Tag Archives: Brandon Aguilar

Burbank Baseball Caps Regular Season With 10-3 Win Over Burroughs

By Rick Assad

 

Because of proximity and history, any time Burbank High and Burroughs face each other in athletic competition, something is always at stake.

On Friday night at Tomahawk Field, the stakes were raised even higher because if the Bulldogs captured this Pacific League baseball encounter, they had a chance to pull even with Crescenta Valley for second place behind first place Arcadia.

But if the Indians prevailed, they would be tied with Muir at 8-6 and have a chance for the postseason.

Davis Mieliwocki went five innings and collected the win as Burbank prevailed 10-3 over Burroughs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In a game that lasted almost three hours and saw nine total pitchers employed and eight combined errors committed, Burbank walked away with a 10-3 victory.

With the triumph over their longtime rival, the Bulldogs are 10-4 in league, tied with the Falcons while the Indians posted a 7-7 mark, one game behind the Mustangs, and are out of the CIF Southern Section playoffs which begin next week.

For the seniors who win, there is always extreme joy and happiness, while for the losers there is only pain and sadness.

“Tough preseason for us. We played the monsters. But it seemed to kind of work in our favor,” said Burbank coach Bob Hart, whose team went 8-3 down the stretch. “I liked the resiliency. I like the fact that they were in every game. I had juniors wanting to give at-bats for the seniors. Ultimately that’s a testament to their character and that’s probably what I’m most proud of. I love to see guys who are selfless. We’ve got a bunch of those guys. I’m probably more proud of that than the score.”

Xavier Dubon was one of seven pitchers used by the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Craig Sherwood, who has coached baseball for 39 years and has also won a CIF championship, knows the other side.

“Sixteen seniors,” he said. “All I did was get those kids into the ballgame tonight. Hopefully we would do well and we just didn’t do well. The ball didn’t bounce our way.”

Sherwood went on: “I’m proud of all my players,” he said. “Every single one of them. The toughest part is you’re a family. You spend 10 months together. Then suddenly it’s gone after the third out is made. It’s tough. It’s emotional.”

Neither team scored in the first inning, but the Bulldogs (10-12-1), who scored three runs in the third and fourth inning, struck for two runs in the second as junior Jakob Duarte’s double into the left field corner scored junior Troy Lee, who walked to begin the frame.

Duarte then advanced to third base on a passed ball and eventually crossed the plate on an error.

The Indians (10-19), who committed four miscues, evened it at 2-2 in the second frame when senior Nicco Chuidian was hit by a pitch that nipped his nose, went to third on a double to right field by senior Preston Lemus and scored on a wild pitch.

Jakob Duarte stretches at first base as Nicco Chuidian runs hard. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Lemus took third base on a wild pitch and scored on a single from junior Brian Garcia, who also doubled to left center in the sixth inning.

Chuidian was the starting hurler and allowed one hit, striking out one with three walks across two frames.

“It hurts. It really does,” said the right-hander. “Coming into this season and having our heads high and expecting to win. Having that high note. Having that high goal. That expectation.”

Chuidian added: “My team. We’ve been through it all. We’ve been through countless walkoffs. Countless wins. Countless losses. We’ve been together,” he said.

Aidan Gonzalez motors down the line as Collin Johnson readies for the catch. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Was there a point that changed the season?

“I wouldn’t say there was a tipping point, per se,” he noted. “But it would seem that after Pasadena, that loss, really got to us. From there we got on a consistent losing streak.”

Chuidian, who will attend Cal State Fullerton, but not play baseball, went on: “We came out and gave it our all. I am glad that I was able to play with this team,” he said. “This team has been battling with me for over three years It’s been a blessing to play for these coaches and be part of this family.”

After that 6-1 setback to Pasadena at home on March 29, the Indians went 2-7 that included a 3-2 loss in eight innings to Burbank on Tuesday.

In a cloud of dust, the Bulldogs score a run in a 10-3 victory over the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank, which also turned in four errors, made it 5-2 in the third inning as senior Daniel Ruiz lashed a run-scoring double to left field that brought in sophomore Ryan King, who led off with a base hit to right field.

Lee’s single to right field plated senior Davis Mieliwocki, who walked and a sacrifice fly to left by junior Dominik Severo brought home Lee.

Mieliwocki toured five innings and was credited with the win after surrendering three hits, fanning nine, walking four and hitting two batters.

Senior Joey Clark entered in the sixth inning and struck out three and allowed two hits over two frames.

A three-run fourth was helped because of three errors by the Indians as Burbank, which didn’t get a hit in the frame, extended its lead to 8-2.

Neither visiting Burbank or Burroughs played stellar defense. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Junior Oaklee Spens walked and scored, King was nicked by a pitch and scored and Mielowicki, who reached on a two-base fielding error, also crossed the plate.

Burbank tacked on two runs in the fifth inning when it rapped out four hits including a run-scoring single by Mieliwocki that drove in junior Aidan Gonzalez, who singled to left field.

