Tag Archives: Pacific League

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 Softball Blanked By Crescenta Valley 5-0, Collects One Hit

By Rick Assad

 

Stepping into the batter’s box and facing Crescenta Valley High pitcher Dee Dee Hernandez’s impressive arsenal isn’t an enviable task.

On Tuesday afternoon at Olive Park, the Burroughs softball team found out exactly just how tough the sophomore is after taming the Indians 5-0 and throwing a one-hitter across seven frames in a Pacific League game.

Freshman pitcher Kelsey Acosta went four innings and allowed six hits with four runs against the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Hernandez didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning when senior Hannah Skinner lined a sharp single to left field.

What followed were three consecutive outs as junior Chloe Bookmyer flied to left field, senior Mia Storer popped to second base and senior Sierra Harvey grounded to second base.

“It’s CV. They’re a good hitting team. They’ve got a good pitcher. It’s all mental,” said Burroughs coach Wes Tanigawa, whose team is 3-4 and 2-1 in league. “The girls just gotta learn how to focus better.”

Tanigawa then added: “They feel pressure because they know this is a really good pitcher and they want to show they can do something,” he said. “They just have to learn to slow down the game.”

Hernandez toiled seven effective innings, struck out seven batters without issuing a walk and seemed cool as a cucumber.

Hernandez seized control from the outset, striking out freshman Kelsey Acosta and junior Isabella Kam swinging and inducing junior Sabrina Englebrecht to fly to center field.

Chloe Bookmyer shown taking a big swing against Dee Dee Hernandez, who tossed a one-hitter. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We’re just grinding,” said Crescenta Valley coach Amanda Peek, who saw the Falcons improve to 9-2-1 and 2-0 in league. “The girls didn’t come out like they wanted to today. Dee Dee’s a grinder. Our girls who show up daily, showed up today.”

Peek added: “Defense wins championships and that’s our mindset. Hitting comes and goes,” she noted.

Hernandez worked a perfect second inning as Skinner grounded to first base, Bookmyer bounced to second base and Storer fanned looking.

Harvey led off the third inning by grounding to shortstop, senior Citlali Mendez, who came into the game as a replacement for senior Lauryn Valenzuela at shortstop, then lined to shortstop and junior Memorie Munoz struck out swinging.

Hernandez worked a 1-2-3 fourth frame, fanning Acosta and Kam swinging and then getting Englebrecht to bounce back to the box.

Mia Storer takes her hacks against Dee Dee Hernandez, who went seven innings. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Mendez fouled out to third base to begin the sixth inning, Munoz popped to third base and sophomore Dyani Del Castillo, who relieved Acosta in the fifth inning, grounded to third base.

Kam opened the seventh inning by bouncing back to Hernandez, senior pinch hitter Morgan Mersola struck out swinging and Skinner popped to third base for the game’s final out.

The Falcons’ offense started off early against Acosta, who was making her first start against the defending league champions.

Acosta was admittedly nervous before her outing, but throws hard and accurate and seemed confident in the circle.

In four innings, Acosta, who will learn how to throw a changeup, allowed six hits with three strikeouts and one walk.

Del Castillo worked three innings, fanning three, walking three, hitting one batter and surrendering three hits.

Crescenta Valley collected just one hit off Acosta in the first inning, but it produced two runs as freshman Izzy Jamgotchian lined a double to left field as senior Alyssa Hernandez, who was safe on an error and Hernandez, who walked and had a pinch runner enter for her, both scored to make it 2-0.

Alyssa Hernandez and sophomore Stephanie Wichman each collected two singles for the Falcons.

Jamgotchian advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt from senior Kristy Taix and crossed the plate for a 3-0 lead when senior Peyton Hause was safe on the second error in the inning.

The Falcons added a run in the fourth inning to make it 4-0 when sophomore Morgan Eng drilled a single down the line in the left field, stole second base and scored on an error.

Crescenta Valley waltzed in front 5-0 with a run in the sixth as Dee Dee Hernandez’s two-out grounder brought home Wichman, who was safe on an infield hit.

Burbank Softball Loses Tough One To Visiting Arcadia 7-5

By Rick Assad

 

Playing shorthanded is a tough way to operate, but the Burbank High softball team had to against Arcadia on Monday afternoon.

Even so, the Bulldogs found enough intestinal fortitude to rally from four runs down in the sixth inning, but then gave up two runs in the seventh inning and lost 7-5 in a Pacific League contest at McCambridge Park.

