By Nathan Cambridge, Correspondent
ARCADIA – Arcadia High School’s KJ Edson threw a complete game and senior George Papavasiliou hit a three-run homer to lead the Apaches to a 8-1 victory over visiting Crescenta Valley and claim the outright Pacific League championship Friday.
It was the third consecutive league title for the Apaches (23-3, 14-0) and came against a Crescenta Valley (22-4, 12-2) team that had been looking to share the championship.
“It’s awesome just to win league, and to secure a number one seed going into the playoffs is just huge,” Arcadia coach Nick Lemas said. “To go undefeated again is just icing on the cake. You’ve got to tip your hat to these kids.”
The victory over the Falcons completed a perfect run through league for the second year in a row. Arcadia also stretched its league winning streak to 30 games.
Edson allowed just three hits for his 10th victory.
“I just did my job, threw strikes and my defense helped me out,” Edson said.
All of Crescenta Valley’s hits were singles, including one each in the third, fourth and fifth innings. The Falcons’ lone run scored in the third inning and was unearned.
“(Edson) pitched really well and kept us off-balance,” Crescenta Valley coach Phil Torres said.
The senior recorded four of his five strikeouts in the final two innings, including the game’s final two batters.
Edson used eight pitches or fewer to retire the Falcons in each of the first five innings and needed just 61 pitches for the victory.
“His nerves had to be rattling, but you couldn’t tell,” said Lemas, whose team was ranked No. 4 in the latest CIF-SS Division 2 coaches poll.
“He is a number one pitcher.”
The Apaches strung together five consecutive hits off Falcons starting pitcher Elliot Surrey in a three-run second inning. Arcadia senior George Papavasiliou, batting seventh, hit a home run over the right-field fence to drive in Erik Trask and Gary Huang, who earlier had singled. The Apaches followed the home run with two more singles, but Surrey escaped additional damage when Brandon Benson hit into an inning-ending double play.
The left-handed Surrey, who suffered his first defeat of the season, was pulled trailing 5-1 in the third inning with two outs after the Apaches scored two more runs. Arcadia’s Brendan Campbell had an RBI single with one out. There were two outs when Gary Huang hit a single to right field that was misplayed and allowed Huang to score from first.
The Falcons committed two errors in the fourth inning with two outs. Falcons relief pitcher Kyle Murray then threw a wild pitch to bring in the Apaches’ sixth run.
With Friday’s loss Crescenta Valley finished second in the league for the second consecutive year.