For the 14 squads scheduled to compete in the 40th annual Babe Herman
Tournament, make sure there's enough depth at the back end of the
That's the best advice Crescenta Valley High baseball Coach Phil
Torres can give with the tournament set to begin today at several
Three area teams -- Crescenta Valley, Hoover and Glendale -- will
take part in the event, which is sponsored by the West Glendale
Gateway Kiwanis Club, Glendale Parks and Recreation and the Crescenta
Valley baseball program.
There's a good chance that about half of the teams will have
enough available arms to contend for the tournament's championship
game, which will be played at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Stengel Field.
"The key will be how the Nos. 3-5 pitchers do," said Torres, who
has guided the Falcons to four tournament championships since 1998.
"Will they be able to keep you in the games?
"You have a good chance if they can."
There will also be a new championship since Peninsula won't attend
this year. Peninsula recorded a 3-0 victory against Sonora in last
year's title contest.
In fact, Crescenta Valley, Hoover, Glendale and Sonora are the
only squads returning to the four-day event, which will resume
"There's going to be a lot of good teams from the area and around
Orange County," said Torres, whose team will take on Laguna at 7
tonight at Stengel Field in its opener.
The tournament will feature the National and American divisions.
Each division will have seven teams with games to be held at Stengel
Field along with Hoover, Glendale, Charter Oak and Fullerton highs.
The National Division will consist of Crescenta Valley, Glendale,
Torrance, South Torrance, Sunny Hills, North Torrance and Laguna. The
American Division will feature Hoover, Charter Oak, Fullerton,
Sonora, South Hills, Tesoro and West Torrance.
The teams with the best record from each division will compete in
the championship game.
South Hills and Tesoro are ranked Nos. 3 and 6, respectively, in
CIF Southern Section Division III. Charter Oak is No. 6 in Division
The Falcons have won the tournament six times since its inception
in 1964. Crescenta Valley, which captured the event in 1964, 1977,
1998, 1999, 2002 and 2003, is tied with Buena for the most tournament
The Tornadoes, who won all four of their tournament games last
season, won the tournament in 1972, 1973 and 1975. Hoover plays
Charter Oak at 11 a.m. today at home.
The Nitros captured the tournament in 1966 and 1969. Glendale
meets visiting North Torrance at 11 a.m. today.
* CHARLES RICH covers sports. He can be reached at (818) 637-3228
or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.