TUJUNGA — Burbank’s 8-10 All-Stars had already hung a loss on Cresecenta Valley in the District 16 Tournament.
However, CV made its way back through the second-chance bracket, so Burbank had to do it one more time to claim the title.
The Burbank All-Stars were not to be denied as they recorded a 5-1 victory over the Crescenta Valley All-Stars to claim the District 16 title Wednesday night at the Tujunga Little League Fields.
“It was a tight game,” Burbank coach Mike Montgomery said. “We fought hard. We just kept pushing through.”
With the victory, Burbank is the new District 16 champion and will move on to the Section 2 tournament. Burbank’s first game will be at 9 a.m. on Saturday against the District 40 champion, Sherman Oaks Little League. The location will be the Northridge City Little League fields.
“I personally have never been to sectional,” Montgomery said. “I expect the competition to be really stiff.”
Burbank, which was 4-0 in the tournament, was held hitless until the sixth inning, but still carried a 2-1 lead into the final frame. With one out, Burbank’s Noah Porter collected his team’s first hit of the contest. Burbank’s Henry English hit a double to center field that scored Porter from second. Jeremy Lee came to the plate next and hammered a double to left-center field. His hit drove in two runs in the form of Nicoles Hernandez, who had reached on the walk, and English.
“I was just looking to drive the runners in and get some insurance runs,” Lee said.
Ahead, 5-1, Burbank pitcher Keyson Montgomery sat the side down in order in the bottom of the sixth. He struck out the final two batters to cement the win and the district title.
“I just got in my good windup and pitched it right down the middle,” Keyson Montgomery said.
Burbank started Andrew Cosio on the mound and he went 3 1/3 innings when Montgomery took over. Combined, the duo limited CV to three hits in the game.
“Both pitchers have been aces all year,” coach Montgomery said. “Our second pitcher had been a little off throughout the tournament, but he came through and did his job tonight.”
Crescenta Valley’s first two batters of the game, Andrew Shaffer and Andrew Guske, swatted singles. However, Cosio locked in after that, striking out the next three batters to get out of the potential jam. He finished with six strikeouts. Montgomery, who had four strikeouts, gave up the other CV hit, a single in the fourth inning off the bat of Mikey Herman.
“I tried to pitch a little faster,” Cosio said. “If I just lob it, in they will hit it.”
Crescenta Valley had three pitchers that were ineligible to pitch due to use in prior games. However, Xavier Thompson started and was magnificent. He held Burbank hitless for the first three innings, tallying six strikeouts.
“We have a deep staff, so we have lots of kids that can come out and answer the bell,” CV manager Mike Herman said. “Xavier did a great job.”
Burbank cashed in on the CV relief pitchers in the fourth. The first pitcher of the inning hit three batters and had to be removed. His replacement threw wild pitches, which brought home a run.
Crescenta Valley’s only run came in the bottom of the fourth when Mikey Herman hit a single to score Thompson.
“We knew it was going to be a battle,” coach Montgomery said. “It always is a battle against CV.”