Tag Archives: Burbank High

Burroughs Softball Blanks Burbank 6-0 For Share Of Third Straight League Title

By Rick Assad

 

There was much riding on the outcome of Thursday night’s Pacific League softball clash between Burroughs High and Burbank at McCambridge Park.

A win by the Indians would assure them of a first-place tie with Crescenta Valley, and a victory by the Bulldogs would give them fourth place, one game ahead of Glendale and a CIF Southern Section playoff berth.

Some members of the Burroughs softball team gather after beating rival Burbank and winning a third consecutive Pacific League banner. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In the end, junior Presley Miraglia was simply too good and in control, striking out 11 and yielding four hits in a 6-0 complete-game shutout in the regular-season finale as the Indians secured a share of a third straight league title.

“Any time we go into a game, we feel good,” first-year Burroughs coach Wes Tanigawa said. “The way they were focused and settled down, I felt good.”

The Indians (19-8 and 12-2 in league) scurried in front 1-0 in the fourth inning against sophomore Alyssa Porras and added five more runs in the sixth.

The initial tally started when Miraglia (three singles) reached base on an error. Sophomore Citlali Mendez then came in to pinch run and moved to second base on sophomore Mia Storer’s infield hit.

Junior pitcher Presley Miraglia, shown in a recent game, allowed four hits with 11 strikeouts in a 6-0 win over the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Mendez took third base on junior Jessica Amaya’s sacrifice bunt and crossed the plate on junior Nikki Ricciardella’s perfect sacrifice squeeze bunt.

Burbank (12-14 and 8-6 in league) fell behind 6-0 after the five-run explosion that began with a base hit by Miraglia to left field. Once again, Mendez ran for her.

Junior hurler Allie Benson replaced Porras and faced Storer, who was safe on an error.

Pinch hitter Kaitlin Escamilla, a sophomore, drew a walk to load the bases and Ricciardella was hit by a pitch which forced in a run.

The key blow was delivered by senior Amanda Flores (two hits), who clubbed a two-run double to right center.

Porras re-entered and allowed an infield single to pinch hitter, sophomore Morgan Mersola, that scored a run and two batters later, senior Lauren Lopez added a run-scoring single to right field.

“It got away from us,” Burbank coach Mike Delaney said. “We simply made too many key mistakes.”

Miraglia worked a perfect first and fanned all three batters before allowing a one-out single in the second inning to right center by junior Erin Lashkari, who went to second base on sophomore Sarah Garelick’s sacrifice bunt.

But Miraglia then collected herself and struck out junior Macie Jensen swinging.

Miraglia then fashioned a 1-2-3 third and fourth inning, striking out freshman Katie Treadway in the third and fanning junior Anysia Gonzalez in the fourth.

“My pitching coach worked with me to get my pitches down,” Miraglia said. “I needed to fix my level of pitches. I knew what I had to do.”

Delaney admitted that Miraglia was throwing hard and also keeping the ball down, but said they were perhaps too anxious. “We didn’t decide what part of the plate to swing at,” he pointed out.

Miraglia retired Lashkari to open the fifth inning on a liner to center field and then struck out Garelick looking.

Jensen reached first on a miscue and then stole second, however, Miraglia settled down and induced junior Bene Snyder to line out to first base.

Miraglia began the sixth inning by fanning senior pinch hitter Alyssa De La Torre, but surrendered an infield single to sophomore Alex Davis.

Miraglia whiffed sophomore Amaya Broyls, but allowed a single to left by junior Melissa Daniel, only to strike out Gonzalez swinging.

Miraglia induced Lashkari to ground out to begin the seventh, but Garelick laced a single to right center.

Jensen popped up for the second out and Snyder grounded out to seal the victory.

Porras allowed seven hits and struck out two with two walks in seven innings while Benson walked a batter, hit a batter and gave up one hit.

Burbank Baseball Closes Deal, Beats Burroughs, 5-1

By Rick Assad

 

Fittingly on Senior Night, a pair of upperclassmen for the Burbank High baseball team helped push the Bulldogs to a 5-1 Pacific League triumph over visiting Burroughs on Tuesday night.

Matt Lungaro ventured seven innings and yielded six hits, while Christian Guerra delivered the go-ahead, bases-loaded, two-run single to center field during a four-run sixth inning uprising.

“This was a big moment for him,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said of Guerra. “This was Senior Night and though he hasn’t had the season he wanted, he showed what he’s capable of doing.”

