Tag Archives: Baseball

Burbank Baseball Falls Just Short In CIF Second Round, 6-5

By Rick Assad


If there is one trait that exemplifies the Burbank High baseball team, it’s never give up.

On Tuesday in a CIF Southern Section Division IV second-round playoff match against visiting Capistrano Valley Christian, the Bulldogs needed every bit of this philosophy.

Senior Henry Leake came in relief and went four innings with seven strikeouts, eight hits and one walk in a 6-5 CIF second-round loss to Capistrano Valley Christian. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Never ahead and despite falling behind by three runs heading into the sixth inning, they loaded the bases with none out in the seventh inning and scored two runs, but ultimately fell just short 6-5.

In that final frame, Burbank (15-10), which made its deepest playoff run in several decades, trailed 6-3, but this was hardly a deterrent as senior Chris Minnick (two hits) led off with a single to left field and advanced to second base on senior Henry Leake’s liner into left.

Junior Matthew Shaugabay also found a hole in left field on a bad-hop single that made it 6-4.

Senior Branden Phillips then drew a base on balls as did junior Abiezer Delgado which plated Leake.

“We were hoping for the timely hit, but it was still nip-and-tuck,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said of the close game. “There are hits and then there are timely hits.”

Christian Guerra catches a pick-off toss against the Eagles during Tuesday’s CIF playoff game. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The contest turned when senior Christian Guerra bounced a ball to the pitcher, senior Andre Antone, who threw home for the force out and then gunned down Guerra at first base for the double play.

When junior Max Meltzer lined out to right field with the tying run at third base and the winning run at second, the Bulldogs’ hugely successful season came to an end.

“We had some opportunities, but we didn’t capitalize on them,” Hart noted. “I’m proud of my guys. They showed heart and character.”

Capistrano Valley Christian Coach Clemente Bonilla was relieved afterward.

“I put him [Antone] in a really tough spot,” he said. “He’s our ace, but we had to shut his arm down in January because of tendinitis. But he convinced me that he was mentally ready to throw the ball.”

Antone, who has committed to UC Irvine, earned the save after working one frame and allowing three hits with two walks.

Catcher Matthew Shaugabay readies to make the tag at home plate. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Junior Alec Arnone was the starter and surrendered five hits with five strikeouts and three walks across five innings.

The Eagles (22-8) are a powerful hitting lineup with plenty of sock in their bats.

On the afternoon, Capistrano Valley Christian collected 13 hits off three Burbank pitchers.

The Bulldogs, who placed third in the Pacific League at 10-4, trimmed the lead to 5-3 in the sixth inning when senior Jonathan Castaneda lined a two-out single to right field that scored Guerra, who drew a two-out walk.

The Eagles, who finished in first place in the San Joaquin League at 11-1, pounced early and took a 1-0 lead in the second when Arnone (three hits) scored after getting a leadoff single to right center.

Capistrano Valley Christian’s cushion became 2-0 in the fifth inning when Antone lined a one-out homer over the fence in left field off Leake, who came into the fray with none out in the third inning, relieving senior Colby Vosgien, who went two-plus frames, walking two and allowing four hits.

“Burbank High is the best team I’ve been a part of,” said Leake, who had two hits and will study at Babson College in Massachusetts, and walk-on for the baseball team. “I know everyone says this, but everyone loves each other.”

Leake, who toured four innings and yielded eight hits with seven strikeouts and one walk over four innings, felt the team would rally.

“If that [Guerra’s double play] ball goes anywhere else, it’s only one out and we still have a chance,” he said. “But that’s baseball.”

Burbank evened it at 2-2 in the fifth when it sent six batters to the plate that included a leadoff single by Meltzer, a base hit to left from Castaneda, a run-scoring double to right center by sophomore Davis Mieliwocki and Leak’s sacrifice fly.

The Eagles seemingly iced it when they scored three runs in the sixth inning as senior Zack Mendez delivered a key one-out, two-run single that glanced off Leake’s glove into center field as sophomore Robert Wood, who singled to right center and junior Carson Matthews, who singled to left field, both crossed the plate. Mendez scored the last run via an error.

In the seventh, the Eagles tacked on an insurance run when Matthews sliced a double to left field that scored junior Nick Casarietti, who reached on a miscue.

