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Burbank Junior All-Stars come back against Crescenta Valley to take baseball title

TUJUNGA — The District 16 Little League Junior Tournament rematch between the Burbank and Crescenta Valley All-Stars was much different than the teams’ first meeting four days earlier.

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In the contest Sunday, Burbank scored 18 runs and held Crescenta Valley scoreless to earn a lopsided victory.

However, when the teams met again Wednesday, Burbank had to use a sixth-inning rally and overcome two deficits to earn a 9-8 victory at Tujunga Little League Fields.

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The victory follows a 7-1 loss by Burbank to Crescenta Valley in the 2017 Junior championship game.

With the win, Burbank advances to the Section 2 tournament. The Media City squad will open the tourney at 11 a.m. July 7 against the District 51 representative at Tujunga.

But earning a spot in the sectionals was not an east task for Burbank, which defeated Crescenta Valley Sunday, 18-0.

“We didn’t play as clean as I think we can at times and we also didn’t have a good approach against a [pitcher] who was getting a pretty high pitch count,” Burbank manager Adrian Cox said. “He did a good job against us, but it seemed like when the pitch count kept getting higher and higher we got less and less patient in the box.

“I will hand it to them though; those guys from CV came out to play and they really gave us a good game. But we definitely made some mistakes that we don’t usually make and our approach wasn’t as good as it has been in other games.”

Burbank battled back and won the game in the sixth inning. Trailing 8-7, Brenton Lewis led off the frame by reaching on an error — one of three by Crescenta Valley in the sixth — and promptly stole second. Burbank tied the score at 8 when a ball hit by Aiden Cox took a bad hop for a single that plated Lewis.

Cox stole second and made his way to third on a bloop single to center field by Vasista Dhyasani. On the play, while trying to get the ball back in with Dhyasani looking like he was going to make an attempt at second base, the Crescenta Valley fielder took his eye off Cox, who alertly took off for home, scoring the winning run.

“My coach yelled at me ‘Aiden’ and I looked up and I saw [Vasista] wasting time and then I looked over to the fielder and he had his back to me, so I took advantage and just took off,” said Cox, who was three for four with a triple, four runs batted in and two runs scored. “I’m just glad that I was able to make it.”

Crescenta Valley took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Teddy Amorosi walked and scored on a single through the middle by Kris McCollum.

The lead swelled to 3-0 in the second on an error that scored two runs.

Burbank was able to surge ahead, 6-3, with a big second inning that brought 11 players to the plate and yielded seven hits, highlighted by two hits in the inning by Jacob Hurtado (three for four with one run). The Media City squad also received a two-run triple by Cox and RBI singles by Dhyasani (three for four with a run) and Ryan Entz.

Batting through the order in the order in the fourth, Crescenta Valley took back the lead, 7-6, with five runs on three hits and four Burbank errors. Roger Muiller (two for three with a walk and a run) and Zachary Roh had run-scoring singles in the frame.

“Our guys came out fighting and wanted to avenge the earlier loss to them that was pretty tough to take,” Crescenta Valley manager Chong Roh said. “I think we had them on the ropes, but unfortunately we kicked the ball around a little in the end. But give Burbank credit, they put a ton of balls into play.”

Hurtado came in to pitch in relief and earned his second win in four days, throwing three innings, not allowing a run or a hit, walking one and striking out two.

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