Golden Knights fall short in bid to sweep aside Crespi

VALLEY GLEN — The St. Francis High baseball team sought separation from the middle of the pack in the Mission League on Friday afternoon.

In mind for the Golden Knights was to beat Crespi for the second time this week, helping them gain a stranglehold on third place behind Chaminade and Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.

It never materialized, as last-place Crespi handed third-place St. Francis an 8-1 loss at L.A. Valley College.

The loss left St. Francis Coach Brian Esquival, whose team picked up an 8-2 win against the Celts on Tuesday at Jackie Robinson Field in Pasadena, disappointed.

"We had a couple of chances, but we had no timely hitting," said Esquival, whose team fell to 6-5 and 2-2 in league. "We made some defensive mistakes that led to some runs and Crespi hit the ball well.

"We just couldn't get it done. We had a chance to go 3-1 [in league] and separate ourselves. We had a chance to put ourselves in good position, but we didn't come out ready to play. I don't have a reason."

St. Francis took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a run-scoring single by Pepperdine University-bound David Hubinger.

Crespi (6-7, 1-5) then scored twice in the third against St. Francis starting pitcher Ryan Garcia (2-1). Garcia went three innings.

The Celts scored once in the fourth to make it 3-1 before pushing across three runs in the fifth to extend their advantage to 6-1. Crespi scored twice in the sixth to close out the scoring and end St. Francis' two-game winning streak.

The Golden Knights will meet host Serrano in a Chino Tournament game at 2 p.m. today before facing first-place Chaminade, ranked No. 3 in the latest CIF Southern Section Division II poll.

St. Francis and Chaminade will meet at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Jackie Robinson Field.

"Those are going to be tough games," Esquival said. "I think we are OK on Tuesday with [Joey] Malham pitching for us, but we definitely need the same approach on Fridays from the other pitchers."

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