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Burbank Junior All-Stars earn title shot after thrilling comeback

It was a thrilling ending two days in the making.

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The Burbank Junior All-Stars baseball team was in the midst of a rally and staging a comeback against Santa Anita late into the evening Monday in the semifinals of the Section 2 Tournament.

But, down by three runs, with two outs and a runner on second, the game at Dunsmore Park in Glendale had to be halted because the sprinklers went on as both teams had to retreat.

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The contest was moved to Tuesday at Tujunga Little League Fields. Undaunted by the layover, Burbank surged back. The Media City squad scored the winning run on a walk-off fielder’s choice in the ninth inning to earn an 11-10 victory.

Burbank had trailed by four runs, 8-2, in the sixth inning.

“I am so proud of these kids and what they were able to accomplish,” said Burbank coach Adrian Cox, whose team captured the District 16 championship in comeback fashion. “Just with our momentum being stopped the day before and walking off the field in the middle of the rally. But the boys came out today and they fought really hard.

“This is a lesson that you learn in sports to never give up because really anything can happen. We kind of had some things stacked up against us and the boys really came through.”

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With Santa Anita, the District 17 representative, holding a 10-9 lead, Burbank went to bat in the bottom of the ninth. Brenton Lewis walked and Aiden Cox (four for five with two doubles, a walk and three runs scored) followed with a double to left-center field that left Lewis on third. An intentional walk to Vasista Dhyasani loaded the bases. Then, Daniel Naria hit a sharp ball to shortstop and Santa Anita tried to get the force at the plate, but the catcher dropped the ball, allowing Lewis to score.

With the score tied at 10, Ryan Entz hit the first ball he saw and sent a ground ball to the shortstop that scored Cox to give Burbank the walk-off victory.

“It was just a wild ending and a crazy game all around,” Adrian Cox said. “I’m just happy that we were able to win it.”

Burbank was down, 8-5, when the game was halted Monday. The Media City squad tied the score at 9 in the seventh inning.

Dhyasani had a hit, three walks and scored three runs for Burbank.

Burbank advanced to the Section 2 championship game at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Dunsmore. It will take on District 51 representative Palmdale. Burbank defeated Palmdale, 9-6, Saturday.

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