Alyssa Porras went seven innings and took the 7-5 loss. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank managed four hits off sophomore Sophia Garzona, who went seven innings, striking out six and walking three.

Senior Alyssa Porras toured seven frames for the Bulldogs, surrendering 11 hits with three strikeouts and two walks with two hit batters.

The Bulldogs (2-4 and 1-1 in league) were without the services of seniors Nikki Davis and Emily Monterrey along with junior Savannah Benson.

It seemed late in the game that Porras may have been tired, but wasn’t taken out by Burbank coach Mike Delaney.

“We thought about it a couple of times. But where they were in the lineup versus what she was doing with those kids, it didn’t ever come up to it at that point,” Delaney said. “She battled. She missed a few spots, but we didn’t help her with our flat-footedness today. We were flat-footed with our defense.”

The Bulldogs cut Arcadia’s lead to 5-4 with a three-run fifth inning as seven batters trotted to the plate.

Base hits were hard to come by for the Bulldogs, who managed four. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

With none out, senior Izzy Sanchez lined a sharp base hit to center field as senior Sarah Garelick, who walked and sophomore Erika Montoya, who collected a single to left field, both scored.

Senior Alex Davis was safe on a fielder’s choice that scored a run as pinch runner, junior Tiffany Estrada, who came in for Porras, drew a walk.

“Our outfield didn’t help us and our hitting didn’t help us,” Delaney pointed out. “We did not hit in key situations. That’s what we’ve been kind of stressing the last couple of games. We’re all trying to hit the ball over the fence. You hit the ball in the air here, it’s just an out.”

The Apaches (9-1-1 and 2-0 in league) bolted ahead 7-5 in the seventh when senior Deja Westbrook drilled a single to left with one out. Westbrook moved to second base on a grounder by senior Helena Simpson.

Burbank’s infield defense was solid against the Apaches. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

A clanging double to left center by freshman Morgan Howey (two hits) scored Westbrook and Howey crossed the plate when senior Karly Gills roped a base hit to center field.

Burbank evened it at 5-5 with a run in the sixth inning as sophomore Lily Stell clubbed a long one-out triple to right center, and Garelick’s grounder drove in the run.

The Apaches opened up a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Simpson’s single up the middle scored sophomore Averi Wong, who singled to left field with one out.

The Bulldogs tied it at 1-1 in the first inning when Davis led off with a booming triple to right center and crossed the plate on a sacrifice bunt from senior Amaya Broyls.

“I think our hitting is what drives us,” Broyls said. “When we’re hitting line drives in the gap, and when we’re getting good hits off her, it gives us a lot momentum and that’s what helps us.”

Broyls then added: It’s been hard with all the rain and we’ve been trying to practice and some girls have been hurt,” she said. “Being a catcher. Being a senior. Being a captain. There’s a lot of pressure and I feel like I need to lead the team along with the other captains. We have the younger players. We all need to step up and do our job.”

A two-run third inning by Arcadia made it 3-1 as Westbrook lined an inside-the-park homer to center field that plated Wong, who was safe on a force out.

The Apaches’ advantage became 5-1 in the fifth inning when Wong’s triple to right center knocked home sophomore Delaney Prater (two hits), who doubled to left center and Westbrook’s grounder scored Wong.

Burbank Baseball Rallies For 5-4 Victory Over Muir

By Rick Assad

 

For six innings, the Burbank High baseball team managed to score only two runs and trailed by two runs entering the seventh inning.

This all changed as a three-run seventh proved decisive for the host Bulldogs, who rallied and tamed Muir 5-4 in a Pacific League match on Friday night.

Seven batters came to the plate including senior Andrew De La Torre, whose single off senior Brian Love, the losing pitcher, settled into right field as junior Troy Lee, who was safe on a fielder’s choice, scored the game-winning tally.

Ryan King was credited with the victory after picking up for starter Davis Mielowocki. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Finding a hole and putting the ball anywhere,” De La Torre said of his game-winning single.

When the Bulldogs trailed it looked as though the Mustangs were in position to even the season series at a game apiece.

Was there any doubt that Burbank would win?

“Maybe once or twice, but then we found a way to get it back and pick it up,” De La Torre said of the rally. “We just wanted it more than they did.”

Two batters earlier, senior Cody Winters knocked home two runs with a sharply hit ball that found its way to left field as sophomore Ryan King, who led off by reaching on an error and senior Davis Mielowocki, who walked, both scored.

