Tag Archives: Andrew De La Torre

Burbank Baseball Wins Thriller, 3-2, Over Visiting Burroughs

By Rick Assad

 

There’s something magical it seems when the Burbank High baseball team plays in a Pacific League game and it’s a one-run differential.

On Tuesday night, the team participated in its eighth such contest and came away with its seventh victory after defeating visiting Burroughs 3-2 in eight innings before a capacity crowd.

Runs and hits were somewhat hard to come by, but errors seemingly weren’t as each team had four.

The eighth inning began with sophomore Ryan King drawing a walk off senior Julian Jaramillo, who took the loss after working one and one-third innings while walking three.

Burbank pitcher Andrew De La Torre went eight innings and allowed four hits and two runs. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

King stole second base and senior Davis Mieliwocki, who belted a towering home run to right field in the fourth that tied it at 2-2 and singled in the first, was intentionally walked.

“We definitely settled down and Andrew [De La Torre] pitched a really good game so we had to pick him up with the at-bats,” said Mieliwocki of Burroughs’ two-run first.

Mieliwocki then spoke about his long homer.

“I knew he was going to give me a pitch to hit,” he said. “I just remember getting a pitch I could handle and doing damage with it.”

Both runners then moved up a base when senior Daniel Ruiz laid down a well-placed sacrifice bunt.

Junior Troy Lee stepped into the batter’s box and hit a ball back to the pitcher, who didn’t handle it cleanly as King raced home with the winning run.

Bob Hart, the Burbank coach, thought that Burroughs would walk the bases loaded and one out to force a play at home plate or a double play that would end the inning.

“I kind of thought they would do that,” he said of the strategy. “They were all pumped up. It’s a big Burbank-Burroughs game,” he said of the longtime rivalry that can be tough on your nerves. “You try to not panic. You take a business-like approach.”

The Indians (10-14 and 7-6 in league), who will host the Bulldogs (9-12-1 and 9-4 in league) on Friday night at 6 p.m., bolted ahead 2-0 in the first inning with the assistance of two Burbank miscues.

Julian Jaramillo was tagged with the loss. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Junior Brian Garcia lined to center field and senior Michael Le struck out looking by De La Torre, a senior who went eight innings.

“I don’t really focus on throwing hard as long as I’ve got defense,” said De La Torre, who yielded four hits with four strikeouts and four walks. “Yes, I was tired. I always want a chance to get my team through.”

Senior Collin Johnson walked and Jaramillo drilled a double down the left-field line.

Senior Nicco Chuidian was safe at first base when two errors were committed on one play as both runners crossed the plate.

“We took the lead because they threw the ball around,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “We average about two runs a game and our pitching is just over-taxed when they have to be perfect on the mound all the time.”

Sherwood, whose team is hitting a collective .230 with a team pitching staff earned-run average of 2.50, then added: “You’ve gotta play defense and you’ve gotta score runs. There’s three things in this game. Pitching. Hitting and defense.”

Burbank shortstop Ryan King making the throw to first base. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Sherwood said he should have pulled senior Xavier Dubon after three innings.

“That’s on me,” he pointed out. “They had a left-hander leading off and he struggles with left-handers. Our kids play hard. Our kids play well. I’m proud of our kids. I’m proud of all our guys.”

The Bulldogs came up with one run in the first inning with one out as  King was safe at first base on an error.

Mieliwocki’s single to center field off Dubon, who toiled four innings, striking out one with four hits surrendered, moved King to third base and cut the lead to 2-1 when Ruiz was safe on a force out.

After fanning senior Preston Lemus swinging and getting junior Hyatt Entz to ground to third base, De La Torre walked junior Albert Prado, but induced Garcia to bounce to third base.

Dubon worked a perfect second inning as junior Dominik Severo grounded to third base. Junior Jakob Duarte grounded to second baseman Lemus, who made a spectacular play, and senior Cody Winters grounded to first base.

De La Torre faced five batters in the third as Le walked to begin the frame. De La Torre whiffed Johnson swinging and Jaramillo popped up to the pitcher.

Both Burroughs and Burbank were a bit sloppy defensively as each committed four errors. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Chuidian was safe on an error as Le moved to second, but the inning ended when senior Andres Salazar popped up to shortstop.

Junior Aidan Gonzalez led off the third with a single to left center, but junior Oaklee Spens bounced into a double play and King hit back to De La Torre, who tagged him.

Lemus flied to center field to lead off the fourth and Entz was aboard on an miscue. De La Torre hit into a double play to end the frame.

Dubon is a submarine-style hurler and left an offering slightly up and in where Mieliwocki likes it and sent the pitch high and deep over the fence.

Dubon faced seven batters in the fourth inning as Burroughs committed two errors and beside the homer, allowed only a single to Severo.

De La Torre saw Garcia bounce back to the box and Le fly to center. Johnson walked, but Jaramillo flied to center.

Chuidian replaced Dubon and worked a 1-2-3 fifth inning as Spens flied to center, King lined to second base and Mieliwicki fanned, catcher to first base.

The Indians collected two hits in the sixth off De La Torre as Chuidian had an infield single to lead off the stanza and Lemus added a one-out base hit to left.

Salazar, the second batter in the frame, struck out swinging, while Entz was safe on a fielder’s choice as Chuidian was out at third base. Prado’s liner to second base concluded the inning.

