GLENDALE — The Foothill 9-10 All-Star baseball team had a lot going in its favor when it took on Crescenta Valley on Monday in a District 16 championship contest.
Foothill had not only beaten the same Crescenta Valley squad two days earlier in the tournament, but the win came via mercy rule. To add to its benefit Foothill had the advantage of having all of its pitchers eligible for the contest at Babe Herman Field.
Taking full stock of its advantages, Foothill jumped out to a three-run lead in the first inning.
But Crescenta Valley battled back. The team began hitting and took advantage of a group of struggling Foothill pitchers. The end result was a 14-7 Crescenta Valley victory.
With the win, Crescenta Valley forces an if-necessary championship game at 5 p.m. Tuesday against Foothill at Babe Herman.
Even though his team lost to Foothill, 10-0, Saturday, Crescenta Valley Coach Keith Deitch said that was not the team he was accustomed to seeing.
"The way we played against them last time, that was like a completely different team," Deitch said. "The way we played today is more like the way our team really is. We think that was an anomaly with the other game. It was an early morning game for us, the kids weren't used to it, they weren't quite awake and they just didn't come to play."
It looked like Foothill again had Crescenta Valley's number when it scored three runs in its first at-bats of the game. Ian Nord led off the first inning and reached base on an error and No. 2 hitter Michael Gonzalez followed with a walk. Nord scored on a run-scoring single by Marty Pachino and he was plated by an infield groundout by Javier Estrada. Pachino made it 3-0 on a run-scoring hit by Ethan Perez.
But Crescenta Valley didn't waste much time erasing the advantage — and then some. The team sent 13 batters to the place in a monstrous second inning in which Crescenta Valley scored nine runs on just four hits to take a 9-3 advantage. Aaron Garcia had a double, a single and drove in two runs in the second. Quinn Deitch and Isaac Medina also drove in runs in the inning.
"A lot of what we gave up out there were mistakes on our part," Foothill Coach John Calvo said. "We made some costly errors and we gave them some runs. When you make mistakes like that CV is a team that will take advantage.
"Our main guys on the mound also had their problems. They just weren't throwing very good."
After Crescenta Valley's big second, neither team could score in the third.
Foothill, however, made a game of it, tallying four runs in the fourth to cut the deficit to 9-7. The big effort in the inning came on a two-run double by Gonzalez.
The two teams blanked one another in the fifth. However, Crescenta Valley gave itself some breathing room in the sixth by tacking on five runs on three hits. Kai Perdy-Burton, Jason Kim and Isaac Sung had RBIs in the inning.
"After we gave them a little bit of a lead early on, it was nice to see how our guys battled and came back," Keith Deitch said. "It kind of showed what we're made of."