GLENDALE — It was one of those days for the Quartz Hill baseball team and its batters.
The line drives the Rebels were used to ending in extra-base hits were instead finishing in the gloves of Crescenta Valley defenders on Friday.
Quartz Hill was held to six hits in a 3-0 loss to Crescenta Valley in a CIF-Southern Section Division 2 quarterfinal game at Stengel Field at Glendale College.
The Rebels (23-9) were making their first quarterfinal appearance since losing at Paso Robles three years ago.
“We did good,” Quartz Hill senior Jeovanny Delgado said. “We were hitting line drives, but the air is just more thicker here, so the ball isn’t flying as much. It’s hard, when you hit line drives and it goes right to the glove. There’s nothing you can do about it.”
It was a dramatic difference from the Rebels’ 14-12 second-round playoff win against Maranatha at Quartz Hill High on Tuesday.
“When it’s 3,000 feet less in elevation, no wind, it becomes a defensive game,” Quartz Hill coach Aaron Kavanagh said. “We hit the ball hard and we hit the ball right at them.
“One loss should never define, a playoff loss doesn’t define us. I think the CIF baseball championship is the hardest one to win and to go on the road and try to win is tough. We came up short against a quality opponent.”
Crescenta Valley (20-9) scored its first run in the second inning on an error, after senior Brian Ghattas led off the inning with a walk, advanced to third on a one-out double by junior Isaac Sung.
The Falcons added a run in the third. Senior Jamie Bleveans led off the inning with a single, advanced to third on a single by junior Will Grimm and scored on the third-straight single, by junior Vincent Parrott. Grimm was thrown out in a rundown trying to advance to second on the play.
“I think we did phenomenal,” Grimm said. “We were lucky to get a few runs. I just knew I could trust my defense.
“It’s amazing, especially after last year at the same point.”
While Grimm had the lapse on the basepaths, he excelled on the mound, pitching a complete game shutout, holding Quartz Hill to six hits and two walks and striking out six.
Although the Rebels had one batter reach base in each of the first three innings, the Rebels had their first threat in the fourth inning, but were held scoreless.
Sophomore Mason Johnson hit a one-out single and junior Andrew Allanson followed with a double.
Senior Isaac Moreno hit a fly ball to center field, but not deep enough to allow Johnson to tag from third. Allanson thought Johnson was going and drifted far from second base and was thrown out before returning to end the inning.
Quartz Hill sophomore Cole Vargas started on the mound for the Rebels and gave up two runs on six hits and one walk, giving way to sophomore Ryan Reddemann after giving up two consecutive hits to start the fourth. Reddemann retired the next three batters to escape that jam and gave up one run on three hits and one walk in three innings, striking out four.
“The sun will come up tomorrow. This isn’t the end. They’re going from one chapter to the next,” Kavanagh said. “The sophomores and juniors, their next season starts. We were senior heavy, with so many great things. How do you get upset at 23 wins, quarterfinals and league champs? It’s all positive.”
Quartz Hill won its seventh consecutive Golden League title, with 11 seniors on its roster, six of which were in the starting lineup on Friday.
“It’s a great playoff run,” said Delgado, a four-year varsity player. “I think we did the best we could. We pitched the best pitchers we had and we did the best we could. I think we had a better run than most of my other years, but it had to end today.
“It’s exciting. It’s exciting with these people, because we all play together outside of school. We do little things, like basketball. It’s a family. We win together and we lose together.”
Crescenta Valley added a run on an error in the fifth inning.
“Road games in the playoffs are tough,” Kavanagh said.
Quartz Hill senior Mike Marshall led off the fifth with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Ryan Sanders, but advanced no further.
Senior Nathan Hernandez hit a one-out single in the sixth and Johnson followed with a walk, but the next two batters were retired in order.
“We’re very fortunate. These guys can hit,” Crescenta Valley coach Phil Torres said. “Aaron does a great job with their offensive approach. They swing the bat. I don’t think we played our outfielders that deep all year until today. Their pitchers did a great job. Our pitcher did a great job too. It was a pretty good playoff game.
“We left a lot of guys out there. They left a lot of guys out there.”
Sung went 3-for-3 for the Falcons.
Crescenta Valley will play at Norco in the semifinals on Tuesday. Norco won at Villa Park 4-1 in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Crescenta Valley advanced to the semifinals four years ago at Mission Viejo.
The game was originally scheduled to start at 7 p.m., but Kavanagh insisted the game have an earlier start.
The Glendale College baseball team moved its Friday game to 12:30 p.m., so the playoff game could have an earlier start.
“I love the facility, but it’s different,” Torres said.
Torres said he was at the field until 9:45 p.m. Thursday night, helping to ensure the field was in good condition after Glendale College played an 11-inning game.