Chuidian tossed another perfect inning in the sixth when Ruiz flied to left field, Lee fanned swinging and Severo lined to center field.

Garcia opened the seventh inning by grounding to shortstop, but Le roped a single to right center. The inning was over when Johnson bounced into a double play.

Jaramillo took the mound in the seventh inning and issued a leadoff walk to Duarte and senior Vincent Romano entered as a pinch runner.

Pinch hitter, junior Tyler La Marsna, grounded into a force out, Gonzalez grounded to second base and Spens bounced to Jaramillo.

De La Torre worked a perfect eighth frame as Jaramillo was out on a terrific stop and throw by King, the shortstop.

Chuidian, who fanned two hitters across two innings, lined to second base and Salazar popped to second.

Burbank Baseball Allows Nine-Run Fifth, Falls 15-5 To Pasadena

By Rick Assad

 

An early four-run cushion by the Burbank High baseball team wasn’t enough production against visiting Pasadena in a Pacific League game as it dropped a 15-5, five-inning decision on Tuesday afternoon.

During the nine-run, fifth-inning outburst, Pasadena sent 12 hitters to the plate with eight reaching on hits that included a grand slam to right field by sophomore Michael Gonzalez, who finished with three hits.

Gonzalez’s base hit to center in the second at-bat of the frame scored a run as did senior Robert Olivades, junior Jon Luke Goldman (two hits), sophomore Jesus Zuniga (two hits including a triple) and senior Christian Zambrano (two hits that included a three-base hit).

Down 10 runs and in order to avoid the 10-run mercy rule, Burbank needed to score at least a run and came close.

Andrew De La Torre was the starting pitcher in Tuesday’s 15-5 defeat to Pasadena. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Junior Dominik Severo led off with an infield hit, but was erased when junior Jakob Duarte bounced into a double play and when senior Cody Winters struck out looking, the game was over.

“We were missing a lot of pitches that were down and by us not finding that sweet spot, we were leaving the ball up and they were hitting the ball,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said. “I don’t think they’ve had that kind of offensive showing based on the stats that I’ve seen.”

Hart continued: “We didn’t deserve to win that game,” he noted. “It all works out the way it’s supposed to. When you get outplayed, you’re supposed to lose. And when you don’t do the basics, you’re supposed to lose.”

Burbank (7-12-1 and 7-4 in league) seized control 4-0 in the first stanza when it used three hits and a Pasadena error.

Junior Troy Lee’s two-out double to left center brought in junior Oaklee Spens (singled in the fourth inning), who reached on a two-base outfield error.

Senior Davis Mieliwocki was hit by a pitch and later came around to score on a single to center field by Severo.

Burbank stretched its lead to 4-0 on Winters’ double to left field that scored Lee and Severo.

Pasadena cut into the advantage 4-1 in the second when junior Hugo Escobedo lifted a sacrifice fly to left that brought home Zambrano, who lined a one-out triple to left center.

A four-run third inning by Pasadena (11-11 and 6-5 in league) made it 5-4 as 10 batters made their way to home plate that included three hits and two Burbank errors.

Senior Christian Perez’s scoring fly brought in sophomore Jackson Stuart, who doubled to left field to begin the inning.

Zambrano’s force out scored a run and Escobedo’s base hit to left field also knocked in a run.

Burbank, shown in a recent game against Crescenta Valley, committed three errors in a 15-5 loss to Pasadena. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We’ve never had an offensive game like that today, so it was very fun to watch,” Pasadena coach Mike Parisi said. “We’ve been working hard on keeping the ball out of the air and trying to hit line drives and let the ball travel.”

Parisi, who was at Pasadena for eight years and two at La Salle, has guided the Bulldogs to the CIF Southern Section playoffs seven of the eight seasons, knows that nothing’s guaranteed.

“If you don’t come to play, any team can beat anybody,” he pointed out. “There’s a lot of baseball left. There’s three games left. Every game’s a dogfight. We’re fighting to get into the playoffs.”

Burbank, which committed three errors to a pair for Pasadena, leveled it at 5-5 in the third when senior Daniel Ruiz opened up with a single up the middle, took second base on an error, third on Lee’s single to right field and scored on Severo’s grounder.

Senior Andrew De La Torre ventured two and two-third innings while giving up four hits and one walk.

Junior Josh Balos worked one and one-third innings, surrendered four hits and absorbed the loss.

Sophomore Ryan King toured one-third of an inning and yielded five hits and a walk and senior Joey Clark went two-thirds of an inning and gave up two hits with a strikeout.

Goldman worked an inning, hit a batter, walked a batter and allowed three hits, senior Jordan Zach tossed three innings, striking out four with a walk and three hits allowed and was credited with the win and senior Gavin Nouskajian pitched one inning, gave up one hit and fanned one.

Burbank Baseball Edges Visiting Crescenta Valley 3-2

By Rick Assad

 

In the game’s final at-bat in the eighth inning, Burbank High’s Dominik Severo knew the winning run was standing on third base and merely wanted to make contract.

Severo did and when junior Chad Ruf’s offering found his bat and then sizzled into center field for a base hit, junior pinch runner Adam Loera, who entered for junior Troy Lee, who was nicked by a pitch to lead off the frame, crossed the plate with the game-winning run, the Bulldogs earned a hard-fought 3-2 win over visiting Crescenta Valley on Tuesday night in a Pacific League game.

