ARCADIA — The strand of gems that was the Crescenta Valley High's 2011 Pacific League baseball campaign came to a close with a lump of coal on Friday night.
Facing front-runner Arcadia, the only team to have defeated the Falcons in league this season, visiting Crescenta Valley had a chance to clinch a share of the league crown with a win.
It never came close to materializing, though, as Falcons standout pitcher Elliott Surrey was chased in the third inning of an uncharacteristically poor outing and the Falcons' formidable lineup was handcuffed by Apaches sidearm hurler KJ Edson throughout the 8-1 rivalry loss.
"They have a little pride in how they played, this turned into a summer league game the way some of them played," Crescenta Valley Coach Phil Torres said of his team, which finishes second in league at 23-4, 13-2 behind Arcadia (23-3, 14-0). "It should hurt, it shouldn't feel good and it doesn't, but we'll come back on Monday and start new."
After retiring the side in order in the bottom of the first, Surrey surrendered back-to-back one-out singles in the second, the second of which fell just out of reach of center fielder Troy Mulcahey's diving attempt at a catch. Next batter George Papavasiliou hammered a 2-1 offering from Surrey over the fence in right field for a 3-0 lead.
The next two batters singled, but Surrey got out of the inning without any further damage after inducing a 6-4-3 double play.
Ted Boeke led off CV's half of the third by reaching on an error and, after moving to second on a groundout and to third on a chop infield single by Tyler Pollack, scored on a groundout by shortstop Cole Currie.
But in the bottom of the third, the Apaches once again were able to get to Surrey. Haram Park walked with one out and took second on a passed ball and third on a wild pitch and scored on Brendan Campbell's line-drive single that evaded the lunging Currie by mere inches.
Arcadia would tack on one more run in the frame on a single to right field compounded by a two-base error.
"Elliot couldn't throw his breaking ball for a strike, so we were in a lot of fastball counts," Torres said. "The home run was hit pretty hard, but there was a couple balls that kind of got through here and there."
Meanwhile, Edson continued to shut down the Falcons, allowing just single base hits to Kyle Murray in the fourth and Cam Silva in the fifth the rest of the way.
"Their guy did a great job," Torres said of Edson, who allowed no earned runs on just three hits. "He pitched really well. I thought we had a couple really good at-bats and some good approaches, but he just kept pumping strikes in there and didn't give us a chance.
"You just don't see [his delivery] a lot and [his ball] moves and it's good. We got a couple barrels on it, but no one really got any extension on it to drive it anywhere."