Woodcreek wins 9/10 Section 4 tourney; on to state

It builds big lead en route to victory over Tri-City
By: Kayla Nix/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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Queen’s “We Are The Champions” played loudly in the background at Mahany Park on Wednesday night as the Woodcreek Little League 9-10 all-stars celebrated with friends and family.

Woodcreek had much to celebrate after a 9-5 victory over Tri-City that earned it a trip to the State Tournament.

Woodcreek plays Hollister National at 1 p.m. Saturday at Los Cerros Middle School in Danville.

“I think we’re playing Hollister,” said Woodcreek manager Mike Watari, who will make his fourth trip to the state tournament in six years.

Woodcreek trailed 2-0 after the top of the first inning. Tri-City’s Dominic Souto was hit by a pitch to lead off. Chase Webb doubled to score Souto, and Adam Nivinski followed with a single to score Webb.

“This was an outstanding season and incredibly successful,” Tri-City coach Matt Grishman said.

Woodcreek caught up on solo home runs by Zachery Watari in the bottom of the first, a shot to left field, and Daniel Susac in the third.

Brock Thawley walked and stole home to give Woodcreek a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

“Tri-City’s a great team,” Watari said. “We knew the bye would help us, but we almost ran out of pitching. Fortunately, it worked out at the end.”

Woodcreek scored three runs in the fourth to give itself breathing room. Kyle Kern’s two-run double made it 6-2.

“We told the boys at the beginning of the game that we’ve got to get our bats going,” Watari said. “It was truly a team effort.”

Woodcreek tacked on another three runs in the fifth for a 9-2 lead. Ryan Harvey singled and scored on an error. Jake Brusa and Carter Krupp scored on a double by Watari, who was 3 for 4 and a triple away from completing the cycle.

Tri-City didn’t go down quietly. With two out, Levi Bared singled and Webb doubled. Nivinski hit a long single to score Bared. Webb scored on a Jake Callison single. Miles Grishman had the last hit for Tri-City, which scored Nivinski to make it 9-5.

“Woodcreek is an incredible, incredible organization and incredible baseball program,” Grishman said. “We were honored to play here and honored to play in the championship game, but (Wednesday night) they were the best team.

They got us by just a little bit, and I congratulate them. I hope they go win the divisional and represent Section 4 well.”