Big bats blast Falcons past Glendale

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — With extra-base hits aplenty and power pitching to boot, Crescenta Valley High's baseball team flexed its might against host Glendale.

Behind big contributions from Elliott Surrey and Terry Ha at the plate, among others, and a standout performance on the mound from Troy Mulcahey, the Falcons thumped the Nitros, 11-0, in Tuesday afternoon's Pacific League tilt at Glendale High.

"It should be a game that we pound the ball and work on some things," said Surrey, who went three for five with four runs batted in and two runs scored.

The Falcons had 11 hits, including five for extra bases, beginning with a two-run home run by Surrey in the first inning and Mulcahey's ninth of the season in the top of the third, establishing a new single-season Crescenta Valley home run record. It broke the mark Mulcahey shared with current Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Trevor Bell, who hit eight in 2004 and '05.

"Coach [Phil] Torres told me about [the record] previously," said Mulcahey, who pulled a 1-0 offering over the left-field fence. "I just think it's a great thing to accomplish, especially it being Trevor Bell. That makes it even more special."

Mulcahey's dinger presented the Falcons with a 4-0 advantage, as they were methodical in their dominance, posting a two-spot in the first, scoring single runs in the second and third, two more in the fourth and sixth and three in the seventh.

"Today was just a good day," said Ha, who went two for two with a walk, was hit by a pitch and scored three runs and drove one in when he lasered a triple to left-center field in the second. "If we all concentrate, that's just what happens. Everyone takes good at-bats and it pays off."

While the Falcons were steady offensively, Mulcahey kept the Nitros' bats at bay.

"I just tried to keep the ball down," said Mulcahey, who went 5 2/3 shutout innings, allowing three hits — all singles to Rafael Rios, Angel Covarrubias and Dillon Howard — two walks and tallying nine strikeouts. "I felt really comfortable out there."

The win brought the Falcons, ranked sixth in the latest CIF Southern Section Division II poll, to 18-2 and 7-1 in league, while the Nitros fell to 3-9 overall and 1-6 in league.

Through the first five innings, Glendale was fundamentally sound, as it simply couldn't keep up with the Falcons, but one glaring negative was the seven strikeouts looking that the Nitros tallied.

"We're running after practice because of that," Nitros Coach Jesus Osuna said of the strikeouts looking. "They're not being aggressive."

And though the Nitros did look at times better fundamentally than in seasons past, Osuna's not content with baby steps anymore.

"It's like in baby steps we're getting better, but I want more improvement," he said. "I like to think we're past that."

Left-hander Daniel Aragon got the start for the Nitros and battled through five innings of work, allowing six runs.

"He did really well," said Osuna of Aragon, who recorded his first 1-2-3 stanza in his last inning of work. "He left the ball up a couple of times and you can't do that against some of the guys [CV has]."

After Cole Currie began the game with a single, Surrey pulled a two-run homer to right field for a 2-0 lead.

Ha's triple plated Tyler Pollak for another run in the second before Mulcahey's roundtripper made it 4-0 in the third.

Meanwhile, Mulcahey's only batches of trouble came in the third and sixth.

In the third, he walked Jason Marquez before allowing the Nitros' first hit of the game on a single to opposite right by Rios. Mulcahey then struck out the side to end the inning.

"When he was throwing strikes, he was throwing good," Surrey said of Mulcahey. "He got behind a couple of times and got himself into trouble, but he got himself out of trouble."

In the bottom of the sixth, Mulcahey allowed back-to-back singles to start the stanza, but fielded a bunt up the middle and began a 1-5-3 double play. Currie then came on in relief and went the rest of the way, striking out two and allowing one hit.

But by the time the bottom of the sixth rolled around, the Falcons already had bolstered their lead to 8-0, as Surrey singled in Ha in the fourth before scoring himself on a double by Troy Prasertsit, who had a pair of hits. In the sixth, Ha scored again on an error on a pick-off attempt after walking and moving up two bases on wild pitches. Pinch-runner Patrick Adams later scored to make it 8-0 on another error on a ball put into play by Prasertsit.

Ted Boeke singled and scored in the seventh, while Cam Silva drove in a run and scored in the stanza, as well. A Surrey triple was the last hit of the day, bringing home Ha.

"Right now, we're very confident," Surrey said. "We're just enjoying ourselves."

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