Matt Lungaro, shown in a recent Pacific League game, allowed six hits in a 5-1 win over Burroughs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The game was notched at 1-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth when senior Henry Leake walked to open the frame.

Junior designated hitter Abiezer Delgado was safe on a fielder’s choice and Leake scurried to second base on an error.

Junior Matthew Shaugabay was hit by a pitch and up stepped Guerra, who worked the count to 3-2 and then lined a Matthew Rudas fastball that made it 3-1.

“We might not be the most talented team, but we fight hard and we scrap,” Hart said. “We don’t take anything for granted. We fight for everything.”

The third run came in on a balk and Burbank’s advantage became 5-1 on junior Max Meltzer’s sacrifice fly.

The Bulldogs (14-8 and 10-3 in league) led 1-0 in the third inning when Meltzer singled to right field, and then stole second base.

The Indians had base runners, but cashed in only one run versus Burbank on Tuesday. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Sophomore Davis Mieliwocki’s base hit to center advanced Meltzer to third base and scored on senior Chris Minnick’s single.

The Indians (12-13 and 7-6 in league) evened it at 1-1 with a run in the fourth inning when junior Nathan Palafox led off with a single to left field.

Freshman Adan Perez came in as a pinch runner and junior Daniel Leonard (two singles) moved him to second base on a grounder. Perez eventually came around on an error.

“I’m proud of my guys,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said of his team who have a home game on Friday at 6 p.m. against the Bulldogs. “But you have to take your hat off to Burbank. They were the better team tonight.”

Sherwood continued: “It’s one game, but we’ll be back. That’s baseball,” he said.

Lungaro retired the side in order in the first and squirmed out of a second-inning jam.

Junior Andrew Jacob Barrera doubled down the left-field line to open the frame and took third on Leonard’s single to left.

Leonard stole second, but Lungaro then fanned junior Brandon Giraldo and junior Matthew Diaz to end the threat.

“I try and come out and just relax,” said Lungaro, who struck out seven. “I just want to hit my spots and not worry about all the stress. I felt pretty confident that we were going to win.”

The Bulldogs managed four hits, but scored five runs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Five batters went to the plate for the Indians in the third including sophomore Niccolo Chuidian, who led off with a single to left.

Freshman Ricardo Perez was safe on an error and advanced to second base on senior Brandon Martinez’s grounder, but senior Justin Palafox flied out and Barrera fanned to close the inning.

Martinez’s one-out single in the fifth was followed by Justin Palafox striking out and Barrera grounding out.

After Leonard’s one-out single in the sixth inning, Giraldo then flied out and Diaz grounded out.

Lungaro struck out Chuidian to open the seventh, Perez bounced back to the box and Martinez lined out.

Rudas, a senior, toured five-plus innings, allowing four hits with five strikeouts and one walk and five hit batters, while junior Brandon Ortega went one inning and nicked one batter.

Burbank Softball Falls Behind Early To Crescenta Valley, Loses 8-5

By Rick Assad

 

For all intents and purposes, two innings doomed the Burbank High softball team when it faced Crescente Valley on Thursday afternoon at McCambridge Park.

Getting the early jump, the Falcons scored three runs in the first and second innings and held on for an 8-5 Pacific League triumph.

“After that we settled down,” Burbank coach Mike Delaney said of the first two frames. “They put pressure on you and we didn’t handle that pressure very well.”

Alex Davis had a double in the first inning of an 8-5 loss to Crescenta Valley, but didn’t score. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Eight batters trotted to the plate in the opening stanza against sophomore Alyssa Porras, who went one and two-third innings initially, two and two-third overall, walking five with six hits allowed.

Five of the first six batters were safe including a bases-loaded walk to sophomore Viviana Bocanegra that forced in senior Jessica Yzaguirre (four hits), who led off with an infield single.

Sophomore Ryan Eldred (three singles) later added a two-run smash to right field that brought home sophomore Alyssa Hernandez, who walked and freshman Maddie De Leon (three hits), who drilled a single up the middle.

Crescenta Valley’s cushion was extended to 6-0 in the second inning when nine hitters marched to the dish.

Allie Benson entered as a reliever and held her own over four and one-third innings. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

De Leon’s two-out booming triple to left center scored Yzaguirre, who was safe on an infield single and Hernandez, who walked.

