First published in the May 21 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
The Burroughs High School varsity baseball team punched its ticket to the CIF-SS Division V championship game for the first time in school history as junior Nick Forrest twirled a complete-game shutout in the semifinal round to help defeat host Tustin, 2-0, on Tuesday.
He finished his outing with 13 strikeouts, including eight in a row in the first three innings, allowing just four hits and one walk on 105 pitches (74 strikes) while throwing a first-pitch strike to 16 of the 25 batters he faced. Forrest also helped himself at the plate, adding a crucial insurance run in the top of the fourth on a two-out, RBI base hit.
The Bears wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, as sophomore leadoff hitter Nate Chapman opened the game with his first of three doubles that afternoon. He later came around to score on a passed ball and JBHS never looked back.
Senior Andrew Chapman and junior Steven Suarez each tallied a base hit, senior Mason Medina walked once and scored after reaching on an error, and senior Lim Cebellos and junior Sebastian Zamora each walked once.
The Bears (21-10 overall record), who have won their past five games and 10 of their last 11, advanced to the title game and played Moreno Valley (27-3 overall) at Cal State Fullerton last night; the result was unavailable by the Burbank Leader’s press deadline and will be included in next week’s issue.
“I feel great for these boys; they deserve it,” JBHS head coach Matt Magallon said. “These boys simply bought in and without their buy-in, this wouldn’t be possible. We have a lot of young players and a lot of them coming back too, which is scary.”
BURROUGHS 5, NOGALES 2
Behind a dominant pitching performance by senior Gunnar Nichols, the Bears defeated visiting Nogales High of La Puente in a CIF quarterfinal game last Friday. Nichols finished the afternoon allowing eight hits, two runs (one earned) and one walk with 10 strikeouts.
“It was definitely off and on, but when it was on, it was really working against them,” Nichols said about his curveball, which he used to strike out six batters. “It definitely felt good.”
Burroughs already built a 5-0 lead before Nogales scratched across an unearned run in the top of the fifth and added their final run in the bottom of the seventh.
“It definitely let me settle in a little bit easier to have that early lead because if there was a hit, it wasn’t as stressful,” Nichols said about JBHS’ early scoring. “I could just focus on pitching and getting the outs.”
Zamora collected a pair of base hits and two RBIs, while Suarez went 2-for-2 with a double, a stolen base and a hit by pitch. “Coming off a back injury, Suarez has just been flawless,” Magallon said. “He is a glue guy; he is a guy that keeps this train running and he flips the lineup more often than not. He’s been fantastic for us all year — we are very lucky to have him.”
Nate Chapman finished with a base hit, an RBI, a stolen base and a run scored, sophomore Mason Mahay produced a base hit and a run scored, and Medina tallied a base hit.
Junior Jarell Bijasa, who pinch-hit for Cebellos in the bottom of the fifth, registered a base hit in his lone plate appearance, and Andrew Chapman never had an official at-bat but reached on a pair of hit-by-pitches and a walk with two stolen bases and two runs scored. Forrest scored once after reaching on an error and stole second base.