By Rick Assad
Hits and runs were at a high premium when the Burroughs High baseball team hosted Glendale in a Pacific League contest on Friday night at Tomahawk Field.
Each team mustered a pair of runs in the first inning, but it wasn’t until the bottom of the third that the Bears edged ahead and ultimately prevailed 4-2.
Aidan Cremarosa, a junior right-hander, allowed three hits across six innings for the Bears and added eight strikeouts with three walks and a hit batter.
Junior Brayden Sibley-Ackerman came in and worked the seventh inning for the save as the left-hander gave up a walk to junior Milan Burgarin and a single to sophomore Erik Chavez.
Sibley-Ackerman then induced freshman Matthew Vega to line into a game-ending double play, right field to first base.
“Our pitchers did well and we’re starting to jell as a team,” Burroughs coach Matt Magallon said. “Glendale is much improved and you have to tip your cap to them. At one point, they were undefeated in league and they’re going in the right direction.”
The Nitros, who collected four hits on Friday, defeated Muir 6-3 and 5-3 before losing consecutive matches against the Bears.
The Bears (5-7 and 3-2 in league play) evened it at 2-2 as seven batters trotted to the plate.
Sophomore Jarell Bijasa, the leadoff hitter, was hit by a pitch and went to second base on a balk.
Bijasa advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Sebastian Zamora and came home on an error.
Cremarosa knocked in the second run of the frame with a single to right center as junior Andrew Chapman crossed the plate after drawing a walk and moving to third base on a base hit to center field from senior Joe Estrada.
The go-ahead run came two frames later when Zamora opened the inning by reaching base on an error.
Zamora then swiped second and advanced to third base on a walk to Estrada and scored when sophomore Nick Forrest reached on a force out. Forrest was also called out on interference on the play.
“We didn’t play our best game tonight and it was sloppy at times, but we’re improving each game,” said Magallon, whose team collected five hits.
An insurance run was tallied in the bottom of the sixth inning with the help of an error and a couple of base hits.
Cremarosa reached base on an infield single, but was erased on a force out. Forrest was hit by a pitch, stole second base and scored on an error.
Senior Brandon Mendez doubled to right center in the same inning, but was left stranded and in an at-bat in the fourth inning, doubled off the fence in left field.
The much-improved Nitros (5-4 and 2-2 in league) jumped ahead by two runs in the initial frame as six players strutted to home plate.
Junior Jesse Molina provided the key hit, a two-out single to right center that brought home leadoff hitter, senior Michael Ruiz, who walked and Vega, who was hit by the pitch.
Cremarosa retired the side in order in the second that included fanning sophomore Frankie Malagon, who led off the inning.
In the third, Burgarin led off with a double to left center, but Cremarosa settled down and struck out two of the next three batters, fanning Chavez and Vega, both looking.
Cremarosa walked the first two batters in the fourth inning, sophomore Javier Solis and Molina.
Malagon reached base on a force out, but Vega grounded out to first base and senior Matthew Bender bounced out to second base.
Cremarosa struck out two hitters in the fifth inning, Burgarin and senior Michael Ruiz and then retired Chavez on a grounder to second base.
Six batters faced Cremarosa in the sixth inning and back-to-back hitters, Molina and Malagon, reached base via errors.
The next batter, freshman Levi Valadez, singled to center field, but Bender was retired on a liner to center field.
In the same frame, Cremarosa fanned leadoff hitter Vega and saw Solis ground out to shortstop.