By Brandon HENSLEY
One year ago the Crescenta Valley High baseball team celebrated a Pacific League championship by dog piling on each other after beating Arcadia in the regular season’s final game.
Then the Falcons went out and were upset by a below .500 Tustin team the next week in the first round of the playoffs.
Will it be a repeat performance this time?
Ted Boeke certainly hopes not. The Falcons celebrated another league title after beating Arcadia May 10, the last game of the regular season. There was cheering and hugging and the requisite dog pile, but here come the playoffs again.
CV (20-7, 12-2 in league) opens the Southern Section Division II playoffs at Stengel Field on Friday at 3:15 p.m. They will face Yucaipa, who won a wild card game Tuesday against Great Oak.
If the Falcons win, they advance to a second-round game on Tuesday.
“Our main goal is to get past the first round,” said Boeke. “We haven’t been able to do it the past three years. Putting our foot on the throttle early in the game is very important … we don’t want to have to come back like this every game.”
What Boeke referred to was his heroics against Arcadia last week. The senior hit what is probably the most memorable home run in the program’s recent history, a three-run shot to left field in the top of the seventh inning with CV trailing 4-2.
With Arcadia’s fans taunting the Falcons’ side most of the game, Boeke’s homer changed the entire mood of the stadium. CV won 5-4 and clinched a share of the Pacific League with Burbank, but the Falcons enter the playoffs as the league’s No. 1 team because they swept Burbank this year.
“If he throws me a curveball, I was going to take it,” Boeke said of his at-bat. “If he threw me a fastball was going to hit it hard.”
Arcadia beat Pioneer Valley in a wild card game on Tuesday.
CV Coach Phil Torres had starter Brian Gadsby finish the game on the mound in the bottom of the seventh, although he almost thought otherwise when Boeke came home to score after his home run.
“I was thinking Teddy might have to warm up and hurry because he might have to pitch,” said Torres. “I didn’t really get a chance to enjoy [the home run]. I was worried about the next inning and where everyone’s going.”
Gadbsy hit three batters, but Torres gave him credit for hanging in there in a rivalry game.
“He was great. He gutted it out,” said Torres. “He was typical Brian, he hit a guy, and another guy, but he struck out four guys in one inning. He kept it close.”
Arcadia beat CV earlier this season 3-2 at Stengel Field, when the Falcons hit into a game-ending double play.
“It was more about winning league,” said junior Bryan Wang when asked about the revenge factor of this game. “It was nice to get back at them, but we just wanted to win league.”
Before Boeke stepped to the plate, Joe Torres struck out on a passed ball and was safe at first when he hustled down the line. That made it two runners on base, and up came Boeke.
“We still had faith,” said Wang. “We knew that Teddy was going to come up big.”
For a video highlight from last week’s victory over Arcadia, visit this story in the sports section online at cvweekly.com.