NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Steadily, slowly and surely, Crescenta Valley High’s baseball team pecked away at Hoover.
A run here, two runs there, until a five-run outburst in the fifth inning capped the Falcons’ offensive onslaught in a 9-0 Pacific League victory against the Tornadoes on Friday night at Stengel Field.
“We just want to win each inning, get ahead, get runs as best as we can,” said Falcons senior Matt Ashby, who led off the bottom of the first inning with a single and later scored his team’s first run en route to a three-for-three night with three runs and two runs batted in.
The Falcons (4-2) are off to a 2-0 start to league, having outscored Muir and Hoover by a combined 19-0 score, while the Tornadoes (3-4, 0-2 in league) have now dropped three straight overall.
Hoover issued 10 walks to Crescenta Valley batters, with six resulting in runs, while Tornadoes batters struck out 14 times and didn’t walk once.
Falcons starter Jake Lehne was borderline spectacular in his start, picking up his first win of the season, as he twirled five shutout innings, allowed just two hits and struck out 10.
“He was dominant,” said catcher Joe Sedano of Lehne. “He was everywhere I wanted him to be tonight.”
In contrast, Hoover’s Tyler Delzell went four innings, battling Crescenta Valley batters who took him deep into the count before getting to a Hoover bullpen that they scored five runs off of in the fifth.
“We want to get people on base, make the pitcher work and, when we get our chances, take advantage of them,” Sedano said.
After Ashby scored on a Troy Prasertsit sacrifice fly in the first, Sedano soon followed, scoring on a double steal to make it 2-0.
Ashby doubled to begin the third before Sedano doubled him in for a 3-0 lead.
In the fourth, an Ashby infield single plated Nate Rousey for a 4-0 lead.
In the fifth, the wheels came off for the Tornadoes.
A Troy Mulcahey single and walks to Prasertsit and Brandt Bowers loaded the bases before consecutive two-out walks to Zack Torres and Ashby pushed the lead to 6-0. Then freshman Elliott Surrey cleared the bases with a double to right-center field.
“We’re just coming together right now, it’s just gonna get better as we go along,” said Ashby, who had three of his team’s seven hits. “I think right now, our team No. 1 through 9, they can all hit.”
Hoover had just two hits — from Tyler Delzell and Adam Ochart, who were both thrown out on the base paths — and none after the second inning.
Senior John Salas threw two shutout innings to close it out for the Falcons, while Hoover’s Levi Factora struck out the side in the sixth.