CV baseball fights to stay at the top of the Pacific League with three games left in regular season. Softball deals with the loss of catcher Morena.
By Brandon HENSLEY
Boy is it getting tight. The Crescenta Valley Falcons’ baseball team entered Wednesday’s game with Burroughs in a four-way tie for first place in the Pacific League. The Falcons came out of it a 4-2 winner, and are now in a three-way tie with Burbank and Arcadia (all 9-2 records).
This was possible because of the Falcons’ 4-1 victory over Burbank Tuesday night at Stengel Field. CV also beat Hoover last Friday at Stengel 11-1, and entered the game at Burroughs 16-7 overall and winners of 11 out of its past 13 games.
With the win over Burbank, CV has swept the season series. The Falcons won earlier this season 3-0 behind starting pitcher Brian Gadsby, and he started on Tuesday as well, throwing a complete game.
CV junior Austin Brines collected three RBIs, including a two-run double in the fourth.
Beginning Friday at home to Pasadena, CV has three games left. Next week, they wrap up the regular season Tuesday at Glendale and May 10 at home to Arcadia. The Pasadena game is Fan Appreciation Night.
The CV softball team won’t be able to fight for first place in league, not after another big loss to Burbank this week, but it can still claim second and hope for a high seed when the playoffs start in a couple of weeks.
The Lady Falcons were swept by the Burbank Bulldogs on the season when they lost 10-2 at McCambridge Park Tuesday. Bulldogs pitcher Caitlyn Brooks was once again stellar (she entered the game with a 0.53 earned run average and 248 strikeouts), and her team improved to 10-0 in league entering a game against Pasadena on Wednesday.
Things didn’t go well from the start for the Falcons. They committed two errors to the first two batters they faced, which led to two runs.
Later, shortstop Hailey Cookson had a sharp ground ball hit her cleat and jump up and smack her on the left side of her face. She stayed in after being tended to, and ended up hitting a triple in her next at-bat, but moments like those were few and far between.
It was a better go of it Wednesday afternoon at home. After five straight road games, CV was able to play on its own turf and took care of Burroughs 10-7. Cookson had a small mark on her cheek from the previous day.
“My head hurts worse than my face,” she said.
Burroughs kept it interesting all day, and in a tight spot in the fifth inning up just 4-3, Falcons first baseman Chloe Fairbrother hit a change-up from pitcher Brice Edrington into centerfield with two outs and the bases loaded, making it 5-3. CV added three more runs in the frame.
With the win, the Falcons and Burroughs are both 8-3 in league, with the Falcons having swept the season series.
But for the past couple of weeks, they’ve been without senior starting catcher Jessica Morena, who is dealing with an inflamed appendix. Her last game was April 18, and has since been treated at St. Joseph’s in Burbank. She has not been back to classes and will most likely finish up her high school career at home.
Morena, who was batting .260 with six RBIs and two doubles, has made it to the last two games for support, but was walking gingerly with the help of her parents.
Coach Mark Samford has been playing designated hitter Tiffany Briscoe at catcher, and whenever Fairbrother pitches in relief, Briscoe plays first base and Grace Poole catches.
“[Jessica’s] definitely a leader on the team. She’s our starting catcher, a senior,” said Fairbrother. “It’s pretty hard on the team but we have Grace and Tiffany helping us out a lot.”
Fairbrother has spoken with Morena since.
“I told her to come back soon, we really miss her,” she said. “Anybody missing from the team is hard on us; we stay together as one.”
“I just try and let her know we’re here and thinking of her,” said Samford. “She’s part of this team. I think the hardest thing in sports especially for kids, is to manage an injury or illness … every time I see her she’s as cheerful as a person can be in her condition.”