Rotation depth set to be tested

Charles Rich

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

pitching rotation.

That's the best advice Crescenta Valley High baseball Coach Phil

Torres can give with the tournament set to begin today at several

locations.

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

Monday.

"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

IV.

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

crowns.

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 charles.rich@latimes.com.

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