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Family moves one step closer to championship

Baseball: L.A. Family beats Burbank, 9-3, and will now face Crescenta Valley Andy's in semis.

June 18, 2007|By Gabriel Rizk

GLENDALE — Foothill L.A. Family surged through the quarterfinal round of the Little League District 16 Minor Baseball Knockout Tournament Saturday with a convincing 9-3 victory against the Burbank Dodgers.

The win sets up a semifinal game Tuesday with some unfamiliar competition — Crescenta Valley Andy's, which advanced to the semis Friday with a win against Crescenta Valley Billy's.

"We don't play CV during the season, so we're excited about playing CV and Tujunga teams just to see what it's like," L.A. Family Coach Rick Dickerson said. "I wasn't sure which team we were playing. I didn't get to see, because we're too busy practicing."

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Practice paid off for L.A. Family (13-8) Saturday, as the team played a solid all-around game paced by starting pitcher Jack Porras' strong 4 2/3 innings.

Porras allowed one run on six hits while striking out four, and was backed by an offense that scored early and often.

Leadoff hitter Ryan Keen, who scored all four times he reached base, got things started in the first inning by working a walk, taking second on a wild pitch, stealing third and scoring on a throwing error.

Leading 1-0 in the third inning, L.A. Family again followed Keen's lead for a three-run rally. Keen walked, stole second and came around on a a pair of wild pitches.

Porras, who was three for four with three runs batted in, singled to right field with one out later in the inning to score Tyler Lousarian for a 3-0 lead. Garrett Fritz and Ted Velasquez then reeled off back-to-back singles to score Porras.

"[Keen's] job is to get on base and he did that," Dickerson said. "He ran the bases, we took advantage of the wild pitches, advanced the runners well and guys were waiting for their pitch."

Porras ran into a speed bump in the bottom of the fourth, but minimized the damage from back-to-back leadoff singles to just one run.

L.A. Family was able to get that run back and more in the top of the sixth, however, adding three runs on three more hits.

Keen singled and was knocked in by Velasquez, who was again plated by Porras.

Morgan Dickerson recorded the final four outs after Porras was removed with 58 pitches thrown.

"Jack pitched five great innings," Dickerson said. "We wanted to try and save him for the next game, so we pulled him after 58 pitches.

"We made some good defensive plays. Defensively we are a fairly solid team and we were today.


  • GABRIEL RIZK covers sports. He can be reached at (818) 637-3226 or by e-mail at gabriel.rizk@latimes.com.

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