By Rick Assad
Last season, Burroughs High’s dynamic pitching duo of Gunnar Nichols and Nick Forrest helped lead the Bears to the CIF Southern Section Division V championship.
Nichols is currently a freshman at Pepperdine and Forrest is a senior for the Bears and will not be available this season after recent shoulder surgery.
This campaign, the Big Two on the mound are senior Sebastian Zamora and Zack Freck, who tossed a no-hitter with 13 strikeouts en route to a 10-0 blitz in a six-inning affair that ended with one out in the bottom of the frame against visiting Muir on Tuesday night in a Pacific League match.
In three innings, the right-hander who had surgery a season ago, fanned the side in order and capped the night with a perfect game.
“My boy [Sebastian] Zamora, he threw a perfect game the other day and that kind of inspired me and I want to throw one and I got a little jealous,” Freck said. “Let me have one under my belt.”
Freck, who missed all of last season, has a fine two-pitch arsenal that he uses to strike out many batters.
“My best pitch has to be my fastball. It really moves a lot,” he said. “I have a slider where I can get a lot of strikeouts with those pitches.”
It was apparent early on that the Mustangs (2-5 and 0-3 in league) were going to be in trouble.
“Every win is a good win. I thought we didn’t play down to the competition. Our defense was stout. Our pitching was stout. We hit balls right at them,” Burroughs coach Matt Magallon said. “I thought our bats did well. We bunted well and we hit and ran well. We did a lot of things well. Baseball is 90 percent confidence and 10 percent actual ability.”
Freck was backed offensively with a run in the second inning when junior Mason Mahay was safe on an infield single.
Mahay went to second base on a sacrifice bunt by senior Steve Suarez, who added an infield single in the fourth inning but didn’t score.
Mahan stole third base and scored on an outfield error when sophomore Kenny Montgomery reached.
An inning later the Bears (5-4 and 3-0 in league) made it 2-0 as junior Nate Chapman smacked a one-out double to left field.
Chapman swiped third base and scored on a grounder by junior Dylan Conahan.
Burroughs bolstered its advantage to 4-0 with two runs in the fifth inning as pinch hitter Jarell Bijasa walked, went to second on a wild pitch and stole third before scoring on an error.
The other run was tallied by Conahan on a sacrifice bunt as Chapman crossed the plate after being hit by a pitch. Chapman then stole second base and third base.
A six-run, one-hit eruption in the sixth capped the chilly evening as eight batters came to the plate.
Sophomore Kyle Smith was nicked with a toss for a run batted in and Conahan’s double to left field knocked in a pair of runners.
Zamora had a two-out single to left center in the third inning but didn’t score.
The final frame also featured two Muir pitchers, Eioheem Mahone and Renee Contreras and saw the inning have three hit batters, two walks, several wild pitches and a dropped third strike.
Miguel Castillo pitched fairly well for the Mustangs, working five innings, striking out one, walking one with four hits surrendered and four runs scored.
On the hill, Freck was able to get Tarik Reese to fly to center field in the first inning and then struck out Isaac Richwan before Owen Grice grounded out to second base.
In the second inning, Freck induced Fletcher Paddock to ground out to third base and Vince Bugarin to bounce back to the mound. Fausto De La Torre was the third out after being called out on strikes.
Freck then fanned Bobby Milton IV, Bryant Soriano and Kalhi Rishwan all swinging to end the third frame.
Reese became a strikeout victim after looking at a third strike in the fourth as did Isaac Rishwan for Freck’s seventh strikeout of the game. When Grice grounded out to shortstop, the inning was over.
Paddock opened the fifth inning by swinging at a third strike from Freck and Bugarin and De La Torre did the same.
In the sixth, Milton IV, Soriano and Kalhi Rishwan all fanned swinging as Freck tied his career high with 13 strikeouts.