Stars blocking out "Carmageddon"

GLENDALE — Long before the first pitch is thrown, the members of the Crescenta Valley Major Baseball All-Star team will have encountered "Carmageddon."

Crescenta Valley will begin the Section 2 Tournament with a game against Quartz Hill at 9 a.m. today at Encino Little League. While Crescenta Valley is batting, fielding and pitching at the facility, the nearby San Diego (405) Freeway will be closed through the Sepulveda Pass today and Sunday to allow for demolition of half of the Mulholland Drive bridge as part of a widening project and construction of new carpool lanes.

The facility is less than two miles from where the construction is being done, but Crescenta Valley Coach Drew Arredondo said he's made contingency plans to get the team to the field on time.

"I'm a little worried, but it shouldn't be that bad," said Arredondo, whose team advanced Wednesday following a 17-1 win against Tujunga in the District 16 championship game at Montrose Park. "We'll find a way to pass through that to get there.

"People will be trying to get to the places where they need to go and it should be OK for a 9 a.m. game. We'll just leave a little earlier than usual."

Once Crescenta Valley arrives at the facility, it will meet a Quartz Hill squad that captured the District 51 championship.

The events unfolding on the field are of greater concern to Arredondo.

"Anything can happen in six innings, so we are going to have to stay focused and continue to support each other," Arredondo said. "If we can do all of that, then good things will happen.

"Last year, we were nervous when we got here. This year, we are excited. We played these teams last year in the 10-11 Division. We lost a close game to Encino in the first game and that affected us in our loss against Pasadena. We'll see what happens."

Crescenta Valley collected 22 hits — including three home runs — to turn back Tujunga.

Jason Chang had two home runs, including a grand slam, and seven runs batted in to extend Crescenta Valley's playoff run.

"I expect our team to come out in full force and they should be good games," said Chang, a pitcher. "We are going to have to keep working just as hard, if not more."

Crescenta Valley's top five batters figure to be Adrian Damia, Chuck Weinmann, Jake Whisenant, Robert Giese and Frank Alsamman.

Pasadena American, which won the District 17 crown, will meet District 40 representative Encino in the other opening-round contest at noon today.

The championship game will take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday and an if-necessary championship game would be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

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