By Rick Assad
It seemed from the outset that the Burbank High baseball team was placed in a predicament after visiting Chatsworth scored a run in back-to-back innings to begin the game en route to a 9-2 triumph on Saturday.
The nonleague matchup saw the Chancellors outhit and outpitch the Bulldogs as they slapped out 11 hits to three hits for Burbank and scored at least a run in five of the seven frames.
“We were trying to set ourselves up for the Pacific League and consequently we’re playing a few guys that have very little experience,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said. “They understood this was a very winnable game but not when you’re playing the free-base game. I counted 12 between hit batters, walks and errors and that is a recipe for losing no matter who you are playing.”
Hart is now concerned with the league portion of the schedule. “The beat goes on league and it’s our focus and that’s our reality,” he said.
All of Burbank’s runs came in the third inning as seven batters came to the plate.
Ben Castillo began by getting on base via an error and advanced to second base on a throwing error. Castillo took third on a wild pitch.
Three batters later, Jared Cantu knocked in the run with an infield grounder, slicing the lead to 2-1.
The Bulldogs (9-4) evened it at 2-2 when Jose Avellaneda, who drew a one-out walk, took second on Cantu’s grounder.
Avellaneda went to third on a wild pitch and crossed the plate on another wild toss.
Chatsworth (8-5) bounded ahead 1-0 in the first after trotting seven hitters to home plate including Isiah Granados, who sliced a run-scoring single to left field.
The lead swelled to 2-0 in the second inning when Octavio Bonilla was nicked with the pitch, which forced in a tally.
A two-tun, three-hit fourth inning made it 4-2 as Chatsworth sent six batters to the dish.
The key hits were a run-producing single to left field by Bonilla and a run-scoring double to left by Jose Ruedas, who was the winning pitcher after working four innings, allowing three hits, striking out three, walking three and hitting a batter.
David McBride was tagged with the loss as he toured two innings, surrendering three hits, striking out two, walking one and hitting four batters.
In the fifth, the Chancellors ran out seven hitters to the plate and tacked on three runs on two hits that extended the advantage to 7-2.
The big blast was a run-tallying double by Ricky Arce (two hits) that made it 5-2.
Chatsworth then added two runs in the seventh inning off Daniel Neria that pushed the cushion to 9-2.
“Today we came out a little flat. You win some and you lose some,” said Neria, who went one inning, striking out two with a walk and a hit batter. “Now we just focus on taking Crescenta Valley and flush today.”
Seven more batters took their place at home plate in the final frame for the Chancellors as Arce was safe on an infield hit.
Arce then swiped second base, was balked to third base and scored on a single to center field.
In the first inning, Burbank leadoff hitter Wyatt LaMarsna hammered a double to left field and scooted to third base on an error. LaMarsna was eventually caught in a rundown.
Burbank also had a hit come off the bat of Neria, who singled to right field with two out in the seventh inning and didn’t advance any further.