NORTHWEST GLENDALE â€” It took but half an inning for the Crescenta Valley High baseball team to alter the momentum it entered Tuesday's Pacific League game with and do just the same to host Hoover.
With a loss to rival Arcadia in the rearview mirror, the Falcons needed a spark to reverse their fortunes, while the Tornadoes had a win against rival Glendale to build upon.
But after a nine-run first inning by Crescenta Valley, it was clear the Falcons were headed up and the Tornadoes were going down, eventually losing, 14-0, at Hoover High in a game that lasted just five innings due to the mercy rule.
â€œRebounding after a loss like that really gets us pumped,â€ said Falcons freshman Elliott Surrey, who had two two-run home runs â€” both in the first inning â€” and pitched four innings of no-hit ball for the victory.
From the onset, it was clear the Falcons (10-8, 5-4 in league) had no lingering effects from Friday's 11-7 loss to first-place Arcadia, as the first five batters of the game reached base, jumping all over Hoover (6-8, 3-6) and taking the Tornadoes out of the contest before they even got up to bat.
â€œIf you take away the first inning, it might be a game,â€ said Tornadoes Coach Tito Cruz, who was forced to give starter Eugene Shin the hook after just 2/3 of an inning. â€œEspecially here when anything has a chance to go out, I told him it was real important to work down. Unfortunately that didn't happen.â€
Shin got ahead 0-2 on Crescenta Valley leadoff batter Nate Rousey to start, but it all went downhill after that. Shin beaned Rousey and then had a 1-0 offering to Surrey pulled over the right-field fence for a 2-0 score. Nine at-bats later, with Rousey, who singled, once again on base, Surrey pulled another shot over the fence to make it 9-0.
â€œI've never done that before,â€ said Surrey, who was three for four with four runs batted in and three runs, of hitting two dingers in the same inning. â€œIt's pretty cool.â€
In between the carnage put on display by Surrey, the biggest blow came via Jason Kim, when he belted a grand slam to center field that also scored Troy Prasertsit, Matt Ashby and Brandt Bowers. In all, Crescenta Valley had seven hits, three home runs and three walks in the inning.
â€œWe got our pitches and just hit everything,â€ said Kim, who had three of his team's 14 hits.
Surrey struck out five and allowed just two baserunners â€” Bobby Romero walked and Shara Aivazi reached on an error.
â€œI was feeling pretty good,â€ Surrey said, â€œstaying on top of the ball, hitting my spots.â€
Hoover's only hit came from Levi Factora in the fifth, but the wind was clearly taken from its sails after the first inning, as shoddy play in the field, coupled with CV's hot bats, led to at least one run in every inning thereafter.
â€œWe still had a lot of game left, we could've showed some life,â€ Cruz said. â€œThis is our house, we should have some pride.â€
Rousey had two hits and two runs, while Bowers also had two runs for a Falcon team looking to work its way back to the top of the league as it's two games behind second-place Burroughs and Burbank.
Said Lee of the team's approach: â€œPretty much just play every game like a playoff game.â€