HomeBlocksFront-GridSierra Madre Eliminates Crescenta Valley

Sierra Madre Eliminates Crescenta Valley

First published in the July 23 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

The Crescenta Valley Little League All-Star baseball team had recently won the Division 17 championship, which earned them a spot in the tournament that would crown the Section 2 champion.
In a double-elimination format, CVLL dropped its opener and then played on Sunday in hopes to keep the season alive.
Facing a tough Sierra Madre squad, the Crescenta Valley’s 12-and-under team fell behind early and never recovered in an 11-1 setback shortened to four innings due to the run differential at Montrose Park July 17.
“[Sierra Madre] scored early and often and put us behind,” CVLL All-Star coach Mike Miller said. “Every inning we were just clawing and trying to get something.”
Now, the all-star experience for this group has concluded.
“This is the end of the road with a lot of these kids being 12-year-olds, so I just wanted to make sure they had a good experience out here and that they had fun,” Miller said. ”It’s not fun to lose but when I look back when I was a kid, I didn’t get to play all-stars, so I wanted to make sure this is something they remember and take with them in their lives.”
In the tournament opener last Saturday, Crescenta Valley lost to Quartz Hill, 7-4, and set up the elimination game against Sierra Madre.

Crescenta Valley Little League’s Freddie Full and the 12-and-under All-Star team were eliminated from the sectional tournament after being dealt consecutive losses.

“I think it was a great opportunity to do this All-Stars thing,” Crescenta Valley’s Oliver Sherman said. “I think we fought our hardest and I think I’m fine with the outcome.”
On Sunday, Sierra Madre put its first three runners on base against starting pitcher Logan Mumenthaler. The top of the first ended with three runs on the board after Mumenthaler struck out his second batter of the inning to close the frame.
With two out in the bottom of the inning, Crescenta Valley’s Eben Rodriguez swatted a single through the shortstop hole for his team’s first hit.
Sierra Madre put up three more runs in the top of the second inning before Mumenthaler closed the door with two strikeouts in a row.
With one out in the bottom of the frame, CVLL’s Robert Pham dropped a single into left field. With two outs, Andrew Miller drew a walk, but the hosts were unable to cash in as the next batter popped out in foul territory.
Eli Fong came in to pitch the top of the third inning for Crescenta Valley, and Sierra Madre quickly loaded the bases with no outs on two walks and a hit batter. Fong struck out the next batter and eventually escaped the jam, yielding just one run by fielding the final ball in play and throwing the runner out at first base to end the inning.
“I think we played a good team and could have played better, but I had some friends on the other team and I just had fun today,” Fong said.
Crescenta Valley broke through in the bottom of the third. Ben Kim led off and technically struck out. However, the catcher dropped strike three and Kim hustled down the line, beating the throw to reach base. Kim then advanced to second on a ground out, before reaching third after tagging up following a pop out in foul territory. Riley Brinton then came up and hit a ground ball the Sierra Madre second baseman misplayed, allowing Kim to score.
“It was good to finally come through and get a run there,” Miller said.
Sierra Madre activated the mercy rule in the top of the fourth inning with four more runs. In the bottom of the inning, Crescenta Valley needed to knock the deficit under 10 runs to keep the game going. With one out, CVLL’s Joaquin Castro legged out an infield single. Miller followed that by drawing a walk, prompting Sierra Madre to bring in its third pitcher of the afternoon. The next batter hit into a double play, and the rally, game and season came to an end for the Crescenta Valley All-Stars.
“I loved having these kids out here. This is a great group of kids,” Miller said. “They pick each other up. We have different people contributing every single day, which is exciting. Our bench players came up and hit the ball extremely hard. Our starters [were] doing their job. It just wasn’t meant to be this season.”

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