By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor
With one week left in the regular season and a playoff berth hanging in the balance, two questions instantly come to mind.
Who will be the stars that will shine on the biggest of stages? Which teams will rise up to the occasion?
On Friday afternoon at Tomahawk Field, Cole Meyer, Ryan Galan and their Indian teammates did just that.
Behind another sterling performance on the mound, Meyer threw a four-hit shutout as Burroughs edged first-place Arcadia, 1-0, to maintain its hold on to fourth place in the Pacific League.
“It felt great. It was nice to put them away,” Meyer said.
The loss dropped Arcadia (15-8-1, 9-2-1) to a game behind Crescenta Valley (10-1-1). Pasadena defeated Glendale, 6-0, to stay in third at 9-3. More importantly, the Indians (12-11, 6-6) held their ground in fourth over Hoover, a 7-4 winner versus Burbank, nipping at their heels at 5-7.
Burroughs plays at Pasadena on Tuesday and closes out the regular season on Thursday at crosstown Burbank. Hoover hosts Crescenta Valley on Tuesday and Glendale on Friday. The Indians and Tornadoes split their season series.
Meyer lowered his ERA in league to .98 (five earned runs in 35 innings pitched) and 1.29 for the season. Defeating the Apaches injected much-needed confidence into an Indians’ team that struggled in losses to Crescenta Valley and Hoover the week before.
“It gives us momentum going into Pasadena and Burbank,” said Meyer. “It gives us that extra push we need. The confidence that we need.”
Meyer received the only run he needed when Galan came through with some timely hitting. The junior second baseman brought home Roy Hirota on a double down the right field line in the third inning.
Hirota had been hit by a pitch, stole second, and came home on Galan’s hit. He slid safely just by the catchers’ tag to plate the game’s only run.
After the game, Galan spoke about his first varsity game-winning hit.
“It felt great because we’ve been struggling for a while to get hits,” Galan said. “It was a one-two count and I knew he was going to throw a fastball low and away. It was a good spot and I just put it where I had to go.”
Galan had one of three Indian hits on the day. As a team, Burroughs is batting a meager .246 on the season with only one player hitting above .300 (Max Haddad- .343). Haddad is also the only player on the team with double figures in RBI’s (11) and runs (10).
Runs are at a premium but with Meyer on the hill, sometimes a 1-0 contest will be good enough.
Burroughs prevailed, 1-0, against Burbank and lost, 1-0, in eight innings to Pasadena. In those two games along with Friday’s win against Arcadia, Meyer has thrown 21 and two-thirds innings allowing only seven hits, one earned run and striking out 24.
In eight starts this season, Meyer has given up more than two runs only once- on opening day at Oaks Christian (four earned runs).
Arcadia posed a serious threat in the sixth inning with runners on first and second and two out. Galan committed an error to load the bases but kept his head up and recorded the inning’s final out catching a pop up in shallow right field.
“The only reason I got out of it is because I used to be a closer. I’m used to that situation,” Meyer explained. “I was shaken a little bit but I took a breath, looked over at Max (Haddad), my shortstop, and he said, ‘Cole, calm down. You got this.’ And I got through it.”
Galan breathed a sigh of relief too knowing somebody may have played a role in giving him a second chance to end the Apaches’ threat.
“The baseball gods love me right now. All I can say is thank you,” he said.
Meyer got out of a seventh inning jam after hitting and walking back-to-back batters. He induced a groundout to end the game.
One week remains before playoffs begin the week of May 19. Burroughs is knocking on the door with intentions of busting through next week.
“If we keep going on this roll, we are in the playoffs,” Galan said. “We want that playoff spot bad.”
It’s time for Burroughs to come and get it. The next question is, “Will they?”