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Crescenta Valley High baseball players pitch in for annual Falcons Summer Baseball Camp

Baseball: Fourth annual Falcons Summer Camp draws 100 campers, about 40 player coaches to make it run.

June 20, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • Crescenta Valley High baseball Coach and Falcons Summer Baseball Camp creator Phil Torres whistles to signal campers transition to another skill station.
Crescenta Valley High baseball Coach and Falcons Summer… (Raul Roa/Staff…)

GLENDALE — With 100 kids hustling between 10 skill stations at the blow of a whistle, the Falcons Summer Baseball Camp ran like a fine-tuned machine.

“You know how we do things here,” camp creator and Crescenta Valley High baseball Coach Phil Torres said.

While the camp runs like clockwork, it doesn’t come without some actual work.

PHOTOS: Falcon Summer Baseball Camp at Stengel Field

“My high school kids are here every morning,” Torres said. “Sunday we spent about five hours just cleaning the park, mowing and watering because we want it nice when the campers come every morning and see it.”

The event serves as a fundraiser for the CV baseball program and nearly has a two-to-one camper-to-coach ratio. Around 40 current CV baseball players and a handful of other locals now at the collegiate level pitched in, including St. Francis graduate Mark Saatzer (Chapman University) and former Falcons Matt Ashby (University of La Verne) and Dustin Emmons, who went on to play at UC Riverside and in the New York Mets minor league organization.

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For incoming juniors at Crescenta Valley Jimmy Smiley and Brett Klein, serving as player-coaches at the camp the past three years has been a full-circle experience after attending for about three years.

“It was great just coming here, being in the camp, getting to know all the coaches,” said Klein of being a three-time camper, “and then being able to come back and work it with all the same coaches, it’s a great thing to do.”

Campers, ages 7 to 13, learned baseball fundamentals in the fourth annual summer camp, which ran Monday through Thursday at Stengel Field. Drills ranged from hitting, fielding, pitching and agility.

“I learned how to dive, I learned how to catch fly balls and I learned how to catch, very fun,” said 7-year-old Lulu Arzoumanian, a second grader at Lincoln Elementary who attended the camp for her first year.

Thursday was a chance for the campers to display what they’d learned throughout the week, as every skill station — from the batting cage, pitching mound, infield and outfield — was turned into a competition with winners receiving a cold Gatorade on the summer day.

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