By Vincent PAGE, intern
Buoyed by the pitching of Brian Gadsby and some timely offense, the Crescenta Valley Falcons’ baseball team is back in the CIF Division II quarterfinals for the second straight season.
The Falcons (24-5) defeated Trabuco Hills in Orange County on Tuesday 5-1, pushing them to the third round. They’ll play Carter at Stengel Field on Friday at 6 p.m.
Gadsby, the senior ace, went the distance, allowing an unearned run and three hits. He struck out five batters. Sophomore catcher Kewin Ledesma collected three hits, including a two-run double in the seventh to essentially put the game away.
The Falcons are once again three wins away from a CIF championship, which the program last won in 1998.
Last week at Stengel Field, the team took on the Ventura Cougars in a battle between second-place league teams. CV proved to be the better team in all aspects of the game, as they shut out the Cougars 4-0 behind Gadsby. Drawing comparisons to past Crescenta Valley baseball stars such as Trevor Bell and Dustin Emmons, Gadsby again proved how clutch he is in the playoffs.
However, it was a total team effort as the offense scored all four runs in the first inning. Sophomore shortstop Ryan Lynch led off with an infield single, and waited briefly until the Falcons started a two-out rally with back-to-back singles by seniors Weston Walker and Jimmy Smiley. Both scored shortly after on senior Brett Klein’s double. Sophomore Nico Arredondo recorded his first playoff hit and RBI in his first at-bat, bringing in Klein for the last run of the game. Arredondo would finish the game as the offensive player of the game with two hits, one a double and hit by pitch.
Meanwhile, Gadsby, who led the CV football team to a CIF championship this past season, continued his playoff dominance. Being clutch in the playoffs seems to be in Gadsby’s blood as he orchestrated two straight masterpieces last year on the mound to get the Falcons to the quarterfinals. Gadsby pitched over the top, sidearm, and submarine throughout the game to finish with seven strikeouts, no walks, one pickoff, and the most important stat, the win, which brought CV straight to the second round.