By Vincent PAGE, Intern
The Crescenta Valley High School boys’ varsity baseball team took on the Hoover Tornadoes in a Pacific League match that ended in an 11-1 Falcon victory on Tuesday. The Falcons were completely in sync and took advantage offensively and defensively, something that will prove valuable as the team is in the thick of hunt for the league title race.
Junior pitcher Eric Ma got the call against Hoover, and threw a four-inning gem. Ma, backed up by an impressive defense, allowed no runs over four innings. With an elbow injury to senior pitcher Jimmy Smiley (the team’s number two pitcher), it was a sigh of relief for the squad and the fans to see that Ma will be able to fill the hole.
The Falcons are currently tied for first place in the Pacific League, with their only loss coming at the hands of Burroughs, 1-0. There are still five teams in serious contention for the league title.
“Every game is really important right now since we’re in such a tight race and the team played great tonight. I just threw strikes knowing my defense was behind me and would get the job done,” Ma said.
While the Falcons played great defensively, they were hitting the ball at a phenomenal level as well. Scoring got under way when third baseman Wes Walker hit a two-RBI single to right field and advanced to third on the misplayed ball by a Hoover outfielder.
In the top of the second inning, Hoover’s Ethan Turpin hit a soft line drive that sophomore second baseman Nico Arredondo was able to get to just in time to make the catch and throw out the unaware runner at first. That ended the top half of the inning, which then turned into a CVHS hit party, highlighted by Kewin Ledesmsa’s two-RBI single. The inning ended 6-0 Falcons, as fans started hoping for a mercy to get out of the bitter cold that accompanied the game.
The third inning went by quickly, as neither team really got the bats going. Ma delivered his final inning in the fourth, with his stats coming out as four innings pitched, one hit, and no runs. The top of the inning was highlighted by a diving stop at third base by Walker, who successfully threw out the batter at first. The Falcons’ offense in the fourth hit like they were down 10 runs, as batter after batter was getting on base. The team was playing well enough that even substitutes sophomore Anthony Russo, senior Matt Erickson, and junior Dacota Cummins all got in during the at-bats, and Cummins as a pinch runner. The Falcons scored three runs to make it 11-0, and Hoover was down to their final at-bats.
Sophomore Scott Vinceri closed the game out for the Falcons as he pitched to junior catcher Justin Rountree. While Vinceri struggled a bit, giving up one run on three hits, he got the job done as the game ended in a mercy, 11-1 Falcons.
The Falcons take on the Arcadia Apaches on Friday for Fan Appreciation Night. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Stengel Field.