The Bulldogs advanced to the second-round after routing host Lancaster 10-5  on Friday as senior pitcher Matt Lungaro, who will attend the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, tossed a four-hitter with one run over five innings, while sophomore Joseph Clark, who went one inning with one strikeout, one walk and one hit allowed on Tuesday, worked two innings with one run given up and two hits.

Burbank stole a season-best 11 bases and saw Castaneda collect two hits and three runs batted in, Minnick contribute two hits with a walk and Leake smack a two-run double and add a spectacular throw to home plate for the third out.

Burbank Baseball Closes Deal, Beats Burroughs, 5-1

By Rick Assad


Fittingly on Senior Night, a pair of upperclassmen for the Burbank High baseball team helped push the Bulldogs to a 5-1 Pacific League triumph over visiting Burroughs on Tuesday night.

Matt Lungaro ventured seven innings and yielded six hits, while Christian Guerra delivered the go-ahead, bases-loaded, two-run single to center field during a four-run sixth inning uprising.

“This was a big moment for him,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said of Guerra. “This was Senior Night and though he hasn’t had the season he wanted, he showed what he’s capable of doing.”

Matt Lungaro, shown in a recent Pacific League game, allowed six hits in a 5-1 win over Burroughs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The game was notched at 1-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth when senior Henry Leake walked to open the frame.

Junior designated hitter Abiezer Delgado was safe on a fielder’s choice and Leake scurried to second base on an error.

Junior Matthew Shaugabay was hit by a pitch and up stepped Guerra, who worked the count to 3-2 and then lined a Matthew Rudas fastball that made it 3-1.

“We might not be the most talented team, but we fight hard and we scrap,” Hart said. “We don’t take anything for granted. We fight for everything.”

The third run came in on a balk and Burbank’s advantage became 5-1 on junior Max Meltzer’s sacrifice fly.

The Bulldogs (14-8 and 10-3 in league) led 1-0 in the third inning when Meltzer singled to right field, and then stole second base.

The Indians had base runners, but cashed in only one run versus Burbank on Tuesday. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Sophomore Davis Mieliwocki’s base hit to center advanced Meltzer to third base and scored on senior Chris Minnick’s single.

The Indians (12-13 and 7-6 in league) evened it at 1-1 with a run in the fourth inning when junior Nathan Palafox led off with a single to left field.

Freshman Adan Perez came in as a pinch runner and junior Daniel Leonard (two singles) moved him to second base on a grounder. Perez eventually came around on an error.

“I’m proud of my guys,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said of his team who have a home game on Friday at 6 p.m. against the Bulldogs. “But you have to take your hat off to Burbank. They were the better team tonight.”

Sherwood continued: “It’s one game, but we’ll be back. That’s baseball,” he said.

Lungaro retired the side in order in the first and squirmed out of a second-inning jam.

Junior Andrew Jacob Barrera doubled down the left-field line to open the frame and took third on Leonard’s single to left.

Leonard stole second, but Lungaro then fanned junior Brandon Giraldo and junior Matthew Diaz to end the threat.

“I try and come out and just relax,” said Lungaro, who struck out seven. “I just want to hit my spots and not worry about all the stress. I felt pretty confident that we were going to win.”

The Bulldogs managed four hits, but scored five runs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Five batters went to the plate for the Indians in the third including sophomore Niccolo Chuidian, who led off with a single to left.

Freshman Ricardo Perez was safe on an error and advanced to second base on senior Brandon Martinez’s grounder, but senior Justin Palafox flied out and Barrera fanned to close the inning.

Martinez’s one-out single in the fifth was followed by Justin Palafox striking out and Barrera grounding out.

After Leonard’s one-out single in the sixth inning, Giraldo then flied out and Diaz grounded out.

Lungaro struck out Chuidian to open the seventh, Perez bounced back to the box and Martinez lined out.

Rudas, a senior, toured five-plus innings, allowing four hits with five strikeouts and one walk and five hit batters, while junior Brandon Ortega went one inning and nicked one batter.

Burroughs Baseball Loses To Crescenta Valley In Five Innings

By Rick Assad


It took roughly 40 minutes to play and when it was over an unexpected offensive avalanche hit the Burroughs High baseball team.

After that first inning, Crescenta Valley managed one run, but the sum resulted in a 10-0, five-inning victory for the Falcons in a Pacific League match on Friday at Tomahawk Field.

