ARCADIA — It appeared hope for capturing the Pacific League baseball title and avenging a previous loss against its rival was running low for the Crescenta Valley High baseball team Friday night.
Down two runs headed into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Falcons appeared to be down to their final out after consecutive strikeouts. The second, however, came on a wild pitch to CV's Joe Torres that rolled to the fence. Torres beat the throw to first, representing the tying the run and bringing the potential winning run to the plate.
Ted Boeke handled the rest, as he jumped all over the second pitch he saw for a no-doubt, three-run homer that sailed well over the left-field fence that scored Adrian Damla — who drew a full-count, leadoff walk — and Torres for what would be the difference in a 5-4 Crescenta Valley victory at Arcadia High.
"It's just hustle, because you never know what's going to happen," said Crescenta Valley Coach Phil Torres, whose team clinched a share of the league title with Burbank, finishing the regular season with a 20-7, 12-2 in league record. "We were just trying to get Teddy up that inning somehow, someway."
Boeke took the first pitch he saw in the at-bat, a high curve ball and waited for another one. He finished the game three for three with a stolen base and three runs scored to go with his three runs batted in.
"When he threw me the curveball high the first pitch I had a feeling it was coming, I mean they didn't want me to hit," said Boeke, who added he did get a lift from Joe Torres taking first on the dropped third strike. "Immediately when Joe swang at that pitch, I said 'Run.' I mean you never know what's going to happen. Because that happened, he got on base and we had a chance to win it."
Perhaps overshadowed by Boeke's bomb was another solid outing from Crescenta Valley ace Brian Gadsby. The sophomore submariner threw the complete game, surviving a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh to close it out. Gadsby gave up six hits, no walks, hit three batters and struck out nine.
The dramatic win closed out the regular season with Crescenta Valley, which won its second consecutive title, riding a nine-game winning streak — with its last loss coming at Stengel Field on May 19 to Arcadia, 3-2 – heading into the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs next week. Arcadia (19-8, 10-4) finished tied for third with Burroughs.
While both Burbank (17-8, 12-2) and CV ended the regular season with identical league records, the Falcons will enter the playoffs as the top seed out of the league after sweeping the two-game series with Burbank.
"I am excited for the kids; they did a great job and never gave up," Coach Torres said. "They could've when they were 5-5 [to start the season] or the first time when they lost to these guys, but they stuck with it. We grinded it out until we got the right guy up and that's what the league MVP does, he hits a home run to win the league championship."
Troy Resch was responsible for two of Arcadia's first three runs, as he and David Dominguez had RBI singles in the bottom of the first to give the Apaches a 2-1 lead. Resch added another in the third that put the home team back ahead, 3-2.
Arcadia cushioned its lead in the fifth inning after Gadsby gave up a leadoff double to Arcadia's Brendan Toy (two for three), but then struck out the next three batters. Two of the punchouts were on dropped-third strikes with the first moving Toy safely to third on the throw to first and the other coming on a wild pitch that rolled to the fence and scored the base runner for a 4-2 Apaches lead.
Crescenta Valley started the scoring when Austin Brines smashed a first-pitch, two-out double over the left fielder to score Boeke, who hit a leadoff single, in the first inning.
Boeke helped tie the game at 2 in the third. He started by leading the inning off with an infield single to third. He then stole took second on a botched hit-and-run play, took third on a passed ball and scored on a Bryan Wang sacrifice fly to deep left.