Love went two and two-third innings, striking out one, walking one with three runs allowed and three hits.

Senior Emilio Martinez gave up four hits, two runs, hit one batter, fanned three and walked four over four innings for the Mustangs.

Muir (6-3 and 0-2 in league) is much improved this season after opening its campaign with five straight wins.

Cody Winters delivered a two-run single for the Bulldogs, who rallied for a 5-4 win over Muir. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“They have speed,” longtime Burbank coach Bob Hart said of the fleet-footed Mustangs. “Speed is a tough opponent sometimes. But the key to that is not give away free bases.”

Though down by two runs entering the seventh, Hart remained confident.

“This team has shown that ability where they’re not going to just sit down the last two innings and call it in,” he said. “Sometimes when you’re chasing one run and that team gets one more, it’s like the nail in the coffin.”

The Mustangs, who lost at home 1-0 to the Bulldogs on Tuesday, scored two of their runs without the benefit of a base hit in the first and third innings.

Burbank (2-3-1 and 2-0 in league) leveled it at 1-1 with a tally in the second inning when junior Jakob Duarte walked with one out.

Davis Mielowocki reached base twice and scored a run in the seventh. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Junior Adam Loera entered as a pinch runner and then advanced to second base on a balk and third base on De La Torre’s single to center field.

De La Torre took off for second base hoping to draw a throw and did, but put on the brakes and raced back to first base.

While this was transpiring, Loera sensed it was time to run and blasted off for home plate with the run.

Burbank tied it at 2-2 in the fourth inning when junior Oaklee Spens lofted a sacrifice fly to left field with one out.

Duarte led off the inning with a double off the screen in right center and advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt from De La Torre, who also singled in the sixth inning.

Burbank’s two pitchers limited the Mustangs to four hits and four runs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Muir, which stole six bases, took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Mielowocki issued a one-out walk to senior Aryonis Harrison.

Mielowocki allowed three runs over five-plus innings, yielded two hits with 11 strikeouts and three walks.

“I just wanted to make sure I got ahead with my strikes,” Mielowocki said of his outing that saw him fan the side in the second and fourth and strike out two batters in the first and third. “Make sure I could work off that first-pitch strike. Hopefully get some guys out. Have some guys roll over and have my defense work behind me.”

King was credited with the win after touring two frames, giving up two hits with one strikeout and one hit batter.

Harrison then stole second base and third base and scored when Mielowocki uncorked a wild pitch.

Mielowocki walked junior Harper Taylor with two down, but was left stranded when senior Tobias Humphrey struck out.

The Mustangs collected a run in the third and forged ahead 2-1 when Mielowocki walked senior Tyquise Solomon to begin the inning.

Burbank collected five walks off two Muir pitchers. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Solomon swiped second base, took third base on Mielowocki’s wild pitch and scored on a run-producing grounder by Harrison.

Junior Amaris Harrison singled to left field to begin the sixth inning.

Harrison stole second base, took third on a sacrifice bunt from Aryonis Harrison and scored to make it 3-2 on a single to center field by junior Ely Resendiz.

A solo run in the seventh gave the Mustangs a 4-2 edge as senior David Solis was nicked with a pitch by Kings to start the inning.

Solis stole second base and with two out, Solomon delivered a bloop single to left field that plated Solis.

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 Dominick 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.

Burroughs, Burbank Softball Primed For Something Special

By Rick Assad

 

Because of the talent available, it would seem that if the Burbank High and Burroughs softball teams don’t qualify for the CIF Southern Section playoffs, its respective seasons will not be considered very successful.

Burbank is coming off a campaign in which it went 16-12 overall and 10-4 for third place in the Pacific League.

It’s all for one and one for all as the Bulldogs ready for the Pacific League season. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Bulldogs played in a Division IV wild-card match against Norwalk and fell 4-2.

Burroughs went 14-5-1 and 12-2 for second in league and after defeating Bonita 2-0 in a Division III opening-round game, lost to Redlands 4-0 in the second round.

“I believe that we’ll do fairly well this year,” Burroughs coach Wes Tanigawa said. “I brought up a few new girls from the JV. Overall we should be pretty successful, but softball is the way it is and you never know how the ball is going to go.”

The Indians are gunning for another CIF Southern Section playoff appearance. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Tanigawa is optimistic about this squad.

“These girls that we have are a really good core group. They work together. They pick each other up,” he noted.