It was a long day for Burroughs which collected one hit and fell to Crescenta Valley 10-0 in five innings. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Three days earlier, when these two met at Stengel Field, the Falcons, who are ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Division II and now own a 22-game winning skein, prevailed 4-0.

The victim was sophomore pitcher Niccolo Chuidian, who faced seven batters and collected one out before being lifted in favor of senior Matthew Rudas.

“I tried to find my rhythm, but I couldn’t,” Chuidian said of his poor outing in which he walked three, hit a batter with one hit allowed. “It happens to everyone. But I’ve got to learn from it. It’s a tough loss.”

Rudas ventured four and two-third innings, surrendering four hits with four walks, one hit batter and five strikeouts.

“This was a case of a great pitcher who wasn’t on,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “I’m not worried about that [letdown]. It was an aberration.”

Sherwood continued: “It happens to good teams and we’re a good team,” he said.

Riley Hooper, shown on the mound in a recent game, had the only hit for the Indians in the fourth inning. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Chuidian walked leadoff hitter senior Kewin Ledesma and then hit freshman Will Grimm with an offering.

Senior Scott Vinceri popped up to Chuidian, who then walked junior Trevor Beer, the opposing pitcher.

Senior Nico Arredondo grounded a potential double-play ball to senior shortstop Justin Palafox, who bobbled it for an error.

“Once he hit it and the runner was moving, he blocked my view,” Palafox said of the rare miscue. “We’re going to pick up our heads. Monday we have practice. We have a chance to play Burbank twice this week.”

The Indians are 12-12 and 7-5 in league and will visit the Bulldogs (9-3 in the Pacific League) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and will host Burbank on Friday at 6 p.m.

Up stepped senior Max Meyer, who lined a booming double to right center that brought in three runners.

When Chuidian walked senior Jaimy Blank, his work was over. Rudas then allowed an infield hit to senior Charles Weinmann that scored a run.

After senior William Rees singled to left, a bases-loaded walk to Ledesma forced in another run and Beer’s single up the middle plated two runners that capped the nine-run, four-hit frame.

“You can’t see that coming,” Crescenta Valley coach Phil Torres said of the final lopsided score. “They were a double play away from getting out of that.”

The Falcons (24-1 and 12-0 in league), who are a game ahead of second-place Arcadia, added a run in the fourth inning when Beer doubled to center field and scored on Blank’s one-out grounder.

Beer allowed just one hit, a leadoff single to right center in the fourth inning from senior Riley Hooper.

Beer then fanned senior Erik Gonzalez, junior Brandon Giraldo and junior Steven Gonzalez.

“I’m not complaining,” said Beer, who struck out nine and walked three with one hit batter of the first-inning explosion. “I went to the bullpen and kept loose.”

Burroughs Baseball Loses In 10 Innings, 7-4, To Arcadia

By Rick Assad


For 10 roller coaster and exhausting innings, Burroughs High and Arcadia battled in a Pacific League clash on Friday afternoon at Tomahawk Field.

During the see-saw event, the Indians pulled ahead by one run heading into the seventh, but the dogged and determined Apaches evened it, then tallied four runs and eventually prevailed 7-4.

Senior Justin Palafox’s one-out double to right center in the sixth was followed by an intentional walk to junior Andrew Jacob Barrera.

Daniel Leonard scores a run in the second inning for the Indians. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Junior Nathan Palafox was safe on a force out which moved his older brother to third base, who then scored on an error that put the Indians ahead 3-2.

The Apaches tied it with a run in the seventh when senior John Woo (two hits) singled in sophomore Jeffrey Castillo (three hits), who led off with a double to left field.

“They did the best they could,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said of his club. “We made them earn the win.”

Arcadia (13-8 and 9-1 in league) erupted for four runs in the 10th and trotted seven batters to the plate.

Key hits were junior Chase Pedersen’s run-scoring double to center field and junior James Nagaoka’s single to right center that scored a run while sophomore Jacob Lopez’s fielder’s choice brought in another tally.

Burroughs pitcher Niccolo Chuidian gave everything he had. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“The great thing about baseball is you can come back the next day,” Sherwood noted. “You play the game. When it ends, it’s over. That’s baseball.”

The Indians (12-10 and 7-3 in league) made it close with a run in the bottom of the 10th when the Apaches committed two errors.

Sherwood believes his team can still reach the postseason.

