TUJUNGA — This time, it's official.
Just one day after Crescenta Valley's one-run victory over Burbank in the District 16 Junior Baseball championship game was protested and nullified on the grounds Crescenta Valley used an ineligible player, the two teams were back on the field ready to settle it once and for all.
Fueled by motivation and feeling like it had something to prove, Crescenta Valley came out swinging in the first inning en route to a 11-2 trouncing of Burbank at Tujunga Little League Fields on Monday afternoon.
"This was our chance to come out and prove we can beat Burbank, and we throttled them," said Crescenta Valley Coach Peter Cosfol, whose team's 3-2 Sunday win was forfeited. "We put the pedal to the metal."
In regards to the forfeit, Cosfol said his player, Ty Lousararian, had been playing all season with a waiver, but the protest showed it hadn't been signed by Little League District 16 volunteer administrator Dave Ritchie. Crescenta Valley appealed the ruling, but the decision went in Burbank's favor, causing a forfeit and setting up Monday's game.
Burbank Coach Tony Castiglioni said, in other words, that he didn't think twice about protesting the loss, but didn't mention how he got the information.
"I'm told to look at my roster and make sure all the paper work is completed, so if it applies to me, then it should apply to everyone else," he said. "The same kid played Friday night, so they should have been out of the tournament."
Castiglioni apparently filed the protest during Sunday's game that had Burbank holding a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning, where Crescenta Valley's Jacob Cook tied the score with a double to right that plated Johnny Alvarado. Cook came around to score on an error by the third baseman.
In the if-necessary contest on Monday, Crescenta Valley wasted little time, swinging hot bats in the first inning, which continued for the duration of the ballgame. Jacob Martinez and Jacob Cook each hit RBI singles to get the first-inning rally going that also had Crescenta Valley scoring on a passed ball.
It would be all Crescenta Valley starting pitcher Kevin Hello would need, as he pitched a no-hitter into the fifth inning. By that point, the team led, 10-0, and had the mercy rule in mind. Ultimately though, Burbank scored in the bottom halves of the fifth and sixth innings to avoid the early exit.
Cook's single in the fourth inning brought home the team's seventh run off Burbank starter Thomas Wilson after Christian Castaneda's bases-loaded single plated Martinez and Matt Erickson.
Hello opened the floodgates in the fifth inning with a double off Burbank relief pitcher Randy Higgins that scored Erickson and Robert Benson, pinch-running for John Bolstad, who led off the inning with a double.
From the mound, Hello gave up three hits in over four innings of shutout work.
"I felt in the zone, throwing strikes," Hello said. "We wanted to jump on them early, put some runs on the board to get us a cushion, and that's what we did with the four runs we got in the first."
Burbank got its first run on a Jake Noud sacrifice fly. Again needing a run in the sixth inning to avoid the mercy-rule after Hello's single gave Crescenta Valley an 11-1 lead, Brennan Brown's single scored Connor Lockheimer.
"On paper, they should beat us every time," Castiglioni said. "They're basically half a high school team playing against 14-year-olds. But they played great, put the bat on the ball and we just couldn't hit."
"There was no aggression," said Cosfol when asked if there was any animosity towards Burbank. "We just came to play, and came to win district and that's what we did."