GLENDALE — Even with a four-run lead in the middle innings, Burbank baseball Coach Bob Hart knew it wasn’t large enough against a Crescenta Valley team capable of posting another comeback.
Hart’s thought proved to be correct.
Crescenta Valley got a key bases-loaded triple from Elliot Surrey in the bottom of the fifth inning to help rally to an 8-7 victory against Burbank on Tuesday night in a Pacific League game at Stengel Field.
Crescenta Valley improved to 24-2, 13-1 in league, while Burbank concluded its regular season at 11-16, 6-8. The Falcons also stayed alive in their attempt to clinch a share of the league championship, provided they beat first-place Arcadia on Friday night on the road.
“I told the team not to let up and not look at the scoreboard,” said Hart, whose team built a 5-1 lead entering the bottom of the fourth. “We have a super-inexperienced team and we are in the process of teaching them how to win.”
Crescenta Valley, which rallied for a 4-3 league win against Pasadena on Friday, turned to Surrey in a big way with two outs and the bases loaded in the fifth on Tuesday. Surrey worked the count to 3-2 before fouling off six pitches in a row from Burbank reliever Ryan Favor.
Surrey then cleared the bases with a triple down the right-field line that gave the Falcons an 8-6 advantage.
“It felt like 15 pitches,” said Surrey, who finished with three hits. “I couldn’t take anything too close and I got a hold of a pitch.
“I’ve had a lot of big hits, but this one is more important because it’s league.”
Burbank pulled to within 8-7 on a lead-off home run by Paul Frias in the top of the seventh off reliever Kyle Pomeroy, who went six innings after replacing starter Troy Mulcahey, who struggled with his command in one inning.
Kyle Murray relieved Pomeroy and got the final three outs for the save.
Crescenta Valley Coach Phil Torres said the Falcons had their work cut out against the Bulldogs, who were swept in the two-game season series.
“Burbank has got a good club and we knew they could score runs,” Torres said. “Our guys came back and did a great job because they were poised.”
After exchanging first-inning runs, Burbank proceeded to score three runs in the second to build a 4-1 advantage. Chris Okimoto drove in a run with a single to make it 2-1 before a triple by Deandre Davis made it 3-1. A run-scoring grounded by Ricky Perez extended the lead to 4-1.
The strangest play of the game helped give Burbank a 5-1 lead in the fourth. After Okimoto led off with a single, John White grounded to third for the first out. An alert Okimoto moved to third without anybody covering and then dashed home while the Crescenta Valley third baseman held on to the ball.
Back came Crescenta Valley in the bottom of the fourth. A three-run home run by Cam Silva pulled the Falcons to within 5-4.