WOODLAND HILLS — Having seen the summer season end Monday, Burroughs High baseball coach Craig Sherwood began looking ahead to the spring.
Burroughs saw its season wrap up with a 3-2 loss against top-seeded host El Camino Real in a Valley Invitational Baseball League quarterfinal game.
A few minutes following the final out, Sherwood said he could see the improvement made by the Indians over the past five weeks.
“I really like where we are now and there’s a lot of things for me to be proud of about our team,” said Sherwood, whose team finished fourth in the Pacific League and fell to Downey in a CIF Southern Section Division III wild-card contest last season. “We just held our own against the No. 1 seed in the playoffs in El Camino Real and we’ve become a team of ballplayers. That’s exactly what I wanted to see.
“We saw our team grow over the entire summer and we are now on the right track. There’s a positive feeling among our group.”.
Eighth-seeded Burroughs started the playoffs Saturday with a 4-3 win against No. 9 Canyon Country Canyon.
Things looked good for the Indians early against the Conquistadores, who won the VIBL championship last summer before advancing to the L.A. City Section Open Division championship game in the spring.
Jesse Rodriguez singled to score Michael Le and give Burroughs a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
“It was great to get off to a start like that,” said Rodriguez, a senior left fielder. “We were looking to try to get a couple of more runs early on, but we couldn’t convert.
“That’s a very good team over there in El Camino Real and they do a lot of things very well. We gave it a real good run and we have something now to build off of going into next season.”
El Camino Real scored twice in the bottom of the first. A run-scoring single by Parker Tuszynski made it 1-1 and Adam Christopher followed with an RBI single to give the Conquistadores a 2-1 lead.
El Camino Real made it 3-1 in the fifth on a double down the left-field line that scored Tuszynski to make it 3-1.
Burroughs closed to within 3-2 in the sixth. Collin Johnson doubled to score Le, who walked with one out.
Burroughs threatened in the seventh. Andres Salazar singled with one out against reliever Cole Kitchen. Kitchen then got a strikeout and a groundout to pick up the save.
“We battled right down to the end,” Sherwood said.
Christopher picked up the win, going five innings. The right-hander allowed one run on two hits and struck out six.
Le scored both runs for the Indians, who finished with four hits.