TUJUNGA — The Burbank Junior All-Stars baseball team has rolled through the District 16 Little League tournament.
The Media City team again flexed its muscle Monday in a semifinal game against Jewel City/Jewish War Veterans-Foothill-Vaquero.
Burbank scored six runs in the first inning, received a strong starting performance from starting pitcher Jacob Hurtado and cruised to a 12-3 victory at Tujunga Little League Fields..
In the three-team tournament, Burbank earned a spot in the championship contest at 5 p.m. Wednesday against Crescenta Valley at Tujunga. Burbank will face Crescenta Valley, a team it defeated, 18-0, on Sunday.
“I think we aren’t going to be overconfident for the championship game,” Burbank manager Adrian Cox said. “We have four or five guys from last year’s team and they reached the championship game as well, but we lost. So, I expect them to be ready.”
The loss eliminated the Glendale squad from the tournament.
“Burbank is a team which scored 30 runs in two all-star games, so you have to give them credit … they are a very good hitting team,” Glendale manager Keith Hopkins said. “Scoring 30 runs is not an easy thing to do in two all-star games.
“But it was tough for us when we went down by that many runs in the first inning. When you fall behind 6-0, it’s just very tough to make those runs back up. We were limited in pitching, so that was tough for us, as well.”
Burbank received a strong outing from Hurtado, who picked up the win. Hurtado went four innings with no hits allowed and just one walk.
Hurtado hit lead-off hitter Danny Villela to open the game, but the Burbank defense came up with a double play to erase the runner. With one out in the second, Jonah Cisneros (triple, two walks, one run scored) walked but was left stranded at first.
“When we scored those runs in the first inning that helped me,” Hurtado said. “It let me relax a bit.”
In its portion of the first, Burbank jumped out to a 6-0 lead, bringing 11 players to the plate. With one out, Vasista Dhyasani walked, Daniel Neria singled on a bad hop over the shortstop and Ryan Entz was hit by a pitch. The next batter, Hurtado(two walks, two runs) walked to drive in a run, which chased Glendale starting pitcher Max Cahill. Sattwick Banerjee (two for four, two runs) followed with a single that plated a run.
Burbank then scored two runs on an error and two runs on a base hit to right field by Lorenzo Pinto and a single to left by Brenton Lewis (two for three with two runs batted in).
Four more runs in the fourth increased the Burbank lead to 10-0. Frankie Malagen (three for four with two RBI, three runs) doubled in two runs, Lewis singled home a run and a run came across on an error.
“We have basically one through nine in that lineup who know what they’re doing with the bat,” Cox said. “We can count on at least a good at-bat with a thoughtful approach.”
Glendale finally broke through with two runs in the fifth. Cisneros (two walks, one run) tripled just inside the bag at first and scored on a single in almost the same spot by Natasha Cohen (two RBI, one run). Cohen was plated on a groundout by Jessie Molina.
Cahill legged out an infield single and scored on a fielder’s choice by Cohen in the sixth inning to get Glendale to within 10-3.