The extra-inning affair also snapped Burbank’s 19-game losing streak against the Falcons, who fell for the first time in league this season.

Andrew De La Torre didn’t get the win after working seven innings and allowing two runs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In the inning, junior Tyler La Marsna, who came in as a pinch hitter, laid down a sacrifice bunt, but was safe at first base on a Falcon throwing error.

Junior Jakob Duarte also laid down a well-placed sacrifice bunt that advanced the runners to second and third base.

“I was a little nervous, but I just thought I have to stay composed and play my game and hit it through the infield and that’s just what I did,” said Severo, a junior, who had two hits including an infield single in the fourth. “I got out of the box and took three breaths and just relaxed and put it out of my mind.”

The contest drifted into extra innings when the Falcons (12-6 and 6-1 in league) scored in the sixth that made it 2-2 when junior Isaac Sung’s blistering double to center field scored junior Chase Smith, who drew a walk to begin the frame.

The Bulldogs forged ahead 2-1 with a tally in the fifth inning as junior Oaklee Spens led off with a bloop single to left, went to second on a grounder by sophomore Ryan King, stole third base and came home on a wild pitch.

Neither team scored until the third inning when Crescenta Valley made it 1-0. Sophomore Will Grimm delivered a one-out infield single, took second on senior Andrew De La Torre’s wild pitch and advanced to third base on an infield single by senior Brian Ghattas.

When Ghattas took off for second base and the throw was on its way, Grimm bolted for home and scored.

Oaklee Spens scored two of Burbank’s three runs against visiting Crescenta Valley. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“You pitch. You play catch and you put balls in play and run the bases the right way, good things are going to happen,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said. “I’m always happy when it’s a quality win. They’re a quality program. Anytime you can do well against them, it’s a feather in your cap.”

De La Torre was superb, allowing six hits with three walks and two strikeouts across seven innings.

Grimm was De La Torre’s equal, working seven innings, striking out five, walking four with five hits yielded.

The Bulldogs (5-9-1 and 5-2 in league) leveled it at 1-1 with a tally in the third inning as Lee’s single to right center brought in Spens, who led off with a hit to right center, and scooted to second base on King’s sacrifice bunt.

After senior Davis Mieliwocki walked, senior Daniel Ruiz was safe on a force out as Spens took third base.

Third baseman Davis Mieliwocki contributed three outstanding defensive plays, which helped the Bulldogs in their 3-2 win over the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Mieliwocki played third base and made three spectacular defensive plays.

“He got some action,” Hart said. “Even the ball he didn’t get, he knocked down and saved a run.”

Both teams used a pair of hurlers and each reliever was the pitcher of record as senior Joey Clark was credited with the victory after venturing one inning, walking one, hitting one batter and allowing one hit.

“My team was mentally into it tonight,” Hart said. “You could tell from the get-go and we had a terrible infield.”

Ruf absorbed the setback after surrendering one hit with a hit batter in one-third of an inning.

Aidan Gonzalez running hard to first base. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

De La Torre’s initial inning saw him face four hitters as Grimm grounded to second base, junior Vincent Parrott reached on an infield single, but erased when Ghattas lined to center field and Grimm was picked off at first base on the return throw.

De La Torre faced five batters in the second inning as Smith lined to right field, sophomore Noah Maddox drew a walk and raced to second base on Sung’s fielder’s choice.

De La Torre struck out junior Colby Rees swinging and sophomore Emilio Velis then flied to left field.

The fourth inning was a 1-2-3 frame for De La Torre, who induced Maddox to ground to shortstop, Sung to foul out to first base and Rees to bounce out to third base.

In De La Torre’s fifth inning, the right-hander walked Velis to begin the frame and induced senior Jamie Bleveans to pop up to the catcher.

Grimm singled to center field, Parrott reached on a force out as Velis became the second out and Ghattas flied to left.

De La Torre faced four batters in the seventh inning as Velis grounded to second base, Bleveans reached on an infield hit, but Grimm flied to center field and Parrott fanned looking.

Also getting base hits for the Bulldogs were Ruiz in the first inning and junior Aidan Gonzalez in the seventh.

Burbank Baseball Holds Off Much-Improved Glendale 4-3

By Rick Assad

 

There are ways in which a team can play baseball such as hitting behind the runner, cutting off the throw from the outfield and situational hitting, that will please a coach.

Bob Hart, the longtime Burbank High skipper, is a fundamentalist, and despite a 4-3 Pacific League victory over host Glendale on Tuesday afternoon, wasn’t happy.

“We left way too many guys on base. We had a lot of mental errors. I was not pleased with our performance,” Hart said. “Always happy for a win, but how I critique our team, my coaching and the players, is the performance is of their level. I look at it a little differently.”

Burbank’s pitching, shown in a win over Muir, was solid in its 4-3 victory over host Glendale. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Hart’s team knows what to do, but at times didn’t against the Nitros.

“Situational hitting when we had runners on base,” he said of the occasional mental lapses. “Our approach didn’t change enough where we weren’t willing to shorten up our swings. Taking the same swings. Instead of the swings matching the count and the situation. A ground ball to second base gets the runner from second to third, but a fly ball, and you’ve got an out.”