Tanigawa also likes that the team doesn’t rely on one aspect of the game.

“I don’t really necessarily see one thing as our strength,” he pointed out. “We’ve lost our star pitcher [Presley Miraglia]. We have pitching. I’ve got a freshman who is looking really good. I brought up a few girls with hopefully a couple of bats.”

To date, Burroughs lost to Newbury Park 8-0 in the Suzanne Manlet Tournament and collected a 3-2 victory over San Fernando in the same tourney.

The Indians begin league play on March 5 when Pasadena makes a visit and will host Burbank on March 29 and travel to the Bulldogs on April 25.

Beside Miraglia, other key performers that graduated includes outfielder Hannah Talavera and second baseman Nikki Ricciardella.

The most valued commodity is always pitching and the Bulldogs, who lost Allie Benson to graduation, have a good one in senior Alyssa Porras.

Infield play is always vital, so the Bulldogs practice being perfect. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Mike Delaney, the Burbank coach, thinks this should be a productive season.

“If we play to our ability, and we have some kids that step up, we can compete with anybody,” h said. “Our kids don’t shy away from competing with anybody. We play a tough tournament schedule because it helps us in league. CV is probably the team to beat this year.”

Like Tanigawa, Delaney is also optimistic.

“If we play the way we can, we’re a top three team for sure,” he said. “If we play even better than that, we can be a top two. I’m not discounting this team from anything.”

Burbank has lost to Louisville 6-4 in the Hart Tournament and fell to Calabasas 6-4 in the same tourney. The Bulldogs commence league action on March 5 when they host Glendale.

Backing up Porras, who worked many innings in 2018, and will be asked to toe the rubber for 200 innings this season, will be junior Savannah Benson, Allie’s younger sister.

Chloe Bookmyer will be asked to be a team leader for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

A key member will be senior Alex Davis, who will be the primary shortstop.

Senior Amaya Broyls, a member of the volleyball team, will see the majority of the time behind the plate for Burbank, which lost to graduation first baseman Erin Lashkari, infielder/outfielder Anysia Gonzalez and outfielder/second baseman Macie Jensen.

Senior Nikki Davis and senior Carly Oldfield will battle for first base.

Senior Desiree Gomez is the primary third baseman and will relieve Broyls on occasion as the catcher.

Sophomore Erika Montoya, who played on the basketball team, will play second base.

Burbank is aiming for the top spot in the Pacific League after finishing third last season. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank’s outfield will include senior Sarah Garelick in left field, senior Izzy Sanchez in right field and sophomore Victoria Sanchez in center field.

The rest of the team includes senior Emily Monterrey, who also played on the basketball team, will play at first and third base and act as the designated player.

Senior Siena Fagiani will be used in a utility role and designated player, while freshman Bella Scozzola will play first base, third base and the outfield.

Junior Tiffany Estrada will see time in the outfield and be used as a utility player. Junior Jordyn Rivero will play in the outfield, utility and designated player, and freshman Elizabeth Zamora will play in the outfield, designated player and utility.

The Indians go over infield practice knowing its value. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians have four starting pitchers and they will need to at least come close to what Miraglia, a member of the Long Beach State women’s softball team, accomplished in her stellar career.

The two with the most experience in the circle are junior Sidnie Dabaddie and junior Isabella Kam.

The other two hurlers are sophomore Dyani Del Castillo, who played on the basketball team and freshman Kelsey Acosta.

The catching chore will fall upon the dependable shoulders of senior Megan Williams.

The projected infield for Burroughs will have senior Sierra Harvey at first base, senior Morgan Mersola at second base, sophomore Alyssa Valenzuela at shortstop and junior Memorie Munoz at third base.

The Indians’ outfield will consist of senior Hannah Skinner in left field, senior Mia Storer in center field and junior Chloe Bookmyer, the league’s Most Valuable Player Hitter, in right field.

The rest of the lineup will have senior Jillian Kukawski, also a member of the basketball team at third base, senior Lauryn Valenzuela at shortstop, senior Citlali Mendez at shortstop, junior Sami Fiorella in the infield and catcher and sophomore Kaitlyn Cisneros in the infield and utility.

Vastly Improved Burroughs Boys Tennis Beats Glendale 13-5

By Rick Assad

 

Slow and steady improvement across several years by the Burroughs High boys’ tennis team has borne fruit.

