GLENDALE — When it mattered most, the Crescenta Valley High baseball team couldn’t bring a run across the plate.
Trailing by one run over the final three innings, the Falcons stranded six runners on base, including four in scoring position.
“That’s a killer,” Falcons Coach Phil Torres said.
So they dropped their final game of the Dick’s Tournament at Stengel Field to Etiwanda, 3-2, on Friday night.
Crescenta Valley (3-2) left a total of nine runners on base, just two days removed from leaving 11 on during a win over Fullerton.
“It’s just two games, but you have to do a better job,” Torres said. “You have to do a better job with guys in scoring position. That’s too bad. That’s a bad team loss there.”
Crescenta Valley’s best chances to even the score – or pull ahead – came during the sixth and fifth innings.
In the sixth, they loaded the bases when senior third baseman Joe Torres reached first on a bunt. But Etiwanda turned a double play on the ensuing at-bat before an inning-ending groundout.
In the fifth, the Falcons similarly loaded the bases on three consecutive walks with one out, but Etiwanda starting pitcher Aaron Sheridan struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
The junior right-hander tossed a complete game and fanned six batters, helping the Eagles (3-2) snap their two-game losing skid.
“He made a lot of pitches that we couldn’t do anything with,” Phil Torres said of Sheridan. “He just changed speeds and we didn’t have some good at-bats in key situations. We punched out twice and punched out a lot with guys in scoring positions.”
Crescenta Valley grabbed an early 2-0 lead Friday in the bottom of the second inning when senior Kevin Hello, courtesy running for Brett Klein, scored on a groundout from Torres, and when a sacrifice bunt from Ryan Lynch brought in senior left fielder Austin Brines.
But it was outdone by miscues in the fifth. Senior starting pitcher Tanner Carrico loaded the bases to start the inning before being pulled in favor of junior reliever Jimmy Smiley. A wild pitch then brought in one run. And an error in the next at-bat delivered another. Sophomore first baseman Adrian Damla had caught a flyout in foul territory but the throw home to halt an encroaching base runner from third sailed over the head of the catcher, Klein, allowing the runner to advance.
Senior outfielder Zach Estrada then slapped a single to left to score the winning run.
Carrico, who lasted four innings, struck out four batters and gave up just three hits, but was charged with three runs.
“I think we played well in the tournament,” Phil Torres said. “This was just a really bad loss. It was a bad way to end this tournament. Luckily we start a new tournament tomorrow.”
Crescenta Valley begins the Babe Herman Tournament play on Saturday against La Salle at 7 p.m.