Burbank Slams Arcadia with 10-run Inning in 13-3 Victory

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Angel Villagran greets his teammates at home plate after his grand slam (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

Friday night’s first place battle between Burbank and Arcadia was expected to be a nail-biter right to the very end. Through the first three and a half innings, the thought held true as the game was tied 3-3. But the Burbank Bombers arrived and literally slammed the door on the Apaches with a 10-run fourth inning in a 13-3 victory that ended prematurely due to the league’s 10-run mercy rule.

Third baseman John White tags out an Arcadia baserunner (Photo by Ross A. Benson)
Third baseman John White tags out an Arcadia baserunner (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

While forest fires raged out of control in Ventura County and in nearby Glendale, Arcadia had no solution putting out its own fire.

The Bulldogs ripped through the Apache pitching staff sending 15 players to the plate scoring 10 runs on nine hits including three home runs during the monster inning.

“It just all came together for us tonight. Guys were seeing the ball well for us,” said Burbank coach Bob Hart, whose team remains tied with Crescenta Valley for first place in the Pacific League. “They have an exceptional program over there and we have always aspired to be at that level. I think for at least this year, this night, we are.”

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Burbank (14-8, 10-2) broke Arcadia’s 41-game league winning streak last season and has now won three straight against them sweeping the series this year. Arcadia (18-7, 9-3) had won six straight since their 4-2 loss to Burbank back on April 12.

Angel Villagran greets his teammates at home plate after his grand slam (Photo by Ross A. Benson)
Angel Villagran greets his teammates at home plate after his grand slam (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Angel Roman led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a towering home run to right center. After Sam McKinnon struck out, the next five Bulldog batters reached base courtesy of three singles and two walks to give BHS a 6-3 lead.

With the bases loaded, Villagran helped his own cause on the mound with a grand slam to center to make it 10-3.

After batting around, Roman got on an error and Sam McKinnon made up for his strikeout driving a fastball to dead center over the scoreboard for a two-run home run. Suddenly Burbank led 12-3 and was a three-run homer short of hitting for the cycle in home runs….in one inning.

A single, walk and an RBI single by John White gave the Burbank the 10-run cushion it needed to mercy Arcadia. Three different Apache pitchers could not snuff out the hot-hitting Bulldogs until the 16th batter of the inning.

“I was looking for a fastball,” Villagran said. “That was just our inning. We just broke it open.”

Arcadia threatened to extend the game by loading the bases in the top of the fifth with two singles and a Burbank error. However, the Apaches hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game sending the fans home early Friday evening. Arcadia fell into a third-place tie with Burroughs.

Angel Villagran picked up the win (Photo by Ross A. Benson)
Angel Villagran picked up the win (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

McKinnon (2 for 3, two runs, two RBI’s), Chris Okimoto (3 for 3, two runs), and Dylan Mersola (2 for 4, two RBI’s) led the way behind Villagran who threw five innings giving up eight hits, two earned runs and earning the win.

“I relied on my defense. I told them to get my back and we are going to do this today. We played together and got the win,” said Villagran, who will face Burroughs next Friday with all the chips on the table. “We just have to keep this going. This is how we should have been playing.”

Burbank plays Muir on Tuesday with an excellent chance to compete for a league title Friday night at Burroughs (15-10, 9-3) at 6 p.m.

The Bulldogs are in search of their first league title since 1991. Burbank’s softball team won its first league title in 26 years last night.

Will two streaks come to an end in the same season for BHS? Only the baseball gods know.