NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Marcel Martinez can spot a quality pitching performance.
Martinez, the coach of the La Crescenta 15-year-old All-Star baseball team, got right to the point Tuesday night after watching Torrance pitcher Shane Smith repeatedly tie up his players' bats in knots and end their season.
"Shane threw a great game," said Martinez, whose team suffered a 4-0 loss to Torrance in the if-necessary championship contest at Stengel Field. "He just kept us off-balance.
"We were able to compete, but Torrance is just an incredible team. It's a tough loss for us."
La Crescenta posted a 3-0 win in the championship game earlier Tuesday behind the standout pitching of Ryan Garcia, who held Torrance to five hits.
Smith turned in a near carbon-copy performance in the if-necessary game. Smith limited La Crescenta to three hits in going the distance and helped Torrance advance to the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament, which begins Aug. 4 in Ukiah.