ARCADIA — Undefeated runs and national rankings are special, but they don't necessarily equate to Pacific League championships.
That's the lesson the Crescenta Valley High baseball team delivered to host Arcadia in Tuesday evening's league showdown.
The Falcons clinched a share of their third straight league crown and prevented Arcadia from grabbing a piece of its first title since 2011 with a 2-1 victory that came down to a final relay at the plate.
The victory leaves Crescenta Valley (22-4, 13-0) alone in first place in league one game ahead of Arcadia (23-1, 12-1), which entered ranked No. 1 in Southern California by the Los Angeles Times, No. 4 in California by CalHiSports and No. 10 in the nation by Baseball America.
Arcadia will get another crack at the Falcons at Stengel Field on Friday at 7 p.m. Before then, however, Crescenta Valley celebrated.
"It feels great to get this win and Arcadia has 23 wins for a reason," Crescenta Valley starting pitcher Trevor Beer said. "It feels great to come out on a high level and match their play and get this win."
Though Beer wasn't his usual dominant self, the UC Santa Barbara-bound hurler was still effective in allowing one run on seven hits with six strikeouts.
The senior, however, could only watch as he was pulled with two outs in the seventh inning as he hit 109 pitches. Crescenta Valley coach Phil Torres replaced Beer with senior Luke Hempel as the Apaches had a runner at first with one out.
Hempel lost a 12-pitch battle to Arcadia's Dustin Allen to put runners on first and second and brought No. 3 batter Jeffrey Castillo to the dish.
Castillo chopped a ball to shortstop JD Schaeffer and Schaeffer slightly hesitated before flipping to second baseman Vincent Parrott. The delay allowed Allen to reach second base.
Parrott, who had some struggles in the contest with an error and a delay that cost an inning-ending double play in the first inning, found defensive redemption when he looked up and saw Arcadia's Chase Pedersen trying to score.
Parrott threw to Falcons catcher Brian Ghattas, who tagged out Pedersen well before he reached home plate for the inning-ending out.
"I was just being head's up and thank you Brian for catching the ball," Parrott said. "I was just trying to get the ball out of my hand as quick as I could. I was so happy because my coaches always tell me to bounce back."
All the game's offense took place in the first two innings.
Arcadia collected three singles in the first inning with third baseman Dominick Tello driving in Jacob Lopez on a run-scoring single.
Crescenta Valley answered in the top of the second with two runs.
Ghattas reached on an error, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single from Lorenzo Respicio, who then moved two bases on a throwing error. Isaac Sung connected on sacrifice fly to account for the game-winning run.
The offense was just enough as Crescenta Valley stranded eight runners.
Arcadia also left eight runners on the base paths as Beer wriggled out of runners-in-scoring position jams in the third and fifth innings.
"We left some guys on the bases against a very, very good team, but Trevor pitched well," Torres said. "We could have made it easier for ourselves, but that's high school baseball. It's never easy."