The other run scored via a walk to Lee with the bases filled as Spens, who singled to left field, scored.

A run in the sixth sliced Burbank’s lead to 10-3 as senior Jesse Rodriguez, who was safe at third base on a throwing error, scored on senior Andres Salazar’s grounder.

Senior Julian Jaramillo singled in the third and seventh inning for the Indians and senior Cody Winters doubled off the fence in the fifth for the Bulldogs.

Senior Nathaniel Metz took the loss and didn’t retire a batter, yielding one hit with one walk.

Senior Xavier Dubon went one inning, striking out one and allowing two hits and senior Josh Hooker hit two batters, issued one walk and whiffed one over one inning.

Senior Brandon Aguilar failed to retire a batter and allowed one hit, Jaramillo gave up three hits, struck out two with one walk in one inning and Salazar fanned three with one walk in two innings.

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, 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.

 

Burroughs Baseball Can’t Find Offense, Falls To Knight 3-0

By Rick Assad

 

A pitching duel isn’t going to yield too many hits and runs, so it was imperative Burroughs High take advantage of any and all opportunities.

Across seven innings of Friday afternoon’s Quartz Hill Tournament baseball game against Knight at Tomahawk Field, the Indians fell short in that endeavor, losing 3-0.

“We’re just not hitting the ball. We’re just not swinging the bat,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said of the offense. “I thought the pitching was good. The pitching gave up one earned run. There were base running mistakes, also. They’re good kids and they’re trying. They’re putting the effort in and they’re working hard. Right now we’re in a funk.”

Burroughs junior submarine pitcher Xavier Dubon tossed a perfect fifth inning in a 3-0 setback to Knight. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

One opportunity slipped through their fingers and it came in the seventh inning when the Indians loaded the bases, but failed to score.

“We are the epitome of a .500 team,” Sherwood said. “We win a game and then we lose a game. I don’t know which switch they’re going throw that day. The on or the off switch.”

After senior Andrew Jacob Barrera lined out, senior Matthew Diaz then drew a walk from sophomore Cody Turner and when junior pinch hitter Nicco Chuidian was hit by a pitch, Diaz moved to second base.

“If we wanted it, we should have hit it,” Diaz said of Turner’s soft offerings. “I feel like we weren’t aggressive enough.”

First-time starter on the hill, Julian Jaramillo, went four solid frames, but suffered the 3-0 loss to the Hawks. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Is there a fatigue factor given that Burroughs is in the middle of an eight-game stretch over eight days?

“We’ve been doing this since the summer,” said Diaz, who singled to center field in the second inning. “We’ve played a bunch of games since the summer. More competition, the better we’ll get.”

Junior Demetrius Freeman was called in and immediately walked junior Andres Salazar, which loaded the bases.

Freeman settled down and retired senior Brandon Giraldo on a called strikeout. Freeman induced pinch hitter junior Jesse Rodriguez to fly out and collected the save.

Neither team scored in the first and second frame, but the Hawks (3-4-1) pushed over two runs in the third inning.

Indians center fielder Andres Salazar made a terrific diving catch in the first inning on Demetrius Freeman’s looper. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

With two out, junior Julian Jaramillo, who was making his first varsity start on the mound, walked junior Eduardo Morales.

Freeman then lined a sharp double down the left-field line as Morales scored to make it 1-0.

Knight pulled ahead 2-0 when senior Devan Graves was safe on an error and scooted to second base.

Graves was stranded there when Jaramillo, who toured four innings, surrendering two runs (one earned), two hits with three strikeouts, four walks and two hit batters, saw senior Luis Vega fly out to center fielder Salazar.

In the first inning and facing the first batter of the game, Salazar made a brilliant diving catch on Freeman’s looper.

Knight added a run in the top of the sixth inning that made it 3-0 against junior Brandon Aguilar.

Burroughs first baseman Nathan Palafox is about to catch the ball in a pick-off attempt. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Vega doubled to right center and crossed the plate when senior Marc Vega reached base on an error.

Aguilar went one inning and fanned one with an unearned run, junior Xavier Dubon tossed a perfect fifth inning and senior Jacob Real toured a hitless seventh inning, walking one and striking out one.

In three of the seven frames, the Indians (4-5) were retired in order by Turner.

Turner delivered six and one-third effective innings, allowing two hits, walking four with three strikeouts and two hit batters.

In the first inning, after sophomore Brian Garcia bounced back to Turner, senior Revin Diego lashed a single up the middle and moved to second base on a wild pitch.

That would be it for Diego as senior Nathan Palafox then lined out and Barrera grounded out.

In the third inning, the Indians were able to muster a one-out walk by junior designated hitter Collin Johnson.

Johnson was erased when Garcia reached on a force out and Garcia was erased on Diego’s force out.

In the fifth inning, Salazar drew a one-out walk and raced to second base on Giraldo’s walk.

Johnson was safe on a force out and the inning ended when Johnson was caught stealing second base.