The Burroughs High baseball program won a CIF championship last season.
But what the Bears did Saturday to open the 2023 season was perhaps even more impressive.
The Bears hung tight for six innings with an elite program in Crespi of the powerful Mission League, before falling 7-2 at home to the Celts.
Burroughs (0-1) held Crespi hitless for the first four innings and was actually tied going into the seventh inning.
Crespi erupted for six runs in the top of the seventh off Burroughs reliever Jack Harken.
Burroughs started Zach Freck was outstanding through six innings.
Freck allowed just two hits and a run and allowed just one runner to reach base through the first four innings.
“I did my best and threw where the glove was and had a fun time,” Freck said.
Burroughs coach Matt Magallon was impressed with what he saw for a first game.
“Our team is very young. We lost 12 seniors from a championship team. Moving up three divisions, we jumped in with a very good Division 2 team and it is 1-1 going into the seventh,” Magallon said. “I’m very impressed with the young guys. I thought we shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times and it was just young mistakes. I told our guys if we don’t learn from these mistakes it is going to be a problem. But if we learn from these mistakes then we are going to be very tough to beat in our league.”
Burroughs took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning, when Tommy Vournas drew a walk against Crespi starter Diego Velasquez, who is just a sophomore but is already committed to USC.
After Vournas took second base on a wild pitch, leadoff hitter Nate Chapman hit a double just inside the third base line to score Vournas.
Burroughs opened the fourth inning ready to strike again as Sebastian Zamora led off with a walk. Wyatt Augenstein pinch ran for Zamora.
Two batters later Kenny Montgomery hit a fly ball to center field. Augenstein attempted to tag up. But Crespi center fielder Ethan Kodama threw a perfect ball to catcher Diego Martinez and the Celts were able to get Augenstein out in a pickle at the plate. Kodama is the son of former Burroughs girls’ soccer coach Rob Kodama and nephew of longtime Burroughs boys’ soccer coach Mike Kodama.
Crespi got its first run in the fifth inning, as Martinez and Isaiah Magdaleno began the inning with back to back singles.
Martinez scored on a sacrifice fly by Nico Kougher.
Burroughs threatened again in the fifth inning. Mason Mahay led off the inning by getting hit by a Jack Truszkowski-Young pitch. After an error and a groundout brought Mahay to third, the Burroughs left fielder attempted to score on a passed ball. But Martinez was able to recover in time to throw to his pitcher who applied the tag at the plate.
Magdaleno, who is committed to the University of Hawaii, led off the seventh with a double. He later scored on a single by Velasquez. Later in the inning Rodriguez hit a grand slam to right field to give Crespi a comfortable lead.
Burroughs added a run in the bottom of the seventh as Jarell Bijasa led off with a single and scored later in the inning on a ground out by Nick Fritz.