NORTHEAST GLENDALE — With the additional time spent in the batting cage, it’s no wonder why the members of the Crescenta Valley 9-10 All-Star baseball team are prepared and confident when they step into the batter’s box during a game.
Nearly each day, all 13 of the Crescenta Valley players spend about 20 minutes apiece perfecting their swings in the cage. It’s paved the way for success during the postseason.
Crescenta Valley pounded out 13 hits Tuesday afternoon en route to a 14-1 victory against Burbank in the District 16 Tournament championship game at Babe Herman Field. The contest was called after five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
Crescenta Valley will next meet Sherman Oaks in an opening-round game of the Section 2 Tournament at 9 a.m. Saturday at Northridge City Little League Field.
“Everybody goes over to [Crescenta Valley assistant Dan Mulcahey’s house] and we try to work all the time getting better,” said Crescenta Valley shortstop Zach Feehan, who had three hits, including a grand slam. “The hitting has just been incredible.”
In four tournament games, Crescenta Valley scored 81 runs and yielded six. Burbank, playing its fifth game in as many days, tried to stay close with Crescenta Valley. However, Crescenta Valley’s offense proved to be too hot to handle.
“It’s hard when you don’t have deep pitching,” said Burbank Manager Tony Castiglioni, whose team finished with three hits. "[Crescenta Valley] rolled through its first few games [in the tournament].
[Burbank starting pitcher] Ricky Perez pitched well and he kept us in it. You know going in that you can’t pitch the ball down the middle against CV.”
Crescenta Valley Manager Brett Ramaker, whose team posted a 19-2 victory against Burbank in a winner’s-bracket game Sunday at Pacific Park, said his team continues to impress.
“It’s probably the best hitting group of 10-year-olds that I’ve seen,” Ramaker said. “These guys are like lethal weapons at the plate, and it’s hard to get the ball past them.
“The kids are expected to hit at least one a day in the cage. There’s not a lot of time in the tournament season, so you have about two weeks to find a strategy and get them all on board. They’ve all responded and they expect to get on and have the next guy get them in.”
Crescenta Valley scored three runs in the top of the first. The first two runs came on errors by the second baseman and a sacrifice fly by Vincent Parrott.
Burbank responded with a run in the first, as Alex Giraldo scored on a force out by Niccolo Chuidian.
Crescenta Valley tacked on three runs in the third to take a 6-1 advantage. Nick Martin had a two-run triple to right to make it 5-1 before scoring on a wild pitch. Nico Khoury had a run-scoring single in the fourth to make it 7-1.
Feehan hit a grand slam to center in the fifth to give Crescenta Valley a 12-1 lead.
Khoury and Braeden Bentzen had two hits apiece for Crescenta Valley. Crescenta Valley pitchers Devon Ramaker, Sean Boyer and Nathan Nuttall combined to strike out seven.