Auburn 9-10s’ run halted

All-Stars knocked out of D-11 tournament by Grass Valley
By: Ray Hacke Journal Sports Writer
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ROCKLIN — Like the sheriff in “Smokey and the Bandit,” the U.S. marshal in “The Fugitive” and the title character in “The Terminator,” Auburn Little League’s 9- and 10-year-old All-Stars never quite caught their prey. But boy, did they give chase. Auburn was eliminated from the District 11 Tournament on Thursday with a 10-5 loss to Grass Valley at Johnson-Springview Park. Auburn fell behind 5-2 in the third inning, and though the team never got closer than 6-4 after that, manager Steve Robison had to tip his hat to his players for their relentless pursuit of victory. “I thought we didn’t play as well tonight as we did in our previous two games, which we won,” said Robison, whose team finished with a 2-2 record. “But the kids fought hard, even when they were behind.” First baseman Jordan Wood had three hits in his last three turns at bat to lead Auburn offensively. Outfielders Gavin Oyer and Radd Thomas and starting catcher Zack Madrigal added two hits apiece, and Grant Woodside connected for an RBI double. Oyer scored twice on aggressive baserunning plays, drove in a run and also had a diving catch in shallow center field that snuffed out Grass Valley’s four-run rally in the top of the sixth. The catch was one of several big inning-ending defensive plays for Auburn. Madrigal tagged out a runner caught in a rundown between third and home in the fourth inning. In the fifth, shortstop Ryan Jenkins made a beautiful backhanded stab of a ground ball deep in the hole, then made the long throw to Wood at first to end Grass Valley’s turn at bat. “We spent a lot of time preparing defensively,” Robison said. “We had seven kids up from Minors, which is rare, and defensively they did a nice job preparing to play at the All-Star level.”