BURROUGHS –Knowing how to prepare for a guy and beating him are two very different things. The Burroughs baseball team thought it had prepared for Burbank’s ace Daniel Starkand.
The Indians saw several lengthy lefties at practice the last two nights and worked hard on taking the ball the other way and staying back on offspeed pitches. However, under the lights and the pressure of the big rivalry game the Indians couldn’t solve Starkand, who won another pitcher’s duel which is becoming the norm for him this season.
Starkand threw a complete game three hitter to lead the Bulldogs to a 3-0 win over crosstown rival Burroughs Friday, April 20 at JBHS. It was the fourth time he has won this season with three runs or less support from his offense.
The senior lefty used 104 pitches and struckout four in coming up big for the Bulldogs again this season. Burbank played errorless defense behind him and earned its biggest win of the league campaign, which is rapidly reaching the halfway point. With losses to Crescenta Valley and Arcadia already in the books, Burbank needed to get a win against Burroughs to keep its hopes of getting back into the league title race alive.
“They’ve got Arcadia and we’ve got Hoover to finish the first round of league,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said. “A lot can happen by getting this one. We lost to CV after having a 5-3 lead late, we lost a 2-1 pitchers’ duel to Arcadia that could have gone either way so with the top four teams there is a lot of would’ves and could’ves to talk about.
“The bottom line is we have a chance to end the first round a 5-2 and that would mean there is a lot to play for — we haven’t had a first half like that in the time I’ve coached here.”
Largely because this was only the second time Hart’s team had beaten the Indians on the field in his six seasons. First year Burroughs coach Kiel Holmes saw his team’s four game win streak halted as it fell to 7-10 overall and 4-2 in league with Arcadia looming large next week.
“Right now it is hard to pretend this one doesn’t hurt — it does,” he said. “However, you have to remember that this is just one game and move on. We will get another crack at them at the end of the season and the stakes could be high — but there are a lot of games in-between this one that just ended and the next time, we’ve got to treat those as just as important.”
Burroughs had just one look at the game Friday evening against Starkand, when trailing 2-0 it loaded the bases with none out in the bottom of the fifth. However, Starkand got the Indians’ Dylan Goldsack to ground into what looked to be a potential 6-4-3 double play.
It turned out better than that for Burbank when Burroughs’ runner Brian Pozos was called for making contact with Bulldogs’ second basemen CC Okimoto past the bag and the Bulldogs were rewarded with a double play and umpires returned a runner who has scored back to third base.
“It was a hard play by Brian, but probably not the best play by him and certainly not his smartest moment because he put his fate in the umps hands,” Holmes said. “It is a tough call, but maybe the right one at this level because the umpires pretty much make it when there is any contact what-so-ever. I only saw it out of the corner of my eye and I was probably looking with my heart as much as anything else.”
After a walk to Chris Peale, Starkand struck out the Indians’ Ryan Gordon to end the inning with a 2-0 lead still secure. Burbank’s Dylan Mersola doubled and Harrison Hernandez followed with his second double of the game in the seventh to stake Burbank to a 3-0 lead.
Mersola, Hernandez and Ian McKinnon each had two hits for Burbank. The Bulldogs missed chances to blow the game open early leaving the bases loaded in the second and third innings.
“I figured it was going to be the thing that I talked about later tonight,” Hart said. “I thought it could comeback to bite us in an emotional game like this and I figured I would be talking to you about it later and shaking my head… but to our kids’ credit they shook it off and continued to play tough.”
The Indians had just three hits, all singles from Peale, Goldsack and starting pitcher Dillon Disiere. Disiere pitched 5 1/3 innings, striking out seven and walking three.