By Michael YEGHIAYAN
The San Gabriel Valley Babe Ruth All-Stars made their way to the World Series, capping off an undefeated stretch of four games at the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament. Tuesday night’s final, played in Modesto, featured clutch hitting and gritty play to earn the team a 5-4 victory over Watson.
The SGV All-Stars, which features a number of players from Crescenta Valley and is led by CV’s baseball coach Phil Torres, will return to the World Series after a two year absence as the 16-18 year old squad looks ahead to a potential championship run.
SGV’s roster showcases a number of Crescenta Valley’s most notable players, including Elliot Surrey, Troy Mulcahey, Kyle Murray and Troy Prasertsit.
Trailing Watson 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth, SGV managed to tie the score with a key three-run homer by Brennan Salgado. A clutch go-ahead single by Nick Wagner in the bottom of the sixth brought home Martin Gallegos, the hero of Sunday’s win over Watsonville, and put SGV into position to clinch the tournament. The win was secured with a save by Crescenta Valley pitcher Mulcahey.
Outside of a 6-0 victory led by CV’s Murray to open the tournament, SGV relied on its dominant pitching and flair on the base paths to stay undefeated and make their way to the final. The second game was won with a walk-off single in the bottom of the eighth inning after a pitcher’s duel kept the game scoreless through the first seven innings. The win was anchored by Adam McCreery, who is set to play for Arizona State University, and win was recorded by KJ Edson.
The excellent pitching continued in Sunday’s game against Watsonville, the tournament’s defending champions, with a 2-1 victory that vaulted SGV into the final. SGV pitching allowed only one run, its first of the tournament, which brought it to the decisive seventh inning with the score tied at one-all. In the end it was a brazen double steal of home by pinch runner Martin Gallegos, an especially courageous base running decision with a squad with such little experience playing together, that put SGV up and sealed the win.
The Babe Ruth World Series is playing in Ephrata, Wash. through Aug. 13. SGV has enjoyed past success in the tournament, taking home the trophy in 2004, 2006 and 2007.