Crescenta Valley Kelly Small junior baseball flexes muscle to win junior title

GLENDALE — When stepping to the plate, most at-bats turned in by the Crescenta Valley Kelly Small junior baseball team are taxing for the pitcher.

Normally, Kelly Small will take multiple pitches before capitalizing on a mistake.

Kelly Small used that formula for success Tuesday night, as it banged out 17 hits en route to a convincing 17-3 win against Crescenta Valley Augusta in the Tri-Cities District 16 Tournament of Champions if-necessary title contest at Scholl Canyon Ball Fields. The game was called in the middle of the fifth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule.

Kelly Small (23-2-2) had seven doubles to turn back Augusta (13-13) and batted around twice in the third inning while scoring 10 runs. Kelly Small forced the if-necessary championship game Monday with an 11-1 win at Scholl.

“We go in knowing that we have to put in competitive at-bats,” Kelly Small Coach Bryan Rich said. “At the very least, we want to make productive outs and keep the inning going.

“We go in there battling and making sure we put the ball in play. We were able to wear down their pitchers a lot the last two games. It’s a great group that we have. All the hard work paid off.”

After Augusta took a 2-0 lead in the first on a home run by Chris Prah, Kelly Small immediately took charge by mounting a comeback. It scored seven runs in the second to take a 7-2 advantage and then scored 10 in the third to make it 17-3.

Nico Arredondo had a two-run double to give Kelly Small a 3-2 lead in the second. Teammate Troy Leef added a two-run double to give Kelly Small a 7-2 advantage.

Kelly Small collected nine third-inning hits to seal the victory. Arredondo and Adrian Damla each drove in two runs with doubles to highlight the inning.

Arredondo said Kelly Small was patient at the plate.

“We are used to seeing a lot of pitches,” Arredondo said. “You have to have a good eye at the plate.

“We have the kind of players who are smart when it comes to hitting. It’s cool to win it all because we believed in ourselves.”

Augusta Coach Skip McNevin said his team made vast improvements late in the season.

“We are the youngest team in the league and we still got to the championship game,” said McNevin, whose team collected four hits. “We tried to continue to improve until the end and we did that.

“I’m glad that it was an all-CV final. Everybody wins.”

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