“We’re battling. We need to win two more games for a playoff spot,” he said. “I think we can do it.”

In the frame, Justin Palafox was hit by a pitch and scooted to second and third base on an error and scored on another miscue.

Burroughs was able to nick Arcadia senior pitcher Jacob Kampen, who went six innings, giving up five hits with six strikeouts and three walks, for two runs in the second inning.

Indians catcher Steven Gonzalez grabs the ball in front of the plate during Friday’s 7-4 loss to the Apaches. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Barrera led off with a double to right center, moved to third base on a Nathan Palafox’s fly ball and scored on a wild pitch that made it 1-0.

It became 2-0 when junior Daniel Leonard walked, went to second base on a wild pitch and crossed the plate on a double to left center from junior Brandon Giraldo (two hits).

Arcadia scored two runs in the third inning when Lopez was hit by sophomore Niccolo Chuidian’s offering, took second base on Castillo’s base hit to left center and scored on a one-out double down the right-field line by Woo.

Two batters later and with the bases filled, Pedersen walked to level it at 2-2.

Chuidian toured six-plus innings, allowing six hits with four walks, one hit batter and one strikeout with three runs.

Shortstop Justin Palafox slings the ball to first base. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

When Chuidian was asked can the Indians bounce back, he was direct.

“We’re going to have to,” he said. “There’s always opportunities to be taken advantage of and we didn’t.”

What was Chuidian’s approach against the Apaches?

“I needed to throw strikes and get ahead early in the count,” he said with emotion on his face and misty eyes.

Senior Brandon Martinez went one frame, fanning one and allowing one hit while senior Henrik Buchanan pitched one inning and walked one.

Senior Matthew Rudas worked one inning, walked two including the go-ahead run.

Junior Jacob Real gave up two hits, walked a batter, hit a batter and had one strikeout in one inning.

Senior hurler Matthew Miao was credited with the win after toiling four innings, surrendering four hits with two strikeouts and two walks and one hit batter.

The Indians collected nine hits with freshman Ricardo Perez getting three singles.

Burroughs Baseball Routs Glendale, 8-0, In Pacific League Match

By Rick Assad


A first inning, four-run outburst made Niccolo Chuidian’s six-inning stretch on the mound that much easier as the right-handed pitcher was the recipient of an 8-0 Burroughs High victory over Glendale on Friday afternoon at Tomahawk Field.

“I don’t think that he had his really good stuff,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said of his sophomore hurler. “That early lead really helped him.”

Riley Hooper collected a run-scoring triple in the fourth inning against Glendale. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

In that opening frame, the Indians trotted eight batters to the plate and saw the first six reach base off losing pitcher, senior Jacob Rangel, who went one and two-third innings, surrendering five of the eight hits with two walks and one hit batter.

Junior Andrew Jacob Barrera delivered a clutch two-run triple to left center that plated freshman Ricardo Perez, who singled up the middle and senior Riley Hooper, who walked.

Niccolo Chuidian wasn’t super sharp, but took the 8-0 win. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The first run was tallied by senior Justin Palafox, who led off with a hit to right field and eventually scored on a wild pitch.

Senior Brandon Martinez had a run-producing single to left field that brought home Barrera.

Chuidian wasn’t especially sharp over those six frames, hitting three batters with one walk, but allowed only three hits, struck out six and recorded his fifth win without a loss this season.

“I felt normal out there, but I was missing high a lot,” said Chuidian. “But I got the job done.”

Chuidian said his mechanics were slightly off. “I want to be consistent with my release point and today I wasn’t,” he noted. “I’m always looking to be consistent. I think that I’m stronger now than when the season began.”

Burroughs (9-7 and 5-1 in league) extended its advantage to 5-0 in the second inning when Palafox singled with one out, scooted to second base on Perez’s grounder and scored when Hooper was safe on an error.

Center fielder Brandon Giraldo camps under this pop up . Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Indians tacked on a run in the third inning to make it 6-0 when Martinez walked to lead off the frame and eventually scored on two errors by the Nitros (1-15-1 and 0-7 in league).

In the fourth, the Indians made it 7-0 on Hooper’s triple to right center as Perez crossed the plate after walking to open the inning.

The second run made it 8-0 on Barrera’s sacrifice fly to right as Hooper came around.

Burroughs junior Steven Gonzalez singled in the fourth inning with two out and pinch runner, freshman Adan Perez was left stranded while junior Matthew Diaz added a two-out base hit in the sixth inning, and was also left stranded.

