Long ball lifts CV past Glendale

LA CRESCENTA — After striking out twice in Crescenta Valley High's victory in the championship game of the High Desert Classic on Monday, Ashleigh Viers-Gordillo said she had a tough time getting to sleep.

“I'm not the kind to strike out,” she said. “I usually always at least make contact. I was just thinking about it and couldn't sleep actually. I kept thinking all day, I've got to make up for yesterday and I've got to stay positive and be myself.”

So when Tuesday's Pacific League opener rolled around, the Boise State-bound Viers-Gordillo made sure there wouldn't be a second consecutive sleepless night.

The senior first baseman belted three home runs, including a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the first, and knocked in six runs to lead the Falcons to a 16-0 mercy-rule-shortened victory over visiting Glendale.

The Falcons (9-0, 1-0 in league), ranked sixth in CIF Southern Section Division III, pounded out 15 hits as their entire roster made an appearance in the game. Nine players collected hits, while seven tallied runs batted in.

“When you have a roster of 17 and you get everyone into a game, it's important,” Crescenta Valley Coach Dan Berry said. “And then everyone contributes, it makes it worth while for them.”

Crescenta Valley junior Kali Cancelosi tossed three shutout innings to start the game.

Senior Elizabeth Jacoby twirled the final two innings in her first appearance of the season, striking out seven as one batter reached base after a punch out.

Glendale did manage to record five hits on the afternoon, though all were singles. Marielle Malabug singled twice for the Nitros, who were able to put runners on in four of their five at-bats, but never able to push anyone across.

“We kind of need to do a little gut-check and see how bad we want this out here,” first-year Glendale Coach Christine Paknik said.

After Viers-Gordillo's blast opened the game, it appeared as if Glendale starter Courtney Williams might escape the inning without any more damage.

With runners at the corners and two outs, Crescenta Valley's Erin Ashby hit a comebacker to Williams.

Williams spun and fired to first, but her throw had a little too much heat on it and skimmed off first baseman's Suley Manyan's glove.

The ball bounded down the first-base line and allowed Lainey DePompa and Caitlyn Cox to score, making it 3-0 Falcons after one.

In the second inning, things turned ugly quick for Glendale. Stephanie Ziemann was hit by a pitch and Zara Montes followed with the first of two singles, bringing Viers-Gordillo to the plate.

The left-hander dug in and ripped a 1-1 offering over the left-center field wall to bust the game open at 6-0.

“She's the reigning All-Area Player of the Year and today she showed why,” said Berry, whose team topped Santa Monica, 5-3, in the High Desert final Monday night.

The Falcons, who have now outscored opponents, 94-14, this season, kept up the pressure as junior shortstop Baillie Kirker hit a mammoth solo bomb two batters later. By the time the second frame was over, the Falcons had tallied five runs to push their lead to 8-0.

The onslaught continued in the third, as Crescenta Valley ushered 13 batters to the plate and tacked on eight more runs.

DePompa, fresh of winning tournament MVP honors at the High Desert tourney, went three for three with two doubles and three runs scored. Cox finished with two doubles and two runs scored.

“I think we all have confidence in ourselves,” Viers-Gordillo said. “We are a team. There's no cliques or anything. We are all together, we all know each other really well.”

While Crescenta Valley looked unbeatable on Tuesday, Berry knows the path toward a 10th league title in the last 11 years is filled with road blocks.

“We are only as good as our next game and Burroughs will be tough on Thursday,” Berry said. “You enjoy the moment, but league is tough.”

?DYLAN KRUSE covers sports. He can be reached at (818) 637-3252 or dylan.kruse@latimes.com.

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