Tag Archives: Pacific League

Burbank Girls Volleyball Can’t Keep Up With Arcadia

By Rick Assad


In the three-game sweep suffered by the Burbank High girls’ volleyball team at the hands of visiting Arcadia on Tuesday, the Bulldogs dug significant holes in each game.

As a result, the Apaches came away with a 25-9, 25-16, 25-16 Pacific League victory.

“The first set we didn’t really show up,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said. “In the second set we made some changes, but we couldn’t keep up. In the third set we looked better but we couldn’t produced our own points.”

After losing the first two games, Burbank (9-3-1 and 3-1 in league) settled down in the third and led 4-1 on junior outside hitter Melissa Daniel’s kill.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Senior outside hitter Hailey Heath goes up for a winner against Arcadia. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

The Apaches evened it at 4-4 on a winner from senior outside hitter Rachel Reedy, who had a match-best 10 kills.

In short order, Arcadia (6-0 and 4-0 in league) jumped ahead 12-5 on Reedy’s service ace.

Arcadia’s lead swelled to 15-8 on a tapper from senior setter Cammie Dopke.

Burbank came within 16-11 on freshman setter Ashley Eskander’s ace, but the Apaches seized control and pulled ahead 19-11.

From this point, Arcadia outscored the Bulldogs 6-5 and captured the match on Dopke’s block.

The initial game saw the Apaches race off to a 7-3 advantage on a winner from junior outside hitter Haley Kennedy.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Burbank senior middle blocker Nicole Winters shows off her leaping ability. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Reedy’s stuff made it 10-5, but Daniel’s smash drew the stubborn Bulldogs to within 13-8.

But Arcadia’s lead expanded to 16-8 on Reedy’s rocket.

“I’m always looking for consistency,” Arcadia coach Charles Freberg said. “We were consistent today. That’s a key for us to be successful.”

Freberg addressed the offense. “We have three hitters that we can go to,” he said. “That’s the minimum you need.”

Arcadia proceeded to outscore the Bulldogs 9-1 with Dopke’s block making it 24-9 and junior outside hitter Ashley McDonald closing it out with a kill.

The same pattern followed in the middle game as Arcadia leaped out to a 3-1 cushion on a winner from Reedy.

It became 11-5 on Kennedy’s kill, but senior outside hitter Hailey Heath’s blast trimmed the advantage to 11-7. Heath’s kill then shaved the gap to 13-8.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Senior setter Hannah Porter assists a teammate versus the Apaches. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

“Arcadia’s always good and I think that may have intimidated us,” Heath said. “We didn’t come out hard and ready. We just have to worry about the point at hand and not worry about the score.”

Heath added: “It was like a roller coaster. Up and down. But I think the next time we face them we’re going to be better.”

Arcadia went on a 3-0 spurt with Reedy getting a kill to make it 16-8. In time the lead would swell to 22-11 on McDonald’s service ace.

The Bulldogs closed within 23-14 on Heath’s winner, but the Apaches divided the next two points for the game.

Burroughs’ Ace Nicol Was A Winner Despite Not Throwing Hard

By Rick Assad

Even standing on a pitcher’s mound, Burroughs High’s ace hurler Kyle Nicol was hardly an imposing figure.

But don’t take this to mean that hitters weren’t in trouble when facing the sidearm throwing, 5-foot-9 right-hander, who helped the Indians claim the Pacific League title two years in a row.

“I think my success came from just working every day and trying to prove myself to everyone,” said Nicol, who went 7-2 with 66 strikeouts, 14 walks in 56 and two-third innings while posting an impressive 1.48 earned-run average his senior year.

The Indians, who went 19-7 overall, 12-2 in league action for a share of the title this past season, lost in the opening-round of the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs, but Nicol was nonetheless recognized for his outstanding work.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs pitcher Kyle Nicol received a lot of attention after beating Harvard-Westlake 1-0 to win the Easton Tournament championship. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Nicol, who will attend Cal State Northridge where he will pitch, was named to the All-CIF second team, was the co-league Player of the Year, and will participate in the CIF Southern Section versus City Section All-Star game.

Nicol doesn’t throw especially hard, but was still able to be highly effective.

“My best pitch varied each day,” Nicol said. “When the slider was working, it was by far the most fun to throw.”