Hart did like the manner his pitchers performed, including senior Andrew De La Torre, who earned the win after allowing three hits with six strikeouts and one walk over four innings.

“The pitching was solid,” Hart said of the three hurlers. “We played kick the can that one inning [fourth] and that never works to your benefit. But I think we underperformed, and that’s not taking anything from them [Glendale], because they’re much improved.”

Senior Joey Clark was effective after coming into the game in the bottom of the fifth and working two frames, surrendering one hit with one strikeout.

Sophomore Ryan King notched the save after toiling one inning, with two strikeouts and one hit yielded.

The go-ahead run was scored in the fifth inning off junior Nate Burke as De La Torre was safe on a two-out infield hit and junior Jakob Duarte’s booming double to right field scored De La Torre.

The Bulldogs, shown in a game against Muir, beat the Nitros 4-3, but Coach Bob Hart wasn’t happy because the team wasn’t always fundamentally sound. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burke ventured five and two-third innings, striking out four, walking two, hitting three batters and allowing seven hits.

After neither team scored in the first, the Bulldogs (3-9-1 and 3-2 in the Pacific League) banged out three of their seven hits in the second inning while scoring two runs.

Junior Troy Lee began the stanza with a base hit up the middle and raced to second base when De La Torre reached on an infield hit.

Duarte drew a walk and junior Dominik Severo lashed a sharp single to right center that scored two runs.

Burbank’s lead swelled to 3-0 with a run in the third as Duarte’s sacrifice fly to right field brought in Lee, who singled to right field with one out, stole second base and went to third on an error.

The Nitros (6-8 and 0-5 in league) rallied and evened it at 3-3 with a three-run fourth as they sent eight batters to the plate against De La Torre.

Senior Michael Tichenor began the frame by rapping a double to left center. Three batters later, senior designated hitter Ryan Kataoka collected a run-scoring double to left field that scored Tichenor.

Kataoka and Burke, who walked, both eventually came around to score on two miscues by the Bulldogs.

“If you’re asking me as a competitor, I want to win. If you’re asking me, am I satisfied with the result, no,” Glendale coach Marcus Whithorne said. “If you’re asking about the long-term approach and the long-view of this team, the fact that we were, after getting two and one in the three spot put up, to punch back, the next step is to be able to hold.”

Whithorne added: “We’re getting into a groove in the sense where we’re trying to eliminate the mental mistakes,” he pointed out. “We’re pitching to contact. We’re initiating action.”

De La Torre buzzed through the first inning without allowing a hit, getting Tichenor to bounce back to the box, striking out senior Darian Jenks looking and getting senior Nolan Wong to ground out to third base.

Another 1-2-3 inning followed as Kataoka grounded out to shortstop, Burke bounced out to second base, while senior Seth Harley fanned looking.

Senior Trent Lousararian singled to left to begin the third inning, however, Jenks and junior Ian Nord both fanned swinging and Lousararian was caught stealing.

Clark took over in the fifth inning and allowed a long leadoff single to left field by Nord, who was looking for a double, but was thrown out at second base by junior Aidan Gonzalez, who collected a single in the fourth inning for the Bulldogs.

Tichenor then grounded out to third base and Jenks grounded out to shortstop to end the frame.

Clark recorded a perfect sixth inning as Wong popped up to shortstop and Kataoka fanned, catcher to first base, while Burke flied to right field.

King worked the seventh inning and after getting Harley to bounce out to third base, Lousararian drilled a single to right center and went to second base on a passed ball.

King then struck out pinch hitter senior Sebastian Duran looking and whiffed Nord swinging.

Jenks came into the fray in the sixth inning, walked one batter, struck out one batter across one and one-third innings.

Burbank Baseball Rallies For 5-4 Victory Over Muir

By Rick Assad

 

For six innings, the Burbank High baseball team managed to score only two runs and trailed by two runs entering the seventh inning.

This all changed as a three-run seventh proved decisive for the host Bulldogs, who rallied and tamed Muir 5-4 in a Pacific League match on Friday night.

Seven batters came to the plate including senior Andrew De La Torre, whose single off senior Brian Love, the losing pitcher, settled into right field as junior Troy Lee, who was safe on a fielder’s choice, scored the game-winning tally.

Ryan King was credited with the victory after picking up for starter Davis Mielowocki. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Finding a hole and putting the ball anywhere,” De La Torre said of his game-winning single.

When the Bulldogs trailed it looked as though the Mustangs were in position to even the season series at a game apiece.

Was there any doubt that Burbank would win?

“Maybe once or twice, but then we found a way to get it back and pick it up,” De La Torre said of the rally. “We just wanted it more than they did.”

Two batters earlier, senior Cody Winters knocked home two runs with a sharply hit ball that found its way to left field as sophomore Ryan King, who led off by reaching on an error and senior Davis Mielowocki, who walked, both scored.

Love went two and two-third innings, striking out one, walking one with three runs allowed and three hits.

Senior Emilio Martinez gave up four hits, two runs, hit one batter, fanned three and walked four over four innings for the Mustangs.

Muir (6-3 and 0-2 in league) is much improved this season after opening its campaign with five straight wins.

