Senior pitcher Luis Pereya saved the best outing of his high school career for his final regular season game.
Perhaps it was the electrifying atomosphere of the Burbank-Burroughs rivalry, or playing against a group of kids he had known most of his life. Or maybe it was knowing that he could eliminate that same group from a shot at the Pacific League championship.
Most importantly, a win would save his Indians from having to play a one game play-in game against Pasadena tomorrow morning for the final automatic spot in the CIF Southern Section playoffs and would clinch a trip to the postseason for Burroughs.
If Pereya is being honest the answer was “D. All of the Above.”
Pereya delivered a three-hit, complete game shutout and struck out nine as the Indians topped the Bulldogs, 2-0, in a Pacific League game at Burbank, Friday May 11.
“I’m proud of him, but really I am proud of all the guys for stepping up in a big game,” coach Kiel Holmes said after seeing his team clinch a playoff spot in his first season as a varsity coach. With the win Burroughs finishes fourth in league at 12-13 overall and 9-5 in Pacific play.
Burbank, who needed a win against the Indians and a Arcadia win over Crescenta Valley to earn a share of the league title, got neither and finished in a second place tie at 10-4 with the Apaches. CV reclaimed the league title, beating Arcadia 7-0 on May 11 as well.
It is a huge step forward for both local programs after the Indians and Bulldogs missed the playoffs last season. It is a crushing finish for Arcadia who was 10-0 and heading to a fourth straight league title before dropping its final four games. The Apaches had a 41-game winstreak in league snapped by Burbank on Tuesday, May 1 and then fell to Burroughs seven days later.
Pereya’s efforts outshined another fine effort from Burbank southpaw Daniel Starkand, who threw seven innings and surrendered the two runs on seven hits. He threw 93 pitches including 65 for strikes and allowed only a pair of runs in the third inning.
The Indians Ryan Gordon doubled just below the scoreboard in right-centerfield to lead off the inning and scored on a Chris Davies single. Brian Pozos was walked with the bases loaded to score the other run for Burroughs when Starkand had a rare moment wildness.
The senior entered the contest with a streak of 46 consecutive scoreless innings and cruised through the first two innings before surrendering the runs in the third.
Burbank had only three hits in the game, all singles by Ian McKinnon, Ricky Perez and Angel Roman — Roman and Perez were one-time Indians before transferring to Burbank.
Both teams will find out who they draw in the opening wild card round of the playoffs by lunch time Monday, May 14. Given the relatively weak showing of the league in recent playoffs, there is a strong probability both teams will be on the road Tuesday.