Despite the loss of Cole Currie, CV baseball is turning it around as the league schedule kicks in.
By Brandon HENSLEY
The old guys came to Stengel Field last Saturday and let everyone know that newer isn’t always better.
But despite the Crescenta Valley High alumni baseball team’s 2-1 exhibition win over the current varsity squad, things are looking up for the Falcons as they trek on without the services of pitcher/infielder Cole Currie.
CV has won five games in a row – not counting the loss in the alumni game, of course – and that is in stark contrast to how the team was performing a couple of weeks ago.
The Falcons flamed out in the Babe Herman Tournament last month at Stengel Field, going just 1-3 and dropping their record 5-5.
By that time, Currie was long gone, having decided to play AAU basketball instead of finishing out his senior year on the diamond.
“He’s done everything we’ve asked for three years,” said Coach Phil Torres. “It’s what his choice is and we wish him the best. I know he still pulls for us, so we’re just going to move on.”
Currie was a reliable player for the baseball team, but he shined in his high school career on the basketball court, and earned All-CIF honors this season as the Falcons made a consecutive trip to the CIF semifinals.
“It was hard to let him go, but it was his choice and we respected it,” said senior pitcher/infielder Ted Boeke. “But we’re compensating by coming out and practicing harder and working harder.”
Boeke threw a no-hitter in a recent double-header against Loyola at USC. Sophomore Brian Gadsby was also strong against Loyola, pitching a complete game in his turn. CV won those games 1-0 and 2-1.
On March 29, CV resumed Pacific League play against Hoover High School and beat the Tornadoes 7-2. The Falcons travel to Burbank to face the Bulldogs on Friday.
“They’ve found their place and their rhythm a little bit,” said Torres of his team. “Everyone knows [more] what their role is.”
Boeke agreed with Torres on why it has taken a while to get things going.
“I think it was an experience thing,” he said. “We’re such a young team overall. It took time to get used to each other and really figure the pieces out.”
That makes the alumni the only team to have beaten CV in two weeks. The alumni roster last week featured first baseman Ryan McKnight, who was part of the 1998 CIF championship team, 2003 grad Aaron McGuinness, who played at Gonzaga University, and 2005 grad Bryan Longpre, who pitched in the Toronto Blue Jays minor league system from 2010 to 2012.
The winning runs for the alumni came in the fifth inning when Drew Elliot drove in Longpre and Nick Padula, who was pinch running for Luke Peterson, with two outs. The varsity’s only run came on an alumni throwing error in the sixth inning.
Torres said the game gave his pitchers a chance to throw and stay on pace, since the team will have had a week off, “but it’s more for [everyone] to have a good time.”
Torres doesn’t get a chance to see many of his alumni players.
“Sometimes only once or twice a year, so it’s a blast,” he said. “It’s just a feel good day.”
“It’s fun to come out and see who used to play here, and see how we compare to other teams of the past,” agreed Boeke.
After Burbank, the Falcons play Burroughs on Tuesday, and Boeke said both of those teams are going to be the toughest to contend with in league to go along with Arcadia. CV won the Pacific League last year over Arcadia for the first time since 2008.
“It’s always nice to be league champions, but we know we have a target on our back and we’re going to work hard to keep [the title],” said Boeke.