A night game in March at Birmingham High was the outing that catapulted Nicol, who probably throws in the mid-80s, into the forefront.

“The game that stands out the most was the Easton Tournament championship against Harvard-Westlake for me personally and for the team,” Nicol pointed out. “It got me a lot of attention from Division I coaches and it put Burroughs baseball on everyone’s radar.”

That game, against the always excellent Wolverines, was a 1-0 complete-game masterpiece as Nicol recorded 14 strikeouts with two hits allowed.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Nicol (#22) after knocking off the Wolverines in the Easton tourney. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

How did Nicol, named to the Daily News All-Area first team and the Glendale News-Press and the Pasadena Star-News league Player of the Year, develop his somewhat unusual pitching motion?

“Coach [Craig] Sherwood introduced me to pitching sidearm before high school and coach [Ryan] Matheson worked with me since my freshman year and throughout my four years at Burroughs,” Nicol noted.

When asked what big-league hurler Nicol most resembles, he said that it was an Angels reliever.

“The throwing motion is somewhat like Joe Smith’s with the submarine and sidearm angle,” he said.

Nicol’s next hurdle is facing college hitters, who are more advanced, technically sound and more mature than high school batters.

“I think college baseball will come with a lot more challenges,” Nicol said. “It’ll be fun pitching for some of the best pitching coaches in the country and seeing how I can improve.”

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Nicol joined his teammates after the Indians claimed the Pacific League banner in 2015. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Nicol, who was a relief pitcher before his senior campaign, said he focused on the job at hand and didn’t try to over think the situation.

“The crowd never entered my mind when I pitched even with always pitching on the road games,” Nicol said. “Some of the more important games would make me a little nervous, but the adrenaline helped more than anything.”

According to Nicol, whether he faced city rival Burbank or a weaker opponent like Glendale, he always wanted to shed the burden of expectations.

“I tried to treat every team the same before every game and not act any different towards a team,” he said.

For the most part, this formula has proved to be a winner, and one Nicol will take with him to the next level.

Burroughs Baseball Sweeps Burbank; Wins Historic Second Straight Pacific League Title

By Rick Assad


Voting for the Pacific League Most Valuable Player hasn’t taken place, but Burroughs High’s Justin Palafox is right at the top of the list.

On Friday night at rival Burbank in the regular-season finale, Palafox singled twice, drove in four runs and scored a run as the Indians defeated the Bulldogs, 7-6, in dramatic fashion with three runs in the seventh inning.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burbank pitcher Garret Dolan tossed 115 pitches and left in the seventh inning. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The victory was historic because it gave the Indians back-to-back league championships, something no baseball team has ever done in school history.

Burbank, which placed fourth in league and will also make the CIF Southern Section playoffs, led twice, 2-0 and 6-2, but were not able to fight off the stubborn Indians, who finished 12-2 in league, tied with Crescenta Valley.

“I try to do what I always do,” said Palafox of the game-winning at-bat. “I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I think I’m one of the two best players in the league. I have a lot of confidence.”

The key blow in the seventh was Palafox’s two-run single to right center that gave Burroughs (19-6) a one-run lead.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“I think that Justin Palafox is the best player in the Pacific League,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “He’s a five-tool player. He bats lead off so that he can get more at-bats.”

Three batters earlier, Jonathan Max came through with a run-scoring base hit to right center that trimmed the lead to 6-5 and plated Mitch Lefevre, who opened the inning with a single to center field.

The bottom of the seventh wasn’t as dramatic because reliever Shaine Leonard, who was credited with the win, retired Branden Philips on a fly ball to center fielder Jason Whaley and induced designated hitter Everett Fair to pop up to Palafox, the shortstop.

Leonard then intentionally walked Danny Porras, who hit a two-run homer to right center in the first inning that scored Fair, who doubled to left field, but then struck out pinch hitter Forest Fajardo to end the game.

Burroughs’ players celebrate after 7-6 win over city rival Burbank. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“I think that game was really well played,” Sherwood said. “Burbank outplayed us for the first six innings. But we didn’t panic.”

Sherwood thinks this team has been overlooked and can make a strong run in the playoffs.

“This is great, but we need to keep our eyes on the prize,” he said. “We need to take it one game at a time.”

