Tag Archives: Josh Hooker

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.