The Indians evened their books with a 13-5 victory over visiting Glendale in a Pacific League match on Thursday afternoon.

Burroughs is now 3-3 overall and 3-1 in league action, while the Nitros are 2-3 in all matches and 1-3 in league.

“They’re older. They’re smarter. They’re a little bit stronger and they’re relaxed and hitting the ball,” longtime Burroughs coach Roy Bernhardt said of his vastly improved squad.

Sophomore Sam Bernardy, at No. 1 for the Indians, swept through his work with ease, winning 6-3, 6-1, 6-0.

“I’ve just been practicing a lot and I feel like practice pays off, so when I go out and do what I do in practice, it tends to bring out a win,” Bernardy said after his day concluded.

Bernardy’s opponents were No. 1, sophomore Marko Ratkovic, No. 2, senior Richard Mirzoian and No. 3, sophomore Lonfranco Marenzi.

Burroughs grabbed nine points via victories in doubles play as the No. 1 team of senior Mark Do and sophomore Trieu Ngyuen were victorious 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 over No. 1 junior David Chibukhchyan and freshman Hayk Avetisyan, No. 2 sophomore Andres Hermina and freshman Jose Moreno and No. 3 sophomore Arsis Zaghean and sophomore Michael Baghdasaryan.

The Indians’ No. 2 tandem of senior Cameron Flowers and junior Sebastian Muga blitzed through 6-3, 6-1, 6-1.

At No. 3 doubles, the duo of senior Daniel Cho and senior Rafael Munguia rifled past 6-1, 6-1, 6-0.

The Nitros also used sophomore Erik Karapetyan, who subbed for Hermina and senior Justin Byron, who filled for Baghdasaryan, later in the match.

“In the beginning we played well. I thought we played okay throughout the match,” Glendale coach Eric Kazangian said. “We need to improve in doubles. We won five points in singles and none in doubles. We did a nice job in singles.”

At No. 2 singles for Burroughs, freshman Kyle Lester drilled Marenzi 6-2, however, Ratkovic beat Lester 6-1 and Mirzoian knocked off Lester 6-1.

Marenzi downed No. 3, junior James Patanian 6-1, who then excused himself after admitting to poor play, as sophomore Blake Hildebrandt filled in. Ratkovic defeated Hildebrandt 7-5 and Mirzoian staved off Hildebrandt 6-4.

Burroughs, Burbank Boys Volleyball Reaching For Big Prize

By Rick Assad

 

Expectations are usually high for the Burroughs High and Burbank boys’ volleyball teams when it comes to the Pacific League race and beyond.

The Indians have captured the league title nine straight seasons, so naturally a 10th is a goal along with advancing far in the CIF Southern Section tournament.

“I think we have a good group of learners,” longtime Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said. “They show up to practice every day. They work hard. They’re open to the feedback. They want to be critiqued. They want to be coached.”

Brinton knows that nothing is ever given, but can rely on two strengths. “Even though we have a lot of seniors, we also have a lot of youth,” he noted. “I hope it will be our serving and our passing. I want our serving and passing to be our rocks.”

Junior outside hitter Connor Burroughs is a leader and offensive weapon for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Bulldogs made the playoffs and despite not winning the league title, also have serious designs on the prize.

Burroughs opened its season with a sweep of visiting South Pasadena, but lost at Palos Verdes.

The Indians bounced back with a sweep over Culver City in the Redondo Tournament, but dropped matches to Newbury Park, Redondo Union, Peninsula and Loyola.

“The guys have to understand that there’s nothing ever given. Everything is earned,” Brinton said of being the defending league champion.

Burroughs began its league season on Wednesday with a three-game shutout at Glendale and will play at Burbank on March 29 and then host the Bulldogs on April 23.

Senior middle hitter Dawson Koerper, shown in a recent match, will be a steady contributor for the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In any given match, the Burroughs’ offensive leaders will vary, but one that will always be at or near the top, is junior outside hitter Connor Burroughs.

Senior libero Sam Tipton will also have eyes on him and though a sophomore, setter Carter Cottrell is also vital.

There are eight seniors and aside from Tipton, includes outside hitter Luke Kvarda, outside/opposite hitter Evan Troncoso, middle/outside hitter Rickey Kahlon, setter Steven Grandinetti, outside hitter Caleb Reyes, middle hitter Jagger Green and middle hitter Louis Zekowski.

