BURBANK — With a 2-2 count, two outs and runners on second and third in the top of the seventh inning, Crescenta Valley baseball player Will Grimm sliced a line drive toward Burroughs left fielder Michael Le, who completely stretched out in an attempt to make a catch.
But the ball just grazed the tip of Le’s glove and glided further into left field and Grimm’s two-out double scored two runs to give the Falcons a one-run lead.
Though Crescenta Valley added an insurance run, Burroughs came back knocking on the door in the bottom of the seventh. However, the Indians’ rally was cut short and the Falcons earned a 4-3 Pacific League road win Tuesday.
“It’s six inches from being in the glove and we’re going home losers,” Crescenta Valley coach Phil Torres said.
Crescenta Valley (17-6, 10-1 in league) had trailed Burroughs, 2-1, since the first before the three-run seventh.
With the victory, the Falcons continue to put pressure on Arcadia (20-1, 10-1) for top spot in the Pacific League standings, while Burroughs (9-17, 6-5) is tied with Pasadena (11-11, 6-5) for fourth behind third-place Burbank (7-12-1, 7-4).
Crescenta Valley’s David Melendez and Isaac Sung reached base being hit by pitches from Burroughs closer Andres Salazar in the seventh. After a fly-out and a ground-out, Grimm’s two-out single scored Melendez and Sung and gave Crescenta Valley a 3-2 lead.
“Earlier in the season, I was in that same situation and it didn’t turn out in my favor, so I knew it was going to come up again,” said Grimm, whose single in the first scored the opening run. “I’ve just been preparing and focusing at practice. I was lucky on this one.”
Brian Ghattas followed up with a line drive to shortstop that was misplayed, allowing Grimm to score from third to make it 4-2.
“They did their jobs, but I made some bad decisions,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “That loss is on me. My players played well. That loss is on me.
“I made some bad decisions — bad positioning, bad offensive decisions — it’s on me. My kids did as well as they could. My kids did everything I asked of them. This one’s on me.”
Grimm had three hits, drove in three runs and scored a run. The sophomore also pitched six innings and struck out four, walked two and gave up five hits and three runs.
Burroughs went through its bullpen after starting pitcher Xavier Dubon threw four innings with four strikeouts, four hits and a run.
The Indians rotated three pitchers in the final three innings and posted five scoreless frames before the three-run seventh.
“Burroughs did a great job,” Torres said. “They made a bunch of plays from the first inning through the sixth inning. Their pitchers did a great job and they got out of it. They handled their bullpen and gave us a different look every inning, which is always tough.”
Though Burroughs struggled to find runs against Arcadia last week, the Indians scored a pair in the bottom of the first.
With bases loaded and one out, Burroughs center fielder Nicco Chuidian lined a ball toward second base and a fielder’s choice scored Le to tie the score at 1.
The Falcons attempted to complete the double play on the fielder’s choice, but committed a throwing error to first that scored Collin Johnson to give Burroughs a 2-1 lead.
“We got a couple of runs,” Sherwood said. “We scored more runs than we did all last week in three games. But we still could use some more, evidently. Once again, we nabbed defeat from the jaws of victory.”
Salazar led off the bottom of the seventh with a double for the Indians before second baseman Preston Lemus belted a run-scoring double to cut the Falcons’ lead to 4-3.
Falcons relief pitcher Chad Ruz recorded the save.