It became 6-0 on a bloop single to right center by Bocanegra off junior Allie Benson, who went four and one-third innings, walking six, with three hit batters, six hits surrendered and one strikeout, that brought in De Leon.

“Our pitchers were not hitting their spots,” Delaney said of his duo that combined to allow 11 walks and 12 hits with three hit batters.

Burbank (11-13 and 7-5 in league) cut the lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the second when junior Bene Snyder (two hits) had an infield single off junior Emily Mulcahey (seven innings while scattering 12 hits, walking two, with four strikeouts and one hit batter) that drove in junior Macie Jensen, who walked.

Melissa Daniel slides into third base during a two-run third inning versus the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Bulldogs chipped away and made it a three-run deficit with a two-run third inning as sophomore Sarah Garelick (two hits) rifled a single to center field that knocked in junior Melissa Daniel, who led off with a walk and junior Anysia Gonzalez, who reached base on an infield single.

“We’re a confident offensive team,” Delaney noted. “We don’t fear too many pitchers. But we had three strikeouts in critical situations.”

Burbank trimmed Crescenta Valley’s lead to 6-4 with a tally in the fourth inning when Daniel’s double to left field plated sophomore Amaya Broyls, who singled to center.

A two-run frame in the sixth by the Falcons (18-7-1 and 10-2 in league) pushed the lead to 8-4 as Eldred led off with a single to right center and later came around on an error while sophomore Peyton Hause’s run-scoring hit to center scored sophomore Kristy Taix, who laid down a sacrifice bunt and went to second base on an error.

The Bulldogs made it a three-run deficit with a run in the seventh when junior Erin Lashkari clubbed a long leadoff triple to left center and crossed the plate on Jensen’s single to right field.

Burbank sophomore Alex Davis doubled, junior Anysia Gonzalez singled twice and freshman Katie Treadway also singled.

Burroughs Boys Volleyball Sweeps Burbank To Remain Perfect

By Rick Assad

 

Despite the Pacific League banner already having been secured, the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team still wanted to play with tenacity and determination in Tuesday night’s match with rival Burbank, and it showed after sweeping, 25-18, 25-18, 25-8.

Though the Bulldogs lost both league meetings to the Indians, each team qualified for the upcoming CIF Southern Section playoffs.

Burbank’s Adrian Rivera shown during Tuesday’s three-set loss against Burroughs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

After taking the first two sets, the host Indians trailed 2-1 in the third game, but then scored the next 12 points and led 13-2 when Burbank senior setter Jonathan Tapan’s attempt sailed out of bounds.

“It’s an avalanche,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said of the run. “They had to be praying for a service error.”

In quick order, the Indians (16-13 and 10-0 in league) waltzed ahead 18-3 on a tapper from junior middle blocker Cole Kaitz, who tossed in six kills.

From this point, Burroughs outscored Burbank, which finished in third place, 7-5, including two winners from senior middle blocker Jarrett Malone (seven kills with seven digs and four blocks) and the match-clincher on senior opposite hitter Kurt Miller’s dagger.

Defense is the name of the game for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I was really impressed with the third game,” Brinton said. “The guys stayed hungry during every point.”

Brinton went on: “Our goal was to be laser focused for the whole match,” he said. “That’s the best focus we’ve had in a match.”

The first set saw the Indians burst in front 5-1 on junior middle blocker William Singleton’s tip.

Burroughs then moved in front 9-4 when Burbank junior outside hitter Jonathan Ragheb’s shot missed the target.

Slowly but surely, the Indians led 14-9 on a kill from Kaitz, 17-10 on an ace from senior outside hitter Conner Ludlum (nine kills) and 18-10 on Ludlum’s tapper.

The Bulldogs (22-13 and 6-4 in league) were able to get within 21-14 on a service winner from Ragheb, but the Indians were still in control as they moved ahead 23-16 on Ludlum’s smash.

Burbank senior opposite hitter Adrian Rivera played with immense skill, passion and poise, but his effort simply wasn’t enough.

“The first two sets we couldn’t make our serves,” Rivera said. “We all tried really hard and we gave 100 percent on the court.”

The Bulldogs made it close in the first two sets but faltered in the third versus the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Knowing that he’s one of the leaders, Rivera wanted to show the way.

“It starts with one person,” he said. “I give 130 percent on the court, but everyone gave everything they had.”

