Tag Archives: Brandon Ortega

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 Goes Cold Against Northview

There are times when the Burroughs baseball team looks like it is going to break through and put a big smile on the face of coach Craig Sherwood.

That wasn’t the case Tuesday night as the Indians fell 6-2 at home against Northview High of Covina in the Babe Herman Tournament.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

“I told them to go back and replay every play that you did and ask yourself what you could have done better in each situation,” Sherwood said. “If you can say I did everything right, I’ll live with that. But if you say I didn’t make a play here or there then you have to improve from that. That’s the only way we’re going to get better as a team.”

 

Burroughs (6-6) had a runner on base in all but one inning but was able to push across two runs.

Defensively the Indians had four errors, some of which proved to be crucial.

“I think we play the mental game as well as anybody. We teach the mental game,” Sherwood said. “To be outplayed on our field playing catch is a disappointment. Our mantra here is to play catch.”

Northview (6-3) got on the board in the first inning when Connor McKinney put a hanging curveball by Burroughs starting pitcher Brandon Ortega onto the tennis courts in left field.

Burroughs tied things in the second inning as Devin Esquivel crossed home plate just before teammate Matthew Diaz was tagged out after being caught in a pickle.

After the teams were deadlock at one run each, Northview broke through with a pair of runs in the fifth inning.

Burroughs added a run to the deficit in half in the bottom half of the inning.

 

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Collin Johnson led off the inning with a double and later scored on a groundout by Nathan Palafox.

Northview came back to score once more in the sixth inning and twice in the seventh that came as a result of a controversial balk call against Burroughs reliever Jacob Real as well as an infield error.

The frustration is that sometimes I see play so well. Sometimes I see it clicking and then all of a sudden everyone goes backward,” Sherwood said.

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, Burbank Baseball Reach For The Stars

By Rick Assad

You know that the baseball season has begun when the weather begins to heat up and the sky turns a bright blue.

For Burroughs High and city rival Burbank, the two are looking to have a solid year and to make a dent in the Pacific League standings.

The Indians have divided four games in the Easton Tournament and are 3-4 overall this season.

Pitching is king. Burroughs has a number of solid arms in its arsenal. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs opens league play at Hoover on March 28 and visit Burbank on May 9 and host the Bulldogs on May 12.

“I’m not really sure what I have this season,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “We’ve been good at times this season and we’ve been not so good.”

In 2016, the Indians had a successful campaign after tying Crescenta Valley for the top spot in league.

Burbank will rely on steady work in the infield and outfield. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs began the season by winning the prestigious Easton tourney, 1-0, over highly-ranked Harvard-Westlake behind ace Kyle Nicol, who is now playing for Cal State Northridge.

Nicol’s place will be picked up by a bevy of competent arms like seniors Riley Hooper, Matthew Rudas, junior Salvador Cabezas and sophomore Niccolo Chuidian.

Additionally, Sherwood, who has been a longtime coach, will also have on the mound senior Henrik Buchanan, senior infielder Brandon Martinez, junior Jacob Real and junior Brandon Ortega.

Fundamentals are always stressed under Burroughs Coach Craig Sherwood. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

All of these hurlers will need to be efficient in order for the Indians to repeat what took place a season ago.

If the old saying that pitching and defense wins games, the Indians, who went 19-7 and 12-2 in league, will need this to be their mantra.

“I think CV’s the favorite to win league this year,” said Sherwood, whose team fell in the CIF Southern Section opening round in 2016. “They have strong pitching and they have good tradition. Burbank is much improved and I think we’re going to be in the mix along with Pasadena and Arcadia.”

For Burbank, under Coach Bob Hart, working in the batting cage is crucial. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Sherwood stresses being able to catch and throw the baseball.

“Defense is always our No. 1 priority,” he said. “If you don’t hit well, you can always rely on your defense. It’s really important to have a good defense.”

Burroughs has several key players returning and they include senior infielder Justin Palafox, who batted .434 with 16 runs batted in and 17 runs scored, and junior first baseman Nathan Palafox, his younger brother.

“In high school, you don’t rebuild because there isn’t free agency,” Sherwood pointed out. “You reload and continue the winning tradition that we’ve built here.”

The other members include senior outfielder Angel Estrada, senior infielder Erik Gonzalez, junior outfielder/catcher Steven Gonzalez, junior catcher Matthew Diaz, junior outfielder Brandon Giraldo and junior outfielder/catcher Revin Diego.

The rest are junior outfielder Daniel Leonard, junior outfielder Andrew Jacob Barrera, junior outfielder Casey Cromie and freshman infielder Ricardo Perez.

For a Burroughs runner, it’s on your mark, get set and go. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank, which finished 9-13, 8-6 in league and lost to Mayfair in a postseason wild-card game, also has designs on being in the hunt.

Whether Burbank, which went 3-2 in the Easton tourney and is 3-3 this campaign, will be in the running actually depends on members of the highly-successful football team that include seniors Danny Porras and Jake Kelley.

Both Porras and Kelley have sustained fairly serious injuries, so Coach Bob Hart can’t count on them to play in that many games.

“If we’re healthy, I think we’re capable of being right there,” said Hart of the league race which begins at Muir on March 28. “If we’re not healthy, then the other guys have an opportunity to seize the moment and step up.”

For the Bulldogs, there’s no getting around taking grounders. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Porras is a first baseman and pitcher and was also tabbed honorable mention, while the other projected starters are senior and all-league pick, Henry Leake, at third base, sophomore Davis Mieliwocki at first base, senior Johnathan Castaneda at second base, junior Maxwell Meltzer at shortstop and junior Matthew Shaugabay at catcher.

The outfield will consist of senior Chris Minnick in left field, senior Branden Phillips in center field and junior Abiezer Delgado, who will also be the designated hitter, in right field.

Seniors Chris Guerra and Owen Ruiz will see time in the outfield as will senior Javier Reyes, who can also play catcher.

The pitching staff will be paced by senior Matt Lungaro and senior Colby Vosgien.

“I think our pitching is going to be fine,” Hart said. “Colby is a left-hander and has been injured, but we’re hoping that he’s going to be able to help us.”

Others on the squad include sophomore third baseman/outfielder Matthew Porras, junior first baseman/outfielder John Ennis and junior outfielder Erik Higgins.