Tag Archives: Michael Le

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.

Burroughs Baseball Comes From Behind, Wins 4-2 Over Crescenta Valley

By Rick Assad

 

Any win is always welcome, but a victory against a quality opponent is even more meaningful because it’s a signature win.

The Burroughs High baseball team hasn’t had any signature wins this season, but collected its first on Friday night against Crescenta Valley at Stengel Field.

Trailing 2-0 after three innings, the Indians scored over the next three frames including a two-run sixth and walked away with a  4-2 triumph in a Pacific League match.

“We had this circled on our calendar for a long time because this was supposed to be our home game today,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “And CV switched it on us and I wasn’t happy about that, but I told our guys we can go to their place on Friday night and make it our game. And that’s what our guys did tonight. I am so proud of every player. So many players who don’t get to play. Every player here stepped up and did a great job. It was a compete total team win.”

Nicco Chuidian, pictured in a recent game, started for Burroughs against Crescenta Valley and went three innings. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Sherwood spoke about what this victory could mean.

“Every year I talk to our team about a signature win and it usually comes earlier in the year and you build off it,” he said. “Well it didn’t and our guys hung in there. We got that signature win tonight and that can take you a long way.”

Burroughs (10-17 and 7-5 in league) will pay a visit to city rival Burbank (8-12-1 and 8-4 in league) next Tuesday with a 6 p.m. start and then host the Bulldogs on Friday with a 6 p.m. first pitch.

The fateful sixth began with senior Preston Lemus hitting a bloop single to center field and racing to third base on a double down the left-field line by junior Hyatt Entz.

In two previous at-bats, Entz struck out both times, but in that at-bat seemed laser focused against junior reliever Chad Ruf, who took the setback after hurling one-third of an inning, allowing four hits with two walks.

Senior Rio Lopez, a pinch hitter, followed with a sharp single up the middle that scored Lemus to make it 3-2.

Senior Brian Garcia struck out for the initial out, but senior Michael Le’s perfectly executed push bunt brought in Entz for a 4-2 advantage.

Neither team scored in the first or second inning, but the Falcons (17-7 and 10-2 in league) made it 2-0 in the third when junior Isaac Sung walked with one out and raced to second and then third on a wild pitch that junior catcher Albert Prado couldn’t find.

Junior Will Grimm bounced to Lemus at second base, who decided to throw home to Prado, hoping to get Sung, who was safe.

The Indians, shown in a recent game versus Arcadia, played flawless defense and won 4-2 over the host Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Crescenta Valley’s lead expanded to 2-0 when senior Brian Ghattas roped a two-out double down the left-field line as Grimm crossed the plate.

Burroughs sliced the lead in half in the fourth inning when senior Julian Jaramillo singled to left field with one out.

Jaramillo scooted to second base on a passed ball and senior Nicco Chuidian, who singled in the seventh, and senior Andres Salazar both walked. A fielder’s choice by Lemus scored Jaramillo.

The fifth inning began with much promise as senior Dylan Rolando singled to open the frame, but Garcia, who singled in the third, bounced into a 6-4-3 double play.

Le walked and took second base on a wild pitch. Senior Collin Johnson walked and Jaramillo singled to right field that sent Le to third base. When Chuidian drew a base on balls, Le scored to even the game at 2-2.

Chuidian was the starting pitcher, went three innings, striking out three with one walk and one hit batter with two hits allowed.

Senior Xavier Dubon toured one inning and surrendered one hit and senior Nathaniel Metz tossed one inning, hit a batter and picked up the win.

Jaramillo was given the save after working two innings, walking one, hitting one batter and yielding one hit.

Sophomore Noah Maddox went four and two-third innings, allowing three hits, with five strikeouts and four walks for the Falcons.

Senior Chris Lawson fanned one across one frame and junior Logan Tourville hit a batter and struck out a batter in one inning.

Burroughs Baseball Takes Down Muir 5-2 In Pacific League Match

By Rick Assad

 

Brian Garcia goes about his business in a quiet and dignified manner, but is also highly confident and professional, which translates well onto the baseball diamond.

On Friday afternoon, Garcia’s clutch two-run double to left field in the sixth inning helped propel the Burroughs High baseball team past much-improved Muir for a 5-2 triumph in a Pacific League game at Tomahawk Field.

The Indians managed eight hits in a 5-2 victory over the Mustangs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Garcia’s at-bat came with no outs and scored junior Hyatt Entz, who singled to right center to open the stanza and then raced to second base on a wild pitch.

Junior Jorge Gutierrez also crossed home plate after getting hit by a pitch.