Cody Winters delivered a two-run single for the Bulldogs, who rallied for a 5-4 win over Muir. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“They have speed,” longtime Burbank coach Bob Hart said of the fleet-footed Mustangs. “Speed is a tough opponent sometimes. But the key to that is not give away free bases.”

Though down by two runs entering the seventh, Hart remained confident.

“This team has shown that ability where they’re not going to just sit down the last two innings and call it in,” he said. “Sometimes when you’re chasing one run and that team gets one more, it’s like the nail in the coffin.”

The Mustangs, who lost at home 1-0 to the Bulldogs on Tuesday, scored two of their runs without the benefit of a base hit in the first and third innings.

Burbank (2-3-1 and 2-0 in league) leveled it at 1-1 with a tally in the second inning when junior Jakob Duarte walked with one out.

Davis Mielowocki reached base twice and scored a run in the seventh. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Junior Adam Loera entered as a pinch runner and then advanced to second base on a balk and third base on De La Torre’s single to center field.

De La Torre took off for second base hoping to draw a throw and did, but put on the brakes and raced back to first base.

While this was transpiring, Loera sensed it was time to run and blasted off for home plate with the run.

Burbank tied it at 2-2 in the fourth inning when junior Oaklee Spens lofted a sacrifice fly to left field with one out.

Duarte led off the inning with a double off the screen in right center and advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt from De La Torre, who also singled in the sixth inning.

Burbank’s two pitchers limited the Mustangs to four hits and four runs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Muir, which stole six bases, took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Mielowocki issued a one-out walk to senior Aryonis Harrison.

Mielowocki allowed three runs over five-plus innings, yielded two hits with 11 strikeouts and three walks.

“I just wanted to make sure I got ahead with my strikes,” Mielowocki said of his outing that saw him fan the side in the second and fourth and strike out two batters in the first and third. “Make sure I could work off that first-pitch strike. Hopefully get some guys out. Have some guys roll over and have my defense work behind me.”

King was credited with the win after touring two frames, giving up two hits with one strikeout and one hit batter.

Harrison then stole second base and third base and scored when Mielowocki uncorked a wild pitch.

Mielowocki walked junior Harper Taylor with two down, but was left stranded when senior Tobias Humphrey struck out.

The Mustangs collected a run in the third and forged ahead 2-1 when Mielowocki walked senior Tyquise Solomon to begin the inning.

Burbank collected five walks off two Muir pitchers. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Solomon swiped second base, took third base on Mielowocki’s wild pitch and scored on a run-producing grounder by Harrison.

Junior Amaris Harrison singled to left field to begin the sixth inning.

Harrison stole second base, took third on a sacrifice bunt from Aryonis Harrison and scored to make it 3-2 on a single to center field by junior Ely Resendiz.

A solo run in the seventh gave the Mustangs a 4-2 edge as senior David Solis was nicked with a pitch by Kings to start the inning.

Solis stole second base and with two out, Solomon delivered a bloop single to left field that plated Solis.

Burroughs, Burbank Baseball Teams Ready To Roar

By Rick Assad

 

Though the Pacific League hasn’t yet begun, it’s highly likely the Burroughs High and Burbank baseball teams will probably qualify for the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

The Indians and Bulldogs have deep and capable pitching staffs, which is a key factor in having a winning season.

One of Burroughs’ strengths will be its pitching staff, which boasts a dozen hurlers. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs, which is looking to make the playoffs for a fifth straight year, has a dozen pitchers on the staff and all are capable of performing at a high level.

“This is one of our team strengths this year with 12 players able to toss the ball,” longtime Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “While no one pitcher is dominant, there is a staff of very capable pitchers as well as situational pitchers that will be called upon constantly to get outs in big situations.”

If there is an ace it would be senior and three-year starter Nicco Chuidian, while last year’s Pacific League Pitcher of the Year, Xavier Dubon, is a submarine specialist and very effective.

If the Indians are in front and it’s late in the game, the closer and set-up men will be seniors Andres Salazar and Julian Jaramillo.

Burbank works on its defensive prowess. Defense and pitching will be two keys to success. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The long relievers will be senior submariner Michael Le and juniors Tobey Ho, Johnny Angel, Colgan Martin and Matthew Ziegler.

The rest of the Indians’ staff includes seniors Josh Hooker, Brandon Aguilar and Nathaniel Metz.

The Indians participated in three preseason tourneys and they include the prestigious Easton Tournament, which is loaded with talented teams, the Lancaster Rotary West Tournament hosted by Quartz Hill High and the Coach Bob Tournament in Arizona.

The Indians are 2-6, with a 6-5 decision over Lancaster in the Lancaster Rotary West tourney and an 8-1 triumph over Highland in the Quartz Hill tourney.

It’s a close one at first base when the Indians played a recent game against St. Francis. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs will open the league portion with a game at Hoover on March 8.

Behind the plate will be sophomore James Turner and will be supported by junior Albert Prado.

Senior Collin Johnson will play first base, bat in the No. 3 hole and also packs a potent stick.

Johnson, who swings lefthanded, is a power hitter who hits for a high average and will be backed up by senior Chris Magoon.

Second base will be a strong battle between junior Devon Esquivel and senior Preston Lemus, a transfer from Arizona.

Burbank Coach Bob Hart hopes to see a lot of runs and hits during the season. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

When Jaramillo isn’t on the mound, he will toil at third base and will be backed up by junior Hyatt Entz, who played on the boys’ soccer team.

