BURBANK — Burbank and Burroughs high’s baseball teams don’t need school to be in session to play a rivalry nailbiter.
Meeting at Burroughs for a summertime tilt in the Valley Invitational Baseball League, the rivals needed extra innings to settle what surely isn’t going to be the game with the highest stakes between the two in the coming year.
Niccolo Chuidian scored the game-winning run to give Burroughs a 4-3 victory in the bottom of the ninth inning on Monday night at Burroughs High.
Chuidian, who also pitched the top of the ninth and picked up the win, scored on Johnny Angel’s hard grounder to second.
Chuidian was on his way home from third when Angel beat out a throw at first as Burbank was going for the 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.
“He put the ball in play and hit it hard,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “I’m proud of Johnny. That’s baseball; you never know when the spotlight is going to be on you.”
Burroughs tied the game at 3 on Joseph Estrada’s single, scoring James Turner. Andres Salazar’s sacrifice fly brought home Hyatt Ertz to cut Burbank’s lead down to 3-2.
Tobey Ho came in for relief in the top of the seventh and pitched two innings without giving up a run, setting it up for Chuidian in the ninth.
“I’ll be honest with you, they outplayed us,” Sherwood said. “They brought more to the table in the earlier innings. We didn’t wake up until the last few innings but I’m glad we did.
“They’re going to be a good team this year.”
Burbank struck first with three runs on four hits in the third.
Jakob Duarte led off the inning with a single before stealing second and advancing to third on an error that also had Aidan Gonzalez on the other corner.
Leadoff hitter Oakley Spens’ grounder scored Duarte for the game’s first run. Ryan King singled home Spens and Cody Winters drove Dominik Severo home to cap Burbank’s scoring.
The Bulldogs mustered just three hits over the final six innings.
“I liked our effort,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said. “We played a lot of guys. This time of year it’s about development.
“It’s about the guys getting play time and opportunities and seeing how they respond.”
Burroughs got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning on a single, walk, bunt and two grounders with the bases loaded, one of which resulted in a Collin Johnson run.
Burbank starter Andrew De Latorre went four innings, allowing four hits and two walks. Willem Clendenin and Joshua Balos pitched in relief for the Bulldogs.
Salazar started the game for Burroughs and pitched 3 1/3 before Michael Le pitched 2 2/3.
“Pitching was outstanding,” Hart said. “It was clean baseball. I’ll always live with the results when the game is played clean.”
“I’m thinking long-term,” Sherwood said. “We’re thinking about the spring and how these games are going to help us.”