TUJUNGA – It took all of an inning for the Crescenta Valley 10-11 All-Stars to put themselves in position to advance through the winner’s bracket of the District 16 All-Star Baseball Tournament.
Crescenta Valley scored six runs on only two hits and had no difficulty in defeating visiting Tujunga, 15-0, in a shortened contest called after the top of the fourth inning at Tujunga Little League Field on Saturday afternoon.
With the victory, Crescenta Valley moves into a 1 p.m. matchup Sunday back at Tujunga versus Vaquero, which will be making its tournament debut. Tujunga will attempt to stay alive in double-elimination tournament action Monday at 5 p.m. at Babe Herman Field.
“It’s just a big win and a great game,” Crescenta Valley Coach Shawn Howard said. “It helps to get your offense going and when you get a big homer from Bryson [Reeves] that gets you going.”
Crescenta Valley only produced two hits in a big six-run first inning, including one hit that didn’t appear to cause any harm when leadoff batter Davis Cornwell singled, but was erased on a fielder’s choice.
Yet, Tujunga helped fuel the rally with four walks and eight wild pitches.
One batter who walked, Chase Smith (two for two with three runs and one RBI), was on base when first baseman Reeves (two for three with four RBI) extended and drove a low fastball over the center-field fence for a three-run homer, which put the visitors ahead, 3-0.
Unfortunately for Tujunga, the homer didn’t provide for a reset as Crescenta Valley scored three additional runs, with each base runner crossing home plate on a wild pitch.
“I don’t know what to say other than we gave CV all these chances,” Tujunga Manager Scott Allen said. “When you give up six runs and the other team only has to get one hit, that’s very disappointing.”
The good news for Tujunga was that its pitchers did not allow an additional walk or wild pitch over the next two innings.
Yet, Crescenta Valley’s offense came to life over its final two innings in scoring nine runs on 11 hits.
In the second inning, Crescenta Valley already put itself into mercy-rule consideration thanks to five runs, which led to an 11-0 advantage.
Marty Pacino (three RBI and two runs) delivered a two-run single that plated Smith and Nic Gorthals (two runs), who had driven in a run earlier in the inning. Pacino eventually scored on a perfectly executed double-steal with teammate Isaac Sung to cap the inning’s scoring.
Crescenta Valley then added four more runs in the third to ice the game.
Smith socked a run-scoring triple that scored Aaron Garcia, while Smith later came home on a single from Reeves. Pacino added a run on a scoring groundout, while Sung (two run and one RBI) brought home Gorthals for the final run of the inning and game.
“We were patient at the plate and took a lot of pitches,” Howard said. “I was really proud of the guys.”
Lost in the post-Independence Day fireworks was a combined one-hitter tossed from the Crescenta Valley arms of Cornwell, Garcia and Smith.
While Crescenta Valley committed two errors, catcher Smith put down Tujunga’s best rally in the top of the second when he threw out a would-be base stealer with two runners on and two out.
“You want to compete and we’re certainly better than this,” Allen said. “Crescenta Valley is good, but we’re better than 15-0.”
Follow Andrew J. Campa on Twitter: @campadresports.