NORTHWEST GLENDALE — For an inning it was close.
For the next five, it was a seemingly neverending run parade filled with free passes and extra-base hits — at least for visiting Crescenta Valley High, anyway.
But for the host Hoover baseball team, it was the opposite, in which the calamity was only truly halted by the mercy rule, as the Falcons flew away with a 16-1 Pacific League win over the Tornadoes in six innings.
"It's a hitter's dream, I'd say," said Falcons starting pitcher Elliot Surrey of playing in the diminutive confines of Hoover's field, which bequeathed eight extra-base knocks to the Falcons, including three home runs. "Little oppo popups that would be outs anywhere else are home runs here."
Cole Currie (two for two, two walks, three runs, two runs batted in) had the game's first home run, a two-run shot pulled over the left-field fence in the third to make it 6-1, before reigning All-Area Baseball Player of the Year Troy Mulcahey (three for four with two doubles, two runs and three RBI) popped another two-run dinger over the short center-field fence for an 8-1 advantage in the fourth. And finally, Surrey (three for five with two doubles, two runs and five RBI) annihilated a bases-loaded offering in the sixth that was only in doubt as to whether it would be fair or foul.
"Elliott's would've been gone anywhere," Currie said.
While Crescenta Valley (15-5, 7-1), which kept pace to stay a game behind first-place Arcadia, couldn't be contained inside the park, Surrey had little trouble in holding down the Tornadoes (4-12, 2-6), who scored a run to tie the game in the first, but were never heard from thereafter.
"Me, as a pitcher, I just kept throwing strikes and hitting my spots," said Surrey of rebounding from giving up a run in the opening inning. "I felt like the first inning wasn't a big deal."
It showed, as Surrey went five innings, allowed just two hits and struck out nine to no walks.
"Elliot's Elliot," Falcons Coach Phil Torres said. "He just does a great job."
Surrey's first-pitch double in the first was followed by a Mulcahey double that put the Falcons out to a quick 1-0 lead, but Hoover bounced right back.
"The first inning, they came out focused, dialed in," said Hoover Coach Joe Cotti, whose team dropped its second game in as many days after defeating rival Glendale on Friday.
Michael Zalin led off Hoover's first with an infield single deep into the hole. After stealing second and reaching third on a groundout, he scored on a Thomas Alchermes sacrifice fly to tie the game.
But in the second inning, Currie led off with a double and later, with a hit and run on, made a move to third as Terry Ha sliced a shot there, as well. The subsequent throw to first was errant, allowing Currie to score and leading to a Nolan Rea run later on that began the Tornadoes' rapid downfall.
"We got that error in the second inning and the wagon came unhitched and the horses ran away," Cotti said.
Zalin had both of his team's hits and also did a formidable job in center field, showing off his range to track down plenty of balls.
"He's all heart, he's a gamer," Cotti said.
A run-scoring Ted Boeke single and Currie's dinger highlighted a three-run third for the Falcons, before Mulcahey's shot and a bases-loaded walk to Rea accounted for another three-spot in the fourth. Currie doubled in Bryan Wang in the fifth before things got their ugliest in a painstaking sixth.
In all, 12 Falcons came to the plate in the inning, with a Rea single plating Currie before Surrey's no-doubter brought in Rea, Ha and Johnathan Prehn. A Cam Silva single that scored Taylor Ebert finally brought the scoring to a close.
Crescenta Valley finished with 13 hits and eight walks as the Falcons continued to put distance between themselves and Friday's bitter 1-0 loss to Arcadia.
"We have to take care of one game at a time," Currie said, "to take care of getting to that league championship game [against Arcadia in the season finale]."