The Woods Creek Diamondbacks advanced to the championship round of the District 15 Junior (ages 13 and 14) Tournament of Champions with a 9-3 Little League baseball victory over the Westside Cardinals at Sonora High School's Bev Barron Field.
The D-backs, the tournament host and representing the Columbia and Sonora areas, took the lead for good in the bottom of the second inning when Kyle Dodge singled and scored on a single by Ben Gorgas, who then stole second, third and home for a 4-2 edge.
Woods Creek scored twice in the first on singles by Alex Stewart and Ryles Richards and a double by Spencer Stobaugh. After their two-run second, the Snakes made it 5-2 in the third when Richards walked and scored.
Westside, representing Standard and Tuolumne, drew to within 5-3 in the top of the fourth when Matt Relei singled and scored, but soon found itself down by four when Stewart tripled home a run and Richards singled in Stewart.
Taylor Thrift walked and scored on Brad Perry's second single of the game in the fifth, and Stobaugh rapped his second double and scored on a Thrift single in the sixth.
Stewart pitched the first two innings and the last one, while Gorgas worked the third and fourth, and Thrift the fourth and fifth.
Westside got to Stewart for a 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Ryan Williston doubled home a run and then scored on a passed ball.
The Cardinals play again Friday night at 6 at Bev Barron in the double-elimination tournament against the winner of tonight's eliminator between the High Sierra Giants (Twain Harte, Soulsbyville, Belleview) and Linden A's. High Sierra lost 6-5 to Westside and Linden 6-3 to Woods Creek on Tuesday at the Sonora Dome.
Friday's winner must beat Woods Creek twice on Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. at Bev Barron, to steal the championship.
Weekly Arts and entertainment guide for Calaveras and Tuolumne counties