The result was certainly not what Burroughs High baseball coach Craig Sherwood was hoping for Saturday when his team officially opened the season with an 8-2 defeat at the hands of visiting Thousand Oaks High in the Easton Tournament.
But one thing Sherwood did come away with was a good idea of figuring out the true identity of his team.
He used seven pitchers in the game.
“We’re trying to find guys who get ahead in the count and can throw strikes and keep the ball down,” Sherwood said. “Right now I can’t afford to have a guy walk a guy or hit a guy, especially when you’re down four or five runs. I have a deep pitching staff and I have a lot of guys who are pretty equal. Now it’s a matter of figuring out who can do the job for us in pressure situations.”
Burroughs starting pitcher Steven Gonzalez looked sharp early on retiring the first batters he faced.
But the Thousand Oaks bats started connecting in the third inning as the Lancers hit four doubles in the inning, including three in a row from Jacob Wilson, Fresno State-bound Matt Ottino and Alex Mueller.
“I think our starting pitcher did a great job and then started getting affected by the umpire’s strike zone. He started getting the ball up and that’s how he got hit,” Sherwood said.
Burroughs got a solo home run from designated hitter Collin Johnson in the bottom half of the inning, as he put pitcher Garrett Clarke’s offering onto the track in right field. The Indians had at least one hit in five innings against the Lancers, who are coached by former Major League All-Star Jack Wilson.
Thousand Oaks, which went 23-8 last season and plays in the tough Marmonte League, added a run in the fourth inning and three more in the fifth.
Andrew Jacob Barrera reached base in the sixth inning for Burroughs by drawing a walk. He then scored on a double by Julian Jaramillo.
Sherwood was very impressed with junior closer Andres Salazar, who retired all three batters he faced in the seventh inning.
“That’s one of the best innings I’ve ever seen pitched and I’ve seen a lot of good pitchers,” Sherwood said of Salazar.
Burroughs Brian Garcia led off the bottom of the first with a hit and went to second base on a passed ball.
Sherwood said not being able to bring Garcia home could have been a turning point.
“If we get him in, maybe it changes the complexion of the game,” he said.