Burroughs Baseball Holds On For 2-1 Victory Over Visiting Burbank

Senior Zack Freck tosses four-hitter with nine strikeouts and Mason Mahay has two hits with one run batted in for the Bears.

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Senior Zack Freck went seven innings, allowed four hits with nine strikeouts and one walk in a 2-1 triumph over Burbank. (Photo by Austin Gebhardt)

By Rick Assad

Having missed his junior season for the Burroughs High baseball team in 2022 because of a shoulder injury, one in which the Bears won the CIF Southern Section Division V championship, Zack Freck was determined to have an impactful senior season.

Freck has done that but in the rivalry game at home versus Burbank, and the stands filled to capacity, Freck delivered his opus in a 2-1 victory on Tuesday night in a Pacific League game.

On Senior Night, with his parents, father Kraig and mother, Jo Dee, and girlfriend, Gissel Nolasco, in the park, the right-hander allowed four singles with nine strikeouts and one walk with one hit batter across seven innings.

“It was adrenaline. It was my fans. It was my teammates. It was everyone,” said Freck of the emotion of the game. “I love my guys. Just like Stevie [senior shortstop Steve Suarez], the last play. He’s insane. I love that guy. I always trust my defense. I pitch to contact.”

Freck was handed a two-run first inning lead when junior Nate Chapman doubled down the left-field line and scored on a bloop single to center field by junior Mason Mahay.

Mahay (two hits) then stole second and third base and scored on a wild pitch as Burroughs (12-10 and 8-5 for third in the league) led 2-0.

Freck did the rest as he gave up just one run to the always tough and determined Bulldogs.

Burbank hurler Colby Bette pitched well in defeat, yielding four hits with four strikeouts and one walk over four innings. (Photo by Austin Gebhardt)

Freck worked four perfect innings and in the process fanned four of his nine batters.

“Not only was it a rivalry game, it solidified our stamp in the playoffs. I couldn’t be prouder of him,” Burroughs coach Matt Magallon said of Freck.

Magallon also knows that Freck wanted to help his team in any way.

“The adversity that he went through last year with his dad and the resilience this young man showed,” he noted. “He’s a legend at Burroughs because of this game.”

Burbank (10-9 and 6-7 in league for fifth place) had base runners on in the first and second innings but failed to score.

In the opening frame, senior Danny Betancourt and senior Julian Gonzalez struck out swinging, but senior Jimmy Cafferty was nicked with an offering.

Cafferty stole second and senior Ben Castillo fanned looking on a 3-2 count.

Senior Dylan Kramer singled to right center in the second inning for the Bulldogs and took second base on a one-out infield hit by junior Bryant Johnson.

Both advanced to the next base on a single to center field by junior Ryan Sebastian.

Freck had to dig deep knowing the bases were filled but rose to the challenge by striking out senior Joe Maslyk swinging and Betancourt looking.

The Bulldogs reached Freck in the third inning for a run as Gonzalez walked to lead off the frame.

After Cafferty hit a high fly to right, Castillo grounded out as Gonzalez took second base. Kramer singled to left field for the run batted in.

“The difference was we did not get any hits in the big moments with people on base,” said Cafferty, who will be on the mound during Friday’s game against the Bears.

Junior leadoff hitter Nate Chapman is a table setter for the Bears. (Photo by Austin Gebhardt)

Burbank coach Bob Hart agrees with Cafferty.

“We had our opportunities, and we did not capitalize,” he said.

Johnson lined to third baseman Logan Drossin to begin the fourth as the freshman made a fine stab.

Sebastian then whiffed swinging and Maslyk popped to second base for the third out.

Freck sailed through the next three innings as he induced Betancourt to line to right field and Gonzalez flied to left field. Cafferty capped the frame when he was caught looking at a third strike.

Castillo began the sixth by grounding to third base and Kramer struck out swinging while junior Mike Reynoso smacked a ball to center field.

Three outs remained for Freck who saw Johnson pop up to the catcher and Sebastian strike out swinging.

The game became official when Maslyk grounded to the Suarez who made an outstanding stop and threw to first base.

Burroughs senior Roberto Castaneda singled in the fourth inning and moved to second base when junior Brian Martinez was hit by a pitch.

Colby Bette went four innings for the Bulldogs, giving up four hits with four strikeouts and one walk with two hit batters.

“I was super proud of Colby. Outstanding job on the hill,” Hart said of his sophomore hurler.

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