“I knew we weren’t going to win by one run,” said Garcia, a junior shortstop who contributed two hits. “One run wasn’t going to be enough to beat a team like that. These guys [Muir] fight.”

Garcia said that he was looking for a certain pitch from junior Amaris Harrison, who took over for senior Emilio Martinez.

“It was a fastball low and inside. I was looking fastball,” he said of the offering. “I put my foot down early. No off-speed was going to make me chase. If it wasn’t a fastball, I was going to take it.”

Also making it a long day for the Mustangs (12-5 and 4-4 in league) was the effectiveness of senior pitcher Nicco Chuidian, who tossed a two-hitter with eight strikeouts and three walks over six innings.

Chuidian did run into some trouble early as he allowed a run in the first and second inning, but didn’t surrender any runs after that.

“The pressure that I had to keep those first two guys off the base,” Chuidian said was the cause of the problem. “That early struggle. There’s always a sense of urgency when we play these kind of games. We knew it was going to be a tough battle.”

Nicco Chuidian gave up two hits and two runs and collected the win against Muir. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Chuidian said that he grew more confident as the game progressed.

“I started relaxing more,” he noted. “As the game went on, I felt they were slowing down and I couldn’t let up.”

Burroughs Coach Craig Sherwood agreed.

“It’s hard to throw strikes to a guy that steals bases,” he said. “I think he was worried about walking him and he walked him.”

Senior Julian Jaramillo was also effective working one inning and didn’t allow a hit with one strikeout.

The seventh inning began with Martinez lining to right field, senior Tobias Humphrey striking out swinging and senior David Solis bouncing to second base.

The Indians (9-13 and 6-2 in league) had a one-run lead before Garcia’s key two-base hit and the way the Mustangs have been playing, knocking off previously unbeaten Arcadia 5-4 on the road and then taking care of Burroughs 1-0 in eight innings on Tuesday, they could have rallied.

“We had the same exact situation on Tuesday. Two guys on. Nobody out with Brian at the plate and all my instincts said to lay a bunt down and I didn’t do it and he hit into a double play,” Sherwood said. “And for two days, I literally didn’t sleep. I’ll never make that mistake again. I’ve gotta trust my brain and not my heart. ”

Sherwood continued: “And then he came up in that same situation and I said to myself, I knew he was going to hit,” he said. “And so I didn’t put the bunt on and he hits the double and breaks the game open.”

The runner scores for the Indians in a Pacific League game versus the Mustangs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Each team scored in the first inning when Muir led 1-0 after Harrison walked to open the frame.

Harrison swiped second base, moved to third base on senior Aryonis Harrison’s fielder’s choice and scored when junior Ely Resendiz bounced into a double play.

The Indians responded by taking a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first when six hitters trotted to the plate.

Garcia walked to commence the frame and dashed to second base after senior Michael Le laid down a sacrifice bunt.

Senior Collin Johnson’s line-drive hit to right center brought Garcia home and when Chuidian rifled a ball down the line for a single, Johnson crossed the plate to make it 2-1.

Muir evened the contest at 2-2 in the top of the second when junior Angel Lopez ripped a single to left center as Solis scored after walking with two out, stealing second base and scooting to third base on a wild pitch.

Luckily, the Indians are blessed with a deep pitching staff with a dozen hurlers standing ready.

It’s going to be close at third base as Julian Jaramillo readies for the throw. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Chuidian is very likely the ace and showed it throughout much of the game, including the third inning when he faced the minimum three batters.

Harrison drew a leadoff walk, however, Aryonis Harrison was called out after running outside the white line down first base.

Resendiz then bounced into an inning-ending double play as the threat was vanquished.

A perfect frame followed in the fourth for Chuidian, who induced junior Harper Taylor to foul out to right field, Martinez to ground out to second base and Humphrey to fly out to right field.

Another perfect inning followed as Chuidian saw Solis fly out to right field, Lopez striking out, catcher to first base and senior Tyquise Solomon grounding out to second base.

The Mustangs began the sixth inning with a base hit to left field from Amaris Harrison, who was later picked off by Chuidian.

Aryonis Harrison struck out, but reached first base on a throwing error, only to see Resendiz strike out swinging and Taylor fanning with the catcher applying the tag.

Also getting base hits for Burroughs was senior Andres Salazar, along with junior Johnny Angel and Gutierrez.

Martinez yielded seven hits with two strikeouts and three walks across five innings for the Mustangs and Harrison toured one inning, allowing one hit with two walks and one strikeout and a hit batter.

Burroughs Baseball Downs Glendale 7-1 In Pacific League Match

By Rick Assad

 

So far this campaign, the Burroughs High baseball team has been involved in two long streaks.