Brian Garcia, a junior all-league pick, will hold down shortstop and bat leadoff for the Indians.

Junior Jorge Gutierrez, who is capable of playing second base and third base, will also see action at shortstop.

Chuidian will play center field when not on the hill and backed up by Salazar and Le.

The rest of the outfield consists of seniors Dylan Rolando and Rio Lopez, and juniors Kevin Gutierrez and Ho.

The utility infielders are seniors Daniel Roman and Hoover transfer Christian Morales, while junior Angel can play in the infield and outfield.

If pitching is crucial to winning, then the Indians are definitely ready. (Photo by Ross A Benson)

The Bulldogs failed to make the playoffs last season, but did advance to the quarterfinals in 2017.

“We have that challenge now,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said of getting back to the postseason. “But they’re going to have to find and accept their roles.”

Hart said despite an 0-3-1 record including a 5-0 loss to powerful Harvard-Westlake in the Easton Tournament, he’s optimistic.

“That was a very respectable game to a very good team,” Hart said of the Wolverines. “I think we’re going to be okay.”

Like its crosstown rival, Burbank, which also had a 3-3 tie against Chatsworth, commence the league season at Muir on March 5, will depend on pitching and will be paced by senior Davis Mieliwocki, who throws 85 to 87 miles per hour.

The Bulldogs can lean heavily on skill, experience and a solid pitching staff. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

When not on the rubber, Mieliwocki, an all-league, second-team selection, is a steady and heady presence at third base.

Senior Joey Clark is also a key starter, while senior Andrew De La Torre, junior Jakob Duarte and sophomore Ryan King, who is the starting shortstop, will all need to be productive on the hill.

The rest of the pitching staff includes juniors Josh Balos, Willem Clendenin, while Troy Lee and King and Clark will be the primary closers.

The catching duties will primarily fall upon juniors Dominik Severo and Alberto Ayala.

Duarte, Lee and Clark will play first base, senior Kenny Won and junior Tyler LaMarsna will see action at second base and senior Daniel Ruiz will back up Mieliwocki at third base and senior Gevork Leklyan will also see time at third base.

Junior Oaklee Spens will patrol center field, De La Torre will play left field and junior Aidan Gonzalez will see time in left field.

The remainder of the outfield consists of seniors Cody Winters and Vincent Romano and juniors Justin Robinson and Adam Loera.

Burbank Baseball Fights Off Burroughs

One could say that this was the cherry to the ice cream sundae.

Having already had its greatest victory of the season come in the form of the return of coach Bob Hart following a heart attack, the Burbank High baseball team finished its regular season with a 6-3 win over visiting Burroughs Friday night.

“To see them stick together and persevere and have a moment like this, it doesn’t make up for every loss we had but it certainly (helps),” Hart said. “We want to win and you try to win but at the same time, you try to build character. I don’t feel like I’ve fallen short in that area. I can always get better as a coach. I strive to get better, I stay humble. But in terms of the character development that we showed and the camaraderie, I’ll take that to my grave and be very happy. “

Burbank (8-13 overall, 6-8 in the league) got things started on a solo home run by Davis Mieliwocki in the first inning.

They added a pair of runs in the third inning as Mieliwocki, Matthew Shaugabay, Abiezer Delgado and Ryan King each had a single.

Burroughs (13-15, 7-7) knew before the game that it had clinched fourth place in the league and a CIF playoff berth.

“The bottom line is you have to get in. I made sure all 10 seniors played tonight and they hung in there,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “The playoffs are special. Once you are in and experience it and every pitch is important, that’s why you play and that’s why you coach.”

The Indians didn’t score until the fourth inning when a line drive by Revin Diego hit Burbank starter Andrew De La Torre on his throwing arm. He left the game and didn’t return.

Devin Esquivel scored later in the inning on a bases-loaded walk.

Burbank scored three times in the bottom half of the inning, paced by a two-run double from Shaugabay that scored Max Meltzer and Matthew Moreno.

Burroughs rallied with two runs of its own in the fifth inning.

Burbank was able to eventually get things under control as freshman Ryan King pitched a pair of scoreless innings to end the contest.

“You want them to create memories for themselves. It’s meaningful. It has been tough. My own personal adversity has been tough. I found a lot of strength and courage from them,” Hart said. “Coaching is about giving but it also about what you get back. I couldn’t be more proud of the guys. I’d love to go undefeated, I’d love to make the playoffs. That’s part of the goal, but it is also about creating that bond and we definitely have that. “

Burroughs Baseball Earns 5-2 Win Over Burbank

By Rick Assad

 

There is an outside chance that the Burroughs High baseball team will participate in the upcoming CIF Southern Section playoffs after beating city rival Burbank 5-2 in a Pacific League contest at Tomahawk Field on Tuesday night.

With the stands filled to near capacity, the Indians scored a run in the first inning and four runs in the second.

“We’re playing for a playoff spot. We have to win to get in and we have to win on Friday or we’re out,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said.

Burroughs junior Nicco Chuidian went five innings, collected two hits with an RBI in Tuesday’s 5-2 win over Burbank. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

That was all the scoring Burroughs (13-14 and 7-6 in league) would need as junior Nicco Chuidian went five innings, striking out two with three hits allowed.