Burroughs cut Burbank’s lead in half in the second inning when it scored a run off Garret Dolan, who gave up a run-scoring triple to Riley Hooper that brought in Tanner Whitlock, who was hit with a pitch and one out.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Danny Porras is congratulated after hitting a two-run homer in the first inning. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Indians knotted it at 2-2 with a run in the third inning when Palafox was safe on the first of three Burbank errors.

Palafox stole second base and scored when Nathan Palafox reached base on the second miscue of the frame.

The Bulldogs (9-12 and 8-6 in league) took a 6-2 lead with a four-run fifth as eight batters made their way to the plate.

Five consecutive hitters singled including Kyle Tanner, Andy Reyes, Philips, Fair and Porras.

Philips, Fair (three hits) and Porras all delivered run-scoring hits while Jeremy Chong’s ground out produced the final run.

“We played better, but they had the timely hits,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said. “We made some mistakes. Our kid [Dolan] was getting tired and I had to take him out. But they got to our bullpen and you have to give Burroughs credit.”

The Indians responded with a two-run sixth that lowered the lead to 6-4 as Palafox’s one-out single to right center scored Whitlock, who began the inning by getting nicked with a pitch and Max, who singled to left field.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Omar Tejada sprints down to second base while second baseman Kyle Tanner is about to make the tag. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Kyle Nicol was the starting pitcher for Burroughs and went four innings, striking out four and allowing seven hits with two hit batters.

Leonard toured three innings, giving up one hit with five strikeouts and one intentional walk.

Garret Dolan yielded four hits and two walks with five hit batters along with seven strikeouts in six and one-third innings.

Dolan threw 115 pitches before he was taken out in favor of Henry Leake, who took the loss after working two-thirds of an inning and giving up three hits with one strikeout.

Burroughs Softball Takes A Pair From Burbank

By Rick Assad


For a brief moment, the Burbank High softball team held a lead, but the hammer in the form of crosstown rival Burroughs exploded for seven runs en route to a 13-6 thumping on Wednesday in the Pacific League finale at McCambridge Park.

With the win, the Indians (21-4 and 14-0 in league) managed a perfect league campaign and now await which team they will face in the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

“It’s great that we won the league title, but right now everybody is zero and zero,” Burroughs coach Doug Nicol said referring to the upcoming postseason.

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Burroughs went undefeated in Pacific League play. CIF playoffs are next. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Nicol knew that Burbank wouldn’t quit after falling behind early. “When they took the lead we needed to come back and score runs,” he said.

Presley Miraglia earned the victory after working seven innings and yielding five hits with 10 strikeouts and three walks.

Allie Benson absorbed the loss after toiling six and two-third frames, allowing 11 hits with five walks, four hit batters and four strikeouts.

Reace Rushing gave up two hits with a walk and a hit batter in two-thirds of an inning.

Burroughs jumped ahead 2-0 in the top of the third inning when Lauren Lopez singled to left field, moved to second base on an error, third base on Kaitlin Okimoto’s infield single and scored on an error.

Okimpto took second base on an error, advanced to third base on a wild pitch and scored on Isabel Frias’ force out.

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Burbank lost both games to rival Burroughs, but will still make the postseason. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Bulldogs (11-16 and 8-6 in league) rallied in the bottom of the third with three runs on two hits and an error.

Anysia Gonzalez walked and later scored to cut the lead to 2-1 and Desiree Gomez singled with two out.

Julia Duarte, who singled in the first inning, walked and both scored on Emily Monterrey’s booming double to left center that made it 3-2.

“We battled but the difference was our defense,” Burbank coach Mike Delaney said of his club that committed four errors to three for the Indians. “We struggled in some at-bats. But you have to love their fight. We’re young.”

Delaney added: “It’s a learning thing. It’s too bad these seniors won’t have another year to play with this group because it would be something special.”

The Indians broke the contest open in the fifth inning by sending 10 batters to the plate with seven scoring.

Hannah Talavera’s triple to left center scored two runs and Miraglia, Lopez and Okimoto each had run-producing triples.

Brianna Johnson had a run-scoring double and Destiny Velasquez’s sacrifice fly drove in another. Okimoto led off with a triple to left field and came around to score.

“All of the cards were falling into place,” Okimoto said. “Everyone on our team can hit. This is a great way to end the season.”

