out for me,” Corp said. “We have to try and get out early against teams and if they score a couple runs we just have to keep scoring more.” Thomas Osella handled Citrus Heights from the mound, giving up just three runs with three strikeouts and two walks before yielding to Montes, who finished it off. The Seniors from Woodcreek return to ARC on Sunday at 8 p.m. in a sure fire battle against Rocklin. “We knew that Rocklin was going to be the team,” said Hagarty. “We figure it’s going to come down to a two-out-of-three series against Rocklin. “It’s going to be a good game and hopefully we take some of this confidence into tomorrow.” On the rubber for Woodcreek facing Rocklin will be Derek Guerra, the starting pitcher in Woodcreek’s heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Roseville West in the district semifinal. “Guerra and I work really well together,” Corp said. “We throw a lot of off speed so we’ll keep them off balance and come hard with the fastball.”