CV's title bid halted

SIERRA MADRE — Frank Gangi had an inkling that his Crescenta Valley Major Baseball All-Star team might run out of pitching.

Fatigued from playing four games in as many days, Crescenta Valley's pitching took its toll in a season-ending 13-4 loss against Northridge on Tuesday night in the championship game of the Section 2 Tournament at Heasley Field.

Northridge, the District 40 champion, clubbed six home runs to advance to the North Subdivision III Tournament on Saturday at Perry Park in Redondo Beach.

Northridge, which has hit 24 home runs in seven postseason contests, scored seven runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 13-4 lead. Gangi, who guided Crescenta Valley to the District 16 title, probably had seen enough of Northridge's stacked lineup.

"It all came down to having top-tier pitching," said Gangi, whose team advanced to the title game with an 8-5 win against Quartz Hill on Monday. "We had Will Lombardo and Andres Kim and, if we had one more ace, it might have made a difference.

"We had a great run to get here, but we just ran out of pitching."

Crescenta Valley, which fell to Northridge, 5-1, in a winner's-bracket game Sunday, pulled to within 6-4 in the fifth on a solo home run to center field by Greg Stupakis. However, Crescenta Valley couldn't get any closer.

"The teams are a lot tougher here then in District 16," said Stupakis, who finished with a pair of hits. "We came out and battled and we had a chance until the end.

"It's real great to just get here. We had a lot of practices along the way and we battled [with Northridge]."

Northridge took a 2-0 lead in the first on solo home runs by Christian Goretti and Angelo Diazzesati before Crescenta Valley sliced the lead to 2-1 in the second on a run-scoring single by Jonathan Tyler.

After Northridge extended its lead to 4-1, Crescenta Valley pulled to within 4-3 on a two-run double by Travis Westoff.

Northridge got home runs from Derek Kraemer, Brandon Lewis, Anthony Pineada and a grand slam from Rece Reagan.

"They have a good hitting team," Gangi said. "I'm most proud that we continued to fight to the finish."

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