Sophomore setter Carter Cottrell will be a key cog for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Other members includes junior middle hitter Ellington Simmons, junior outside hitter Malek Sadi and junior middle hitter Troy Outwater.

The rest are sophomore libero/outside hitter Cole Kvarda, sophomore middle hitter Shay Thornton and sophomore outside/opposite hitter Kade McGovern.

The Bulldogs, who began their campaign with a loss at Harvard-Westlake, rebounded with victories over Hart and Viewpoint, are primed for a successful season with senior outside/opposite hitter Chase Marcy leading the way.

Karl Rojo, the Burbank coach, likes what he has to work with. “Take it day-by-day and make sure we improve by two percent every day,” he said. “They need to focus on the effort and not worry about results.”

Senior setter Brandon Villaflor gets the Bulldogs’ offense in motion. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Rojo then continued: “They need to play with maximum effort every time. Their goals are playing well consistently, trying to knock off the big three [Burroughs, Crescenta Valley and Arcadia] and go as far as we can in the CIF,” he noted.

Senior opposite hitter Jack Raytis will also be asked to lead while senior setter Brandon Villaflor will get the ball to the hitters.

Senior middle blocker Kalam Park will have a key role as will senior Ryan Rickey for the Bulldogs, who begin their league trek with a match against visiting Hoover on Feb. 28.

The other seniors include opposite/middle blocker Luca Bily, middle hitter Dawson Koerper, setter Jason Kwon, libero Ryan Mehta, defensive specialist Minkyu Shin, middle blocker Kalam Park, opposite/outside hitter Dylan Vigar and outside hitter Nathan Mehta.

Also on the squad are junior defensive specialist Joe Gomez, junior outside hitter Kourosh Dolatshahi, junior middle blocker Eric Galoustian and sophomore outside/opposite hitter Jonathan Coleman.

Burbank Boys Tennis Downs Visiting Hoover 14-4

By Rick Assad

 

A sturdy and dominant display by the Burbank High boys’ doubles squad saw them sweep visiting Hoover which helped catapult the Bulldogs to a 14-4 victory in a Pacific League match on Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile the Burbank singles, No. 1, junior Sid Denduluri, No. 2, freshman Yash Desai and No. 3, sophomore Hakop Kerimyan, played well, capturing five of the nine points.

Burbank’s No. 1 singles, Sid Denduluri, had an off day, winning only one set versus Hoover. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Bulldogs now have two matches under their belt, both victories, including a 10-8 triumph over Glendale.

The Tornadoes haven’t been as fortunate, losing three, as Burroughs won 13-5 and Crescenta Valley was also victorious, 15-3.

Burbank’s No. 1 duo, senior Ethan Lee and sophomore Abasi Abukusumo knocked off Hoover’s No. 1, sophomore Kevin Nazarian and sophomore Benji Choi 6-0.

Lee/Abukusumo then defeated No. 2, junior George Sakellariou and freshman Eric Chakhoyan 6-0.

The duo also drilled Hoover’s No. 3, freshman Haik Aslanyan and freshman Edwin Barseghian 6-0.

At No. 2, junior Parker Katz and junior Dominic Sumera, were highly effective versus the same pairs, faring 6-2, 6-0, 6-0.

The Bulldogs’ No. 3 duo, senior Greg Gevojanyan and junior Daniel Khrlobian, went 6-1, 6-4, 6-0, over the same Hoover teams.

The Bulldogs’ doubles team swept the Tornadoes en route to a 14-4 win. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Denduluri, who when on his game, is a tough nut to crack, seemed strangely off from the outset.

At several junctures, Denduluri made unforced hitting errors and offered a less than accurate first serve, which forced a weaker second serve.

“For the one’s I played, I just was overthinking it,” Denduluri said of the two setbacks. “With my skill set, I should have been able to beat both of them.”

Denduluri went on: “I’m a little bit under the weather right now, I have a sore throat, but that’s not the full reason. I went out to bad starts in both games. That got into my head. Once you get off to a bad start, you feel the pressure, so you say to yourself, I got off to a bad start, so I have to really pick it up. That got to me. I was overthinking every ground stroke, every serve,” he noted.

Sid Denduluri expects more of himself and hopes to rebound versus Arcadia. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Denduluri said his service and forehand are his bread and butter.

“Usually I have a great serve. I can rely on my first serve. But I got almost none in,” he pointed out. “My serve is much better. I was so petrified of double faulting.”

Hoover freshman, No. 1 Edward Markosian defeated Denduluri 6-2 and No. 3, senior Anthony Ghadimi survived 6-4.

