GLENDALE — With Kai Purdy-Burton at the plate, things looked favorable for the Crescenta Valley 9-10 All-Stars baseball team Tuesday night.
Purdy-Burton showed he could handle the bat in key situations.
Purdy-Burton finished with two key doubles in his last two at-bats to power Crescenta Valley to a 14-12 victory against Foothill in the if-necessary championship game of the District 16 Tournament at Babe Herman Field.
Crescenta Valley, which survived a late rally by Foothill in the bottom of the sixth inning, will next compete in the Section 2 Tournament. It will meet the District 51 champion in an opening-round game at 7 p.m. Saturday in Palmdale.
“Those were big situations, so I needed to get those hits in those situations,” said Purdy-Burton, who drove in three runs in the last two innings. “It’s just fun to go out there and try to help your team win.
“It’s great to win. It’s very exciting.”
Purdy-Burton began the sixth on the mound and got the first two batters easily. Foothill then mounted a nice comeback bid against Pursy-Burton before being he was relieved by Rowan Respicio, who recorded a strikeout for the final out with the tying runs on base.
Crescenta Valley Coach Kevin Deitch exhaled following the final out.
“That last inning was more stressful that I had hoped for,” said Deitch, whose team forced Tuesday’s contest with a 14-7 victory against Foothill on Monday in the championship game at the same location. “I can’t be more proud of this group than right now.
“We had to win three straight games to get this done, including beating the same team twice. That speaks volumes.”
Crescenta Valley had to do it the hard way, scoring five runs in the fifth and four in the sixth before fending off Foothill.
Foothill held a 7-5 lead in the fifth before Crescenta Valley’s Luc Campanella tied it at 7 with a two-run double. Crescenta Valley capitalized on an error to take an 8-7 lead before Quinn Deitch and Purdy-Burton followed with back-to-back run-scoring hits to extend the lead to 10-7.
Foothill closed to within 10-8 on a bases-loaded walk to Marty Pachino.
Crescenta Valley then enjoyed a big sixth, keyed by a two-run double by Purdy-Burton to make it 14-8.
Foothill battled back, pulling to 14-12 on a two-run single by Pachino before seeing its rally come up short.
Foothill Coach John Calvo said his team showed character in its attempted comeback.
“It was an awesome rally and we came very close,” Calvo said. “They wanted it real bad.
“It was great just to get this far.”
Crescenta Valley took a 3-0 lead in the first, as Diego Robles, Jason Kim and Issac Sung each drove in one run.
Foothill responded with a six-run second. A two-run single by Pachino gave Foothill a 5-3 lead.
Crescenta Valley closed to within 6-5 in the third on a run-scoring single by Devon Medina.