Senior Henrik Buchanan worked the seventh inning, allowing one hit with a strikeout and a hit batter.

Senior Bryce Wong collected a pair of singles for Glendale, which played the Indians close three days earlier.

“That was a different team than the one we watched on Tuesday,” Sherwood said. “It seems that we always play better on Friday. Maybe it’s home cooking?”

Burroughs’ Ace Nicol Was A Winner Despite Not Throwing Hard

By Rick Assad

Even standing on a pitcher’s mound, Burroughs High’s ace hurler Kyle Nicol was hardly an imposing figure.

But don’t take this to mean that hitters weren’t in trouble when facing the sidearm throwing, 5-foot-9 right-hander, who helped the Indians claim the Pacific League title two years in a row.

“I think my success came from just working every day and trying to prove myself to everyone,” said Nicol, who went 7-2 with 66 strikeouts, 14 walks in 56 and two-third innings while posting an impressive 1.48 earned-run average his senior year.

The Indians, who went 19-7 overall, 12-2 in league action for a share of the title this past season, lost in the opening-round of the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs, but Nicol was nonetheless recognized for his outstanding work.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs pitcher Kyle Nicol received a lot of attention after beating Harvard-Westlake 1-0 to win the Easton Tournament championship. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Nicol, who will attend Cal State Northridge where he will pitch, was named to the All-CIF second team, was the co-league Player of the Year, and will participate in the CIF Southern Section versus City Section All-Star game.

Nicol doesn’t throw especially hard, but was still able to be highly effective.

“My best pitch varied each day,” Nicol said. “When the slider was working, it was by far the most fun to throw.”

A night game in March at Birmingham High was the outing that catapulted Nicol, who probably throws in the mid-80s, into the forefront.

“The game that stands out the most was the Easton Tournament championship against Harvard-Westlake for me personally and for the team,” Nicol pointed out. “It got me a lot of attention from Division I coaches and it put Burroughs baseball on everyone’s radar.”

That game, against the always excellent Wolverines, was a 1-0 complete-game masterpiece as Nicol recorded 14 strikeouts with two hits allowed.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Nicol (#22) after knocking off the Wolverines in the Easton tourney. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

How did Nicol, named to the Daily News All-Area first team and the Glendale News-Press and the Pasadena Star-News league Player of the Year, develop his somewhat unusual pitching motion?

“Coach [Craig] Sherwood introduced me to pitching sidearm before high school and coach [Ryan] Matheson worked with me since my freshman year and throughout my four years at Burroughs,” Nicol noted.

When asked what big-league hurler Nicol most resembles, he said that it was an Angels reliever.

“The throwing motion is somewhat like Joe Smith’s with the submarine and sidearm angle,” he said.

Nicol’s next hurdle is facing college hitters, who are more advanced, technically sound and more mature than high school batters.

“I think college baseball will come with a lot more challenges,” Nicol said. “It’ll be fun pitching for some of the best pitching coaches in the country and seeing how I can improve.”

JBHS vs BHS Baseball Game 5-14-15=

Nicol joined his teammates after the Indians claimed the Pacific League banner in 2015. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Nicol, who was a relief pitcher before his senior campaign, said he focused on the job at hand and didn’t try to over think the situation.

“The crowd never entered my mind when I pitched even with always pitching on the road games,” Nicol said. “Some of the more important games would make me a little nervous, but the adrenaline helped more than anything.”

According to Nicol, whether he faced city rival Burbank or a weaker opponent like Glendale, he always wanted to shed the burden of expectations.

“I tried to treat every team the same before every game and not act any different towards a team,” he said.

For the most part, this formula has proved to be a winner, and one Nicol will take with him to the next level.

Burroughs Baseball Sweeps Burbank; Wins Historic Second Straight Pacific League Title

By Rick Assad


Voting for the Pacific League Most Valuable Player hasn’t taken place, but Burroughs High’s Justin Palafox is right at the top of the list.

On Friday night at rival Burbank in the regular-season finale, Palafox singled twice, drove in four runs and scored a run as the Indians defeated the Bulldogs, 7-6, in dramatic fashion with three runs in the seventh inning.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burbank pitcher Garret Dolan tossed 115 pitches and left in the seventh inning. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The victory was historic because it gave the Indians back-to-back league championships, something no baseball team has ever done in school history.

