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CV takes home Babe Herman title

Baseball: Surrey hits walk-off single to score Pollak in eighth inning for 1-0 Falcons win in tournament championship game.

April 07, 2011|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Having essentially steamrolled its previous two opponents en route to the championship game of the 45th annual Babe Herman Tournament, Crescenta Valley High's baseball team found itself in the unfamiliar setting of a nailbiter on Wednesday night.

But the championship against West Torrance, though distinct in its close nature, concluded as the last 13 games have for the Falcons — with them emerging victorious.

On the strength of a lights-out relief appearance and a walk-off single in the bottom of the eighth inning by Elliott Surrey, Crescenta Valley collected its first Babe Herman title since 2005 with a dramatic 1-0 win over West Torrance at Stengel Field.

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"It feels great cause we're the host and we feel like that's how it should be," said Falcons senior Tyler Pollak, who scored from second on Surrey's sharp single to right field. "We definitely played our best these games and it feels great to win it like this."

Pollak, who had a pair of singles, led off the bottom of the eighth with an infield single. On the ensuing at-bat, Falcons Coach Phil Torres rolled the dice and pinch hit freshman Joe Torres, his son, with a 1-1 count, removing starter Andrew Fagundo, a right-handed batter. Joe Torres, a left-handed batter, laid down a perfect bunt to third base off left-handed starter Daniel Timmerman that moved Pollak into scoring position and was then bobbled, allowing Torres to reach safely. After Timmerman struck out the next batter, up stepped Surrey.

"I was just looking for a pitch that was in my range," said Surrey, who went two for four and also pitched two perfect innings in relief for the victory. "I just wanted to put it in play."

On a 1-0 count, Surrey pulled a single through the hole and Pollak sprinted home, sliding in safely just ahead of the throw.

"I hope it gets through, I hope it gets through," said Pollak of his thoughts when Surrey made contact.

Added Surrey: "I thought [the second baseman] was gonna get it and get me at first. Then when I saw it got through, I looked over to third and I got pumped."

Surrey, who was bestowed the tournament's most valuable player award, was mobbed by teammates after sending the Falcons (13-1) to their 13th straight victory and the program's eighth overall tournament crown. Surrey finished the tournament with seven innings pitched and gave up just one run and three hits, while striking out 13. At the plate, he went 10 for 19 with seven runs batted in and three runs scored.

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