Burroughs Baseball Takes Thriller Over Arcadia 6-5

After leading 5-0 and then it being tied at 5-5, the Bears score in the seventh inning for the Pacific League win.

Burroughs pitcher Kenny Montgomery, who went five-plus innings and allowed four hits to Arcadia, is about to deliver the heat. (Photo by Rick Assad)

By Rick Assad

In the same way the weather changes from day to day, so did the Pacific League baseball game between host Burroughs High and Arcadia on Tuesday night.

Ahead by five runs after five innings, the contest was knotted at 5-5 after six frames, but in the end the Bears were able to add one run in the seventh and nabbed a 6-5 triumph before a capacity crowd.

The Bears, Apaches and Crescenta Valley are in a three-way tie for first place in the league with a 10-1 record and all three have three more league contests left.

The game-winner was tallied when sophomore Logan Drossin hit a slow bouncer to the Arcadia third baseman, who juggled it for an error as sophomore Devin Whittekiend scored the winning run.

“I thought that the leadership of the young players spoke volumes last night. Logan Drossin coming in clutch as well as Devin Whittekiend was great to see,” Burroughs coach Matt Magallon said. 

In the frame, senior Nickolas Fritz reached on an infield hit while Whittekiend slapped a single to left field, went to second on a force out and third base on a wild pitch.

Magallon wasn’t surprised to be part of a back-and-forth game.

Nate Chapman, the Bears’ second baseman and No. 2 hitter, can beat you with his bat or glove. (Photo by Rick Assad)

“The game had everything you could ask for in a playoff type league championship atmosphere,” he said. “Up five, I thought we had a great approach and game plan at the plate. Stuck to it and got a five-run lead.”

Magallon added: “Pitching got us into a little bit of a jam, but Elvis Moreno came in and did what was asked of him,” he said. “Great senior leader and a great senior moment for him to come in and shut it down.”

Senior second baseman Nate Chapman didn’t get a hit but made an incredible diving stop of a ball destined for center field in the fifth inning that he turned it into a force out.

“I’m ready to leave it all on the field and it does not matter what it takes to win and put my team in the best position to win,” he said. 

A team leader, Chapman knew it was going to be a close battle.

“It was an incredible game. The boys knew what it was going to take going up against a tough opponent in Arcadia,” he said. “[Junior] Kenny [Montgomery] did great on the mound and Elvis came in and closed it and gave us a chance to win in the seventh,” he said. “This is a great team and it took everyone on the team. Everyone knew we had to rally up and come together as a team to push through.”

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning when the Bears (18-3) made it 1-0.

Freshman Elliot Ross drew a leadoff walk and scurried to second base when Chapman was hit with a pitch.

Fritz’s infield single sent Ross to third base and he crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly to center field by Whittekiend.

The lead swelled to 5-0 in the fifth when the Bears scored four runs on three hits and two of the three Arcadia errors.

Ten batters came to the plate for Burroughs and two batters walked with the bases loaded for a run batted in and they were Fritz and Whittekiend and senior Chris Perez drilled an RBI single to left field.

Senior Willan Armes tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt but was safe for an infield hit and senior Brian Martinez was also safe on an infield hit.

In the top of the sixth inning, the Apaches (15-7), who trotted eleven batters to the plate, showed why they are a contender for the league banner after collecting five hits and five runs.

Junior Leo Peniche had an RBI single to center field, junior Avery Truesdale added a run-tallying single to left, senior Fernando Palencia tossed in a bases-loaded walk, sophomore Damian Catano had an RBI single to right and senior Jerry Carlos contributed a run-scoring single to center.

“I’m not surprised at all that the game was close and that they came back,” Magallon said. “They are a well-coached, well-oiled machine that is used to scoring runs.”

Montgomery went five-plus innings, allowed four hits with four strikeouts, one walk and one hit batter.

Sophomore Jack Guest gave up two hits and one walk and didn’t retire a batter for the Bears and Moreno went two frames, fanned three and surrendered two hits.

Senior Gabriel Lopez toiled four and one-third innings, striking out nine, walking five, yielding three hits and two hit batters for the Apaches.

Junior Gus Cooper worked two frames, surrendered three hits and had three strikeouts and Palencia went one-third of an inning.

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