GLENDALE — While it didn't seem all that important at first, the last run scored by the Crescenta Valley Major baseball team on Monday night proved to loom large.
In being able to narrowly hold on to an eight-run deficit, Crescenta Valley kept its season alive along with its bid to win a championship.
Crescenta Valley got early home runs from Jake Whisenant and Robert Giese, then held on for a 14-13 victory against Quartz Hill in an elimination game of the Section 2 Tournament at Encino Little League Fields.
Crescenta Valley, which won the District 16 title, held a 14-6 lead going into the bottom of the sixth against a Quartz Hill team that won the District 51 championship. Crescenta Valley will meet District 40 champion Encino in the championship game at 5 p.m. today at the same venue.
"It was all about being able to hold on and survive," Crescenta Valley Coach Drew Arredondo said. "We got that big lead, scored those runs and held on."
Whisenant hit a two-run home run in the top of the first inning to stake Crescenta Valley to a 2-0 lead. After Quartz Hill tied the game at 3 in the second, Giese hit a solo home run in the third to make it 4-3.
Chuck Weinmann had a two-run single for Crescenta Valley to make it 6-3. Crescenta Valley scored five runs in the fourth to build a 9-4 advantage. Crescenta Valley took a 13-4 lead in the fifth, highlighted by a run-scoring single from Jason Chang to make it 10-4.
Quartz Hill pushed across two runs in its half of the fifth to pull to within 13-6, but Crescenta Valley extended the lead to 14-6 on a fielder's choice.
Crescenta Valley starting pitcher Shawn Kim went into the sixth and threw 89 pitches to pick up the victory. However, Quartz Hill scored seven runs off a pair of Crescenta Valley relievers. Quartz Hill had the tying run on base, but David Arellano got the final batter to ground out to second.
Crescenta Valley second baseman Nico Arredondo finished with six assists, and Whisenant added five at shortstop.
Now, Crescenta Valley will turn its attention to host Encino, which posted a 14-3 win against Crescenta Valley on Sunday in a winner's-bracket contest.
"Encino is very polished," the elder Arredondo said. "I expect another tough game against them and we are going to have to be on our 'A' game to beat them because they have a lot of pitchers.
"We'll go out there and try to slug you in the mouth and keep it going."