LA CRESCENTA â€” As Crescenta Valley High put up runs and hurler Kali Cancelosi put up a string of zeros, the gap on the scoreboard between the Falcons and the visiting Hoover Tornadoes grew steadily greater in each of the first three innings of Tuesday's Pacific League game.
Hoover spared no effort in the field and challenged the Falcons' best hitters head on, but couldn't escape being the latest victim in Crescenta Valley's wake, 10-0, in five innings.
â€œOf course, as a pitcher, when you have your team doing awesome with their hitting and they're scoring all those runs for you, it makes it easier when you go back out there,â€ said Cancelosi, who allowed one hit in four innings with six strikeouts for the win and was bolstered by a two-run homer from shortstop Baillie Kirker and a three-run shot by third baseman Erin Ashby.
It was Cancelosi who knocked in the first cluster of runs for the Falcons (18-1, 8-0 in league) with a three-run triple in the bottom of the first.
Alyssa Sovereign, who singled, Kirker, who doubled off the fence in right field, and Stephanie Ziemann, who walked, all scored on Cancelosi's flare to shallow right field that dropped just in front of Jessica Perez's lunging attempt to make the catch and rolled all the way to the fence.
â€œIn hindsight, probably the play to make would be to let it drop, keep it in front of you and keep it to one base instead of three, but hustle scores points with me,â€ said Hoover Coach Rich Henning, whose team (7-8, 2-8) snapped a four-game slide with a 3-2 win over Louisville on Saturday. â€œIf I knew how to play [the Falcons], it would be a different story. I don't think anyone knows how to play them â€” they just have too many bullets.â€
Courtesy runner Delaney Gay was driven in by a sacrifice fly by Kaela Green to take a 4-0 lead into the second inning, where the Falcons went up, 5-0, when Nicole Salas, who reached on a bunt single, scored on an error on a sharp grounder by Ashby.
With two outs in the second, Ashby on second base and first base open, Hoover pitched to Kirker, who fell behind 1-2 before launching an opposite-field line drive that bounced hard off the stone wall several feet beyond the outfield fence.
In the bottom of the third, it was Ashby turning in a nice piece of two-out, two-strike opposite field hitting with a line drive home run into the right field corner that scored Green and Salas for a 10-0 lead.
â€œThey did a great job,â€ Falcons Coach Dan Berry said of his lineup, which had seven hits, five for extra bases. â€œIf they ever set their mind to it that they can hit all the time, it could be quite scary, because they all have talent.â€
Marissa Vasquez doubled off Cancelosi in the top of the fourth for Hoover's only hit on the day.