Both CV programs lose tough games to rival Arcadia last week before winning Tuesday, and now look at a busy schedule the week ahead.
By Brandon HENSLEY
If the Falcons are crushing the Mustangs, then it must be spring.
While Muir High School can match Crescenta Valley on the basketball court and surpass it on the football field, things tend to change once flowers are in bloom.
Both CV baseball and softball easily dispatched Muir Tuesday afternoon on the Mustangs’ home fields – baseball won 8-0, softball 22-0 – easing the pain of last week’s losses to Arcadia just a tad.
The baseball team lost 3-2 to the Apaches April 19 at Stengel Field. CV had the tying and winning runs on base in the bottom of the seventh, but hit into a game-ending double play. Pitcher Brian Gadbsy took the loss.
The game against Arcadia represented the halfway point in Pacific League play. With the Muir game out of the way, the Falcons have six games left. They’ll get a rematch with Arcadia in the season finale May 10.
“That was last week,” said Coach Phil Torres on the Arcadia loss. “We have a whole ‘nother round. That was basically the All-Star break. The good thing about baseball is you get to turn the page and play. It’s not like football where you have to wait a whole week, you just gotta move on the next day.”
With their 10-0 win on Tuesday, the Falcons (14-7, 6-2 in league) have won nine of their last 11 games after a 5-5 start to their season. They are third in league, behind Burbank and Burroughs (both 7-1).
CV’s pitching rotation took a hit this year when Elliot Surrey, Troy Mulcahey and Kyle Murray all graduated, and this year’s senior Cole Currie left the team right after the season began to pursue his basketball interests.
Torres now relies on sophomore Gadsby and seniors Bryan Wang and Ted Boeke. Boeke started against Muir.
“Teddy pitched well today,” Torres said. “I don’t know if we have a No. 1 [starter]. We might have three 1-As. Whoever’s turn comes up, they gotta pitch, and we have three games next week. One guy can’t pitch three times.”
The Falcons play Friday at Hoover, then three times next week: Tuesday hosting Burbank, Wednesday at Burroughs and back home at Stengel against Pasadena on Friday, May 3.
As for the Lady Falcons, their win at Muir this week put them at 10-8-1 overall, 6-2 in the Pacific League. It’s a different kind of experience to watch a Muir softball game: Mustangs’ bench players exploded with joy when the left fielder caught a routine fly ball, and the same could be said when the second baseman fielded a ground ball and tagged the base runner going to second.
CV scored 10 runs in the first inning, and Coach Mark Samford heavily substituted his players throughout the game, which was called after five innings due to the mercy rule (high school softball and baseball games last seven innings).
Most of the action occurred in foul ball territory. Muir’s field has barely any fencing and is located next to the campus’ quad, and Falcons catcher Grace Poole spent the day running around the campus retrieving fouls balls when either CV was batting or when she was substituted out.
It was that kind of day.
“My first mindset is to make sure they come to play today regardless of the competition,” said Samford. “I don’t buy playing up, playing down to the competition. We need to play like we need to play.”
Chloe Fairbrother, who mostly plays first base, pitched four innings in relief of starter Olivia Thayer, who pitched the first. Fairbrother and Molly Burke both had five plate appearances, the most on the day. Burke had two hits, including a home run.
CV’s loss at Arcadia April 18 was frustrating for Samford, whose team put together just five hits and couldn’t score a run off Apaches pitcher Monica Baerg.
“The middle of our lineup [did] nothing,” said Samford. “We had multiple innings where we had multiple runners and couldn’t push them through. [Arcadia] had some really good at-bats, we had some not so good at-bats.”
Arcadia lost to Burroughs this week 7-0 though, dropping their league record to 4-3. CV is tied with Burroughs at 6-2 behind Burbank, which is 8-0 and the runaway favorite to win league.
Softball follows the same schedule as baseball next week, and the Lady Falcons will have games on Tuesday at Burbank, Wednesday hosting Burroughs and May 3 at Pasadena.
The team plays at Hoover High School today, and the Tornadoes (1-7 in league) gave CV quite a game earlier this season before losing 8-6.
“I don’t want them to do that again,” Samford said wryly.
Friday’s 7 p.m. game vs. Hoover at Stengel Field will feature every parent of the players throwing out the first pitch, and treats such as banana splits will be served, as well as Los Gringos Locos serving barbecued dinner.
The team’s fan appreciation night is May 3 at Stengel Field at 7 p.m. against the Pasadena Bulldogs. Los Gringos Locos will provide food and there will raffle prizes and Falcons cheerleaders will paint faces for $1.