By Brandon HENSLEY
The CV varsity baseball team came to Hoover High School on Tuesday looking to take advantage of a struggling Tornadoes team and wrap up an early season, top-heavy road schedule on a high note.
The Falcons scored early and often and starting pitcher Elliot Surrey was dominant as CV beat Hoover in a five-inning, mercy-rule game 10-0.
Surrey, the left-handed sophomore, went four innings, allowed just one batter to reach base on an error, and struck out eight. He also went three-for-four at the plate and drove in two runs.
“I felt pretty good. Our coach, Coach [Phil] Torres called a good game for me, which kept me secure,” Surrey said.
It was the Falcons’ second straight shutout against a Pacific League opponent, having defeated Muir 21-0 last Saturday. The win improved their record to 5-3 overall, and 2-1 league play.
Hoover, on the other hand, has not been as successful as of late. The Tornadoes have lost their last three games by an average of 10.6 runs and on Tuesday, they came away bruised and beaten, literally and figuratively.
They committed five errors, making things harder for starting pitcher Cameron Doran than they already were. The soft-throwing Doran struggled out of the gate, allowing three runs in the first inning.
CV’s Joe Sedano, who was two-for-two with a walk, two runs scored and an RBI, doubled in the inning, and he and Surrey scored when the Tornadoes couldn’t turn a potential inning-ending double play.
In the second inning, Sedano doubled again, scoring Cole Currie. With one out, Troy Prasertsit grounded to third baseman Anthony Cuccinelo. But first baseman Chris Hendricks couldn’t hold onto the throw, and Sedano and Surrey both scored from second and third base, making it 6-0.
Doran surrendered 11 hits in his four innings of work, while striking out three. The Falcons had 12 hits overall.
In contrast to Doran was Surrey, who got his first win of the season. He didn’t walk anyone and was able to get his pitches over for strikes on several full counts.
Surrey said his fastball was his best pitch of the day. “It was working good, I was getting on top. It was just going right through the zone.”
“I think he threw all three pitches for strikes, and when you can do that in high school that’s pretty good,” said Torres.
To compound matters for Hoover (2-6, 0-3), Cuccinelo left the game in the second after being struck by the ball on his head. Catcher Bobby Romero tried to pick off Prasertsit from third, but the ball deflected off Prasertsit’s helmet and hit Cuccinelo on the left side of his face. After several minutes, Cuccinelo left the field, although he seemed reluctant to go, and was replaced by Shara Aivazi.
Surrey struck out the side in the fourth and called it a day. Andy Potter came on in relief and pitched a scoreless fifth to close the game.
“Elliot did a good job,” said Torres. “It’s a tough game to pitch because it’s long between innings and he did a pretty job … Elliot’s pitched some pretty good games, had some hard luck earlier in the year, faced some good teams. It’s nice to get him a win and move on to Friday.”
Friday is the day the Falcons can go home to Stengel Field, where they will host Burbank. Sure, they just played there this week, having hosted the annual alumni game, but so far this season seven of their first eight games have been on the road.
After Burbank they’ll stay at Stengel for the Babe Herman Tournament, which will run from Saturday to Wednesday. Those games are non-league, but that doesn’t matter to Torres.
“We’ll still approach it like four playoff games,” he said. “It’s a chance to play four good teams and have them come to our place and play at home. We’ve only played one game at home so we’re looking forward to doing that.”
Hoover Coach Joe Cotti had his team doing wind sprints after the game. Torres could understand Cotti’s situation. Rough patches in baseball are unavoidable. “Everybody just has that dip sometimes,” he said.