GLENDALE — The Crescenta Valley High baseball team was able to overcome lackadaisical fielding in the first inning of Wednesday evening’s Pacific League contest with Glendale and defeated the Nitros to stay one game behind Burroughs for first place.
The Falcons committed three errors in the top of the first and the Nitros took advantage to score three runs.
From there, Crescenta Valley settled in to shut the Glendale offense down and complemented timely hitting with good base running en route to a 5-3 win at Stengel Field.
“We played poorly in the first,” said Falcons Coach Phil Torres, whose squad has won eight of the last nine ballgames after a 5-5 start. “We weren’t ready to play. Give them credit, though, they put the ball in play.”
Glendale’s two hits in the game both came in the first inning. Leadoff hitter Thaddeus Wilson used an in-field single to steal second and advance to third on a sacrifice bunt. Sean Harris’ sacrifice fly scored Wilson and got the scoring started.
Brandon Keen, who had reached on an error, scored on Ethan Howard’s single.
Tyler Lousararian scored on another Crescenta Valley throwing error to give the Nitros (2-12, 1-5 in league) a 3-0 advantage. The Falcons wouldn’t commit another error until the seventh and were solid in all aspects in between to secure the victory.
“They’re a good team — that’s why they’re 5-1 in league and have been league champions,” Nitros Coach Chris Funaro said. “We capitalized on their mistakes. Usually, it’s us making the mistakes and other teams capitalizing.”
Austin Brines put the Falcons (13-6, 5-1) on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first with an infield single, scoring Bryan Wang.
Wang took the ball for the Falcons and pitched four innings, giving up two hits and two walks.
His single in his second at-bat came in a third inning that saw the Falcons spray five hits. Brines’ second RBI came on a sacrifice fly with the bases load and allowed Wang to trot home. Nolan Rea’s single plated Michael Russo to tie the game at 3-3.
Glendale starting pitcher Daniel Choi pitched 6 1/3 but threw a pair of wild pitches in the fourth inning — one of which gave the Falcons their first lead at 4-3.
Choi walked Wang with the bases loaded in the sixth before Lousararian took the mound and struck out the next two batters.
Ted Boeke, who relieved Wang to start the fifth inning, pitched three innings and didn’t allow a hit. The senior struck out three batters and closed the game for the Falcons, despite Glendale’s Andrew Swett reaching on an error and stealing second.
“I think we surprised them a little bit,” Funaro said. “They brought in their No. 1 pitcher for the last three innings. We kept it tight.”
The Nitros will host Hoover on Friday. The Falcons will stay at Stengel Field for their Youth Baseball Night, as they take on Arcadia.
“We got this one over with and now it’s on to Friday,” Torres said. “Hopefully, we get some support from the community on the Youth Baseball Night.”