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Burbank Junior All-Stars come up short against Palmdale

GLENDALE — Down to its final out, the Burbank Junior All-Stars baseball team rallied.

It had done the same one day earlier.

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Unlike Tuesday’s game that resulted in a berth in the Section 2 championship game, however, Burbank could only tie and not take the lead, this time at Dunsmore Park.

Its season would end soon thereafter as District 51 representative Palmdale won the game, 6-5, in eight innings on a walk-off single to advance to the Southern California Division 3 Tournament.

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“Fantastic season,” Burbank coach Adrian Cox said. “We came out a little flat coming off Tuesday’s win, but they showed a lot of heart. We enjoyed the all-star season.”

It was the third consecutive day out on the baseball field for Burbank, which had Monday’s game finish on Tuesday. Both the semifinal and the final went into extra innings.

Palmdale’s Abraham Cortez singled home Justin Brisco for the walk-off in the bottom of the eighth. Burbank enjoyed its own walk-off on Tuesday over Santa Anita, three days after defeating Palmdale, 9-6, on Saturday.

“We didn’t have good at-bats,” Cox said. “We were swinging at pitches out of the zone. We kept popping out. ...I think we had 12 popouts, could have been more.”

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Burbank’s offense couldn’t figure out Palmdale starter Angel Molina, who pitched 6 2/3 innings. He was one out from victory with a 5-2 lead in the top of the seventh when Cox called for time and mentioned his pitch count to the scorekeeper and to the umpire.

“We had him at 97; we knew the count,” he said. “I have my subs keep count. We knew their guy was going to go all game.

“Can’t rely on the stands. They’re trying to be a scorekeeper and an announcer and everything.”

The move forced Palmdale to a pitching change and Burbank capitalized.

Vasista Dhyasani started the two-out rally with a walk, issued by reliever Brian Hernandez. Daniel Neria followed with a single before Ryan Entz brought them both home with a double to cut the Palmdale lead to 5-4.

Hernandez walked Jacob Hurtado, hit Satturik Bonejee and walked Frankie Malagon with the bases loaded, scoring Entz to tie the game.

Burbank was unable to score the go-ahead run loading the bases.

They weren’t able to muster anything in the top of the eighth, either, leading to the game-winning run by Palmdale.

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“Mentally focused,” Palmdale coach Angel Molina said. “We have nine [players] strong. We’ve been grinding it out from district to sections.”

Entz got the scoring started in the second inning as he scored on a throwing error to third after leading off the inning with a double to deep center.

Palmdale answered with two runs in the fourth off Burbank starter Neria.

Neria was integral in Burbank tying the score at 2-2 in the top of the fifth, loading the bases to allow Daniel Edwards to score on a groundout.

Palmdale would again take the lead in the sixth with three runs on four hits off Hurtado, who relieved Neria to start the bottom half of the inning. Burbank again rallied, unphased.

Unfortunately for Burbank, they wouldn’t have a third chance to answer.

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