Burbank, which placed fourth in league and will also make the CIF Southern Section playoffs, led twice, 2-0 and 6-2, but were not able to fight off the stubborn Indians, who finished 12-2 in league, tied with Crescenta Valley.

“I try to do what I always do,” said Palafox of the game-winning at-bat. “I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I think I’m one of the two best players in the league. I have a lot of confidence.”

The key blow in the seventh was Palafox’s two-run single to right center that gave Burroughs (19-6) a one-run lead.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“I think that Justin Palafox is the best player in the Pacific League,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “He’s a five-tool player. He bats lead off so that he can get more at-bats.”

Three batters earlier, Jonathan Max came through with a run-scoring base hit to right center that trimmed the lead to 6-5 and plated Mitch Lefevre, who opened the inning with a single to center field.

The bottom of the seventh wasn’t as dramatic because reliever Shaine Leonard, who was credited with the win, retired Branden Philips on a fly ball to center fielder Jason Whaley and induced designated hitter Everett Fair to pop up to Palafox, the shortstop.

Leonard then intentionally walked Danny Porras, who hit a two-run homer to right center in the first inning that scored Fair, who doubled to left field, but then struck out pinch hitter Forest Fajardo to end the game.

Burroughs’ players celebrate after 7-6 win over city rival Burbank. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“I think that game was really well played,” Sherwood said. “Burbank outplayed us for the first six innings. But we didn’t panic.”

Sherwood thinks this team has been overlooked and can make a strong run in the playoffs.

“This is great, but we need to keep our eyes on the prize,” he said. “We need to take it one game at a time.”

Burroughs cut Burbank’s lead in half in the second inning when it scored a run off Garret Dolan, who gave up a run-scoring triple to Riley Hooper that brought in Tanner Whitlock, who was hit with a pitch and one out.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Danny Porras is congratulated after hitting a two-run homer in the first inning. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Indians knotted it at 2-2 with a run in the third inning when Palafox was safe on the first of three Burbank errors.

Palafox stole second base and scored when Nathan Palafox reached base on the second miscue of the frame.

The Bulldogs (9-12 and 8-6 in league) took a 6-2 lead with a four-run fifth as eight batters made their way to the plate.

Five consecutive hitters singled including Kyle Tanner, Andy Reyes, Philips, Fair and Porras.

Philips, Fair (three hits) and Porras all delivered run-scoring hits while Jeremy Chong’s ground out produced the final run.

“We played better, but they had the timely hits,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said. “We made some mistakes. Our kid [Dolan] was getting tired and I had to take him out. But they got to our bullpen and you have to give Burroughs credit.”

The Indians responded with a two-run sixth that lowered the lead to 6-4 as Palafox’s one-out single to right center scored Whitlock, who began the inning by getting nicked with a pitch and Max, who singled to left field.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Omar Tejada sprints down to second base while second baseman Kyle Tanner is about to make the tag. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Kyle Nicol was the starting pitcher for Burroughs and went four innings, striking out four and allowing seven hits with two hit batters.

Leonard toured three innings, giving up one hit with five strikeouts and one intentional walk.

Garret Dolan yielded four hits and two walks with five hit batters along with seven strikeouts in six and one-third innings.

Dolan threw 115 pitches before he was taken out in favor of Henry Leake, who took the loss after working two-thirds of an inning and giving up three hits with one strikeout.

Burroughs Knocks Out Burbank, 12-2, In Five Innings

By Rick Assad


A seven-run, four-hit, first inning by the Burroughs High baseball team was more than enough offense as the Indians bulldozed to a 12-2, five-inning Pacific League victory over city rival Burbank on Tuesday at Tomahawk Field.

The teams will square off on Friday at Burbank with a 7 p.m. opening pitch and the Indians can claim a portion of the league banner with a win after Arcadia upset Crescenta Valley.

By committing seven errors, the Bulldogs dug a hole few teams could escape from.

“That was a rough first inning for them, and you feel bad, but we teach our players to catch the ball,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “Every kid wants to do well.”

Sherwood added: “On offense, we worked the count and it paid off. One through nine, every kid can play. Right now we’re concentrating on the last two games.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Jesse Galindo was masterful over five innings in a 12-2 romp over rival Burbank. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The defending league champion Indians (18-6 and 11-2 in league) batted around in the first inning as leadoff hitter Justin Palafox struck out and singled in a pair of runs.