The Indians scored a run in the sixth when Miraglia walked to open the frame. Pinch runner Nikki Ricciardella stole second base, went to third base on Frias’ grounder and came home on an infield hit by Amanda Flores.

Burroughs made it 13-3 after adding three runs in the seventh when nine batters went to the plate.

Key hits included Mia Storer’s run-scoring single that scored Brianna Devellano, who led off with a base hit to center field.

Ricciardella, who tallied a pair of runs, had a run-producing base hit to left center.

Jessie Amaya also singled in the seventh inning, but was retired on a force out.

Burbank, which finished fourth in the league and will make the playoffs, cut the lead to seven runs with a three-run seventh on Cailey Stevenson’s two-run triple to right center and Gomez’s run-producing single up the middle.


Burroughs Knocks Out Burbank, 12-2, In Five Innings

By Rick Assad


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.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Jesse Galindo was masterful over five innings in a 12-2 romp over rival Burbank. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

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.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Colby Vosgien was plagued by defensive errors behind him. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

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.

Burroughs Softball Defeats Burbank, 7-2

By Rick Assad


In sports, emotion often plays a significant role and it did for five-plus innings of Monday’s Pacific League softball game at Olive Park.

Burroughs High came in having already clinched the league banner while rival Burbank was tucked solidly in fourth place.

All of this didn’t matter as the Indians held a slim one-run lead heading into the bottom of the sixth inning when they erupted for four runs and waltzed to a 7-2 win.

The two will face off once again on Wednesday at McCambridge Park with a 6 p.m. start time.

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Burroughs shortstop Kaitlin Okimoto takes a throw during the Indians’ 7-2 win over Burbank. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“The girls feed off each other,” Burroughs coach Doug Nicol said. “These girls compete. But I told them that Burbank wasn’t going to lay down. In these kinds of games, the best team doesn’t always win.”

It was a back-and-forth affair between Burroughs’ ace Presley Miraglia and Burbank’s top hurler Allie Benson.

After a few times through the batting order, the Indians nicked Benson, who went five innings while allowing eight hits with three strikeouts and two walks, for three hits and two walks with an error in the sixth.

The frame began with Miraglia pushing a single to right field while Brianna Johnson was safe on an infield hit back to Benson.

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The Indians’ Lauren Lopez is out at the plate as Desiree Gomez makes the tag. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Isabel Frias reached on an error which filled the bases and Amanda Flores walked to make it 4-2.

The big blow was Destiny Velasquez’s bases-clearing triple to right center that prompted Burbank Coach Mike Delaney to bring in Reace Rushing with none out.

Rushing then retired Brianna Devellano, Hannah Talavera and Lauren Lopez on infield grounders.

For two innings, neither team managed a hit or a run until Desiree Gomez singled with one out in the third inning for the Bulldogs.

Gomez was caught stealing on a terrific throw from Devellano, the catcher to Kaitlin Okimoto, the shortstop.

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Burbank first baseman Emma Kerr makes the play. The Bulldogs fell to the Indians, 7-2. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“This is my fourth year playing in these games,” said Okimoto, who will be attending Brown University. “I try to think about it as just another game. I take a deep breath and try to relax.”

Miraglia, who toured seven innings, surrendered five hits with 12 strikeouts and no walks, then fanned Alex Davis for the third out.

In the bottom of the third, the Indians (20-4 and 13-0 in league) scored two runs on four hits as Benson allowed a double to right center by Velasquez, who led off the inning.

Devellano then struck out, but Talavera singled to center field. Lopez’s infield hit made it 1-0 as Velasquez crossed the plate, and after Okimoto popped up for the second out, Miraglia lined a single to right field that plated Talavera.

Burbank (11-15 and 8-5 in league) cut the deficit in half with a run in the fourth inning when Emily Monterrey’s double brought in Emma Kerr, who singled to right.

Julia Duarte, who will be attending the University of Pennsylvania, lashed a base hit up the middle, but Kerr and Duarte were both left stranded when Miraglia struck out Macie Jensen and induced Amber Ingram to line out back to the box.

The Indians increased their lead to 3-1 with a run in the fifth inning after Lopez’s two-out double to left field scored Talavera, who walked.

Refusing to quit, Burbank trimmed the lead to 3-2 in the sixth inning when Cailey Stevenson lined a hard-hit ball over the head of left fielder Frias for a home run.

