By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor
Numbers don’t lie. They simply tell the story in a factual manner. So if you love numbers, brace yourself because last night’s VIBL playoff game at Burroughs High was a statistician’s dream come true. This will be less of a story and, as Dragnet’s Sgt. Joe Friday once said, “Just the facts.”
Final score: Burroughs 18 Burbank 3
It was a night to remember for the Indians and a game to forget for the Bulldogs (3-7). So here are the facts that truly tell the story.
Fact no. 1- The No. 4 seeded Indians advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in the 14-year history of the Valley Invitational Baseball League. Burroughs will host No. 12 Loyola, an 8-6 winner against Cleveland, on Saturday at 11 a.m. Expect a whole different Cubs team than the one who lost 7-3 to the Indians back on June 25.
Fact no. 2- The Indians are 16-6 overall which marks their best record ever in the VIBL.
Fact no. 3- The Indians have won 13 of their last 15 games. They are simply the hottest high school team around.
Fact no. 4- The Indians scored a summer-high 18 runs and pounded out a summer-high 19 hits vs. their rivals. For the third time in the last six games, at least nine different players had a hit. Against BHS, 11 players recorded a hit. Everyone is contributing on the offensive end.
Fact no. 5- This one is scary. Of the 11 hitters who reached base courtesy of a hit, seven of them recorded two hits or more. Six of those players scored two runs or more. Eleven Indian runners crossed home plate in total.
In honor of future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter, No. 2, here are numbers that begin with two or more-
Noah Hoed (2 for 4, 3 runs, 4 RBIs), Tanner Whitlock (2 for 5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs), Roy Hirota (2 for 5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs), Thomas Wilson (3 for 4, 2 runs), Chris Peres (2 for 3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs), Max DeAmicis (2 for 5, 2 RBIs), Randy Catlett (2 for 3, 2 RBIs), Ryan Galan (2 runs) and Omar Tejeda (2 RBIs).
Fact no. 6- Five different players had extra base hits for JBHS- Roy Hirota, Chris Peres and Max DeAmicis each had a double; Noah Hoed and Thomas Wilson had triples.
Fact. No. 7- The Indians team batting average began the evening at .306. At game’s end, it skyrocketed to .338 after going 19 for 36 (.528).
Catch your breath yet?
The Indians scored four runs in the third to erase a 2-0 Burbank lead, plated five more runs in the fourth and then had an inning for the ages scoring nine times in the sixth. They batted around in all three innings.
In that “Germany-esque” domination (see Brazil 7-1 thumping) of a sixth inning, Burroughs sent 14 players to the plate. The first 11 reached base safely. The first nine scored.
When Burbank’s Cameron Briggs relieved on the hill in the same inning, he simply said to himself, “I had enough.” He shut down the potent Indians offense 1, 2, 3. Expect to see Briggs pitching in the spring in a more meaningful role when these teams meet again.
Now on to the pitching end of things.
Fact no. 8- Burroughs’ Danny Bustos (11 Ks) and Kyle Nicol (4 Ks) combined to strike out 15 Burbank batters while walking only two.
Bustos earned the win to improve to 4-1 with a summer era of 1.94 while Nicol, the right-handed submariner who continues to baffle batters right and left, lowered his era to 1.68.
“Going into the game I was just hyped up,” Bustos said. “So I went in there throwing my hardest.”
With the victory, Burroughs moves on to the quarterfinals looking for its first VIBL championship in the school’s history. One down, three to go.
For Burbank, this was a game that gets flushed down the toilet and never to be revisited again. The Bulldogs will return in the spring vastly improved and prepared to battle the Indians once more.
After all, when the real season rolls around, last night’s VIBL game will have meant nothing in the grand scheme of things. It was a summer win and a summer loss.
In the end, it’s all about the spring. Hope springs eternal for Burbank while Burroughs marches on in the summer with confidence bursting through its seams.
“We are just hot,” Peres said after the game. “All cylinders are firing and nothing can stop us now.”