Denduluri’s 6-0 victory came when sophomore Vahe Haleblian forfeited due to an injured ankle.

Desai defeated Haleblian 6-3 and Ghadimi 6-2, but Markosian prevailed 6-2. Kerimyan staved off Markosian 6-3, and Haleblian 5-2 (retired with the ankle injury) while Ghadimi won 6-4.

Burroughs Boys Soccer Takes Pacific League Title With 4-0 Victory Over Burbank

By Rick Assad

 

Some players simply have a nose for the ball. Manny Gonzalez does and it usually results in a goal.

On Thursday afternoon, Gonzalez, a sophomore forward, had a hat trick and it helped the Burroughs High boys’ soccer team secure a 4-0 victory over host Burbank in a Pacific League finale.

The Indians also became the league champion after Arcadia and Crescenta Valley battled to a 2-2 tie.

Burroughs’ Esteban Alcantar (#10) and Burbank’s Jae Lee fight for the ball. The Indians won 4-0. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The opening half was close with the only score coming in the 37th minute on a 15-yarder from Gonzalez, who could have been called for being offside after receiving a pass.

“We were all facing adversity. Trying to get it going. Trying to get in a groove,” Gonzalez said of the initial half. “The referees were calling what they were calling. It went in [the first goal] and it changed the game.”

Gonzalez collected his second tally after making a clever juke move that brought out Burbank’s goalie.

From there, it was fairly easy as Gonzalez tapped in a five-yarder in the 44th minute to make it 2-0.

Gonzalez’s third goal came in the same manner with another slick move that brought out the goalie and a five-yard kick in the 63rd minute that extended the lead to 3-0.

Burbank’s Michael Danielian and Burroughs’ Matthew Cardenas try to control the ball. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“My goals don’t mean anything without these guys,” said Gonzalez, who has the freshman school-record of 15 goals and 17 this season, which is a school mark for sophomores. “They [teammates] feed me the ball. They constantly support me even when they don’t go in.”

When senior goalie Alfredo Tejeda was asked to kick a 25-yard penalty kick in the 74th minute, the Indians’ lead swelled to 4-0.

“It’s a rivalry game. Burbank came to play. I’m not surprised,” Burroughs coach Michael Kodama said. “The big play was Manny’s goal just before the half.”

Burbank’s best opportrinity to score came in the 61st minute when sophomore midfielder Nick Diaz’s 20-yarder hit the left post. A 30-yard free kick by Diaz came in the second minute.

Elias Galaviz (#24) and Sam Hawksworth (#14) are in a battle for the ball. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Junior midfielder Dylan Mahoney had a 45-yarder in the sixth minute for the Indians (14-5-3 and 10-2-1 in league) and senior midfielder Sam Hawksworth tossed in a 20-yard header in the sixth minute.

Junior defender Levon Sahakyan contributed a 40-yard free kick in the ninth minute for the Bulldogs (3-10-3 and 2-9-3 in league).

Senior forward Matthew Cardenas tacked on a 35-yarder in the 19th minute for the Indians, who beat the Bulldogs 4-1 in the first meeting this season and also won the league banner in 2017.

Junior defender Sebastian Causarano had a 40-yarder in the 23rd minute for Burbank.

Sophomore forward Elias Galaviz had a 15-yarder that the Burbank goalie scooped up in the 23rd minute.

Luis Cortes (#2) for Burroughs and Burbank’s Steven Tom chase the soccer ball. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Junior forward Allen Arsenian’s 30-yarder sailed too high over the net in the 25th minute for the Bulldogs.

The Indians, who were called for six offside penalties in the opening half, closed out the first half with a 25-yarder in the 26th minute by Hawksworth, a 20-yard that drifted wide right in the 27th minute by Galaviz and a 35-yard free kick in the 35th minute by senior forward Estaban Alcantar.

Diaz had a 20-yarder in the 45th minute and senior defender Ocelotl Tellez added a 15-yard header in the 54th minute for the Bulldogs.

Hawksworth had a 15-yarder in the 57th minute and Galaviz had a corner kick in the 58th minute.

Gonzalez delivered a 25-yarder in the 71st minute and Alcantar tossed in a 15-yarder in the 75th minute.

Alcantar added a 32-yarder in the 76th minute, Cardenas a 25-yard free kick in extra time and Gonzalez had a 25-yarder in the extra frame.