The number of local baseball teams alive in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs got a little smaller Thursday. In Division II’s second round, No. 16 Laguna Creek tried to extend its Cinderella venture into the playoffs this spring, after Tuesday’s big 4-3 upset of No. 1 Woodcreek.

But, the magic ended in Lodi and the clock struck midnight. But, not without a big pitching duel.

Cardinal pitcher Nate Ira and Lodi’s Dominic Brassesco held each other’s teams scoreless until a two-out walk-off single in the seventh by Brayden Stout gave the Flames a 1-0 win over Laguna Creek.

Laguna Creek did get close to scoring in the fourth when Jace Villanueva and Cameron Crowley both singled but were left stranded. In the second Villanueva walked with two outs and Matthew Tokunaga followed with a double, but Brassesco struck out Brandon Lowe to end the inning. Brassesco fanned eight Cardinals in the game.

Lodi, the eighth seed, now advances in the semi-finals against No. 12 Rio Americano. The other Division II semi will have No. 3 Granite Bay and No. 2 Rodriguez. On Thursday the Grizzlies, in a slugfest, defeated Jesuit, 15-10. Rodriguez beat No. 10 Downey, 12-7.

Laguna Creek ended the season at 11-14, but memories of one of their school’s most biggest playoff wins.

Division I 2nd Round:

No. 1 Franklin 7, No. 8 Vacaville 4

Nic Abraham went the distance for the Wildcats allowing nine hits while striking out six and walking no one. Franklin (24-5) scored five times in the third inning. It started with a bases-loaded walk and was followed by a two-run error, a fielders choice and a passed ball.

Franklin now advances to the best-two-out-of-three semi-finals against No. 4 McClatchy, 8-6 winners over Folsom Thursday. The other Division I semi will pit No. 6 Oak Ridge and No. 2 Whitney. The Trojans eliminated No. 14 Central Valley, 11-3, while Whitney defeated No. 7 St. Mary’s, 5-4. Game one of the semi-finals will be Monday at 4 p.m.

Division V, first round:

The top-seeded Bradshaw Christian Pride rolled over No. 8 Millennium Wednesday 15-1. With just eight schools competing in Division V, the Pride will go to the semi-finals Monday against No. 5 Ben Holt College Prep.

On Wednesday Daryl Johnson allowed only one hit over four innings. Micah Nicholson had a pair of hits, including a double and drove in two runs. Cole Spake went two-for-two with a walk and three runs scored, plus he drove in three runs. Ethan Rickert also had three RBI.

The Pride is 19-4 on the season.

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Sports Editor

John Hull has been a part of the sports scene in Elk Grove since moving to the city in 1999. Hull originally came on board the sports staff of the Citizen in 2007, retired in 2019, but returned as the Citizen's sports editor in 2021.