Rivera’s winners closed the gap to 6-3, 7-4, 13-9 and 18-11 in the first set and 18-4, 18-5 and 21-8 in the third set.

Burroughs took the opening frame by taking two of the last three points including a kill from Ludlum that made it 24-17 and senior libero Everett Kanoho’s bullet for the clincher.

Early in the second set it was a back-and-forth affair with Burbank taking a 6-4 lead on junior middle blocker Jonathan Valmonte’s kill.

The tide then shifted in favor of the Indians, who forged ahead 15-9 on Malone’s tapper.

The Bulldogs closed to within 18-13 on Ragheb’s smash, but the Indians righted the ship and moved in front 20-14 on a combined block from Singleton and Kaitz.

The Indians then took five of the next nine points including the game-winner on Malone’s service ace.

Burroughs junior outside hitter Diego Rosal finished with six kills and three aces while junior setter Jose Levi Benitez contributed 25 assists.

Burbank Baseball Can’t Keep Pace, Fall To Crescenta Valley, 7-0

By Rick Assad

 

For four brilliant innings, Burbank High’s Henry Leake used his full arsenal and had no-hit visiting Crescenta Valley on Friday night in a Pacific League match.

Then came the fateful fifth as Leake, a senior, allowed his first hit to senior Kewin Ledesma, a run-scoring single to right field, and when the frame was over the Falcons trotted eight hitters to the plate and scored four runs with the help of three errors and eventually pulled away for a 7-0 triumph.

Burbank Coach Bob Hart saw his team fall to Crescenta Valley 7-0 on Friday. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“You’ve gotta play catch,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said of that fifth inning and saw his club commit five. “They did a lot better job of that than we did.”

The Falcons (19-1 and 8-0 in league) are one of top teams in the CIF Southern Section and now own an impressive 17-game winning streak.

“Our guys hung in there and they competed well, especially Henry,” Hart said. “Crescenta Valley has good hitters and they’re a well coached team.”

In that ragged fifth, senior Will Rees also produced a run-scoring grounder and freshman Will Grimm singled.

Crescenta Valley, which took out the visiting Bulldogs 3-1 on Tuesday, tacked on three insurance runs off sophomore Joseph Clark in the seventh inning on junior Trevor Beer’s grounder and senior Troy Leef’s two-run double to right center.

Clark worked one inning, allowing three hits with one strike out and one hit batter.

“They had some timely hits,” Hart said of the Falcons, who finished with five overall. “That was the difference. They didn’t get a lot of hits, but they were timely.”

The Bulldogs defense committed five errors including three in the fifth inning versus the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Beer’s three-hit, complete-game shutout, saw the left-hander keep the Bulldogs (9-6 and 5-3 in league) off stride as he struck out six and walked two.

Crescenta Valley Coach Phil Torres praised Leak’s performance.

“Henry kept us off balance early in the game,” he said. “We have 21 guys and all 21 guys have played. We just kept plugging away.”

Leake toiled six innings, surrendered two hits with three strikeouts and two walks with one hit batter.

Senior Jonathan Castaneda led off the first inning with a walk, but sophomore Davis Mieliwocki and Leake both grounded out as Castaneda advanced to third base.

Junior Abiezer Delgado walked, but Beer then induced senior Chris Minnick to ground out to end the frame.

With one out in the second inning, senior Branden Phillips singled to center field, but Clark and junior Max Meltzer both fanned.

Beer was perfect in the third, setting down Castaneda on a grounder, Mieliwocki on a pop up and Leake on a strike out.

With one out in the fourth, Minnick singled to right field, Beer’s wild pitch moved him to second base and a sacrifice by junior Matthew Shaugabay to third base, but Phillips lined to right field.

Beer fanned senior Christian Guerra to open the fifth and commenced to strike out Meltzer and Castaneda.

Beer retired the side in order in the sixth inning, getting Mieliwocki to line out to the shortstop, Phillips on a fly out and Delgado on a liner to left field.

Minnick led off the seventh with an infield hit, but Shaugabay lined to right field and Phillips bounced into a game-ending double play.

Leake had his full assortment of pitches working as he retired the side in the first inning, inducing Ledesma and Grimm to ground out and senior Scott Vinceri to fly out.

Beer grounded out to lead off the second inning and senior Anthony Russo and senior Max Meyer both fanned looking.

Another 1-2-3 frame followed as senior Nico Arredondo grounded out, senior Jaimy Blank flied out and Rees grounded out.

