An RBI double by Oscar Aguirre in the bottom of the fourth inning was the only blemish for Crescenta Valley, as it had shut out its previous three opponents. The Falcons (20-2, 11-1 in league) have allowed more than one run in just two games during the winning streak — a winning streak that has showcased dominance.
"Pitching and defense is ridiculous right now, hitting is just on fire," said starter Kam Krise, who improved to 8-1 with the win. "Another mercy-rule [win]."
Four of the Falcons' last five wins have come via the mercy-rule. In contrast, the last two losses for Hoover (7-13, 4-8) were by 10-run deficits. Friday's defeat was easier to stomach when compared to Wednesday's error-laden loss to Burroughs, though.
"Before the game, I just told them to come out and compete," Hoover Coach Jim Delzell said. "I can't knock our kids' effort, CV is just a very good team."
It showed in all three facets of the game.
With an error-free defense behind him, Krise was dominant, allowing only three hits and no walks, while striking out nine.
"Kam did a great job keeping us off-balance," said Delzell, who got two hits from Aguirre to go with a double by Chris Turner, who scored Hoover's only run. "Our kids tried, he was just better than our hitters."
Offensively, Crescenta Valley was held scoreless by Hoover starter Jason Ochart in the first, but a second-inning home run by Chris Johnson opened the Falcons floodgates.
"CJ started it off," said Falcons designated hitter Dustin Emmons of Johnson's two-run dingers that scored Johnson and Emmons for a 2-0 lead. "I think we're seeing the ball real well.
"When we get started early, we do pretty well."
Johnson's two-run bomb was the beginning of a four-run inning for the Falcons.
Five more runs, all of them unearned, came across in the third, highlighted by Kauppila's triple to center that scored Micah Dunham.
With Chad Nacapoy aboard, Emmons went yard in the fourth for an 11-0 lead. He finished the game two for two, with a double as well. Brandt Bowers also had two hits, as six Falcons combined for nine hits.
Tied for first with Arcadia, the Falcons have two games left, including the season finale against the archrival Apaches on Friday.
"We don't worry about that game, we worry about the next," Kauppila said.
That's Tuesday against Pasadena, and should the Falcons win out, they'll clinch their sixth straight title.
GRANT GORDON covers sports. He can be reached at (818) 637-3225 or by e-mail at email@example.com.