“I’m really proud of them,” Delaney said of his team. “We battled. Allie pitched her heart out. Presley threw a good game, but we were getting into too many negative counts. We couldn’t lay off the high stuff, but you can’t strike out 12 times and expect to win.”

Burroughs Baseball Lose Thriller, 1-0, To Crescenta Valley

By Rick Assad


Even by high school baseball standards, Burroughs pitcher Kyle Nicol doesn’t throw very hard.

Yet the crafty side-arm tossing right-hander has found ways to get batters out and win games.

On Friday night at Stengel Field and facing always-tough Crescenta Valley, Nicol allowed seven singles in six and two-third innings including Ryan Lynch’s game-winning blooper into left center in the seventh that scored Chuck Weinmann, who walked, stole second base that gave the Falcons a 1-0 Pacific League victory.

“This was a tough game to lose,” said Nicol, who worked a perfect third, fourth and fifth inning. “I just wanted to keep throwing zeroes on the board. Everything was working tonight. They only had a few solid hits off me. But stuff happens.”

Nicol isn’t tall at 5-foot-8 and weighs 150 pounds, but is able to keep hitters off balance.

“I rely on movement and hitting my spots,” Nicol explained of his success that included a 1-0 victory over Harvard-Westlake in the title game of the prestigious Easton Tournament.

Three days earlier, the host Indians outlasted Crescenta Valley 13-8, but no such slugfest took place on this brisk evening.

The Falcons pulled into first place in the league with a 9-1 mark and are 17-6 overall.

“He did everything that he had to,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said of Nicol, who will be playing baseball for Cal State Northridge. “I expected a low scoring game.”

The Indians, who are tied with Arcadia for second place in the league, managed four hits off winning pitcher Trevor Beer, who struck out four, walked two with a hit batter.

The game resembled a CIF Southern Section playoff encounter as every pitch was filled with tension and four combined errors were made with the Falcons committing three.

“You always want to play tough teams and Crescenta Valley is very good,” Sherwood said. “You wish every game was like this.”

Will Smiley and Scott Vinceri each had two hits for the Falcons, while Tanner Whitlock delivered a pair of singles for the Indians.

It’s not that the Indians (15-3 and 8-2 in league) didn’t have base runners, they did including the sixth inning when the bases were filled.

In the inning, six batters went to the plate as Randy Catlett led off with an infield hit. Gabriel Pellot came in as a pinch runner and moved all the way to third base, but couldn’t score.

Jason Whaley, who walked, also advanced to third base, but once again, couldn’t cross the plate.

In the seventh inning, Whitlock walked with one out and went to second base on an error, but Mitch Lefevre flied to left fielder Chuck Weinmann and designated hitter Riley Hooper bounced to Lynch, the shortstop.

In the first inning, Omar Tejeda singled to right center with two out and moved to second base on an error, but was left stranded when Jonathan Max fanned.

With one out in the second inning, Whitlock’s base hit to left was followed by Lefevre striking out and Hooper lifting a fly ball to Jamie Blank in right field.

Tejeda was nicked with a pitch in the fourth inning, but Max bounced into a force out. Max went second base on a wild pitch and became the second out which was followed by Nathan Palafox grounding out.

In the fifth, Whitlock singled to right center to open the frame, stole second base and moved to third on Hooper’s grounder. Whitlock was the third out after trying to score on a passed ball.

The Falcons also had scoring opportunities in the first inning when Blank, Vinceri and Smiley all singled, but Nicol got designated hitter Anthony Russo to ground out to first baseman Palafox.

Crescenta Valley also had a runner at third base in Ryan Malloy, who singled in the second inning, but failed to score when Nicol, who struck out four with one walk, induced Lynch and Nico Arrendondo to ground out.

The Falcons saw Vinceri single with one out in the sixth. William Rees became the pinch runner and advanced to second base on Smiley’s hit, but Max Meyer lined into a double play that ended the threat.

Burroughs Softball Drills Crescenta Valley, 4-1

By Rick Assad

Maybe first inning jitters were at work as Burroughs High star pitcher Presley Miraglia gave up a run in the top of the first to Crescenta Valley, but that was the only tally as the Indians remained unbeaten in Pacific League play after walking away with a 4-1 victory on Tuesday afternoon at Olive Park.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Indians accounted for six hits and remain undefeated in Pacific League play. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The teams will meet at Crescenta Valley for a rematch on Thursday with a 3:30 p.m. start.

