By Roger SONDERGAARD
This past weekend, La Cañada Baseball & Softball Association hosted teams from the Southland in their annual Summer Smash Tournament throughout La Cañada and Montrose. Thirty-one baseball teams from ages 8U to 12U had a chance to play each other, but many of the most interesting match-ups came between three of the local teams: Crescenta Sports Association (CSA), La Cañada, and the La Crescenta Thunder. These match-ups have been unofficially dubbed “The Battle of the Boulevard.”
In the continuing 11U battle, it was CSA that went ahead early in their game against La Cañada on Saturday. CSA never looked back as they took another victory over LC. In three tournaments, the CSA 11U team has come out on top twice, but the two teams might battle again this weekend at Big League Dreams. A tough La Cañada squad will most likely be looking to even the score between these two neighboring teams.
After the win against La Cañada, the CSA 11U team went on to the semifinals by defeating Cheviot Hills. In the semifinals, the team came up short against the La Crescenta Thunder travel team that finished second in their second consecutive tournament. The 11U Thunder team remains unbeaten against both La Cañada and CSA and remains on top in the 11U section of the boulevard.
In the 8U division, the CSA B team defeated both the La Cañada 7-year- old team and LC 8-year-old team en route to the championship game. With a loss to San Marino in the championship, the CSA B team finished second overall, but still rules the 8U stretch of the boulevard.
In the 9U division, La Cañada and CSA split the two game series, but CSA won when it counted, in the playoffs that took them to the semifinals where they lost to Torrance. Many hope to watch LC and CSA when they match up again this summer to see who ends up on top in that segment of the boulevard.
As they did in the 11U, the 10U division saw three local teams face off. La Cañada ended up going up against the La Crescenta Thunder travel team twice. In pool play, the Thunder defeated LC. The Thunder also beat LC in the playoffs. The undefeated Thunder went up against the undefeated CSA All Stars for the championship and bragging rights around town. In this division, it was the CSA All Stars who were crowned tournament champions and claimed victory.
The oldest division for this tournament was the 12Us, which featured La Cañada and CSA as part of a six-team group. Heading into the playoffs, LC was 0-2 and CSA was 2-0. In the first round, La Cañada avenged an earlier loss to Toluca Lake. The win put them in the semifinals against CSA.
It was a close game, but CSA prevailed and went on to win their next game and the 12U championship.