Dominant pitching lifts Crescenta Valley to 9-10 title over Burbank
TUJUNGA — It was a start that provided a wealth of confidence for Luca Terenzi.
The Crescenta Valley starting pitcher struck out the side in the first inning of Friday’s District 16 9-10 Little League Baseball All-Star Tournament championship game against Burbank.
Terenzi led a dominant Crescenta Valley pitching performance in which a pair of hurlers gave up no runs and just one hit while striking out 14 in an 8-0 title win against Burbank at Tujunga Little League Fields.
In a stellar four-inning performance, Terenzi struck out nine, allowed just one hit and didn’t allow a walk, as Burbank was able to put just five runners on base against the starter.
“Getting those strikeouts helped me get a good start,” Terenzi said. “It gave me confidence that I could have a good game.
“I thought that we did pretty well as a team. We didn’t make many errors and we got some hits. It feels good to win the championship. Even though we won it last year, it feels good to win two years in a row.”
Crescenta Valley also received a fine performance from reliever Jake Mucic. He threw the final two innings, striking out four and only allowing one baserunner via a walk.
“We’ve had very good pitching throughout the entire tournament,” Crescenta Valley coach Larry Terenzi said. “We gave up just three runs in the three games that we played.
“The team really gelled in this tournament and I think they really all came together as a team. I thought that, along with our pitching, that we had good hitting as well for the most part.”
Burbank, which advanced to the championship game with a dramatic 20-19 win Thursday against Jewel City/Jewish War Veterans, didn’t help itself much at the plate, as nine of its 14 strikeouts were looking.
“We have a younger team and they fought hard to get here, so we knew this game was going to be a challenge,” said Burbank coach Chris Montgomery, whose squad lost to Crescenta Valley to open the tournament Tuesday, 15-2. “I think we were probably a little nervous with the fast pitchers that CV had.
“Although we did lose, this was an accomplishment for Burbank and we really didn’t even expect to be here. I think this is the first time Burbank minors have ever been in the championship game, so they can be proud of that.”
Crescenta Valley got rolling early, taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Otto Cohen reached base on a pop-up that fell for a hit in the infield and was plated by a double off the right-center field fence by Mucic.
Burbank’s biggest threat of the contest came in the second inning. With one out, Andrew Malong was hit by a pitch and Patrick Lima singled to right to put two runners on. Malong advanced to third on a fielder’s choice, but Luca Terenzi ended the threat and the inning with a strikeout.
“Luca is very calm under pressure and he’s a very disciplined pitcher as well and he got rolling today,” Larry Terenzi said. “I think he was able to keep their batters off-balance for the most part. He threw mostly fastballs, but every now and again he would work in a breaking ball and I think that confused them.”
Ctrescenta Valley scored two runs in the second inning on a run-scoring single to center by Ryan French (two for four with two runs batted in) and a bases-loaded walk from Terenzi (two walks) for a 3-0 advantage.
French tripled in a run in the third inning and Aaron Eskandari drove in a run with an infield single and eventually stole home to increase the Crescenta Valley lead to 6-0.
Crescenta Valley tacked on two runs in the fifth.
Burbank was able to get a runner to second base in the sixth inning with two outs, but Mucic ended things with a strikeout.