PASADENA — Looking not only to bounce back from a disheartening loss, but also needing a victory to stay on pace with the Pacific League frontrunners, Crescenta Valley High’s baseball team gave the ball to sophomore pitcher Brian Gadsby and the right-hander responded with dominance.
Propelled by a Gadsby shutout and buoyed by a four-run fourth inning, the Falcons defeated host Pasadena, 7-0, on Friday afternoon in a key Pacific League tilt.
“It was a really big game,” said Gadsby, who struck out seven to no walks in seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits. “It was a big win to get.”
Crescenta Valley (12-6, 4-1 in league) lost, 8-7, on Tuesday in a first-place matchup with Burroughs and found itself in a bit of a must-win situation on Friday and delivered.
“Tuesday was rough, but we came back ready to win this game,” said junior Bryan Wang, who had a two-run single to center field in the pivotal fourth-inning barrage. “We wanted to get on a roll again.”
Pasadena (9-8, 2-3) was also coming off a disastrous 8-7 loss, after it fell to Burbank despite leading, 7-0. But seven was once more an unlucky number for the Bulldogs, who were plagued in all areas, as three Pasadena pitchers combined to allow nine hits, hit a batter and walk five. The defense committed three errors that all led to runs and the offense’s only hits came after the Bulldogs were already down by the final score.
“We didn’t play well today,” Bulldogs Coach Mike Parisi said. “It’s frustrating.
“I just want these kids to play the game the right way.”
Crescenta Valley took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when Austin Brines, who had a pair of hits, singled and then scored after a wild pitch and an error that allowed him to advance from second to home.
“We gave them the first run,” said Parisi, whose team allowed the first five runs with two outs.
It was the fourth inning that turned the game for good, starting with a one out single by Nolan Rea. With two outs, Nick Diaz and Joe Torres reached on errors consecutively, with Diaz’ line drive to first base allowing Rea to score for a 2-0 lead. Thereafter, Ted Boeke, Wang, Michael Russo and Johnny Psaltis connected on four straight singles. Psaltis’ single to center ultimately ended the inning with an out at the plate.
While the fourth-inning outburst was the highlight, Gadsby was the catalyst.
It was the sidearmer’s second consecutive shutout and third straight complete game.
“I think he’s just a good pitcher, delivery or not,” said Parisi when asked if Gadsby’s delivery might have thrown off his hitters.
Gadsby carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning before Sumner Smith led off with a double. Sergio Rey, Calvin Christiansen and Brian Blackburn would follow with singles later in the game. But Gadsby worked quickly and efficiently in the early going, including retiring 11 in a row after beaning Smith in the first inning. Even after the marathon top half of the fourth, he came out in the bottom of the inning and needed just eight pitches to retire the side in order.
“Whatever we can do to get runs,” Gadsby said. “If I have to sit in the dugout for a half an hour, that’s fine with me.”
Kyle Tremain and Rea added runs in the fifth to pad CV’s lead when Torres was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Boeke followed with a sacrifice fly. Boeke and Wang both drove in two runs.
Moving forward, Crescenta Valley looks to keep within reach of repeating as league champion, while Pasadena is hoping to turn the tide in the hope of a top-four finish to earn a postseason berth.
Said Parisi: “This league is so wide open.”