The first was a six-game losing skein to begin the season, but also own a four-game winning streak.

On Friday afternoon at Tomahawk Field, the Indians sideswiped Glendale 7-1 in a Pacific League game and have claimed six of their last seven games.

Nicco Chuidian dominated in five of the six innings he pitched against Glendale. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We’re starting to swing the bats a lot better with two outs,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “In the first six games, we probably left 20 guys on with two outs. Now we’re starting to get those guys in. We got into a funk and we found our way out of it. We’re on the right track now.”

Nicco Chuidian was credited with the victory after working six innings, yielding five hits with 10 strikeouts and two walks.

Chuidian’s only sub-par frame was the sixth inning when the senior right-hander gave up three hits and one run, but otherwise was stellar.

“Going into the sixth inning, I was getting tired,” said Chuidian, who doubled to left field in the sixth inning. “I thought that ball Collin [Johnson] hit was going to end the game. I said, OK, go out there. I don’t mind pitching. I had my mind set in the wrong place when I started that inning.”

The Indians played flawless defense in a 7-1 win over the Nitros. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Chuidian said despite the team losing its first six games, many were tight.

“Even when we went 0-6, all those games, they were all very close games. They were walk-offs,” he noted.

Burroughs grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning as it tagged junior right-hander Thomas Kovarik, who surrendered two hits across four innings, striking out six, walking five and hitting a batter.

In the frame, eight batters made their way to home plate with senior Michael Le and Chuidian each drawing walks.

Le went to second base on a wild pitch, third on a walk and scored when senior Preston Lemus was hit by a pitch that made it 1-0.

It’s a close call at second base in an attempted steal. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Chuidian took second base on a walk, third base on a hit batter and scored on the first of three errors by the Nitros (5-4 and 0-4 in league) as it became 2-0.

A two-run third inning saw the Indians, who are leaving for Phoenix, Arizona, to play five games in five days in the Coach Bob National Invitational Tournament,  slide ahead 4-0.

“It’s really important,” Sherwood said of the upcoming portion of the schedule. “We won that tournament three years ago and we’re looking to going there and doing well. We’ve got 12 pitchers on the staff and all 12 pitchers have done an outstanding job. I think we’re going in the right direction.”

This time Burroughs (6-7 and 4-0 in league) sent six batters to the plate as senior Julian Jaramillo delivered a run-scoring force out that brought in Johnson, a senior who was safe on an error, and junior Johnny Angel’s sacrifice fly scored Chuidian, who reached on a walk.

First baseman Collin Johnson is about to receive the ball. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs extended its advantage to 5-0 with a run in the fourth as Johnson’s two-out bloop single to left brought home senior Andres Salazar, who walked to lead off the frame.

The Indians’ lead swelled to 7-0 with two runs in the fifth as eight batters waltzed to home plate against junior Michael Gonzalez.

Junior Hyatt Entz had a run-scoring infield single as Jaramillo, who singled to begin the inning and had senior Christian Morales enter as a pinch runner, scored and junior Brian Garcia’s single with two out drove in Entz.

Chuidian ran into some trouble in the sixth inning as he faced seven hitters including senior Darion Jenks, who had a two-out, run-scoring single that cut the lead to 7-1.

Collin Johnson readies to make the putout on Trent Lousararian. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“It’s been our team’s struggle all year long, where our first time through the lineup we tend to be very tentative, especially with a pitcher who is consistently in the zone,” Glendale coach Marcus Whithorne said. “That’s been our challenge. It shouldn’t take three or four innings. That second and third time we should perform better.”

Chuidian worked a perfect first inning that included striking out the side as junior Ian Nord fanned looking, senior Michael Tichenor struck out catcher to first base and Jenks whiffed swinging.

Another 1-2-3 frame followed in the second inning as Chuidian allowed a single to Kovarik, who went to second base on a balk.

Junior Ethan Aldrete fanned swinging and senior Nathan Wong lined to left fielder Angel, who gunned the ball into the infield which doubled up Kovarik.

Senior Trent Lousararian grounded to shortstop to begin the third inning, but senior Seth Harley singled to right field and stole second base. Chuidian fanned senior Ryan Kataoka looking and Nord swinging.

Chuidian’s third perfect frame followed as Tichenor grounded to second base, Jenks fanned looking and Kovarik struck out catcher to first base.

Chuidian faced four batters in the fifth inning as Aldrete bounced back to the box, Wong walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, third base on Lousararian’s grounder and Harley then bounced to shortstop.

Salazar went one inning for Burroughs, fanning one and hitting a batter, while Gonzalez worked two frames, striking out three with three hits allowed for Glendale.

 

 

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.