YOUNTVILLE — Van Nuys Show Ball discovered the same thing Valley Chatsworth did last year--the Danville Hoots are pretty good.
Van Nuys hung with the defending state champions for seven innings before Danville broke away.
The Hoots scored seven runs in the eighth inning to defeat Van Nuys, 18-7, in a game shortened to eight innings because of the 10-run mercy rule in the first round of the California State American Legion baseball championships Saturday at the Veterans Home of California's Cleve Borman Field.
Van Nuys has to come through the losers' bracket to get to the regional.
Last season, Chatsworth lost its first game and ended up winning three games to advance to the regionals.
"We'll be ready [today]," Coach Jody Breeden of Van Nuys said. "Their pitcher did OK. We won't roll over and die.
"We don't want to lose two and go home."
Pitcher Matt Brown (7-0) of Danville was shaky but did enough to remain undefeated. The California-bound Brown gave up six earned runs on seven hits and struck out 10.
He kept the middle of the order quiet, limiting Felipe Tetelboin, Brendan Ryan, Alec Moss and Chris Dickerson to one hit.
Most of the damage for Van Nuys was done by the bottom of the lineup, with Steve Moss hitting a two-run home run and Mike Marble getting two hits.
Leadoff hitter Kevin Flahertyhad three hits and six runs batted in for Danville.
Flaherty ended the game with a grand slam over the right-field fence.
Jonathon Brewster had two hits, including a home run, and three RBIs for Van Nuys (29-3).
Van Nuys will play in the losers' bracket today at 9 a.m. against Lakewood.
Chino defeated Lakewood, 12-9, in the opening game on Saturday.
Lakewood had a four-run lead twice in the game before Chino rallied behind Chad Cordero.
Cordero, who was drafted by the San Diego Padres, struck out eight in 4 1/3 innings of relief, allowing no hits.
In the late game, Sacramento Southside defeated Stockton Karl Ross, 10-5.
Southside will play Danville at 3 p.m. in a winners' bracket game today.
Karl Ross will play Chino at 12:30 p.m. today.
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)
AMERICAN LEGION STATE TOURNAMENT
Van Nuys Show Ball 7
Sacramento Southside 10,
Stockton Karl Ross 5