This wasn’t how it was supposed to end for the Burroughs High baseball team.
Just one step away from playing in the CIF Southern California Division IV regional championship, the Bears came up short, losing to host Fullerton 10-6 in the semifinal match on Thursday.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning, Burroughs (23-11) rallied for two runs in the third on a two-run double by senior Andrew Chapman, (three hits including two doubles), who added a three-run homer in the fifth inning.
Sophomore Nate Chapman had a double, scored a run and added a sacrifice fly.
“It was a great game. It was 10-6 and there was good hitting on both sides. We did fall short,” Burroughs coach Matt Magallon said. “I’m so proud of this team. The seniors all had a great moment. It was such a fun year and such a fun group. Hard work and dedication paid off.”
Fullerton (26-9) scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth and led 4-2, but two frames later, Chapman belted a three-run homer, and the team would score four runs in that inning and pull ahead 6-4.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Indians tallied three more runs for a 7-6 edge and tacked on three more runs in the sixth for a four-run cushion.
Usually sure-handed the Bears, who had 11 hits, committed two errors while the Indians, who finished with 10 hits, were flawless in the field.
Junior Steven Suarez banged out two hits and scored a run, and sophomore Mason Mahay collected two hits and scored a run.
Senior Mason Medina had a hit while junior Jarrel Bijasa chipped in with a single and scored a run.
“It was a great game. We fought hard and we did our job,” Medina said. “A couple of mistakes led to some runs being scored but other than that, they were a very solid offensive team.”
Medina went on: “Overall there is nothing to be upset about because we made history this season. The culture created by this team will last far beyond us,” he said. “Between the amazing coaching, hardworking players and supportive fans, this season is one to remember. We are one of the best teams to come through Burroughs. Our team can walk off the field knowing we are the champions, and no one can take that away from us.”
Junior Nick Forrest added a single and was the winning pitcher in Tuesday’s quarterfinal 10-0 triumph over Bakersfield.
Senior pitcher Gunnar Nichols went one inning in relief and allowed two hits and three runs (all unearned) and struck out three batters.
“I thought we did great today. We definitely went out with a bang,” he said. “Our offense was good, but we didn’t necessarily have it on the field. Their offense and defense was good and just ended up beating us today.”
Nichols talked about the campaign that just ended. “For the season as a whole I thought it was amazing. We started out shaky, but we gradually found our stride,” he said. “We found both our offense and defense at the right time. I felt that our team bonded together and were like a family both on and off the field.”
Senior Devan McGivern was the starting pitcher, touring three innings, giving up three hits and three runs (all earned) and fanning one.
“I thought we played a tough game against Fullerton,” McGivern said. “Although we didn’t get the result we wanted, it felt like we played hard. Personally, I went into the game knowing that I needed to throw a lot of strikes and keep the game close. My approach in the beginning of the game was working and my teammates backed me up which leads to a close fought game.”
McGivern continued: “As for the season, I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to play along with such an amazing group of guys,” he said. “We had goals set in the beginning of the year and we accomplished what no other Burroughs team has ever done. This season we spent time building a culture that will thrive throughout this team and community for years to come. None of this would’ve been possible without the endless love and support from our parents, fans and most importantly, our coaches.”
Junior Nate Norman (two doubles and a run) led the way offensively for the Indians with four runs batted in, junior Conor Sunderland added a double and a homer and two runs, senior Matthew Kim whacked a solo homer and junior Kyle Kim (homer) drove in two runs.