Woodcreek Juniors punch ticket to all-star final round

By: Press Tribune sports staff
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Even a slow start could not derail the Woodcreek Little League Junior all-stars in their second pool play game Sunday at Union Mine High School in El Dorado. Led by the pitching of Tyler Milani and four hits from Derek Guerra, the squad picked up steam as the contest progressed and rolled to a 12-2 win over El Dorado Hills North. “Saxon Elkins and his El Dorado North team always plays us tough,” said Woodcreek manager Mike Valdez. “I think the kids knew that. When they (EDH North) scored first, I thought, ‘Here they go again’. We battled back and settled down and started playing ball like we are used to.” Joey Dirkes stayed hot, building on his four-hit performance from Saturday, as he picked up another two hits in his first two at bats. Derek Guerra helped the cause, going 4-for-4 with four runs scored and an RBI. In addition to Dirkes, Stephen Nogosek, George Corp and Bobby Pajer all had two hits for Woodcreek. “We should have jumped on them early,” Valdez said. “Tyler Milani (4-2/3 innings, five hits, three walks, seven strikeouts, was throwing a great game).” Next up for Woodcreek is what amounts to a final tune-up for the six-team double-elimination finals, as the team has already earned its spot in that field. Folsom National is the opponent on Wednesday, and then Woodcreek is off until next Monday when play begins in the next round. “We got to look at other teams like Ponderosa and EDH South who are both 2-0,” Valdez said. “I think with our pitching we should do just fine.”