In the fourth, Ledesma was safe on an error, but Grimm bounced into a force out, while Vinceri flied out and Beer struck out.

Burbank Softball Takes Out Rival Burroughs, 5-2

By Rick Assad

 

From the first inning, it was evident the Burbank High softball team was going to be extremely patient at the plate.

In many at-bats, including a bases-clearing double by junior Melissa Daniel in the sixth inning, the Bulldogs waited for hittable offerings from junior Burroughs ace Presley Miraglia.

Presley Miraglia surrendered six hits in a 5-2 loss to rival Burbank in a Pacific League match at Olive Park. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The result was Burbank’s 5-2 win in a Pacific League game at a jammed-packed Olive Park on Wednesday night, which snapped a three-game losing streak to its city rival.

“When we play like we’re capable of, like we did tonight, we’re a good team,” Burbank coach Mike Delaney said. “The reason we won was because of all 15 girls.”

Burbank’s lead was 2-1 heading into the sixth inning, but the advantage swelled to four runs on Daniel’s deep blast that saw her attempt to stretch the hit into a triple, but was thrown out at third base.

“The moment that I hit that pitch, I knew it was going to score the runners,” said Daniel, who also doubled in the fifth inning. “I’m really proud of this team. Alyssa Porras [winning pitcher] did an amazing job.”

Burroughs second baseman Nikki Ricciardella throws out a runner. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Bulldogs (6-11 and 5-3 in league) struck in the initial frame when junior Anysia Gonzalez, who also singled in the sixth, lined a two-out rocket to left center for a home run.

In the third, the lead swelled to 2-0 when sophomore Amaya Broyls sliced an opposite-field double down the left field line that scored sophomore Sarah Garelick, who was safe on an error.

The Indians (13-8 and 6-2 in league) cut the advantage in half with a run in the fourth as junior Hannah Talavera doubled to left center to lead off the inning.

It was the first hit for Burroughs against Porras, who retired the first nine batters she faced including three on strike outs.

Porras, a sophomore, was highly effective as she toured seven innings, striking out four, allowing seven hits and no walks across seven innings.

The Indians used “small ball” against Burbank pitcher Alyssa Porras. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Senior Lauren Lopez then rifled a base hit to right field as Talavera raced over to third base and scored on Miraglia’s single up the middle.

The Indians came within three runs in the sixth inning as senior Brianna Johnson drew a one-out walk and moved to third base on Miraglia’s double to right field.

The run scored on sophomore Mia Storer’s grounder, but the inning came to an end when senior Amanda Flores lined to Porras.

Sophomore Alex Davis singled in the sixth inning for the Bulldogs, but did not score.

Sophomore Kaitlin Escamilla singled twice for the Indians, and both times failed to cross the plate.

“If the girls don’t have it 100 percent, it could go either way,” Burroughs coach Wes Tanigawa said. “I’m hoping that they’re going to see what happened and not like it.”

Miraglia surrendered six hits and fanned five with one walk over seven innings, but some of her offerings found too much of the plate.

“Presley performs and she performs well,” Tanigawa said. “Sometimes I think that she feels she has to throw perfect pitches. Sometimes I think that she feels an added pressure.”

Burbank Baseball Trails Early, Loses 8-1 To Arcadia

By Rick Assad

 

Burbank High pitcher Matt Lungaro is usually quite reliable and effective, but his control was slightly off in the first inning and it cost him against visiting Arcadia on Tuesday afternoon.

Lungaro gave up a three-run homer to right center by senior John Woo in the initial frame before settling down until the sixth inning when the senior right-hander surrendered three more runs and took an 8-1 setback to the Apaches in a Pacific League game.

Matt Lungaro struggled early but then settled down against Arcadia. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“That home run was really big,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said. “When you get down like that so early and you’re chasing runs, it makes it really hard. But we have another chance at them on Friday.”

Hart said the short fence contributed to the deficit.

“That’s a fly ball in most parks, but not here,” he pointed out. “But Matt was having a hard time keeping the ball down and it hurt him.”

Lungaro toured five and one-third innings, allowing six runs, 10 hits with four strikeouts, one walk and one hit batter.

“Those were stressful innings,” Hart said of Lungaro’s time on the mound. “But after that first inning, he settled down and did a really good job.”

After retiring sophomore Jacob Lopez on a grounder, Lungaro gave up a base hit to left field by sophomore Jeffrey Castillo.

