LA CRESCENTA — With the rivalry that's been built between Trotta Floor Covering and Crippen Mortuary in recent seasons, perhaps it's only fitting they are in the midst of playing for the La Crescenta Babe Ruth District Championship.
The teams don't appear to be tired of facing each other, though they have met twice since Saturday.
Behind a strong pitching effort by Anthony Faure, Crippen came through with a 7-2 victory against Trotta on Monday night in the championship game at Dunsmore Park.
The teams will face off at 6:30 p.m. today in the if-necessary championship game at Dunsmore.
Faure went a strong six innings and mostly kept Trotta off balance. The right-hander allowed two runs and six hits and struck out three.
In a winner's-bracket game Saturday at Dunsmore, Trotta picked up a 3-2 win in 13 innings. Faure and Crippen responded to the challenge of a must-win situation Monday.
"He hit his spots all night and he threw a lot of fastballs," Crippen Coach Anthony Briggs said. "He worked both sides of the plate well.
"It's a nice opportunity for us to get into [the if-necessary championship game]. Getting there is the hard part, but I think both teams will be in pretty good shape."
Crippen held a 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the fifth, when they scored four insurance runs to turn back Trotta.
Wes Faure, Jr. and Cameron Briggs led off with singles and a walk to Tom Phillips loaded the bases. Thaddeus Wilson then hit into a force out at home, but the Trotta catcher threw the ball down the right-field line while trying to nab Wilson. Briggs scored easily to make it 4-2.
Haston Pawlik then singled to drive in Phillips to extend the lead to 5-2. Wilson scored on an error by the catcher to raise the lead to 6-2 before a wild pitch scored Anthony Faure to complete the scoring.
Trotta Coach Joe Walker said the defensive lapses changed the complexion of the game.
"I think the few mistakes we made were more mental," Walker said. "We've also got to hit better."
Crippen, which reached the championship game with a 9-3 win against Sanfilippo on Sunday at Scholl Canyon Park, took a 1-0 lead in the second on a single by Tyler Lousararian that scored Anthony Faure, who singled to lead off before stealing second and advancing to third on an error by the pitcher on a pick-off attempt.
Trotta responded with a run in the third to knot it at 1. Chase Walker singled home Robbie Benson, who led off with a single, with two outs.
Crippen regained the lead at 2-1 when Briggs scored on a wild pitch in the third. It took a 3-1 lead in the fourth on a run-scoring single by Anthony Faure.
Trotta closed to within 3-2 in the fifth on a run-scoring double by Brian Gadsby.