GLENDALE — With the San Gabriel Valley Babe Ruth 16-18 All-Star team unable to advance in the bracket portion of the World Series, Elliott Surrey made sure to send his team out on a winning note.
Surrey proved to be more than up for the challenge and, in the process, pinned the defending champions with a rare loss Tuesday afternoon.
Surrey tossed a five-hit shutout and struck out four to help San Gabriel Valley earn a 3-0 victory against Mobile, Ala., in an American Division pool play contest at Ephrata High in Ephrata, Wash.
Surrey, one of eight local players affiliated with San Gabriel Valley, constantly got ahead in the count and turned aside Mobile on 75 pitches. The left-hander also helped San Gabriel Valley, which was eliminated from the possibility of advancing on Tuesday night, finish the competition 1-3.
"We were tired of losing and this was our last game," said Surrey, an All-Area first-team member from Crescenta Valley High. "Winning or losing didn't mean anything since we had already been eliminated, but I wanted to go out there and keep them off balance and they were guessing a lot at the plate.
"Everything seemed to work for me and I felt like I was throwing hard and hitting my spots real well. We had the lead and I could get ahead, making things a lot easier."
In addition, Surrey picked off a pair of runners at first, one in the third and the other in the fifth.
San Gabriel Valley Coach Phil Torres, who also serves as Crescenta Valley's baseball coach, said Surrey made the big pitches when needed.
"They are a real good team," said Torres, who added that Mobile had its 53-game winning streak snapped. "Surrey just pitched great and he got ahead most of the time in the count.
"He stepped up and will be a force next year. It's a nice way to go out for us.
"It's disappointing to have played poorly in our first three [pool play] games. There's nothing you can do or take back now."
As Surrey took care of Mobile, his teammates backed him with three runs in the bottom of the second inning.
Crescenta Valley's Troy Mulcahey led off the second with a single and moved to second when Surrey was hit by a pitch. Ted Boeke of Crescenta Valley then bunted and reached base on a fielding error by the first baseman that allowed Mulcahey to score and make it 1-0.
Crescenta Valley's Cameron Silva, a catcher, then made it 2-0 on a single that plated Surrey. Boeke then scored on a fielding error to close out the scoring.
With a big enough lead, Surrey and Silva worked together to confuse Mobile.
"Even when I did get behind in the count, I came back and hit my spots," Surrey said. "Cameron blocked some curveballs in the dirt that their batters were swinging and missing at.
"Being in the World Series was a great experience. You get to play other teams in a different location."
Mulcahey smacked two hits for the San Gabriel Valley, which captured the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament to advance to the World Series. Mulcahey, the reigning All-Area Baseball Player of the Year, doubled in the third and also walked in the fifth. San Gabriel Valley also received a single apiece from Erik Trask, Nick Wagner and Martin Gallegos.
San Gabriel Valley, which has won three World Series championships since 2004 and seven overall, opened the tournament with pool play losses against Syracuse, N.Y., Columbia Basin, Wash., and Ottumwa, Iowa.
While San Gabriel Valley's season ended, Torres said this year's experience will be a learning one.
"It's a different team every year and we came a long way in the last two weeks," Torres said. "A lot of our guys are in it to get here again, if they want to be here next summer."