“I thought Nicco did a great job to start the game,” Sherwood said. “He showed not only on the mound, but also at the plate what an elite player he is.”

Chuidian was mighty handy with the bat, collecting two hits and added a run batted in.

The Bulldogs (7-13 and 5-8 in league), who are out of the playoff hunt, scored two runs in the third inning as senior Abiezer Delgado’s base hit drove in both runs.

“Obviously you want to win games. That’s what we’re here to do, but at the same time you want to develop young men that you can be proud of,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said. “In that regard, I couldn’t be happier. They’re a great group of guys.”

Burbank pitcher Matthew Porras had a rough outing against the Bulldogs. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Hart then added: “They’ve matured. They conduct themselves at a pretty high level,” he said. “They’re all good in the classroom. Most of them are going to college. You want to win games, but you want to develop young men. Ultimately that’s probably as big a goal for me as trophy hunting.”

Junior Matthew Porras went two and two-third innings with a strikeout, while junior Daniel Ruiz ventured three and one-third innings.

The Bulldogs, who were limited to three hits, will host the Indians on Friday with the first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m.

Chuidian cruised through the fourth inning when he retired freshman Ryan King and Ruiz on fly outs to right field and senior Max Meltzer on a pop up to third base.

Ruiz faced four batters in the bottom of the frame as junior Julian Jaramillo (two RBIs) and senior Matthew Diaz grounded out to shortstop.

Junior Collin Johnson, who walked three times, was aboard on a base on balls, but junior Andres Salazar flied out to center field.

The fifth inning began with Chuidian inducing senior Matt Moreno to fly out to left field while sophomore Oakley Spens grounded out to shortstop.

Burroughs third baseman Julian Jaramillo making an over the shoulder catch. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Junior Davis Mieliwocki then grounded out to sophomore shortstop Brian Garcia (two hits), who made a terrific stop and then gunned the ball to first base for the final out.

“It’s what we live for. I woke up thinking, Burbank game. We’re all ready for this,” Garcia said.

Garcia spoke about the two hits. “I’m really just looking for that one pitch,” he said. “Nothing high. Nothing low. You have to take advantage of it.”

Garcia said that he knows how important these games are. “We have to have the same mentality and the same approach,” he pointed out of Friday’s match. “Who ever wants it more will come out on top.”

Burbank left fielder Matt Moreno gets the ball into the infield. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Ruiz faced three batters in the fifth as senior Nathan Palafox lined out to center field.

Senior Revin Diego walked and senior Andrew Jacob Barrera lined out to left field, but Diego was caught stealing for the third out.

Senior Joe Metcalf was on the mound to begin the sixth for the Indians and walked junior Andrew De La Torre and Delgado.

That’s Jaramillo on the base paths. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

In stepped junior Xavier Dubon in place of Metcalf and he fanned Porras for the first out.

“I think the relief job by Xavier, who came in with runners on first and second and nobody out with a three run lead and they didn’t score a run off him was one of the best relief jobs in years,” Sherwood said of his submarine specialist.

Dubon then induced King to reach on a force out, and fanned Ruiz for the last out.

“I was staying calm. Focus on just throwing strikes. Keeping it low. Get ground balls. I wasn’t trying to do anything special,” Dubon said of his outing. “I think it’s just the normal game. Come out here and just focus on you. Visualize it in your head and just do it. Believe in yourself.”

Six batters trotted to the plate in the home half of the sixth with senior Brandon Giraldo and Diaz reaching base on singles.

Salazar worked the final inning for the Indians and went 1-2-3 after Meltzer flied out to left field, Moreno grounded out to second base and Spens flied out to right field in foul territory.

Burbank Baseball Rallies Against Arcadia, But Come Up Short 9-6

By Rick Assad

 

This wasn’t an ideal start for the Burbank High baseball team when it faced visiting Arcadia on Friday night.

By the second inning, the Bulldogs fell behind by a run, through three they were looking at a five-run deficit and after the fourth inning, trailed by a half-dozen runs.

Quit they would not, and despite the burden of eight errors, Burbank rallied for five runs in the fifth and getting within one run, but ultimately fell 9-6 in a Pacific League game.

Burbank’s pitching wasn’t helped much by eight errors. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“When you play kick the can, it’s hard to win games,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said. “You dig yourself a hole, it’s tough to come back. But I was really proud of my guys tonight because they showed resiliency and it’s something we constantly talk about. I’m proud of them for hanging in there and battling and getting engaged.”

That frame is something that the Bulldogs can use as a confidence booster, but on Friday, it put a genuine scare into the Apaches, the top-rated team in the CIF Southern Section Division III, who are 11-0 overall and 2-0 in league play.

“Tonight was one of the first night’s where we showed a little courage,” Hart said. “And it’s something for us to build off of. I believe in my guys. It’s not some false belief.”

Bulldogs first baseman Abiezer Delgado tries to nail an Arcadia base runner. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Eleven batters trotted to the plate for the Bulldogs (2-7 and 0-2 in league) in the fifth with four getting on base via a hit.

Sophomore Oakley Spens delivered a run-scoring single to left field as did junior Andrew De La Torre.

Senior Abiezer Delgado, who doubled off the left field fence in the second inning, had the big blow, a two-run single to center field.

