Burroughs Baseball Cannot Keep Step With Crescenta Valley

It's close for five innings until the Bears yield seven runs in the sixth to the Falcons and lose 10-3.

Burroughs used three pitchers in a 10-3 setback to Crescenta Valley. (Photo by Austin Gebhardt)

By Rick Assad

For slightly more than half of Friday afternoon’s Pacific League baseball game between Burroughs High and Crescenta Valley, the host Bears held a slim lead.

The Falcons are undefeated in league for a reason as they tied it in the top of the fifth and then rolled out seven runs in the sixth inning on five hits with two errors sprinkled in and coasted to a 10-3 victory.

Junior Nate Chapman did his best to keep the Bears afloat as he accounted for four hits and a run batted in.

“I just try to set the tone. Give guys behind me an opportunity to drive in some runs. I trust my teammates,” Chapman said. “If I don’t get on base, I know my teammates will get on base. I try to put 100 percent in my game and give it my all.”

Burroughs will host rival Burbank on Tuesday with a first pitch at 6:30 p.m. and then visit the Bulldogs on Friday with a 7 p.m. start.

Coach Matt Magallon, who led his team to a CIF Southern Section Division V championship in 2022, knows the challenges his team faces every game since being moved to Division II.

“It showed their leadership. There are a bunch of seniors over there. There are guys who have been through it and they understand the moment,” Magallon said of the Falcons. “They understand their jobs. They did what they had to do. We didn’t execute the way we should have. We’re young and we have to learn from this.”

Magallon is still confident in his team even with consecutive losses to the Falcons which included a 2-1 setback on Tuesday.

Base running and sliding are not overlooked by Burroughs. (Photo by Austin Gebhardt)

“You need to beat those guys by three or four [runs]. It’s just as simple as that,” he explained. “Phil [Torres] has been doing this for a long time [27 years]. His teams are well-oiled machines. Unfortunately, we had the game and we’ve had multiple games where it’s been one run for five or six innings and we don’t weather the storm. We have that one inning that beats us and that shows our youth.”

Burroughs (11-10 and 7-5 in league) collected nine hits off senior pitcher Connor Campbell, who went seven innings, striking out two with one hit batter.

The Bears, who are in the middle of a three-game losing streak, scored a solo run in the bottom of the first when Chapman led off with a single to left field.

Chapman moved to second base when junior Mason Mahay, who singled in the seventh inning, laid down a sacrifice bunt, then took third base when senior Sebastian Zamora reached on a fielder’s choice. Chapman scored on an error.

Crescenta Valley (20-4 and 12-0 in league) evened it with a run in the fifth as junior Jacob Deno’s single to right field plated sophomore Jimmy Spears who walked, stole second and advanced to third base on a fly by sophomore Chris Torres.

The sixth saw 11 batters come to the plate for the Falcons, who have a 13-game winning streak, and key at-bats were a sacrifice fly by Spears, a bases loaded walk to senior Niko Terenzi and sophomore Dashiell Schultz’s infield single.

Schultz led off the inning with a double to right center, Deno singled to left field, senior Everett Pam slashed a base hit to right and senior Ryan Ivanyi (two hits) singled up the middle.

Second baseman Nate Chapman had four hits with an RBI. (Photo by Austin Gebhardt)

One inning later, the Falcons added two more runs for a nine-run cushion with Deno’s two-run double to right center giving the visitors a 10-1 edge.

Chapman’s double to right center in the seventh scored a run and Zamora’s double play grounder plated the second run of the frame as the Bears cut the lead to 10-3.

Sophomore Lucas Beltran, who singled in the second inning, was tagged with the loss after yielding four hits with five strikeouts and two walks across five-plus innings.

Zamora went one and two-third innings, allowed two hits and one walk and sophomore Kenny Montgomery toiled one and one-third frames, surrendering four hits with one walk and one strikeout.

Junior Brian Martinez slapped a double in the fifth and senior Steve Suarez singled in the sixth as did Montgomery.

Freshman third baseman Logan Drossin turned in a spectacular defensive play in the first and two frames later shortstop Suarez followed suit with another defensive gem.