GLENDALE - Jordan Rodgers had the Crescenta Valley High baseball team’s number on Saturday night.
The La Salle starting pitcher struck out seven batters over six innings and also went two for three at the plate to lead the Lancers to a 6-3 nonleague victory over the Falcons at Stengel Field in the teams’ first contest of the Babe Herman Tournament. The game was called with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning when the lights went out.
“He was solid,” Crescenta Valley freshman catcher Kewis Ledesma said of the right-handed senior. “He was really hitting his spots.”
With the Lancers (3-3) leading, 2-1, entering the top of the fourth inning, Rodgers doubled to left field on a line drive that bounced off the wall, just a couple feet shy of a home run. It was his first of two doubles for the game. Two at-bats later, right fielder Jared Atkins tripled on a similar shot to left to score Rodgers. La Salle would add three more runs in the inning to balloon its lead to 6-1.
“They got the big hits when they needed them,” Crescenta Valley Coach Phil Torres of the Lancers’ four-run fourth.
Senior starting pitcher Bryan Wang, who fanned two batters in 3 2/3 innings of work, was pulled with one out to go in the fourth in favor of sophomore reliever Eric Ma, who induced a groundout to end the inning. Ma, along with freshman Mack Meyer and senior Joe Torres, pitched a combined 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. Torres struck out the final two batters of the seventh.
Crescenta Valley (3-3), which tallied 11 hits, finally made a late rally in the bottom of the seventh after Rodgers was pulled. Torres and Nick Diaz, who went three for three at the plate, singled to begin the inning, then two at-bats later, sophomore first baseman Adrian Damla lined a double to deep right center field to bring in both runners.
“I just think they did a good job there,” Phil Torres said. “And sometimes it’s just a new pitcher. Sometimes it’s seeing something different. The kids did a good job.”
Michael Russo reached first on an error, putting runners on second and first, before the game was called.
“It’s on a computer, so 10 p.m. is 10 p.m.” Phil Torres said of the lights going out. “We had the [winning] run on deck, so we would’ve loved to keep playing.”
Both teams resume play in the tournament on Monday at Stengel Field. Crescenta Valley is looking to now snap a two-game skid.
“We schedule it this way,” Phil Torres said. “The only way to get better is to schedule some pretty good teams.”