GLENDALE — The Glendale Jewel City-Jewish War Veterans Bears practiced their bunting Thursday in preparation for the game plan against the Andy’s of Crescenta Valley in Saturday’s District 16 junior baseball first-round game.
While the game plan proved effective, and practiced proved once again to be instrumental, the Bears were aided by sloppy play on the part of the Andy’s and cruised to an 11-4 win in the afternoon tilt at the Scholl Canyon Ball Fields.
Crescenta Valley struggled from the mound and defensively in a game that was called in the fifth inning due to the two-hour time limit, as it issued 10 walks and committed five errors.
In turn, Glendale JC-JWV needed only four hits — two of them being bunts — to score 11 runs.
“My teams like to bunt and play small ball,” Bears Coach Dave Miller said. “They knew we were going to bunt and we still executed.”
Miller had his base runners active throughout the contest to the tune of five stolen bases. The aggression on the base pads, along with patience at the plate, allowed the Bears to score in each of the four innings they batted, including three in the first.
Andy’s didn’t help their cause or that of starting pitcher Eric Ma with two errors in the first inning that led to the game’s first two runs. Chaz Zuker’s single scored Jack Bunt to give Glendale a 3-0 advantage.
Ma threw 37 pitches and walked three batters in the lone inning he pitched. Chase Sanford allowed one earned run in the second—an RBI double off the bat of Colin Kieffer.
Trailing 5-0 in the third inning, Crescenta Valley’s first three batters reached base. A sacrifice fly from Ma and a two-run single from Travis Westoff cut the Glendale lead to 5-3.
Andy’s managed just one hit thereafter, however, and succumbed to solid pitching from Bears starter Jonathon Salandi and Fredy Sanchez, who relieved Salandi in the fourth inning.
The Bears put the game away and scored five runs in the fourth inning off Sanford and Myles Larin. Sanford was relieved after he threw his 50th pitch with no outs in the frame.
“They were dealing with some nerves, and it took them a while to settle down,” Andy’s Coach Chris Sanford said. “Our pitchers just missed corners and this is a game of inches. The other team played small ball and executed well, though.”
A bases-loaded walk gave the Andy’s their fourth run of the game in the fifth, shortly before the game was called.
Glendale JC-JWV will play the Burbank Cubs on Tuesday. The Cubs defeated the Foothill Two Guys, 4-3, in nine innings immediately before the Bears and Andy’s took the same field.
“Everyone knows [Crescenta Valley] Kelly Small is the best team,” Miller said. “Everybody else can win on any given day.”