NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Will Davis normally doesn't pitch. On Monday night, he had no other choice but to take the mound.
Davis' task was quite clear before uncorking a pitch — win the game to keep the La Crescenta 15-year-old Babe Ruth All-Star team's season alive.
Davis met the challenge, as he scattered four hits to help propel La Crescenta to an 11-1 win against Simi Valley in an elimination contest of the state tournament at Stengel Field. The game was called in the bottom of the fifth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule.
La Crescenta will now face powerful Torrance and must beat it twice, beginning in the championship game at 4:45 p.m. today at Stengel Field. An if-necessary game would follow at 7:30 should La Crescenta win. Torrance handed La Crescenta an 11-1 setback in a winner's-bracket game Sunday.
Davis, normally a shortstop, kept Simi Valley in check. The right-hander struck out three in going the distance.
"There was a little pressure for me going out there," Davis said. "I went out there only worrying about that game and nothing else."
It helped Davis that La Crescenta had little difficulty swinging the bat. La Crescenta, which earned an 11-0 win against Simi Valley on Saturday, broke open a scoreless game with three runs in the third, followed by two in the fourth and four in the fifth.
Manny Serfaty came through with a run-scoring double to left to give La Crescenta a 1-0 lead. Jonny Psaltis then delivered a two-run double to give La Crescenta a 3-0 advantage. Blake Ruff and Paul Dean then each drove in a run apiece to extend the lead to 5-0.
Sefaty made it 6-1 in the fourth with a run-scoring single and then scored on an error by the third baseman to raise the lead to 7-1.
La Crescenta's Ryan Garcia had a two-run single in the fifth to give La Crescenta a 9-1 lead before two fielding errors by Simi Valley led to two more runs.
"We were fortunate to get that kind of pitching from Will," La Crescenta Coach Marcel Martinez said. "We knew that Will would be the right guy for us.
"It was nice to get that kind of performance from him. If somebody told me we would be in the title game, then I would take it. Now, we've got to win that first game and we will use our best players.
"If we are fortunate to get to a second game, then we'll decide what to do then. We know that Torrance is a great team."
Serfaty and Dean each had two hits.