GLENDALE — The La Crescenta 14-year-old Babe Ruth baseball team found itself in a tough predicament — having to compete in four games in less than 48 hours.
While La Crescenta was able to get through the grueling schedule of the Southern California State Tournament, the exhaustion from the high level of competition ultimately led to the closure of its season.
Still, La Crescenta went down to its final at-bat with the bases loaded in a 10-6 loss to El Segundo in the tournament's championship game Sunday at Thousand Oaks High.
"We were in our fourth game in three days and they were in just their second game," La Crescenta Coach Dave Klein said. "We competed against them the whole way.
"El Segundo just had some timely hits."
After El Segundo took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, La Crescenta responded with four runs in its half of the frame. Chase Walker knotted the game at 2 with a two-run double and Sean Garcia followed with a two-run double to make it 4-2.
El Segundo, which had a first-round bye, came back with two runs in the second to tie the game at 4 and took a 5-4 lead in the third. It scored twice in the fifth to extend the lead to 7-4 before scoring once in the sixth and twice in the seventh to make it 10-4.
La Crescenta began its comeback bid in the seventh. Cole Rademacher had a two-run double to cut the deficit to 10-6.
La Crescenta's next two batters reached base to load the bases with two outs, but El Segundo recorded a strikeout to end the contest.
"We were there with them," said Klein, whose team finished with nine hits. "We seemed to have runners on base almost every inning.
"It's nice to finish runner-up state champion. This is something that we can build off."
Rademacher and Walker each had two hits and scored a pair of runs.