By Brandon HENSLEY
he Lady Falcons lost to Burbank on Tuesday 3-1, making it three straight defeats in the Pacific League, and five overall counting a couple tournament losses last weekend.
Crescenta Valley is tied with Glendale for fourth place in league with a record of 6-5.
Burbank pitcher Caitlyn Brooks struck out 13 on her way to victory. Falcons’ pitcher Olivia Thayer struck out five Bulldogs, but walked seven batters. She was charged with one earned run. CV managed five hits, including two from freshman catcher Rachel Abboud, who is hitting .414 on the season.
With just over a week to go in the regular season, the Crescenta Valley High School baseball team is making its charge toward another Pacific League championship, playing its best ball at the right time.
Starting pitcher Brian Gadbsy pitched six scoreless innings, leadoff man Bryan Wang reached base in all five plate appearances and the team received a couple of late home runs as the Falcons defeated the Burbank Bulldogs on the road 11-0.
The Falcons improved their record to 16-7-1 overall, and 9-1-1 in league. They have not lost a game since their first league matchup, a 3-0 defeat against Pasadena in early April.
Gadsby allowed three hits, struck out five batters and walked three. He said after the game he didn’t have his best stuff.
“I lacked accuracy,” he said. “I threw a lot of balls, a lot of pitches, a lot of 3-0, 2-0 counts. I have to get after guys and throw more first-pitch strikes.”
The Falcons were able to put some early runs on the board behind Gadbsy, and then broke it open late. Bryan Wang singled in a run off Burbank starter Ryan Porras (four innings, three runs, seven hits) to get the scoring started.
Crescenta Valley scored again in the frame when second baseman Camden Palmisano couldn’t field a chopper hit by Michael Russo. Adrian Damla, who took off from first base, collided with Palmisano, and the ball bounced away, allowing Wang to score from third base.
The Falcons put up one run in the fourth, two in the fifth and one more in the sixth, and then struck for six runs in the last frame off of reliever Alex Minnick. Russo hammered a three-run home run to right field with no outs, and then with two outs and a runner on, Joe Torres, not known for his power, surprised his teammates with a home run to right as well.
Top to bottom, the lineup impressed Wang.
“All throughout,” said Wang, the senior centerfielder. “Even the subs, too. Everyone played well. The bats came alive today.”
Russo collected four runs batted in, and Wang was three-for-three with a walk. He was also hit by a pitch on the right leg in the fourth inning. He was on the ground for a minute and took some time in shaking it off.
“Right on the knee cap,” he said. “I’ll feel it tomorrow.”
It wasn’t just Wang. Gadsby dealt with a problem on his throwing hand during the fifth inning when he walked two straight batters with two outs. At some point in the inning, he cut a finger on his throwing hand when he went to take the ball out of his glove during a pitch. He said a thread in his glove sliced it just a bit.
It was a bit of struggle, but Gadsby eventually retired Cameron Briggs on a pop out. He was out there for the next inning though, setting down the side in order before Tanner Carrico closed it out in the seventh.
Gadsby pitched well in his last outing, a win over Burroughs in which he went six innings and shut out the Indians on four hits, but he said he hasn’t been throwing well for a while and didn’t know why.
“No idea. I just have to find it,” he said. “I’ll find it. I’ll get back on it.”
The Falcons are in a position when, if they win out, they’ll take their third straight league title. They are currently tied with Arcadia for first, both teams at 9-1-1. The Falcons and Apaches played to a tie last month after the game was called due to inclement weather.
They play each other again in the season finale May 16 at Stengel Field. Arcadia almost fell to second place on Tuesday. They trailed Glendale 4-0 before rallying for two runs in the sixth and three in the seventh to win it.
Several Falcons players this season have said their team isn’t an offensive juggernaut, but CV has scored the most runs in league, with 67, just above Arcadia’s 63. They’ve also allowed the fewest amount of runs, with 11, ahead of Pasadena’s 19 allowed.
Coach Phil Torres’ pitching staff this season has mostly been Gadsby, Carrico, Jimmy Smiley and Joe Torres. Gadsby has been the hot name for a couple of years now, but Carrico threw a no-hitter in March, and Smiley hasn’t given up a run in any league appearance.
“We’re just all working hard. Not just the pitchers but everyone in general,” Gadsby said. “We’re working hard.”
“It’s not just Brian anymore,” Wang said. “It really helps to have deep pitching.”
CV baseball plays at Muir on Friday and against Hoover at home on Tuesday; both games are at 6 p.m. Softball hosts Muir today at 3:30 p.m., then hosts Hoover on Tuesday. The Lady Falcons dominated both teams in their previous matchups. The season finale is May 15 at Arcadia High School.