Tri-City 11s thump West Sac to set up Woodcreek showdown

Major all-stars split two over the weekend in section play
By: Galen Kusic, Special to The Placer Herald
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The Tri-City all-stars wasted no time in going to work Saturday night as they defeated West Sacramento 25-2 in a shortened four-inning contest at Spring View Park in Rocklin. Tri-City scored nine runs in the first, highlighted by a three-run CJ Whelan double as it opened the Little League Section 4 10/11-year-old all-star tournament in blowout fashion. "We just have to continue to stay pumped up in the dugout," said Whelan. Tri-City brought 15 batters to the plate in the first. AJ Sauer and Aidan Malm each had two-run doubles of their own to get Tri-City a big cushion. West Sacramento would answer back with two in the first behind a two-run Colton Brenner double, cutting the deficit to 9-2 after just one inning. It was all West Sacramento would get as Tri-City pitchers shut it down the rest of the game, striking out nine. West Sacramento did not get a base runner after the first inning. "When you have that big of a lead, it's easy to go out there and pitch," said Sauer. "We gotta just stay focused and play our game." Tri-City would bat around the lineup in the second and third innings as well, collecting nine walks and 15 hits total for the game. In the second, Malm put a dagger through West Sacramento's heart with a deep line shot to dead centerfield - a three run blast to pace Tri-City. Malm ended the game 3-for-3, a triple short of the cycle with seven RBIs. It was Malm's fifth home run of the season, third in all-star play. "It felt good," said Malm referring to his line shot. "We just have to stay fired up and be ready." The win set up the much-anticipated matchup between Tri-City and Woodcreek in the winner’s bracket of the five-team double-elimination tournament on Tri-City’s home field. The two teams will meet at 7:30 p.m. Monday night. While Tri-City’s 11-year-olds were laying it on West Sacramento, the league’s Major division team was putting a 21-0 hurt on Land Park Pacific in its opener at Lakeside’s Feist Park in Granite Bay. That set up a matchup for the Major team against West Sac in Sunday’s second round. The Sunday contest did not go so well for the Tri-City Major all-stars as a seventh-inning walk-off home run beat them 3-2 to send them to a Monday night elimination game at 5:30 p.m. at Feist Park.