First published in the April 30 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
The Burbank and Burroughs high school varsity baseball teams clashed at Burbank for a crucial intracity rivalry game on Tuesday.
Burbank first baseman Jimmy Cafferty played hero by delivering a walk-off base hit in the bottom of the ninth inning to help the Bulldogs win the Pacific League matchup, 2-1, on senior night. He finished the evening with an additional base hit earlier in the game.
The victory helped Burbank secure a top-three finish in the league standings while moving into a tie for second place with Burroughs. (The final contest between the Bulldogs and the Bears occurred on Friday, but the result was unavailable by the Burbank Leader’s press deadline.)
Both starting pitchers were locked in a pitchers’ duel, as the Bulldogs sent Josh DiPietro to battle Burroughs senior Gunnar Nichols. DiPietro was handed a no-decision after tossing seven strong innings, allowing one unearned run on five hits and one walk with eight strikeouts. Meanwhile, Nichols pitched eight innings of three-hit ball, allowing one earned run while striking out 12 batters.
Burbank reliever Jose Avellaneda earned the win by pitching two perfect innings with a pair of strikeouts, but Burroughs junior Sebastian Zamora, who added a base hit at the plate, was tagged with the loss after giving up the walk-off base hit to Cafferty.
Burbank catcher Jared Cantu doubled and added an RBI, while second baseman Wyatt Lamarsna and shortstop Danny Betancourt each registered a base hit and a run scored. Teammate Daniel Neria tallied a base hit, while left fielder Ben Baptiste and outfielder Julian Gonzalez each walked once.
Meanwhile, senior Andrew Chapman produced a pair of base hits for Burroughs (16-10 overall record, 10-3 in league), and senior Mason Medina and junior Jarell Bijasa each posted a base hit. Sophomore Dylan Conahan scored once and junior Steven Suarez walked once.
Following the conclusion of the regular season this week, both Burbank (15-7 overall, 10-3 in league) and JBHS, ranked No. 2 in this week’s CIF-SS Division V poll, will await their postseason fate when the brackets are released on Monday, May 2, at 10 a.m.