Second baseman Jonathan Castaneda throws over to first base for the out in a 8-1 loss to the Apaches. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Lungaro then walked sophomore Dominick Tello before Woo’s blast over the short fence.

Junior Tyus Santa Anna (two doubles and a single) was then hit by a Lungaro offering, but struck out senior Jacob Sergi and junior James Nagaoka, both looking to end the frame.

The Bulldogs (8-6 and 4-1 in league) cut the lead to 3-1 with a run in the fourth inning when junior Abiezer Delgago singled to right center with one out and scored on a two-out infield base hit from senior Branden Phillips.

Lungaro faced five Arcadia batters in the sixth inning and allowed four hits with three runners scoring including a run-tallying hit by junior Chase Pedersen (three singles).

Burbank Coach Bob Hart gives instructions during Tuesday’s Pacific League game with Arcadia. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Two other runners crossed the plate when senior Chris Minnick gave up a double to left field by Castillo that made it a five-run margin.

When the Apaches (9-7 and 5-0 in league) dented the scoreboard for two runs in the seventh inning off senior Christian Guerra the cushion became seven runs.

In the frame, Nagaoka (two singles) and junior Eddie Presz both lined run-producing base hits to center field.

With one out in the bottom of the first inning, sophomore Davis Mieliwocki singled up the middle, but senior Henry Leake popped up and Delgado flied to right.

A two-out base hit to right field by Minnick in the sixth inning ended there when junior Matthew Shaugabay fanned on a called third strike.

Senior Jacob Kampen was the winning pitcher after working six innings, allowing four hits, fanning eight with two walks.

Burbank Boys Volleyball Falls In Five Sets To Crescenta Valley

By Rick Assad

 

When the Burbank High boys’ volleyball team took the floor to face Crescenta Valley in a Pacific League encounter on Wednesday, the squad had to feel extremely confident.

This notion was well-founded as the Bulldogs forced a fifth and deciding set after falling behind two sets to one.

Burbank’s Adrian Rivera goes up for a kill while Crescenta Valley’s Anders Johnson tries to block the shot. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

A rally wasn’t in the cards  despite playing with skill and determination, losing to the visiting Falcons, 21-25, 25-13, 25-20, 17-25, 15-11.

The star was senior middle hitter Anders Johnson, who finished with 15 kills along with six blocks for the Falcons (14-2-2 and 2-0 in league).

Teammate and senior setter Eugene Shin contributed 44 assists and senior setter Gene Kim added 23 assists with seven digs.

Meanwhile, senior opposite hitter Adrian Rivera had a tremendous outing, but even with his talent, the Bulldogs (13-8 and 1-1 in league) came up just short.

“I really think that we were ready to play and

The Falcons’ Ben Allen (#9) goes for a winner at the net. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

even though we lost, we’re going to get them the next time,” Rivera said. “We expected to come out on top.”

Rivera added: “We were getting in their heads. We’re going to work harder.”

The fifth set began with the Bulldogs forging ahead 2-0 on a kill from junior middle blocker Rory Rickey.

It was even at 3-3 on a winner from Falcon senior outside hitter Ben Allen (eight kills).

Slowly Crescenta Valley moved ahead 10-6 on a block from Johnson, but the Bulldogs came within 12-10 on Rickey’s winner only to see the Falcons score three of the final four points, including the clincher from senior middle hitter Brett Dunkin (seven kills).

Fierce net play helped determine Wednesday’s Pacific League match between Burbank and Crescenta Valley. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“This was a pretty darn close match,” Crescenta Valley coach John Nelson said. “It came down to four points.”

Nelson continued: “We showed character and mental toughness. It’s hard to rattle them. We knew what was coming. We had some inconsistency, but we’re getting better. I told them, we can do this, we’re good,” he said.

The fourth set was tied 1-1, 2-2 and 3-3 until Burbank moved in front 7-3 on Rivera’s service ace.

The Falcons even it at 8-8 on Johnson’s smash, but a 7-3 explosion by the Bulldogs saw them dash ahead 15-11 on junior libero Edward Curren’s tapper.

The crowd was on its feet and the noise level rose significantly after Burbank freshman defensive specialist Vincent Vang’s block gave the hosts a 20-13 advantage.

The Bulldogs and Falcons were defensive-minded as Brett Dunkin (#15) and Spencer Lunt (#4) show off their skill. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The set was made official after an emphatic winner from Rivera that even the match at two sets apiece.

