Tag Archives: Danny Porras

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.

Burbank, Burroughs Football Ready to Do Battle

Things won’t be much different than in the past when Burbank and Burroughs highs hook up at Memorial Field on Friday night for the 68th time in the storied history.

Of course citywide bragging rights are at stake. But that is not the only thing on the line in the Pacific League finale. A berth in the CIF Southern Section playoffs could be reward for the victor.

Burbank (6-3, 5-1 in league), which is ranked No. 10 in the CIF Southern Section Division 8 poll, can pretty much lock down a playoff spot with a win.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs (4-5, 3-3 in league) faces a tougher task as it will have to make the playoffs as an at-large team, since it will not finish among the top three teams in league. It did receive votes for the Division 8 poll, however, offering a glimpse of hope that it could sneak in with a win.

“The goal of our staff is to keep things as normal as possible throughout the week,” Burbank coach Richard Broussard said. “We don’t shy away from the magnitude of the rivalry or playoff implications.  We know the players think about it, so we talk about the rivalry, playoffs and what it all means to them.  With that information we try to get on the same page and typically, come out with the same objective as every week, win!”

Burroughs won last season’s battle, 47-21, after Burbank won the three previous meetings.

For Burroughs to win again, the Indians will have come up with a game plan quite unique.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Indians will be without five starters. Quarterback Hayden Zepeda is out with a Grade 2 tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee.

Linebacker Nico Frugone has been out several weeks with a knee injury and will not return. Junior linebacker Kevin Hebri will not play because of a concussion and junior linebacker Bryce Upshur is out with a torn ligament in his left ankle. Receiver Nathan Lehman will also not play because of a shoulder injury.

Burroughs moved up sophomore Nathan Piper to the varsity last week to take over for Zepeda. Senior Gabriel Pellot could also see time at quarterback.

“We’ve had some definite impact players that have gone down to injury. We’re trying to get the soldiers, the warriors, the competitors out there,” Burroughs coach Mike Reily said.

Reily said he isn’t sure what to make of the fact that his team received votes in the CIF poll.

“I haven’t figured that formula out,” Reily said.  “That’s great to see, but honestly I don’t know what it means. We’re focused on Friday night and trying to put together a great game plan and beat Burbank.”

Running back Chance Bell, who is committed to San Diego State, was in street clothes Tuesday as he said he is nursing some minor injuries.

“I’m going to be ready to go on Friday,” Bell said.

Bell said he is confident.

“Our coaches always come up with a good game plan,” Bell said. “It is whether we execute it or not.”

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burbank is a veteran team and comes in healthy with no players expected to miss the game due to injury.

The Bulldogs are also eager to get back to their winning ways after losing to Crescenta Valley last week, following a five-game winning streak.

“Though I am disappointed in the fact that we did not reach our first season goal (win a league title), we have done a number of things that has made our staff very proud,” Broussard said. “Our defense has carried us this year forcing over 30 turnovers in nine games.  This has created great opportunities for our offense this season.  Our punt and punt block teams have also been bright spots as well, allowing us to control field position and create scoring opportunities.”

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burbank is led by senior quarterback Guy Gibbs, who has been the starter since the end of his sophomore year.

Senior Nick Warren and junior Darnell Williams have been the go-to running backs.

Seniors Forrest Fajardo and Joey Miller have been the top passing targets.

The defense is led by seniors Andy Reyes and Jake Kelley. Known for his punting and home run hitting skills, Danny Porras has also been a tough force as a defensive lineman.

 

Bombers Blank Rivals

Summer time is generally when teams can afford to make mistakes as essentially nothing is at stake.

Don’t tell that to the Burbank Bombers, though.

The Bombers, made up of Burroughs High players, did not have any errors in a 15-0 win over rival Burbank Friday in a Valley Invitational Baseball League game.

“Our defense is our number one priority,” Bombers coach Craig Sherwood said. “Playing catch is the number one thing we have to do game after game.”

Burroughs even has a ‘Play Catch’ sign in the dugout that is similar the University of Notre Dame’s “Play Like a Champion Today” in its football locker room.

“That sign is a very special thing for us,” Sherwood said. “If you play catch you’re going to be successful defensively.”