“We knew that it was going to be that kind of game,” Burroughs coach Doug Nicol said. “We’re going to have another tough game on Thursday.”

Miraglia began the first frame by striking out Jessica Yzaguirre and Kendall Ebert, but then allowed a single to left field by Syndee Wells.

Wells stole second base and advanced to third base on a base hit to left field by Alyssa Hernandez.

Wells scored on an error as the Falcons (12-7 and 8-1 in league) moved ahead 1-0. Miraglia ended the inning by striking out Paige Baker.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Presley Miraglia allowed four hits with 10 strikeouts and no walks as the Indians defeated Crescenta Valley, 4-1. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“I was kind of nervous to begin the game knowing what it meant,” said Miraglia, who gave up four hits with 10 strikeouts and no walks across seven innings. “After we scored [in the bottom half], I just tried to relax and focus on pitching and hitting my spots.”

Miraglia worked a perfect second inning and fanned Peyton Hause and Marissa Gutierrez.

A 1-2-3 fourth inning followed as Miraglia struck out Alyssa Hernandez and Hause, and worked another perfect frame, the fifth, as she whiffed Gutierrez.

Miraglia then fanned Hause and Taylor Hoogenhuizen, the losing pitcher who surrendered six hits with two walks in six innings, in the seventh inning.

The Indians (16-4 and 9-0 in league) evened it at 1-1 in the bottom of the first inning when Kaitlin Okimoto singled to left center with two out.

Okimoto moved to second base on an infield hit by Miraglia and crossed the plate when Brianna Johnson rifled a single to left center.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs Coach Doug Nicol is a stickler for fundamentals. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Johnson, who plays third base and has a rifle arm, was instrumental in fielding several bunts that were turned into outs.

“We practice that every day and it becomes routine,” said Johnson, who committed an uncharacteristic throwing error in the third inning. “I’m pretty quick and I try to make the throw quick.”

Three innings later, the Indians struck for two runs to make it 3-1 and were helped out by an error on the center fielder.

Johnson began the frame by walking and then took second base on a hit to right center by Isabel Frias.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Defense was a key to the Indians’ win versus the Falcons. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

With two down, Brianna Devellano then lofted a ball to shallow center field that clanked off the fielder’s glove as both runners scored.

Hannah Talavera also singled to center field in the inning, but was left stranded when Devellano was out at the plate.

The Indians added an insurance run in the fifth inning when Okimoto lined a tremendous shot to left center that sailed over Yzaguirre’s head for a home run to make it 4-1.

“I expected this meeting to be a tough, competitive game,” Okimoto said. “I think that we have real good chemistry and that helps.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs’ offense made the most of its scoring opportunities. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs Softball Cruises To 11-1 Blitz Over Arcadia

By Rick Assad


It began innocently enough as Hannah Talavera lined to center field and Lauren Lopez lined to shortstop.

What followed was a parade of a dozen players coming to bat with nine reaching base via a base hit as the Burroughs High softball team scored 10 runs en route to a mercy-ruled 11-1 Pacific League win over visiting Arcadia on Thursday at Olive Park.

The next batter was Kaitlin Okimoto, who launched a solo shot over the right fielder’s head for a home run as the Indians (15-4 and 8-0 in league) pulled ahead 1-0.

Presley Miraglia then walked while Brianna Johnson singled to center field. Isabel Frias drove in a run after reaching base on an infield hit.

Amanda Flores singled to right field for a run batted in and Destiny Velasquez (two hits) slapped a base hit up the middle for a run.

Alise Archuleta had a run-scoring infield hit while Talavera walked, which was followed by Lopez’s two-run single to right field.

Okimoto drilled a line-drive to left center for a home run that brought in three runs while Miraglia singled to center field.

“I like to play a close, competitive game,” Okimoto said. “If it’s too one-sided, sometimes you can lose your focus. You don’t want to do that. It’s always nice when you have a lead that’s more than a few runs, though.”

The inning finally concluded with Johnson popping up to the second baseman.

“With a big lead you can lose your edge,” Burroughs coach Doug Nicol said. “We want to be challenged. We’re going to be challenged next week when we play Crescenta Valley.”

