La Crescenta wins Section Championship

Saro Sarkisian

COVINA -- The Crescenta Sports Assn. Pony Tournament Baseball team was

flying high after winning nine straight games, having already qualified

for the Pony Regional Tournament, and facing a team it had already shut

out for thePony Section Championship.

La Crescenta, made up of 11- and 12-year-olds, committed eight errors

and struggled early, but it exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the

fifth inning to defeat Charter Oak, 12-9, and win the Pony Section Title.

La Crescenta will likely face Long Beach at 5 p.m. today in Lynwood in

the first round of the double-elimination Pony Regional Tournament.

"We're not a great hitting team, we're all pitching and defense, so

the fact we had eight errors is unbelievable," La Crescenta Coach Mike

Padula said. "I told them, 'Don't quit, take it one run at a time and

believe in yourself.' "

Charter Oak scored three runs in the top of the first inning,

including a run-scoring single by Michael Estrada.

After Joe Depinto scored a run in the bottom of the first for La

Crescenta, Nick Padula blasted a two-run scoring double to left-center

field in the bottom of the second.

Charter Oak had a 7-4 lead after the top of the fifth, but in the

bottom of the inning, La Crescenta erupted for seven runs.

Depinto drove in two runs with a triple to right field. Chris Stroh

hit a run-scoring double to left-center field over center fielder Michael

Johnson, who slammed into the wall after the play and was carried off the

field, with an injured right foot and ankle.

"We just told ourselves we need to score a lot of runs," Stroh said.

"And we did real good."

Both La Crescenta and Charter Oak used four pitchers, and Charter Oak

allowed 10 walks.

"None of the kids hung their heads if they struck out or made an

error, because we are a veteran team" La Crescenta assistant coach Dave

Cater said. "It was no big deal for them, because they knew we had

pitching, depth and hitting."

BOX SCORE

Charter Oak*3*0*2*0*2*1*1*--*9*9*2

La Crescenta*1*2*1*0*7*1*x*--*12*8*8

Charter Oak*IP*R*ER*H*BB*K

Breaux*2*3*3*1*5*2

Hendrickson*2*1*1*2*1*1

Munsey*1*7*5*4*4*0

Vincent*1*1*1*1*0*0

Total*6*12*10*8*10*3

La Crescenta*IP*R*ER*H*BB*K

McGregor*2*3*2*4*1*2

Costanzo*2*2*1*2*1*1

Elliot*1*2*1*1*0*0

Depinto*2*2*1*2*2*1

Total*7*9*5*9*4*4

WP-Depinto (n/a).

LP-Munsey (n/a).

2B: LC-Padula, Stroh, Mier; CO-Estrada, Breaux.

3B: LC-Depinto.

SB: LC-Depinto 2; CO-Johnson, Estrada, Breaux, Spong.

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