The Falcons (11-1) have grown accustomed to big innings in the early stages of games recently, and the Eagles (2-11) witnessed it firsthand Monday. Taking batting practice the morning of games has also proved to be a built-in advantage for the Falcons, who have won the tournament a record seven times.
"They've been able to take batting practice in the morning for about an hour and they are swinging the bats well at night," said Crescenta Valley Coach Phil Torres, whose team last won the tournament in 2005 and is ranked No. 8 in the latest CIF Southern Section Division II poll. "It's been conducive.
"The top of our [batting] order has been very good lately. They can swing."
Crescenta Valley, which opened the tournament Saturday night with a 5-4 division victory against Santa Monica and is now likely two more victories removed from winning the tourney, scored three runs in the top of the first inning against Oak Park starting pitcher Garrett Stanton. A sacrifice fly by Kyle Murray gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead. Crescenta Valley made it 2-0 on a throwing error by the catcher and 3-0 on a run-scoring double by Kyle Pomeroy.
The Falcons didn't stop there. They scored four runs in the second, highlighted by a towering home run over the left-field fence by the red-hot Troy Mulcahey. Mulcahey's two-run home run extended Crescenta Valley' advantage to 7-0 and was his seventh roundtripper of the season.
After Crescenta Valley scored three runs in the third to make it 11-0, Torres removed most of his starters to give many of the reserves an opportunity to showcase their skills. By that time, Elliot Surrey had three hits and had driven in two runs and Mulcahey collected two hits and drove in two.
"We haven't had a lot of blowouts, so it was good to get some people in who haven't played all that much," Torres said.