Three pitchers combined on a two-hit shutout for the Bombers as Riley Hooper went five innings, followed by Jacob Real and Matthew Rudas, who each pitched an inning.

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“It wasn’t the greatest game,” said Danny Porras of his team, which took the loss. “We just have to practice, get better and come back and win some games. We have to start putting things together to win games. “

Porras and Henry Leake gave the team made up of Burbank High players the best chances at scoring.

Leake hit two dangerous balls to center field in the third and fifth inning respectively, but Bombers center fielder Andres Salazar made fine catches to avoid what could be of extra-base hits.

Porras hit the ball up against the center field fence in the sixth inning.

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Hooper had three hits and reached base on all four of his plate appearances. He also scored three times.

On the mound he had five strikeouts in five innings.

Eight of Burroughs’ nine starters scored at least once. They were helped by six errors by the opposing team.

Justin Palafox and Daniel Leonard both scored twice.

 

Burbank Baseball Hangs Tough, Falls to CV

The Burbank High baseball team looked ripe for an upset Friday night at Stengel Field in Glendale when the Bulldogs took on host Crescenta Valley.

 

Burbank had played even with the Falcons through five innings and had a golden chance to go ahead in sixth, but failed to do so.

That missed opportunity turned out to be a difference maker as CV responded with a huge inning that led to a 9-1 win.

“We’re not used to playing three games in a week,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said of his team, which had an extra game this week because of a game that was rained out last week.

Hart, whose team is 4-10 overall and 2-4 in league praised left-handed pitcher Garret Dolan, who kept the team in the game until the bottom of the sixth.

“He’s definitely going to play somewhere in college,” Hart said.

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Matthew Shaugabay and Jonathan Castaneda led off the top of the sixth inning having both been hit by CV pitcher Trevor Beer.

Beer was then replaced by Scott Vinceri.

Vinceri then walked Andy Reyes to load the bases.  But Reyes was picked off first base.

 

Henry Leake then hit a grounder to second base and with the infield playing in, CV was able to get pinch runner Jake Kelley at the plate.

Vinceri struck out Danny Porras to end the threat.

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CV (14-5, 6-0 in league) scored eight times in the bottom of the sixth inning as Burbank had three pitchers in the inning.

Burbank had two hits in the game. The first was a double by Everett Fair to open the second inning.

The other was a triple to center field in the fourth inning by Reyes, who scored Burbank’s lone run on a groundout by Leake.

The Bulldogs return to action Tuesday when they host Hoover High in a Pacific League contest at 3:30 p.m.

 

Bulldogs Earn First Baseball Win

The Burbank High baseball team might have been the best winless baseball team in the CIF Southern Section going into Saturday’s nonleague match against visiting Brentwood School.

Danny Porras hits a long single off the right field fence at Burbank High.

Danny Porras hits a long single off the right field fence at Burbank High.

The Bulldogs lost their first six games of the season playing against elite competition. Burbank lost to Camarillo, Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks and West Ranch, programs that regularly send elite players to top colleges and the professional ranks.

This outcome was different than the past as the Bulldogs took advantage of Brentwood from the beginning and earned a 14-5 win.

Junior Danny Porras reached base on all four plate appearances, going 3 for 4 with five runs batted in.

“It’s good to win a game. I think it is a morale booster,” Porras said. “With this win we should start to get on a role and hopefully we do this in league and win some games.”

Burbank scored four runs in the first inning, two more in the second, four more in the third and fifth innings.

“I felt like we were in command the whole time. They (Brentwood) put up a good fight early on. We took control of the game,” Burbank Coach Bob Hart said. “We were able to play a lot of guys, which is always good as a coach.”

Garrett Dolan pitching for Burbank High.

Garrett Dolan pitching for Burbank High.

Matt Lungaro, Tim Hibbard, Garrett Dolan and Nick Alphonso each contributed to the victory from the mound.

With Spring Break coming up this week, the Bulldogs have no scheduled games. They were scheduled to play another top program in Manhattan Beach Mira Costa next Saturday, but that game has been cancelled.

This leaves the Bulldogs some time to get ready for the start of Pacific League play the following week, when they open against Arcadia High.

“They are always solidly coached like most of the teams in our league,” Hart said of the Apaches.