A seven-run, four-hit, first inning by the Burroughs High baseball team was more than enough offense as the Indians bulldozed to a 12-2, five-inning Pacific League victory over city rival Burbank on Tuesday at Tomahawk Field.
The teams will square off on Friday at Burbank with a 7 p.m. opening pitch and the Indians can claim a portion of the league banner with a win after Arcadia upset Crescenta Valley.
By committing seven errors, the Bulldogs dug a hole few teams could escape from.
“That was a rough first inning for them, and you feel bad, but we teach our players to catch the ball,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “Every kid wants to do well.”
Sherwood added: “On offense, we worked the count and it paid off. One through nine, every kid can play. Right now we’re concentrating on the last two games.”
The defending league champion Indians (18-6 and 11-2 in league) batted around in the first inning as leadoff hitter Justin Palafox struck out and singled in a pair of runs.
Nathan Palafox doubled to left center for two runs, while Riley Hooper singled to right field for another tally.
Mitch Lefevre, who had two hits, singled and eventually came around to score on a balk.
The assault didn’t end as Burroughs made it 8-0 with a run in the second inning when Brandon Martinez walked to lead off the frame and moved to third base when Nathan Palafox reached base on an error. Martinez scored on Tanner Whitlock’s base hit up the middle.
Burroughs added insurance runs with a four-run, fifth inning that saw the team trot 10 batters to the plate.
Nathan Palafox drove in a run after getting nicked by a pitch, while Noah Laborico walked with the bases jammed to drive in a run.
Jason Whaley started off matters by getting aboard on an error and eventually came around to score.
Randy Catlett drove in a run with a long triple to left center and also crossed the plate.
Martinez was hit by a pitch and likewise also came around to touch the plate and Omar Tejeda was safe on an error and also scored.
The Bulldogs (8-11 and 7-5), who are in fourth place and will also qualify for the upcoming CIF Southern section playoffs, managed two runs off Jesse Galindo and one came in the third inning when Adrian Johnson led off with a single to right center. He advanced to second and third bases on wild pitches and scored on a ground out by Johnathan Castaneda that trimmed the lead to 8-1.
The other run was tallied in the fourth inning when Danny Porras singled up the middle, moved to second base on a passed ball, third base on a grounder and came home on a wild pitch.
“There is always such a buildup about these games that it’s a very emotional moment,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said. “It’s always disappointing to lose and we expected to do well. Things just snowballed offensively and snowballed defensively. But we have to move forward.”
Galindo earned the win after working five innings, allowing three hits with five strikeouts, one walk and one hit batter.
Colby Vosgien took the loss and went four and one-third innings, surrendering seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks.