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Woodcreek rallies to defeat El Dorado Hills, 13-12

By: Matt Long/Gold Country Media Services
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How good is Woodcreek? Even an 8-run lead in the first inning isn?t enough to beat them. After marching through pool play with a 4-0 record, the Woodcreek 10-11-year-old all-stars opened bracket play Monday with a come-from-behind 13-12 victory over El Dorado Hills. Woodcreek will play Lakeside at 7 p.m. Thursday in the second-round game, while El Dorado Hills will battle Folsom National at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. El Dorado Hills couldn?t have asked for a better start, as they scored eight runs in the top of the first inning on four hits and five walks. Perhaps the start was too good, because while EDH seemed to relax with the big lead, Woodcreek just kept chipping away, scoring two runs in the first, one in the third, five in the fourth and finally taking a 12-9 lead with four runs in the fifth. El Dorado Hills pulled a rally out of nowhere to tie the game at 12 in the top of the sixth, but Woodcreek won it in the bottom of the inning when Carter Krupp?s hard ground ball tipped off the glove of shortstop Will Crookham, which allowed Kaden Siska to score the winning run. ?We?ve played them four times now and it?s never easy,? said Woodcreek manager John Brusa. ?They?re a phenomenal team. Eight players on this team were down 11-1 in the game last year in the state tournament and they came back to win 12-11 so they know what it takes to come back and win a game. They have a lot of heart.? El Dorado Hills got things going early when Tino Bethancourt?s two-out single drove in Crookham to give the team a 1-0 lead. Later in the inning with a 4-0 lead, Crookham doubled the score with a grand slam to right field, hitting the first pitch that Siska threw in relief of starter Greg Rotteveel. ?My message to the team then was to not to give up,? Brusa said. ?I told them we have six at bats and we can hit and we can score. Eight runs wasn?t going to win this game and I told the kids to believe in themselves.? Woodcreek promptly got two runs back on a double by Kyle Kern. The teams then traded runs, El Dorado Hills scoring once in the second inning on an RBI-single by Sheamus Doyle and Woodcreek scoring in the third on another run-producing hit by Kern. While Siska was in the middle of a stretch of retiring 10 straight batters, Woodcreek rallied for five runs in the fourth, started by a RBI double by Matt Willford. Rotteveel later singled in another run before Brock Thawley ripped a three-run homer over the wall in right to make it a one run game, 9-8. Krupp walked with the bases loaded to tie the game at nine in the fifth inning, and a wild pitch forced the go-ahead run across the plate. Rotteveel followed with a ground-rule double which scored two more runs to put Woodcreek on top 12-9. ?We got up and then left our guard down,? El Dorado Hllls coach Chris Hansen said. ?The snowball started at the top and it got bigger as it rolled down the hill.? El Dorado Hills didn?t bow out quietly, however, after surrendering the lead. Anthony Palleri hit a one-out single in the top of the sixth followed by a home run to left field by Bethancourt. Braydon Tester reached second on an error and then moved to third on RJ Routon?s single to left. Tester then stole home when Woodcreek wasn?t paying attention to tie the game at 12. Siska led off the bottom of the inning with a double and was sacrificed to third by Peyton Allen. With one out and runners at the corners, Krupp hit a ground ball to Crookham at short and the ball clipped his glove and dribbled by and that allowed Siska to score the winning run. El Dorado Hills needs to rebound quickly from the loss. Another loss tomorrow against Folsom National and they?re out of the tournament. ?We?ve just got to have better mental toughness,? Hansen said. ?We came back on a positive note in the sixth, but it?s a disappointing loss because we wanted to win this game. Now we?ve got an uphill battle.?