The third set was controlled by the Bulldogs in the early stages as they took a 6-3 edge on sophomore middle blocker Luca Bily’s stuff.

Crescenta Valley rallied and even it at 11-11 when Rickey’s attempt found the net and it became 13-13 on Allen’s rocket.

The Falcons took control 19-17 on junior outside hitter Matthew Gardner’s kill and closed it out with a 6-3 spurt that was capped off on Allen’s kill.

Burbank’s Jonathan Valmonte (#10) readies himself while Vincent Vang sets play. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank led 4-0 in the second set on a tapper from Rivera, but the Falcons went on an 8-4 run and evened it at 8-8 on Johnson’s kill.

Another Falcon run followed, this time 8-1 as Crescenta Valley led 16-9 on Kim’s winner.

Crescenta Valley leveled it at a set apiece after a 9-4 burst that was finalized on Johnson’s stuff.

Burbank was sharp in the initial set and skirted ahead 8-3 on a winner from junior middle blocker Jonathan Valmonte.

The lead was extended to 14-10 on Rivera’s kill and it became 18-15 on a Valmonte’s bullet.

The Bulldogs moved in front 21-17 on senior setter Jonathan Tapan’s dagger and then closed out the set on Rivera’s winner.

Burbank Boys Tennis Tops Burroughs, 16-2

By Rick Assad

 

As the early sets were being contested and then recorded into the score sheet, it became fairly apparent that Tuesday’s Pacific League boys’ tennis match between Burbank High and host Burroughs was going to be a rout.

After slightly more than two hours, it was exactly that as the Bulldogs prevailed 16-2 over the Indians.

Burbank is now 5-3 overall and 4-2 in league play while Burroughs is 2-5 and 1-5 in league action.

Spearheading the Bulldogs’ attack was James Lee, the No. 1 singles player who went 6-4, 6-0 and 6-1 over No. 1 junior Kendric Marcy, No. 2 sophomore Rafael Muniga and No. 3 freshman Sebastian Muga.

Lee said he expected a much closer match. “I think it was effort and motivation and more skill,” he pointed out. “But I didn’t think that it would be so one-sided.”

Lee, a sophomore then added: “I like being tested and even if you lose, you’re going to get better.”

At No. 2, junior Luciano Dapuetto fell to Marcy 2-6, but then rallied for victories over Muniga 6-0 and Muga 6-0.

Likewise, Dapuetto, who has also played soccer, figured that it would be nip-and-tuck because of the long-standing rivalry.

“I really didn’t expect it to be so one-sided,” he said. “We had seniors graduate and they had seniors graduate and both were really good. That’s what happens as the years go by. It’s all about development.”

At No. 3, junior Nathan Soria also fell to Marcy 1-6, but then came back to knock off Muniga 7-5 and Muga 6-1.

“I thought that if we played well, we should win,” Burbank coach Loi Phan said. “I didn’t think that we would win so easily.”

Burroughs Coach Roy Bernhardt said he could see early on that it wasn’t going to be easy.

“We had a tough day,” he admitted. “It’s been a tough year. We have some good players like Kendric, but you’re going to need five players like him in order to really compete. I’ve had some good teams in the past, but we’re somewhat down this year. There’s not a lot of wiggle room.”

In doubles play, Burbank’s No. 1 tandem of sophomore Ethan Lee and freshman Sid Denduluri finished the afternoon with a 6-3 win over the Indians’ No. 1 squad of junior Luc Thorn and sophomore Cameron Flowers, then defeated the No. 2 duo of junior Mark Do and junior Andrei Garcia 6-0, and held off the No. 3 tandem of junior Kiet Hoang and sophomore Jack Lieblein 7-5.

Burbank’s No. 2 team of senior Alejandro Rojas and junior Emory Kim went 6-1, 6-2 and 6-3 over the same duos.

The Bulldogs’ No. 3 of junior Aaron Nahn and junior Harout Abgaryan went 6-4 against Thorn/Flowers and 6-1 versus Hoang/Lieblein.

Junior Greg Farhadian and Abgaryan also squeaked past Do/Garcia at 7-6.

Burroughs, Burbank Baseball Reach For The Stars

By Rick Assad

You know that the baseball season has begun when the weather begins to heat up and the sky turns a bright blue.

