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Smiley, Crescenta Valley High baseball shut down Glendale

Baseball: Falcons foil Nitros' stellar league start, as junior Ks 12 in 4-0 win.

April 08, 2014|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • Crescenta Valley High pitcher Jimmy Smiley fist bumps with coaches and teammates after catching a line drive come-backer and then throwing out the Glendale runner at first base in a Pacific League baseball game on Tuesday. Crescenta Valley beat Glendale, 4-0. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
Crescenta Valley High pitcher Jimmy Smiley fist bumps…

GLENDALE — Though the Pacific League baseball season is still in its infant stages, it has been quite some time since Glendale High was ahead of Crescenta Valley in the league standings.

Such was the case Tuesday afternoon when the Nitros hosted the Falcons with a new coach, a field looking as good as it has in years and crowded stands.

PHOTOS: CV boys' baseball shuts down Glendale

But while Tuesday was very much emblematic of how much things are changing for the Nitros, the day belonged to Crescenta Valley and junior starting pitcher Jimmy Smiley.

“Jimmy, he was on. He was hitting his spots, everything was working for him; plus it’s his birthday, so it was a good birthday gift for him,” said Falcons freshman Kewin Ledesma, who had two runs batted in and a run scored to back Smiley’s shutout in Crescenta Valley’s 4-0 league victory over Glendale.

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Smiley was downright dominant, striking out 12 to no walks, allowing three hits, hitting one batter and allowing no runs over seven innings.

“I thought I did OK, pretty good,” said Smiley, who exploited the outside corner, getting plenty of calls and, at other times, getting Nitros batters to miss badly. “The umpire helped me out a little bit.

“I felt pretty good and I felt pretty good having my defense behind me.”

With the victory, Crescenta Valley improved to 9-7 and 2-1 in league, while Glendale fell to 5-7-1 and 2-1 in league with its season-high three-game winning streak concluding.

“We’ve done some good things, but, today, we reverted back,” Nitros Coach Alan Eberhart said. “Smiley threw the ball great. He threw a slider, it was wicked.”

Ledesma and the Falcons took the lead in the second inning when Ledesma led off with a double and later scored on a wild pitch.

The Falcons’ advantage grew in the third thanks to some outstanding situational hitting and aggressive play.

Following an excellent sliding backhanded stop and subsequent throw by Nitros junior shortstop Justin French to get the leadoff batter, Adrian Damla singled up the middle. The Falcons then called a hit-and-run and with French moving toward second base, Crescenta Valley junior Michael Russo (two doubles) blistered a ball up the middle right through the hole to hustle in for a double. With runners on second and third, Ledesma wasted no time and went the opposite way to push a two-run single into right field past a drawn-in infield.

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