Woodcreek sweeps Rocklin in SFL series

Thunder drop to third
By: Joshua Gutierrez/Placer Herald Correspondent
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With the Sierra Foothill League title chase coming to a head, the Rocklin High varsity baseball team suffered its third loss to Woodcreek Saturday and slipped into third place with the Timberwolves and Granite Bay a game ahead.

Woodcreek earned a 2-0 shutout in the first game and took a 6-4 decision last weekend. Thursday, the Thunder suffered a critical 9-0 shutout.

Those losses bounced Rocklin from sole possession atop the SFL with an 8-4 record.

In game two, the Timberwolves' starter Tyler Milani commanded the mound, allowing five hits and striking out six batters.

The Thunder offense struggled against the hard-throwing righty, beginning the game 0-for-7 and finishing the game with a similar 0-for-7 slump.

“We hit the ball well off him, a couple hard hit balls,” said Rocklin head coach Roc Murray. “(Milani is) a good pitcher; we knew that going in.”

Woodcreek struck early, hitting three-straight singles off Rocklin starter Ryan Smith to start the game. By innings end, Smith allowed four earned runs.

Two innings later, Smith allowed consecutive base-on-balls to end his outing.

In relief of Smith, Kevin Bevilaqua was unable to halt the Timberwolves’ scoring and allowed three runs to cross the plate.

Bevilaqua settled down after the third inning, allowing two hits and striking out four batters until a 2-run home run by Woodcreek in the final inning.

Rocklin’s offense produced some opportunities in the middle innings but was unable to get any runners home.

In the third inning, Nick Adams’ single to right field broke Milani’s hitless streak. Andrew Goyhentche then followed with his own single, placing Adams on third.

On the next at bat, Goyhentche was caught stealing and Rocklin’s inning ended with a routine 6-4 play.

An inning later, Griffin Harrell’s single to left center field started the Thunder’s most promising inning. Logan Webb’s single with one out put Harrell in position to score. But just like the inning prior, two consecutive outs ended the threat.

With two consecutive losses to Woodcreek and a series against another SFL-title contender Granite Bay, head coach Murray spoke about the team’s approach to the coming weeks.

“It’s the same thing as always,” said Murray. “Just keep working, grinding, there’s not much else we can do.”

SFL – Woodcreek 9-3, Granite Bay 9-3, Rocklin 8-4, Nevada City 5-7, Del Oro 3-9, Roseville 2-10.