Nathan Palafox doubled to left center for two runs, while Riley Hooper singled to right field for another tally.

Mitch Lefevre, who had two hits, singled and eventually came around to score on a balk.

The assault didn’t end as Burroughs made it 8-0 with a run in the second inning when Brandon Martinez walked to lead off the frame and moved to third base when Nathan Palafox reached base on an error. Martinez scored on Tanner Whitlock’s base hit up the middle.

Burroughs added insurance runs with a four-run, fifth inning that saw the team trot 10 batters to the plate.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Colby Vosgien was plagued by defensive errors behind him. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Nathan Palafox drove in a run after getting nicked by a pitch, while Noah Laborico walked with the bases jammed to drive in a run.

Jason Whaley started off matters by getting aboard on an error and eventually came around to score.

Randy Catlett drove in a run with a long triple to left center and also crossed the plate.

Martinez was hit by a pitch and likewise also came around to touch the plate and Omar Tejeda was safe on an error and also scored.

The Bulldogs (8-11 and 7-5), who are in fourth place and will also qualify for the upcoming CIF Southern section playoffs, managed two runs off Jesse Galindo and one came in the third inning when Adrian Johnson led off with a single to right center. He advanced to second and third bases on wild pitches and scored on a ground out by Johnathan Castaneda that trimmed the lead to 8-1.

The other run was tallied in the fourth inning when Danny Porras singled up the middle, moved to second base on a passed ball, third base on a grounder and came home on a wild pitch.

“There is always such a buildup about these games that it’s a very emotional moment,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said. “It’s always disappointing to lose and we expected to do well. Things just snowballed offensively and snowballed defensively. But we have to move forward.”

Galindo earned the win after working five innings, allowing three hits with five strikeouts, one walk and one hit batter.

Colby Vosgien took the loss and went four and one-third innings, surrendering seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks.

Burroughs Baseball Lose Thriller, 1-0, To Crescenta Valley

By Rick Assad


Even by high school baseball standards, Burroughs pitcher Kyle Nicol doesn’t throw very hard.

Yet the crafty side-arm tossing right-hander has found ways to get batters out and win games.

On Friday night at Stengel Field and facing always-tough Crescenta Valley, Nicol allowed seven singles in six and two-third innings including Ryan Lynch’s game-winning blooper into left center in the seventh that scored Chuck Weinmann, who walked, stole second base that gave the Falcons a 1-0 Pacific League victory.

“This was a tough game to lose,” said Nicol, who worked a perfect third, fourth and fifth inning. “I just wanted to keep throwing zeroes on the board. Everything was working tonight. They only had a few solid hits off me. But stuff happens.”

Nicol isn’t tall at 5-foot-8 and weighs 150 pounds, but is able to keep hitters off balance.

“I rely on movement and hitting my spots,” Nicol explained of his success that included a 1-0 victory over Harvard-Westlake in the title game of the prestigious Easton Tournament.

Three days earlier, the host Indians outlasted Crescenta Valley 13-8, but no such slugfest took place on this brisk evening.

The Falcons pulled into first place in the league with a 9-1 mark and are 17-6 overall.

“He did everything that he had to,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said of Nicol, who will be playing baseball for Cal State Northridge. “I expected a low scoring game.”

The Indians, who are tied with Arcadia for second place in the league, managed four hits off winning pitcher Trevor Beer, who struck out four, walked two with a hit batter.

The game resembled a CIF Southern Section playoff encounter as every pitch was filled with tension and four combined errors were made with the Falcons committing three.

“You always want to play tough teams and Crescenta Valley is very good,” Sherwood said. “You wish every game was like this.”

Will Smiley and Scott Vinceri each had two hits for the Falcons, while Tanner Whitlock delivered a pair of singles for the Indians.

It’s not that the Indians (15-3 and 8-2 in league) didn’t have base runners, they did including the sixth inning when the bases were filled.

In the inning, six batters went to the plate as Randy Catlett led off with an infield hit. Gabriel Pellot came in as a pinch runner and moved all the way to third base, but couldn’t score.

Jason Whaley, who walked, also advanced to third base, but once again, couldn’t cross the plate.

