With the Pacific League season about to start in just days, the Burbank High baseball team had a great opportunity to show what it is capable of against a high-level opponent in Simi Valley on Saturday as part of the Babe Herman Tournament.
The Bulldogs made some mistakes, but did not go down easily in a 7-5 home defeat to the Pioneers, who remain unbeaten in seven games.
“I thought we came out flat early and we regained our composure and got back mentally into the game. I think we had some good at-bats. We weren’t throwing our front-line pitching, but we found some stuff out about some guys and that’s what this is about for us,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said. “We feel once we are throwing our best guys and have our best lineup out there, we should be able to compete with anybody.”
Simi Valley has beaten some quality opponents, including Westlake of Westlake Village and defeated Pacific League power Crescenta Valley 10-0 on its home turf of Stengel Field.
Burbank (1-2) scored three times in the third inning thanks in part to a double by Devin LeClair and a single by Ryan King.
On the mound Burbank showed its pitching depth with Greg Krikorian going two innings, Olaf Kuiper going three innings and Josh DiPietro finishing things off for the final two frames.
The Bulldogs added a run in the fifth inning. King drew a two-out walk. He stole second base and took third on a passed ball.
Jacob Drossin followed with a single up the middle to bring him home.
Burbank threatened again in the sixth and seventh innings.
In the sixth Wyatt LaMarsna was left stranded at third base.
IN the seventh inning, King reached on a two-out error. He took second and third base on wild pitches and scored on a passed ball.
Drossin drew a walk, setting up LeClair, the tying run at the plate. But Simi reliever Hunter Boylan was able to get LeClair to ground out to end the game.
Burbank opens Pacific League play Tuesday at Pasadena High.