Baseball: The Pacific League showdown tonight at 7 decides if Arcadia wins league crown outright or shares it with rival Crescenta Valley. Can the Apaches 3-peat?

Above: Arcadia’s KJ Edson has had the kind of season that makes him a Star-News Player of the Year candidate.

Anyone looking to experience a playoff-like atmosphere need look no further.

The site is Arcadia High at 7 tonight, when the Apaches will host Crescenta Valley. On the line will be Arcadia’s chance to clinch the Pacific League baseball title outright.

The formula is simple: win, and the Apaches (22-3, 13-0) sit alone in the standings for a third consecutive title. Lose, and they share the crown with rival Crescenta Valley (23-3, 13-1). The visiting Falcons got the best of Arcadia in the first meeting in April, 4-2.

Also at stake is prime position for playoff seedings. Arcadia currently is No. 4 in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 coaches poll, while Crescenta Valley is No. 5. The final position could be the difference between playing a wild- card game Tuesday or going straight to a first-round appearance. As if that isn’t enough, Arcadia is putting its 29-game league winning streak on the line.

There won’t be any surprises tonight on the mound. Arcadia will send out ace KJ Edson, who’s 9-1 with a 0.62 ERA and 61 strikeouts, and pitched a complete game against the Falcons in the first meeting.

Expect to see Elliott Surrey take the mound for the Falcons. The Apaches had him on the ropes in the first meeting, but Surrey’s proven that he has the arsenal to be an ace. He has a no-hitter under his belt this season, and has a wicked fastball that’s stymied many.

The delivery is the only difference between Edson and Surrey.

“They both pound the strike zone,” Arcadia coach Nick Lemas said. “They work to get ahead of hitters, they trust their stuff.

“Both have effective fastballs. KJ throws from submarine and Surrey is over the top, but both are pitchers. They’re not throwers. They have a plan and know how to throw to a hitter.”

Surrey is unbeaten so far this season. Edson’s lone loss came to Northview early in the season.

“Every pitcher gets into a jam,” Lemas said, “but the good ones are able to get out of it.”

That the final game of the season carries so much weight creates an exciting atmosphere, but if he had his druthers, Lemas would’ve had it all locked up by now.

“I love the competition, don’t get me wrong,” he said, “but I’d love to have had it wrapped up.

“But it’s good for us to play a final game that has a lot of meaning. There’s more hype to this game because it’s CV-Arcadia, our records and how we’re both doing.”

On the flip side, it gives the perception that the Pacific League is a strong league, and that could benefit both teams when coaches make the playoff pairings.

“Especially in Division 2 there’s a lot of wild-card games,” Lemas said.

“We’re both ranked in the top five of CIF, and hopefully whoever loses this game still is able to get into the first round without playing a wild-card game. You never know. We’ll just have to earn the game.”

Parisi weighs in

Expect Pasadena coach Mike Parisi to be in attendance tonight at Arcadia. He loves baseball and knows top- caliber teams when he sees them. In this case, he’s played against them, too.

Asked to pick the best pitcher between Edson and Surrey, Parisi didn’t hesitate.

“Edson definitely has the advantage because he’s had the biggest starts and he’s had two big years,” Parisi said.

“Surrey’s had other quality pitchers on his staff. Edson’s lived up to the hype.”

Below: Crescenta Valley’s Elliott Surrey, sporting the Greg Maddux look.

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  • Another pitcher’s mom

    KJ deserves Star News Player of the Year win or lose tonight. No other pitcher in the area has had such success on that difficult of a schedule. The Pacific League has several good teams and overall very good pitching from at least 4 (if not more) teams in that league. I hope both teams play a good game but that the Apaches come out on top! Go KJ and company!

  • Vincent Chase

    I love the atmosphere of the AHS vs. CV games. Coach Lemas is doing a masterful job w/ the team. Keep it clean and good luck to both teams.

  • brokenarrow

    those who like HS ball will be there tonight… it is on and crackin’. good luck and health to both squads

    go apaches

  • Another pitcher’s mom

    We have many good pitchers in our area and I think that you should give Joey Malham from St. Francis a look. This senior was 4-2 in the Mission League, without question the tougest competition in our area. He will be continuing his pitching at UMASS Amhurst, a Division 1 program. St. Francis beat Loyola last night at Jackie Robinson stadium securing a playoff spot without a word in the Star News. I’ve never understood why but if the Prep Sports Editor decides that these boys do not deserve coverage and another story on Monrovia does, so be it. St. Francis baseball will quietly go about it’s business without any reporting but that should not prevent these boys some recognition even if it’s only on the blogs!

  • How ‘Bout them Apaches

    Wow. What a great game. KJ went out and did what he has been doing all year. And thats dominating the opposition. I feel bad for CV, because KJ absolutly has their number. He hasn’t lost to them in his career on the varsity team. He has a sub 1.00 era. There was just nothing they could do. He had good velocity (lower to mid 80’s) and he was spotting up. Arcadias offense showed up early and often. All KJ needed was a few runs and Arcadia knew they had it in the bag.

    Great win Apaches!

    Undefeated back to back years in league? I think so!!!

  • brokenarrow

    great job tonight fellas