In the seventh inning, Whitlock walked with one out and went to second base on an error, but Mitch Lefevre flied to left fielder Chuck Weinmann and designated hitter Riley Hooper bounced to Lynch, the shortstop.

In the first inning, Omar Tejeda singled to right center with two out and moved to second base on an error, but was left stranded when Jonathan Max fanned.

With one out in the second inning, Whitlock’s base hit to left was followed by Lefevre striking out and Hooper lifting a fly ball to Jamie Blank in right field.

Tejeda was nicked with a pitch in the fourth inning, but Max bounced into a force out. Max went second base on a wild pitch and became the second out which was followed by Nathan Palafox grounding out.

In the fifth, Whitlock singled to right center to open the frame, stole second base and moved to third on Hooper’s grounder. Whitlock was the third out after trying to score on a passed ball.

The Falcons also had scoring opportunities in the first inning when Blank, Vinceri and Smiley all singled, but Nicol got designated hitter Anthony Russo to ground out to first baseman Palafox.

Crescenta Valley also had a runner at third base in Ryan Malloy, who singled in the second inning, but failed to score when Nicol, who struck out four with one walk, induced Lynch and Nico Arrendondo to ground out.

The Falcons saw Vinceri single with one out in the sixth. William Rees became the pinch runner and advanced to second base on Smiley’s hit, but Max Meyer lined into a double play that ended the threat.

Burroughs Lose Heartbreaker 8-4 In Eight Innings

By Rick Assad


Burroughs High and Crescenta Valley were each undefeated in Pacific League play while Arcadia had one loss heading into Tuesday’s league showdown with the Apaches at Tomahawk Field.

After an 8-4, eight-inning setback to Arcadia and the Falcons’ 8-0 triumph over host Muir, Crescenta Valley is now 8-0 while the Indians and Apaches are both 6-1.

“We had opportunities, but I give credit to their pitcher,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “He did a good job of throwing. I like those side-arm pitchers.”

Trailing 4-2, the Indians scored two runs in the seventh inning and sent six batters to the plate.

The frame began with Riley Hooper getting hit with a pitch by Brett Porter and Randy Catlett getting a single to left field that moved Hooper to second base.

Justin Palafox then laid down a sacrifice bunt and Jason Whaley had an run-scoring ground out that scored Hooper. Gabriel Pellot, who came in as a pinch runner for Catlett, crossed the plate on an error.

“That was a challenge,” Sherwood said of the early 4-0 deficit. “I think this is a great team [Burroughs] with outstanding talent. But this puts Crescenta Valley in the cat-bird seat and we’re going to have to play well the rest of the way in order to make the [CIF] playoffs.”

The Apaches, who lost to host Glendale 2-0, iced the affair with a four-run eighth inning when 10 batters waltzed to the plate.

Ryan Tuck, who had four hits that included a double, drove in a run with an infield hit, while Jacob Lopez (two hits) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Loren Iwasaki (two hits) forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk and Mike Saenz was nicked with a pitch with the bases filled.

“We’ve had trouble scoring runs,” Arcadia coach Nick Lemas said. “This was a huge win for us. We put pressure on them offensively by putting the ball in play.”

The Indians (13-3) fell behind 1-0 in the top of the first inning when Iwasaki’s base hit off Jesse Galindo drove in Tuck (three runs batted in), who was hit by a pitch.

It became 3-0 through two frames after Noah Falcon (two hits) hit a sacrifice fly that made it 2-0 and Lopez’s single gave the Apaches (12-6-1) a 3-0 advantage. Lopez drove in three runs.

It ballooned to 4-0 with a run in the fourth inning when Tuck’s double drove in Falcon, who led off the inning with a double down the left-field line.

Galindo went three and two-third innings while allowing seven hits with two hit batters.

Burroughs trimmed the lead in half after a two-run fifth inning when Hooper (two hits) led off with a single to left field and scored on Whaley’s single to left. Justin Palafox (two hits) reached base on a hit to left field and scored on an error.

Shaine Leonard picked up for Galindo and took the loss after toiling three and two-third frames, surrendering four hits, two walks, with one strikeout and one hit batter.

Whaley went one-third of an inning with one walk, one hit allowed and one hit batter, while Catlett tossed one-third of an inning with one hit batter.

Porter toured six innings with eight hits allowed, one walk, three strikeouts and one hit batter, while Falcon collected the win and went two innings with one hit batter, one strikeout and two hits surrendered.