GLENDALE — Scoring 10 of 11 runs with two outs, the Crescenta Valley High baseball team put on an impressive and frustrating display of clutch play at the expense of visiting Burbank in an 11-2 Pacific League victory Friday at Stengel Field.
The triumph keeps the Falcons (15-4, 6-0 in league) on pace with Arcadia (16-0, 8-0) for the top spot in league, while Burbank dropped to 4-9, 2-4. Crescenta Valley also swept the season series, 2-0, by a combined score of 22-2.
"I didn't really pay attention to that," said Crescenta Valley coach Phil Torres when told of his team's two-out prowess. "The guys put good at-bats together as they went down the order. Guys put good two-strike at-bats together, which is a big difference and they put the ball in play. They didn't give up and punch-out."
Eight of nine Falcons' starters contributed either a run or run batted in as catcher Brian Ghattas finished two for two with a double and three runs scored, Chase Smith added two runs and two RBI, Jake Schaffer contributed two RBI and one run, Isaac Sung finished with two RBI and one run, Will Grimm chipped in two RBI and Cody Cancelosi tallied one run and one RBI.
On the mound, Grimm picked up the win, allowing two runs on three hits over five innings with six strikeouts and three walks.
Burbank first baseman Davis Mieliwocki finished one for three with a double and two RBI, while Oaklee Spens added one hit and one run scored.
The contest turned quickly in the first inning just as it appeared Burbank would escape unscathed. Crescenta Valley opened with a walk and single from Grimm and Vincett Parrott (one run), respectively, before the Falcons' next two hitters committed a fielder's choice at third base and a fly-out to left for two outs.
Unfortunately for Burbank, its starting pitcher suffered a bout of wildness, walked one batter and then plunked two more to force across two runs.
A pair of run-scoring singles from Schaffer and Sung, a two-run single from Grimm and a steal of home by Sung added five runs for the Falcons, who raced ahead, 7-0, with all runs scored with two outs.
"It's tough to recover from that type of inning," Burbank coach Bob Hart said. "You know you get a crooked number up there and we haven't showed the offensive prowess to come back in games like that."
Crescenta Valley put together a similar effort in the sixth, scoring three runs on four hits — all with two outs — as Smith and Schaffer connected on run-scoring singles and pinch-runner Colby Rees stole home as the Falcons went ahead, 11-2.
The Falcons' other run came on a sacrifice fly from Sung that plated Ghattas in the fifth.
"This was just teamwork tonight and everyone chipped in," Ghattas said. "I was just trying to hit the ball, get it up the middle and see wherever it goes."
Burbank's only offensive threat came in the third when Spens singled, Max Meltzer walked and both came home on a laser double from Mieliwocki.
"I was happy with some of our at-bats and I felt like we competed," Hart said. "It was just an uphill thing tonight."