One-hitter, offensive outburst propel Burbank Crue to Junior baseball title

One-hitter, offensive outburst propel Burbank Crue to Junior baseball title
Burbank Crüe’s Joe Estrada celebrates after throwing out the last Crescenta Valley-CAS Realty batter. (Tim Berger)

LA CRESCENTA — An offensive outburst in the fourth inning was more than enough for the Burbank Crue Junior baseball team.

That hitting, along with stellar pitching in a one-hit effort, propelled the Burbank squad to a 10-0 victory over Crescenta Valley-CAS Realty in the Little League Tri-Cities District 16 Tournament of Champions title game Monday at Dunsmore Park.


Burbank sent 13 batters to the plate in the fourth, breaking the game open with eight runs.

The Crue added two runs in the fifth to bring the mercy rule into effect.

"The kids started to hit," said Burbank coach Chris Vanole, who coached the team to an undefeated 19-0 season. "Once the hitting starts, that's when we get going."

Pitchers Roy Freck and Joe Estrada combined to allow just one hit, which came in the bottom of the fifth when Nick Goethals singled. Freck struck out five and walked three in his three innings of work.

Freck also picked up the team's first hit as he led off the second. It wasn't until the fourth, however, that the Crue got to Crescenta Valley starting pitcher Nathan Park, who was solid through three.

Tanner Vanole and Estrada got things started in the frame before Freck was hit by a pitch to load up the bases. Vanole scored the game's first run on a wild pitch. Tyler Schrefel, Paul Gomez, Ryan Entz, Jake Hurtado and Aiden Cox all drove in runs with the bases loaded to increase the cushion to 7-0.

Park exited the game after throwing two pitches to Gomez. Tyler Yu came into the game in relief, but was unable to get out of the bases-loaded situation.

Vanole scored his second run of the inning on Estrada's run-scoring single shortly before Crescenta Valley put an end to the onslaught. Estrada tallied two singles in the inning.

"They're a good team; they have no holes," Crescenta Valley coach Chong Roh said. "We were 3-13 this year so we're proud to be here. We were able to hang with a travel team through three innings."

Consecutive doubles by Jake Forss and Schrefel in the fifth inning gave Burbank a 9-0 lead. Gomez' single plated Schrefel.

"This was normal for this team," Chris Vanole said. "Every day they come out and just play ball."