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BASEBALL

Woodcreek tightens SFL race; hands Rocklin second loss

Thunder to take on Granite Bay
By: Jim Linsdau Placer Herald Sports Editor
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Woodcreek High (5-4, 15-5 overall) entered Thunder baseball stadium in third place in the Sierra Foothill League and came away with its second victory over Rocklin High (7-2, 12-8) this season, winning 5-1 Friday. The Thunder couldn?t get the aluminum limbered up against Timberwolves? pitching and couldn?t answer the visitor?s four-run rally in the seventh inning. Woodcreek reliever Stephen Nogosek retired the side in the final stanza, striking out two and getting Stevin Cisneros to line out to center field. ?I?ve got confidence in all the kids I threw on the mound and I told everybody to be ready to go because I wasn?t going to wait for any trouble to start,? said Timberwolves? head coach Eric Valencia. ?(Rocklin is) a great team. They always battle.? The margin of victory in the club?s first two meetings was one run each. Woodcreek got the edge going up by one in the first inning. Shaun Mike tripled to open the game and came home on a fielder?s choice. The two teams then went five more scoreless innings before the T?wolves broke things open in the seventh. That forced Rocklin head coach Roc Murray to go to his bullpen to try and halt the rally. ?They?re pretty physical and I knew they were pretty physical,? said Murray. ?I felt it was more like keeping (my) finger in the dike trying to keep the water from getting out than it was battling right down to the end.? The Thunder was able to get runners on base but couldn?t get them home. Rocklin put runners in scoring position in the first and third innings but failed to score either time. ?Our hitters did not get the job done. We hit the ball hard at people but it wasn?t an onslaught; it was sporadic,? Murray said. ?(Woodcreek) pitched well and I will give their pitchers credit without question.? Murray said youth was still an issue on his club citing his team?s final outs as an example. Senior Cisneros hit the ball on the nose crushing a line drive to center field. The underclassmen that came up went down on strikes. Murray said the younger players do too much thinking at the plate. Valencia said Nogosek throws about 90 miles per hour; that can be intimidating when facing batters with limited experience. Now, just two games behind Rocklin in the SFL standings, Valencia said his team?s confidence is high. The Timberwolves will be playing Del Oro and Nevada Union while Rocklin has to face No. 1 Granite Bay. ?We just have to hang together; that?s going to be the difficult part,? said Murray. ?We?ve got a ways to go and we?re not there yet. They?re trying, they?re trying to do it right. We just have to keep working.? Three teams from the SFL will advance to the Sac-Joaquin Section Playoffs scheduled to begin May 14. Woodcreek 5, Rocklin 1 R H E T?wolves 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 ? 5 11 1 Thunder 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 ? 1 3 2 Woodcreek ab r h bi Mize ss 2 2 3 0 Hagarty c 4 1 1 2 Nogosek rf 4 0 1 3 Milani 3b 4 0 2 0 Montes 1b 4 0 2 0 Beaber lf 3 0 0 0 Robinson p 1 0 0 0 Pajer 2b 2 0 1 0 Blatnick cf 2 1 0 0 Raposa ph 2 0 1 0 Dirkes pr 0 1 0 0 Totals 30 5 11 5 3B ? Mize (1); 2B ? Nogsek (1), Milani (1); LOB ? 6 WP ? Astor, IP 1; SP ? Robinson, IP 3 1/3, K 1; RP ? Raposa, IP 1 2/3; RP Nogosek, IP 1, K 2. Rocklin ab r h bi Cisneros ss 2 0 0 0 Bennett rf 3 0 1 0 Reidt lf 2 0 1 1 Durgarian 1b 3 0 1 0 O?Keefe dh 3 0 0 0 McVey 3b 2 0 0 0 Spainhour c 2 0 0 0 Fessenden cf 1 0 0 0 Curtis 2b 2 1 0 0 Raymond ph 2 0 0 0 Totals 23 1 3 1 LOB ? 6; LP ? Smith, IP 6 1/3, K 2; RP ? Hall, IP 1/3; Bonnin, IP 1/3.