Division I Final: La Crescenta Crescenta Valley vs. Esperanza
Crescenta Valley (24-3)--Every playoff victory has been close for the Falcons, who reached their first title game since the school fielded its first baseball team in 1961. Crescenta Valley’s strength is pitching and defense. Sophomore second baseman Mark McCauley (.460, four home runs, 24 runs batted in) was the league’s co-MVP with junior left-hander Jordan Olson (10-1).
Esperanza (21-7-1)--The Aztecs, winners of the Sunset League and defending Division I champions, have forged a different path through the playoffs. They are averaging 11 runs in victories over La Puente Nogales, Servite, Diamond Bar and third-seeded Long Beach Wilson. Junior right-hander Bo Ashabraner (7-2), who has won three playoff games, goes for his fourth tonight.
Key to the game--Each team enters the game with impressive winning streaks: Esperanza has won 11 in a row and Crescenta Valley nine. The Falcons must avoid stage fright and keep the Aztecs from the big inning. Esperanza can be error-prone; it cannot give away runs to Crescenta Valley, which has shown it can make even the slimmest leads stand up.
No. Name Yr. Pos 14 Mark McCauley So. 2B 6 Chris Oliver Sr. CF 12 Nathan Barber Sr. RF 4 Tim Balkey Jr. DH 1 Ryan McKnight Sr. 3B 25 John Barbaro So. 1B 8 Eric Snyder Sr. LF 9 Luke Peterson Jr. C 15 Bruce McReynolds Jr. SS
No. Name Yr. Pos 6 Sal De Anda Sr. 2B 17 David Munoz Sr. SS 7 Matt Colin Sr. RF 30 Nick Gor Jr. 1B 11 Kevin Snapp Sr. DH 27 Josh Shaffer Sr. 3B 5 Jarrod Schuster Jr. LF 9 Bo Ashabraner Jr. P 3 Mike Harrison Jr. CF
Division IV Final: Ocean View vs. La Quinta
Ocean View (19-10)--The Seahawks, who finished second in the Golden West League, have raced through the playoffs with unexpected ease. Their most impressive victory was a 9-5 thumping of second-seeded El Segundo in the quarterfinals. Senior first baseman Jason Martini (.463, eight home runs, 34 runs batted in) leads the offense.
La Quinta (30-1)--Coach Dave Demarest insists his Aztecs’ season will not be defined by a victory or defeat today, but when you have been to four finals in six years (winning twice) as La Quinta has, you are not satisfied with second place. Catcher Gerald Laird (.647, seven home runs, 44 RBIs) and shortstop Bobby Crosby (.528, six home runs, 32 RBIs) want to end their senior seasons with a flourish.
Key to the game--Victory will go to whichever team can get to the other’s senior starting pitcher. La Quinta’s Jason Garcia (12-1), who has two no-hitters this season, and Ocean View’s Pete Montrenes (11-3), who has three, could present one of the best pitching matchups ever in a championship game.
No. Name Yr. Pos 6 John Clark So. 2B 8 Andy Wirmani Sr. SS 11 Jason Martini Sr. 1B 12 Jason Miller Sr. 3B 7 Pete Montrenes Sr. P 10 Chris Savage Jr. RF 20 Anthony Vega Jr. C 14 Justin Baca Sr. CF 5 Shawn White Sr. LF
No. Name Yr. Pos 4 Josue Pena Jr. CF 2 Bobby Crosby Sr. SS 9 Gerald Laird Sr. C 20 Adriel Gomez Sr. 1B 7 Jason Garcia Sr. P 19 Beau Walters Sr. DH 5 Brian Cisneros Jr. 2B 15 Willie Keller Jr. RF 12 Nick Navarro Sr. LF