Two games into the Little League District 16 Major Baseball Tournament, the Crescenta Valley All-Stars have looked unstoppable.
In two games that have lasted a combined eight innings, Crescenta Valley has scored 30 runs, belted eight home runs and limited its opponents to a total of two runs.
Half of those runs and three home runs came Sunday, as Crescenta Valley defeated Burbank, 15-1, at Montrose Park to advance to the championship game of the tournament. The game was called at the end of the fourth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule.
“The kids have been swinging great and been driving the ball hard,” said Crescenta Valley Coach Mike Vinceri, whose team defeated Tujunga by an identical 15-1 margin Friday. “There is not one weakness in our lineup. One through nine, including the substitutes, can swing the bat.”
Crescenta Valley will play in the championship game at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Babe Herman Field. Burbank will play a second-chance bracket game at 7:30 p.m. today at Babe Herman Field.
Crescenta Valley has visions of playing beyond the District 16 Tournament.
“We’ve got one goal to go to San Bernardino [for the Little League Western Regionals],” Vinceri said. “But these guys want to go to Williamsport, Penn. [for the Little League World Series].”
Crescenta Valley would need to get through the district, sectional and divisional rounds before advancing to San Bernardino.
Even with the offensive success, its players suggested that they’d need to play tough defense to possibly compete in late July and early August.
“Our main goal is to hold teams,” Crescenta Valley relief pitcher Scott Vinceri said. “It’s about our defense.”
Its offense has made it easy thus far.
Scott Vinceri was two for four with five runs batted in, including a three-run home run to right field, his second home run in two games. He also scored twice.
Kurt McNevin (two for three with three runs scored) and Jamy Blank (two for four with two runs) also hit a pair of two-run home runs. Blank has two home runs for the tournament.
“We hit hard when we’re paying attention,” Scott Vinceri said.
Not to be outdone was leadoff hitter Brian Erickson, who walked twice, had a pair of hits and scored four runs. Lorenzo Respicio scored twice, and Harrison Woo and Troy Leef each scored once for Crescenta Valley, which produced 14 hits against six pitchers.
“We need to keep our bats going to not give up on anything,” Erickson said.
Riley Hooper, who had two of Burbank’s four hits, scored in the bottom of the fourth inning to prevent the shutout.