Kelly and Small earns win after two-day wait

TUJUNGA — There are plenty of interruptions in the game of baseball, but a two-day delay due to a broken water main that flooded the field in the middle of a game isn't as common as a coaching visit to the mound.

The Burbank Bulldogs and Crescenta Valley Kelly and Small Accounting Junior Baseball teams had to weather that storm in their second-round contest of the Tri-Cities District 16 Tournament of Champions, a game that began on Wednesday at Scholl Canyon Ball Fields, but wasn't concluded until Saturday morning at Tujunga Little League Fields.

Kelly and Small came out on top of the roller-coaster game with a narrow 5-4 victory.

"It's kind of hard to put yourself back in the moment of the game after you've been off for two days," Kelly and Small Coach Dave Bolstad said. "It was a little difficult to get back into it, but our guys came out ready and made the plays necessary to get us the win."

The first five innings of the game took place at Scholl Canyon Field on Wednesday evening before the water main incident prompted a suspension.

Kelly and Small took a 5-2 lead into Saturday's resumption at Big Tujunga Field, but were still in trouble, reopening the contest in the top of the sixth inning with no outs and Bulldog runners on second and first.

Mike Reilly pitched the final two innings for Kelly and Small. He committed a balk with one out to advance the runners to second and third and Ryan Porras cashed them in with a two-RBI single to left field, but was thrown out advancing to second.

The Bulldogs got another man to third when Kevin Navarro reached first safely on an error and proceeded to steal second and third. A strikeout from Reilly ended the threat with his team clinging to a 5-4 lead.

The Burbank squad kept hope alive in the top of the seventh with a one-out double from Brandon Monette that Robert Peres, coach of the Bulldogs, thought could be a home run.

"I just knew it wasn't a tie when I saw it bounce in front of the fence," Peres said. "I knew if we got into the tie, we would be able to battle through it. [Kelly and Small] is such a quality team over there. It's very hard to get around a good team with quality coaching when you're down three runs late."

A few pitches later, the Bulldogs' hopes were crushed. Kyle Tanner hit a soft line drive to Tom Phillips, Kelly and Small's first baseman, who snagged it in the air and gunned down Monette, who took a big secondary lead from second, for a game-ending double play.

"That was a major league bang-bang play," Peres said. "You can't blame the kid, that's what they're taught to do."

Bolstad enjoyed watching the play.

"As a coach, you sit there and there's nothing you can do but put the players in the right spot and let them make the plays," he said. "Sometimes they do it and sometimes they don't, but when you get one like that, it's sweet."

The loss ends the Bulldogs' run in the Tri-Cities Tournament. Kelly and Small are scheduled to resume play Monday against DCG Electric in the semifinals at Big Tujunga Field at 5 p.m.

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