MONTROSE — Otto Cohen stepped on to the mound looking to help the Crescenta Valley 9-11 All-Stars baseball team win a championship Wednesday.
The right-hander seemed poised right from the first pitch and got on an impressive roll.
Cohen struck out 10 to propel Crescenta Valley to a 12-0 four-inning win against Vaquero in the Little League District 16 championship contest at Montrose Park.
Crescenta Valley will next compete against District 17 representative Sierra Madre in a Section 2 Tournament game at 7 p.m. Saturday at Tehachapi Little League Fields.
Cohen was sharp, striking out the side in the first and second innings.
“I just came in feeling fresh and confident,” said Cohen, who went 3 2/3 innings and allowed one hit. “I could tell in the first inning that I had good command of my pitches and got ahead in the count.
“We have a very good team and I just wanted to contribute any way I could. We also got a lot of hits and we have a very good lineup.”
Crescenta Valley finished with 11 hits to dispatch Vaquero, which registered a 5-3 win against Foothill on Tuesday to reach the championship. Crescenta Valley scored two runs in the first and five in the second and third.
“Otto was commanding his pitches and he really set the tone early on,” Crescenta Valley coach Larry Terenzi said. “He pounded the zone the whole game and he was very efficient.
“We have a very good team and we’ll look to keep it going at Section 2. It’s a deep lineup that we have and maybe the deepest we’ve had in the last several years.”
Kal-El Holguin made it 1-0 with a run-scoring groundout and Nick Garcia made it 2-0 with an RBI single.
Cohen had sacrifice fly to right to make it 3-0 in the second. Later in the inning, Ryan French had a two-run triple to extend the lead to 6-0.
Crescenta Valley’s Jake Mucic drove in a run with a triple to make it 8-0 in the third. French, Cameron Rangan an Desi Valdes each drove in a run later in the inning.
Cohen, French and Rangan each finished with two hits. Cohen, Luca Terenzi, Holguin and French scored two runs apiece.
Vaquero threatened in the second after loading the bases with one out. However, Cohen struck out the next two batters to escape the jam. Morrison Bauer had the lone hit for Vaquero, a lead-off double to begin the second.
“We had a great chance right there and we just couldn’t capitalize,” Vaquero coach Juan Piedra said. “You have to tip your cap to their pitcher and he pitched a great game.