Gadsby, Crescenta Valley High survive sloppy game to notch victory over Fullerton

GLENDALE — Just four games into the 2014 season, Crescenta Valley High junior pitcher Brian Gadsby has looked every bit the Falcons ace and the highly-touted standout he’s quickly become.

On Wednesday night in a Dick’s Tournament game against Fullerton High, Gadsby again looked the part. The junior right-hander tossed a complete game to key the Falcons to a 2-1 victory over the Indians at Stengel Field.

It marked the second straight win for Crescenta Valley (3-1).

“It wasn’t his best stuff,” Falcons Coach Phil Torres said, “but he competed, which he always does. He kept us in the game and made just enough plays.”

Gadsby struck out five batters and gave up just three hits and one run, which was unearned.

“I knew I had to go right after them,” Gadsby said. “Unfortunately, I didn’t really do that. I threw a lot of balls, but I was able to fight back with full counts and all. But we knew we had to come here as a team and compete and we did.”

The Falcons’ lone blemish Wednesday came in the top of the second inning when Lucas Rocha reached first base on an error. The third baseman then stole second base and reached third on an error. A squeeze play from Jake Wenderlich brought in the run for the Indians (2-2).

Crescenta Valley, subsequently trailing by one run for most of the game, finally evened the score in the bottom of the fifth. With runners on first and second and two outs, the Falcons attempted a double steal. Senior Kevin Hello, who was pinch-running for Kewin Ledesma, ran toward third, sliding in, but the throw sailed over the third baseman’s head and so Hello ran home.

“We were just being more aggressive,” Torres said. “You know, Kevin’s a fullback in football, and a great defensive guy, so we had him in there because he can run. And it worked. They threw it away and gave us the break we needed.

“Because we had hit some balls hard, we just hit them right at people.”

The teams posted seven errors in total, including four from Crescenta Valley.

“There were some sloppy things tonight,” Torres said, “but there were some things where the kids competed.”

The Falcons inched ahead in the bottom of the sixth – thanks again to some miscues.

Senior Joe Torres lined a one-out single to reach first. With two outs, Fullerton pulled its starting pitcher, junior Brent Bell, in favor of reliever Randall Ortiz. But Ortiz hit the first two batters he faced, loading the bases. Two pitches later, a wild pitch brought Torres across the plate.

The Indians rallied late in the top of the seventh, when senior first baseman Jacob Channel doubled, launching a deep shot to left field that bounced off the wall. But junior Ozzie Vazquez, who came in to pinch run for Channel, was caught leading off on a pickoff throw from Gadsby.

“It went down to the wire,” Gadsby said, “but as coach says, special teams is going to win you the game. Special teams is pickoffs, bunts, just small ball. And that’s what won us the game.”

Crescenta Valley next faces La Salle on Saturday in the Babe Herman Tournament.

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