MONTROSE — It was painful enough for Jason Chang while he recovered from a non-related baseball injury that caused him to miss the first half of the season.
The Crescenta Valley Major All-Star baseball player suffered the setback in January and needed several months for his broken left wrist to heal. Now, he's back at full strength and showing no signs of the injury nagging him.
Chang came through with a career-type performance Wednesday night, as he hit two home runs and drove in seven runs to spark Crescenta Valley to a 17-1 victory against Tujunga in the District 16 championship game at Montrose Park.
Chang finished with three hits, including a solo home run and a grand slam, to send Crescenta Valley to the Section 2 Tournament. Crescenta Valley will face the District 51 representative in an opening-round contest at 9 a.m. Saturday at Encino Little League Fields.
"It was tough for me to miss the first half," said Chang, who started the game on the mound and struck out six in three innings. "I just had support from my teammates and coaches and that helped me.
"I was inspired by my teammates to do well."
The inspiration meant plenty for Chang, who didn't disappoint.
Crescenta Valley Coach Drew Arredondo said Chang stepped up and came through with a quality effort.
"It took him a while to get back, but he's been practicing hard in the batting cage," said Arredondo, who received four hits from Jake Whisenant. "He's silent, but he's intense.
"He can do a lot of things."
Crescenta Valley collected 22 hits, including a lead-off home run by Adrian Damia in the top of the first. Damia's home run set the stage for Crescenta Valley. Damia added a run-scoring single in the second to make it 2-0.
Crescenta Valley got back-to-back run-scoring singles in the third by Shawn Kim and Eric Ma to make it 4-0 before Chang extended the lead to 6-0 with a two-run double. Kim delivered a run-scoring single in the fourth to raise the lead to 7-0 before Tujunga scored its run in the bottom of the inning.
Chang hit a solo home run in the fifth to make it 8-1.
Crescenta Valley scored nine runs in the sixth to close out the victory. Chang's grand slam gave Crescenta Valley a 13-1 lead. Chuck Weinmann made it 14-1 on a groundout before Whisenant had a run-scoring single to extend the advantage to 15-1. A two-run double by Frank Alsamman capped the scoring with a two-run double.
Damia and Kim had three hits apiece for Crescenta Valley.
Crescenta Valley's pitching quartet of Chang, Kim, Robert Giese and David Arellano combined to strike out 10.