For Burroughs High and city rival Burbank, the two are looking to have a solid year and to make a dent in the Pacific League standings.

The Indians have divided four games in the Easton Tournament and are 3-4 overall this season.

Pitching is king. Burroughs has a number of solid arms in its arsenal. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs opens league play at Hoover on March 28 and visit Burbank on May 9 and host the Bulldogs on May 12.

“I’m not really sure what I have this season,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “We’ve been good at times this season and we’ve been not so good.”

In 2016, the Indians had a successful campaign after tying Crescenta Valley for the top spot in league.

Burbank will rely on steady work in the infield and outfield. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs began the season by winning the prestigious Easton tourney, 1-0, over highly-ranked Harvard-Westlake behind ace Kyle Nicol, who is now playing for Cal State Northridge.

Nicol’s place will be picked up by a bevy of competent arms like seniors Riley Hooper, Matthew Rudas, junior Salvador Cabezas and sophomore Niccolo Chuidian.

Additionally, Sherwood, who has been a longtime coach, will also have on the mound senior Henrik Buchanan, senior infielder Brandon Martinez, junior Jacob Real and junior Brandon Ortega.

Fundamentals are always stressed under Burroughs Coach Craig Sherwood. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

All of these hurlers will need to be efficient in order for the Indians to repeat what took place a season ago.

If the old saying that pitching and defense wins games, the Indians, who went 19-7 and 12-2 in league, will need this to be their mantra.

“I think CV’s the favorite to win league this year,” said Sherwood, whose team fell in the CIF Southern Section opening round in 2016. “They have strong pitching and they have good tradition. Burbank is much improved and I think we’re going to be in the mix along with Pasadena and Arcadia.”

For Burbank, under Coach Bob Hart, working in the batting cage is crucial. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Sherwood stresses being able to catch and throw the baseball.

“Defense is always our No. 1 priority,” he said. “If you don’t hit well, you can always rely on your defense. It’s really important to have a good defense.”

Burroughs has several key players returning and they include senior infielder Justin Palafox, who batted .434 with 16 runs batted in and 17 runs scored, and junior first baseman Nathan Palafox, his younger brother.

“In high school, you don’t rebuild because there isn’t free agency,” Sherwood pointed out. “You reload and continue the winning tradition that we’ve built here.”

The other members include senior outfielder Angel Estrada, senior infielder Erik Gonzalez, junior outfielder/catcher Steven Gonzalez, junior catcher Matthew Diaz, junior outfielder Brandon Giraldo and junior outfielder/catcher Revin Diego.

The rest are junior outfielder Daniel Leonard, junior outfielder Andrew Jacob Barrera, junior outfielder Casey Cromie and freshman infielder Ricardo Perez.

For a Burroughs runner, it’s on your mark, get set and go. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank, which finished 9-13, 8-6 in league and lost to Mayfair in a postseason wild-card game, also has designs on being in the hunt.

Whether Burbank, which went 3-2 in the Easton tourney and is 3-3 this campaign, will be in the running actually depends on members of the highly-successful football team that include seniors Danny Porras and Jake Kelley.

Both Porras and Kelley have sustained fairly serious injuries, so Coach Bob Hart can’t count on them to play in that many games.

“If we’re healthy, I think we’re capable of being right there,” said Hart of the league race which begins at Muir on March 28. “If we’re not healthy, then the other guys have an opportunity to seize the moment and step up.”

For the Bulldogs, there’s no getting around taking grounders. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Porras is a first baseman and pitcher and was also tabbed honorable mention, while the other projected starters are senior and all-league pick, Henry Leake, at third base, sophomore Davis Mieliwocki at first base, senior Johnathan Castaneda at second base, junior Maxwell Meltzer at shortstop and junior Matthew Shaugabay at catcher.

The outfield will consist of senior Chris Minnick in left field, senior Branden Phillips in center field and junior Abiezer Delgado, who will also be the designated hitter, in right field.

Seniors Chris Guerra and Owen Ruiz will see time in the outfield as will senior Javier Reyes, who can also play catcher.

The pitching staff will be paced by senior Matt Lungaro and senior Colby Vosgien.

“I think our pitching is going to be fine,” Hart said. “Colby is a left-hander and has been injured, but we’re hoping that he’s going to be able to help us.”

Others on the squad include sophomore third baseman/outfielder Matthew Porras, junior first baseman/outfielder John Ennis and junior outfielder Erik Higgins.