In its first two playoff games, the Burroughs High baseball team has turned to its starting pitching staff to pave the way.
Nick Forest stepped on to the mound Tuesday looking to extend Burroughs’ playoff run.
Forest got the job done as he struck out eight in 4 2/3 innings to help lift second-seeded Burroughs to a 7-2 road win against Orange in a CIF Southern Section Division 5 second-round contest.
Burroughs (19-10) will meet Nogales (22-7) in a quarterfinal game at 3:15 p.m. Friday at Burroughs.
The Bears, who finished second in the Pacific League behind Arcadia, have allowed just two runs in the postseason. Burroughs began the playoffs Friday with a 2-0 victory versus visiting Village Christian.
“Our pitching has carried us the whole year,” Burroughs coach Matt Magallon said. “They give us a chance, like Gunnar Nichols did the other day, and we go from there.
“Nick went out there and pitched great again.”
Burroughs reliever Devan McGivern went the final 2 1/3 innings to pick up the save. He relieved Forest in the fifth with the bases loaded and got the final out to escape the jam.
The Bears scored three runs in the third inning to take a 3-0 lead. Lim Cebellos had a two-run double to make it 3-0.
Orange, which finished first in the Orange Coast League and began the playoffs with an 8-0 win versus Loara, closed to within 3-2 in the fifth.
Burroughs scored four runs in the sixth to extend its lead to 7-2. Sebastian Zamora recorded a two-run double to cap the scoring.
Nate Chapman finished with a team-high three hits and scored two runs for the Bears.
“Nate is our lead-off hitter and he helped set the table a couple of times,” Magallon said. “We’ve played in a lot of tight games throughout the season against very good teams like Arcadia, Burbank and Crescenta Valley.
“Being the No. 2 seed, we have a target on our backs, but we expect teams to come out and compete hard against us.”
Nichols and Forest have combined to strike out 17 in two playoff games.
The Bears have won three in a row and are 10-2 in their last 12 contests.