By Rick Assad
In its long history, the Burroughs High baseball team has claimed seven league titles, which in itself is impressive.
But on this historic playoff run, it seems the Bears have bigger fish to fry like winning the CIF Southern Section Division V championship.
This could be next on the agenda after Burroughs held off and defeated host Tustin 2-0 on Tuesday afternoon in a semifinal match.
The title game will be held at Cal State Fullerton on Friday with the first pitch at 4 p.m. and will be against Moreno Valley (27-3 and 10-2 for first place in the Sunbelt League), which has been in the title game three times in the last decade.
“This is tremendous for the program. The players bought in and now they are seeing the fruits of their labor,” Burroughs coach Matt Magallon said. “Our coaching staff is doing a great job. It’s a full scouting report.”
Magallon added: “The boys are prepared no matter what the situation is,” he said. “They don’t get scared.”
Those who shined brightly included junior Nick Forrest, who went seven innings, striking out 13 with one walk and four hits allowed.
“Nick’s performance on the mound guided us to the win,” said senior catcher Mason Medina of the right-hander. “When Nick is in a groove on the mound, there is no stopping him.”
Medina added: “Tustin is a very good team but they were no match for Nick’s pitching,” he said. “When the whole team decides by hitting the ball to the opposite field, we become very successful. Many hits were to the right side and set us up to score a run like my first hit which I ended up scoring on.”
Of course, there is still business to take care of.
“Overall, an amazing team win, but the job is not done. One more to go,” Medina said.
The seventh inning began with Forrest giving up a double.
The next batter flied to center field and the second out of the frame was a fly out. The game ended when Forrest fanned the final batter he faced.
Medina sparkled and so did sophomore Nate Chapman, who had three hits. Junior Steven Suarez also picked up a hit.
The scoring commenced in the first inning as the Bears (21-10), who have now won 10 of 11 games, jumped ahead 1-0 in the top of the frame.
Chapman led off with a double, took third base on a bunt single by senior Andrew Chapman and scored on a wild pitch.
Forrest struck out the first batter he faced, but then allowed a double to Abel Castrejon. Forrest found his rhythm and fanned eight in a row and had 10 strikeouts overall after the first four innings.
The Bears’ advantage became 2-0 in the fourth inning when Medina opened the stanza with a single.
A sacrifice bunt moved Medina to second base and Forrest knocked him in with a base hit.
“Overall, it was an amazing day. From the start of the game, we were hitting balls hard and making the necessary plays,” Medina said.