making another successful run, as La Crescenta (3-0) is one win away
from returning to the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament.
Following its 10-7 come-from-behind victory against District 7's
Imperial Valley in Sunday's winner's-bracket final in Simi Valley,
the District 4 representative advanced to the title game, needing a
win at 5 p.m. today or in the if-necessary final at 5 p.m. Wednesday
to reach the regional tournament in Murray, Utah.
"We want to finish it [today]," said Lee, whose squad will face
Simi Valley (2-1) -- which it beat, 10-5, in Friday's opener -- or
Imperial Valley (1-1).
"I want the guys to play loose and enjoy this.
"It is very exciting, and I think we have a very good chance of
[advancing to the regional]."
With an impressive offense and a pitcher-by-committee approach, La
Crescenta has outscored its opponents, 23-14 -- with seven players
batting .333 or better, including Andrew Vallejo (.700) and Michael
Sheridan (.555) -- including a six-run rally against Imperial Valley.
Lee's squad led, 4-1, entering the fifth inning, but Imperial
Valley put together its biggest inning, highlighted by a grand slam,
giving it a two-run lead.
However, La Crescenta rebounded behind a two-run double from
Michael Dean (.364) and a two-run single by Trevor Gee (.417) to
regain the lead.
"When they hit the grand slam, our guys didn't put their heads
down," Lee said.
"They came back and scored five runs. And that showed the
character of our team."
Garrett Salzman (.375) hit a solo home run and doubled, and Andrew
Vallejo -- who has reached base 12 times in 13 tournament plate
appearances, and leads a group of eight players with an on-base
average of .500 or better -- picked up the win in relief of Dean.
Bryson Surratt pitched the final two innings to earn the save.
La Crescenta 3, Westchester 2: Trevor Gee's game-winning single
scored Michael Sheridan from second in the top of the seventh to lift
La Crescenta to Saturday's victory in the winner's-bracket
Jesse Meaux tossed six strong innings, surrendering no earned
runs, three hits and three walks, striking out eight. Justin
Farzadkish closed out Westchester -- the District 2 representative --
in the seventh to earn the save.
Sheridan and Vallejo led La Crescenta with multiple-hit games,
and Gee and Salzman anchored a strong defensive effort.
"Every game somebody has stepped up," Lee said.
"It's not the same team as last year, but they still stick
together and play well."
La Crescenta 10, Simi Valley 5: Justin Farzadkish tossed the first
four innings and Frank Montes threw the final three to earn the save
in Friday's opening-round win against the host team, representing
Jesse Meaux led La Crescenta's offensive outburst with two home
runs and a single, and Trevor Gee, Michael Sheridan and Andrew
Vallejo each had two hits for Lee's squad.