Because of the 10-0 lead, Miraglia went two innings as the right-hander worked a perfect first and second inning.

Miraglia struck out two and didn’t allow a walk and was replaced by Mia Storer, who went three frames and was credited with the victory.

Storer surrendered two hits and one run with five strikeouts and three walks.

Storer retired the side 1-2-3 in the third inning and fanned two batters, and struck out two more in the fourth inning while allowing a pair of walks and a base hit by Susan Harrison.

“When you have a lead it allows you to bring in players and give them meaningful playing time,” Nicol said. “You don’t want to throw them in there during the playoffs and them not having playing time. That’s what these games are good for.”

The Apaches (3-10 and 2-7 in league) scored their only run in the fifth inning when Storer walked Nicole Puente to lead off the frame.

Puente went to second base on a wild pitch and moved to third base on a single by Christie Haung. Puente crossed the plate on Storer’s wild pitch.

Burroughs added a solo run in the fourth inning when Archuleta singled to center field with one out, stole second base and scored on Lopez’s triple to right field.

Nikki Ricciardella had a lead off base hit to center field in the third inning and advanced to second base on Storer’s infield single, but didn’t score.

Burroughs Lose Heartbreaker 8-4 In Eight Innings

By Rick Assad


Burroughs High and Crescenta Valley were each undefeated in Pacific League play while Arcadia had one loss heading into Tuesday’s league showdown with the Apaches at Tomahawk Field.

After an 8-4, eight-inning setback to Arcadia and the Falcons’ 8-0 triumph over host Muir, Crescenta Valley is now 8-0 while the Indians and Apaches are both 6-1.

“We had opportunities, but I give credit to their pitcher,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “He did a good job of throwing. I like those side-arm pitchers.”

Trailing 4-2, the Indians scored two runs in the seventh inning and sent six batters to the plate.

The frame began with Riley Hooper getting hit with a pitch by Brett Porter and Randy Catlett getting a single to left field that moved Hooper to second base.

Justin Palafox then laid down a sacrifice bunt and Jason Whaley had an run-scoring ground out that scored Hooper. Gabriel Pellot, who came in as a pinch runner for Catlett, crossed the plate on an error.

“That was a challenge,” Sherwood said of the early 4-0 deficit. “I think this is a great team [Burroughs] with outstanding talent. But this puts Crescenta Valley in the cat-bird seat and we’re going to have to play well the rest of the way in order to make the [CIF] playoffs.”

The Apaches, who lost to host Glendale 2-0, iced the affair with a four-run eighth inning when 10 batters waltzed to the plate.

Ryan Tuck, who had four hits that included a double, drove in a run with an infield hit, while Jacob Lopez (two hits) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Loren Iwasaki (two hits) forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk and Mike Saenz was nicked with a pitch with the bases filled.

“We’ve had trouble scoring runs,” Arcadia coach Nick Lemas said. “This was a huge win for us. We put pressure on them offensively by putting the ball in play.”

The Indians (13-3) fell behind 1-0 in the top of the first inning when Iwasaki’s base hit off Jesse Galindo drove in Tuck (three runs batted in), who was hit by a pitch.

It became 3-0 through two frames after Noah Falcon (two hits) hit a sacrifice fly that made it 2-0 and Lopez’s single gave the Apaches (12-6-1) a 3-0 advantage. Lopez drove in three runs.

It ballooned to 4-0 with a run in the fourth inning when Tuck’s double drove in Falcon, who led off the inning with a double down the left-field line.

Galindo went three and two-third innings while allowing seven hits with two hit batters.

Burroughs trimmed the lead in half after a two-run fifth inning when Hooper (two hits) led off with a single to left field and scored on Whaley’s single to left. Justin Palafox (two hits) reached base on a hit to left field and scored on an error.

Shaine Leonard picked up for Galindo and took the loss after toiling three and two-third frames, surrendering four hits, two walks, with one strikeout and one hit batter.

Whaley went one-third of an inning with one walk, one hit allowed and one hit batter, while Catlett tossed one-third of an inning with one hit batter.

Porter toured six innings with eight hits allowed, one walk, three strikeouts and one hit batter, while Falcon collected the win and went two innings with one hit batter, one strikeout and two hits surrendered.