Crescenta Valley baseball's clutch performance in win over Pasadena keeps it in first

GLENDALE — Thanks to some clutch two-out hitting, the Crescenta Valley High baseball team provided another example of why it is among the top squads in the Pacific League.

The Falcons displayed that trait Friday night during a league home contest against Pasadena at Stengel Field.

Crescenta Valley scored five runs with two outs in the second inning en route to a key 7-3 victory. The Falcons remain atop the league with Burbank with two games remaining for each team.

“Those are the kind of things you need to do in order to be successful,” said left fielder Michael Russo, who finished with three runs batted in to help the Falcons complete a two-game season series sweep of the Bulldogs. “It can do nothing other than boost your sprits.

“Pasadena has got a dangerous team. We needed to get some runs.”

Crescenta Valley (18-7, 10-2 in league) enjoyed a huge second to grab a 5-1 lead and pull away from Pasadena.

Pasadena (12-12, 5-7) opened the scoring in the first inning. With one out, Chance Cobb walked and stole second before moving to third on a groundout. Cobb then scored on an error by the shortstop.

Joe Torres gave Crescenta Valley a 2-1 lead with a two-run double to left-center field. Torres scored on a sharp ground ball single to center by Bryan Wang to make it 3-1. Russo then hit a two-run double to left-center field to drive in Ted Boeke and Wang to extend the lead to 5-1.

Crescenta Valley Coach Phil Torres said the Falcons fought through a long week in which they played their third game in four days like the rest of the league, including first-place showdowns with Burbank and Burroughs on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

“We were a little flat from that many games,” Torres said. “I liked the way we were able to get those clutch hits with two outs.

“Things like that can be contagious. Now, we just have to keep it going these next two games. We have to take care of our own business.”

Crescenta Valley, which posted a 7-0 road win against Pasadena on April 12, made it 6-1 in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Russo.

Pasadena trimmed the deficit to 6-3 in the fifth. Sergio Rey and Calvin Christiansen scored on a fielding error by the shortstop.

Pasadena Coach Mike Parisi said the Bulldogs were a bit deflated from Crescenta Valley’s big inning.

“A couple of things didn’t go our way in that inning and our pitching struggled at times,” said Parisi, whose team is in fifth place. “That one inning just killed us.

“We kept fighting until the end and I liked that part. CV was just the better team tonight.”

The Falcons made it 7-3 in the sixth when Nick Diaz scored on a wild pitch.

Johnny Psaltis got the win for the Falcons, improving to 4-0 as he tossed 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs. Brian Gadsby pitched a scoreless seventh for CV. The right-hander struck out the side.

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