Senior Matt Moreno led off the inning with a single up the middle and scored on Spens’ hit.

Burbank tacked on a run in the seventh when junior Matthew Porras had a run-tallying infield hit that scored senior Matt Shaugabay, who doubled to left field with one out.

Davis Mieliwocki hustles down the first base line in a 9-6 loss to visiting Arcadia. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Apaches pulled ahead 1-0 in the second inning without the benefit of a hit, but four errors helped their cause.

Arcadia scored four runs on five hits in the third inning as junior Dominick Tello had a run-scoring single to right field.

Senior Andrew Scannell then added a two-run single to right center off junior Joey Clark, who ventured four innings while surrendering six hits with six strikeouts and one walk.

Senior Tyus Santa Ana had a run-scoring hit to right center in the fourth inning that made it 6-0.

Arcadia’s advantage swelled to 8-5 after a two-run sixth inning, which was helped by Burbank committing two errors and saw junior Jeffrey Castillo (two hits) drive in a run with a double to left center.

Junior Jacob Lopez’s infield grounder in the seventh inning pushed Arcadia’s lead to 9-5.

Junior Jacob Duarte went three innings and yielded two hits with three strikeouts and two walks with a hit batter for the Bulldogs, who lost to Arcadia 9-0 on Tuesday.

Sophomore Chris Wilson was credited with the win after working four scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and one hit allowed.

Burbank, Burroughs Baseball Both Set Sights High

By Rick Assad

 

It happens every spring, but there is still nothing sweeter than the sound of a baseball bat hitting a ball.

For Burbank High and Burroughs, the nonleague season is nearly over as the Bulldogs went 2-5 after games in the Easton Tournament, Quartz Hill tourney and Babe Herman Tournament, while the Indians are 6-6 after playing in the same tourneys.

The Pacific League is set to begin next week when the Bulldogs visit Arcadia on March 27 and the Indians host Glendale on the same day.

Burbank’s infield huddles after Coach Bob Hart makes a pitching change in a recent nonleague game against Chatsworth. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank welcomes longtime city rival Burroughs on May 8 and visits the Indians on May 11.

The Bulldogs, who went 15-10 and 10-4 in league for third place, advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs in 2017.

Burbank is talented and deep, but not overly experienced.

That’s just one reason for the substandard nonleague record and that the team played very good teams.

But Burbank Coach Bob Hart believes this will make his squad that much better when the league portion of the schedule commences.

“We want to play as many good teams as we can, even if we’re not going to win many games because it’s going to help us when the Pacific League comes around,” he said. “I could schedule teams I know we can beat, but in the long run that’s not really going to help us.”

Burbank’s infield includes senior first baseman Abiezer Delgado, while sophomore Jacob Duarte will also see time at first base.

Senior first baseman Nathan Palafox takes the throw in a nonleague match versus Northview. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Junior Matthew Porras, junior Kenny Won and sophomore Daniel Ruiz will spend time at second base.

Senior Max Meltzer will play shortstop, junior Davis Mieliwocki will patrol third base and senior Matt Shaugabay will be the catcher.

The Bulldogs’ outfield will have senior Matt Moreno in left field and center field, sophomore Oakley Spens will toil in center field while junior Andrew De La Torre will play right field, as will Duarte.

Senior Austin Ortega, along with juniors Trent Anderson, Cody Winters, Vincent Romano and Geovork Leklyan will also spend time in the outfield.

The pitching staff is filled with reliable arms and they include Porras, Ruiz, junior Joey Clark, De La Torre, Mieliwocki and Shaugabay, who will be the closer.

The Indians are coming off a season in which they went 14-13 and 8-6 in the league, but lost 2-1 in the opening round of the CIF playoffs to Santa Barbara.

Senior catcher Matt Shaugabay is a key cog offensively and defensively for the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Although young in the middle infield and more juniors than seniors on the team, I feel we can be competitive with anyone in the league,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said.

The pitching staff is deep and will be led by junior Nicco Chuidian, who had some stellar moments in 2017.

Seniors Steven Gonzalez, Brandon Ortega and Joe Metcalf will add needed depth for Sherwood, who stresses defense and pitching as major priorities.

Junior submarine artist Xavier Dubon hopes to be a starting pitcher while juniors Andres Salazar and Brandon Aguilar will battle it out for the closer’s role.

The infield is solid and somewhat young and includes senior and captain Nathan Palafox at first base.

Burroughs senior Brandon Ortega, seen in a recent game against Northview, is one of many pitchers Coach Craig Sherwood has at his disposal. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Junior Collin Johnson will be the designated hitter and the backup first baseman.

Sophomore Brian Garcia will play shortstop and sophomore Devin Esquivel will see action at second base.

Seniors Brandon Giraldo and Gonzalez will play third base and junior Julian Jaramillo will also see time at the position.

According to Sherwood, whoever hits the most effective, will see the majority of the time at the position.

Behind the plate will be senior Matthew Diaz and Jaramillo, and once again, whoever hits with the authority, will spend most of the time behind the plate.

Senior Revin Diego, who played extremely well during the winter according to Sherwood, will play left field.

Chuidian and junior Michael Le will battle for time in center field, senior Andrew Jacob Barrera will patrol left field, while junior Dylan Rolando and Salazar will also see action in left field.