Tag Archives: Nathaniel Metz

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 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 Struggles, Lose 12-0 To Visiting Arcadia

By Rick Assad

 

There are things that a baseball team can do to make it really difficult on itself like committing errors and issuing walks.

On Friday afternoon at Tomahawk Field, the Burroughs High squad did both as it kicked around the ball to the tune of five miscues and its pitching staff issued seven walks and to make matters even worse, hit three straight batters and in the process fell to Arcadia 12-0 in a Pacific League game that was cut to five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.

Senior Nicco Chuidian didn’t have his best stuff in an outing against Arcadia. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I’m not going to sugarcoat it. We had a bad day today, like every other team in baseball is going to have now and then,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “I’ve seen major league teams lose by 12 runs before. It happens at every level of baseball. You don’t want it to happen. You wish it wouldn’t happen, but it’s part of what sports is.”

Sherwood said he’s still proud of his team.

“They try and that’s all I can ask of them,” he noted. “Some days it’s not there. That’s a good team [Arcadia], but I think they’re beatable if we just play our good game. Teams go through good streaks and bad streaks. Right now we’re in just a little funk.”

The Indians (9-15 and 6-4 in league), who lost to the Apaches 11-1 on the road three days before, were able to garner only two hits off junior pitcher Chris Wilson and it occurred in the fifth inning when senior Nicco Chuidian led off with an infield single and senior Julian Jaramillo then lashed a sharp base hit to left field.

Wilson righted the ship and induced senior Andres Salazar to bounce into a double play and then retired senior Preston Lemus on a strikeout with the catcher applying the tag.

Otherwise, the right-handed throwing Wilson was perfect over the previous 12 batters, striking out seven over five frames.

Senior leadoff hitter Brian Garcia went hitless in two at-bats in a game shortened to five innngs versus the Apaches. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Apaches (19-1 and 9-1 in league) are ranked No. 43 in the nation and No. 12 in the state according to the sports website www.maxpreps.com and played like it.

In the first inning, Arcadia bolted ahead 1-0 as Chuidian surrendered a bloop single to right center by the leadoff hitter, senior Jeffrey Castillo.

An error on a pickoff throw sent Castillo to second base, junior Dustin Allen’s sacrifice bunt moved Castillo to third base and scored on a single down the left-field line by senior Dominick Tello.

“I felt we were still in the game,” said Chuidian, who allowed four hits with six walks and three strikeouts across three and two-third innings about the early portion of the game. “I was struggling on the mound, but my defense was trying to find ways to get me outs. But once again it comes down to hitting. We’re just not producing at the plate. I feel like we’re taking too many fastballs. Getting behind early in the count and not working the pitcher as much.”

Defense was an issue for the Indians in a 12-0 loss to visiting Arcadia. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Apaches stretched their lead to 2-0 in the second inning when Chuidian walked senior Tyler Quintero, the first batter.

Chuidian struck out sophomore Brandon Nguyen looking and retired senior Frank Chavez on a fly to right field.

Three consecutive walks followed as junior Gavin Vogel, Castillo and Allen all drew a base on balls from Chuidian which plated Quintero.

“When they’re giving us free bases. We’re a pretty good team and it’s going to be tough to beat us,” Arcadia coach Nick Lemus said of the walks and errors by the Indians. “We’re good, no doubt about it. Baseball is just a funny game. Any pitcher can shut you down on any given day. You can hit balls hard and get outs. You can hit balls softly and find holes.”

Lemus wants his squad to do everything well. “It’s not about base hits, it’s about quality at-bats,” he said. “We do everything pretty well. We hit pretty well. We pitch pretty well. We stress the fundamentals.”

Chuidian began the third stanza by walking sophomore Mikey Easton, but struck out senior Jacob Lopez swinging. Quintero flied to left field and Nguyen whiffed to end the frame.

Two runs crossed the plate in the fourth inning as Castillo walked, stole second and scored on Allen’s long triple to left center. Allen came around to make it 4-0 on an error.

Arcadia sent 12 batters to home plate and scored eight runs in the fifth frame that included run-scoring singles by Quintero and Allen, Tello’s run-tallying double to left center, a run-producing walk by Castillo and junior Dylan Guerra getting hit with the bases loaded for a run batted in.

Senior Xavier Dubon ventured one-third of an inning, hit three consecutive batters in the fifth, yielded two hits and one walk, while senior Nathaniel Metz toiled one inning and allowed two hits.

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.