TUJUNGA — The Crescenta Valley DCG Electric Junior Baseball team was looking to plate some insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, coming into the frame with a slim 4-2 lead against Jewel City West Coast.
DCG did just that and turned two hits and two walks into a five-run sixth inning, which transformed a save situation into a convincing 9-3 victory over West Coast in the second round of the Tri-Cities District 16 Tournament of Champions, which was held at Big Tujunga Little League Field Saturday afternoon.
"This team's battled all year long and have a good time," said Cary Burch, DCG's coach. "If they're in the game, they have every chance in the world of winning it."
Jacob Cook, who finished the game three for three, started the sixth-inning rally with a double, but Matt Erickson collected the biggest hit of the day — a two-out, two-RBI double to give his team an 8-2 lead.
Erickson switched to a lighter bat in the middle of the game because it was so hot out at the field Saturday afternoon and it paid off. He finished the game with two doubles and three RBI.
"I just knew it was off," said Erickson, referring to his sixth-inning blast. "Whenever I hit with that bat, it's really great."
DCG was in control the whole game after it scored the first four runs of the contest. The first run came on a throwing error from West Coast's catcher, as he tried to catch DCG's Michael Gee stealing third in the bottom of the second inning. The errant throw went into left field and Gee scored. The second run came on a two-out double from Erickson in the third.
Two more DCG runs came around to score in the fourth. Cook, Gee and Tommy Moore started the inning with three straight singles. Cook scored on a ground ball to second and Gee came home after another throwing error from West Coast's catcher as Gee attempted to steal third, giving DCG a 4-0 lead.
West Coast came alive in the top of the fifth inning. Three DCG errors and a West Coast single from Ian Kelly, his second of the day, were cashed in for two West Coast runs, which cut the lead to 4-2. The game was put out of reach with DCG's monster sixth inning.
There was no quit in West Coast, though, as Jonathan Ramos and Kelly both got on base with one out via a walk and single, respectively. Sean Harris drove in Ramos with a RBI groundout before DCG's Ty Lousararian recorded the game's final out.
Lousararian pitched five strong innings for DCG. He gave up four hits, two walks and just one earned run.
"When you can be effective in your pitch count in this league, you can go deep and really help your team a lot," Burch said of Lousararian's performance. "He didn't have a lot of strikeouts, but he allowed the defense to play behind him."
"I just wanted to throw strikes and let my defense get the outs, whatever happened, happened," Lousararian said.
Cook pitched the first two innings of the game and only gave up one hit and no walks, while striking out three batters — adding to his three-for-three game at the plate.
"[Cook] stayed back on the ball and he has such power, he's so strong," Burch said. "It's great to see it."
Saturday's game was originally scheduled for Wednesday night at Scholl Canyon Ball Fields, but a broken water main under the field forced a postponement and relocation of the game.
The loss eliminates West Coast from the Tri-Cities Tournament. DCG is scheduled to play against Crescenta Valley Kelly and Small Accounting in the semifinals of the tournament at Big Tujunga Field Monday at 5 p.m.