All-Star effort paves way for CV

LA CRESCENTA — The second-round match-ups for the District 16 Junior Baseball All-Stars are set, as the Crescenta Valley All-Stars defeated the Tujunga All-Stars, 12-2, on Sunday at Dunsmore Park to set up a date on Wednesday with the Foothill All-Stars, who defeated Jewel City-Jewish War Veterans earlier Sunday.

Crescenta Valley scored four runs in the first inning, erupted for six in the sixth and enjoyed solid pitching from starter Mike Yamarone throughout the game.

“Our team definitely came here to play baseball,” Crescenta Valley Manager Fabrice Kenwood said. “We've been practicing and batting every day, so it really does show that the right preparation and right mindset really makes a big difference.”

By the time Yamarone, who allowed three hits, no earned runs and struck out four over six innings, took the ball to start the bottom of the first, his team led, 4-0.

A two-out single by Jake Denne kicked things off for Crescenta Valley in the top of the first and was followed by a fielding error on a ball hit by Brandon Hayes that put runners at first and second.

Yamarone plated both Denne and Hayes with a single to center field and Ryan Fitzgibbons ended the inning with a double that scored Yamarone and Nick Jaufret before he was thrown out at third base.

“Generally our No. 1 guy always gets on, so that was really nice to see,” Kenwood said of the two-out production.

After Crescenta Valley added a run in the top of the second inning on an error that allowed leadoff hitter Josh Jun to score, Yamarone ran into trouble in the bottom of the frame.

Tujunga's first two batters reached via error and a hit by pitch and moved into scoring position on a passed ball.

With one out, two runs came home on a fielding error on a fly ball hit to right field, but Yamarone was able to end the damage at that.

Yamarone allowed just one more Tujunga baserunner over the next two innings, while his team padded the lead at 6-2 going into the bottom of the fifth.

Tujunga put a runner on second base with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, but the threat ended with a fly ball out to right field.

“Mike really came through,” Kenwood said. “Before the game I told him the first-pitch strike is so important because he is a threatening pitcher and the other team picks up on it.”

Crescenta Valley turned the relatively close game into a double-digit affair with eight hits in the sixth inning, including a three-run double by Denne.

Crescenta Valley will meet Foothill at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Dunsmore and Tujunga will meet Jewel City at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Dunsmore.

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