BURBANK — What exactly can be extrapolated from a summer league baseball tournament and from an individual game is certainly up for debate.
For both the Burroughs High and Loyola baseball teams, there were some positives for squads mixing up rosters and experimenting with lineups.
The visiting Cubs, though, earned themselves another day of tinkering, while the Indians are due for a break after Loyola held on for a 3-2 victory in Saturday morning’s quarterfinal of the Valley Invitational Baseball League tournament at Burroughs.
With the win, Loyola punched its ticket to Tuesday’s semifinals, while Burroughs heads into vacation.
“We went to the run bank and there was nothing left, it was empty,” Burroughs skipper Craig Sherwood said. “I guess we spent all our runs in getting here and now it’s time for a break.
“I think we played really well getting here and it’s been a good experience for our team, but we’ve played about 90 games this past season and it’s time to have a little rest.”
Burroughs qualified to Saturday’s contest by bludgeoning archrival Burbank, 18-3, on Thursday.
Yet, the offense largely didn’t carry over for the Indians, who trailed the Cubs, 3-1, heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Burroughs caught a break, though, when No. 9 batter Randy Catlett reached on a two-base error to lead off the inning.
While Loyola closer Michael Rodriguez shook off the gaffe in retiring Burroughs’ next two hitters, the Indians closed the gap to one run when Max DeAmicis singled in Catlett.
The hit brought up clean-up batter Thomas Wilson, who had posted earlier success versus Loyola starting pitcher Daniel Caruso.
Wilson didn’t wait versus Rodriguez, sharply lining a first pitch that tailed into the path of Loyola’s diving right fielder for the final out of the game.
“I thought I had something,” said Wilson, who was one for three with a walk and RBI. “I squared up the pitch and I was surprised it was caught. I have to give credit to the right fielder for positioning well and making the play.”
Loyola wasn’t dragged into extra innings thanks to an insurance run scored in the top of the seventh when Caruso (two for four with a run) doubled, was sacrificed to third by center fielder Awari Mouneke and scored on a sacrifice fly from Matt McGeagh (one run and RBI).
“We like to consider ourselves a fundamentally sound team, but during the summer we like to swing away,” Loyola Coach Mike Cordero said. “I was really proud of Awari, our No. 3 guy, laying down a bunt and giving away a summer at-bat. Those are the types of things you like to see.
“We’re missing a bunch of players, but it’s nice to see some of the younger guys making plays and some of the returners setting good examples.”
Two innings of scoreless ball gave way to three consecutive half innings of one run each.
Loyola broke the stalemate with a run in the third when McGeagh, who singled with one out, eventually scored on a sacrifice fly to right from Matt Perasso.
Burroughs countered with a game-tying run in the bottom of the third thanks in part to a rare mistake as Caruso’s backstop mate, Perasso, was called for catcher’s interference on what was an inning-ending strikeout of DeAmicis.
Because of the error, Burroughs’ Omar Tejada (walk) was not stranded at third as DeAmicias was awarded first base.
Burroughs’ next batter, Wilson, then singled up the middle to bring in Tejada and knot the game at 1.
The game did not remain tied for long, though, as Loyola’s Hayden Tapert singled in the fourth and later scored on sacrifice fly from Justin Morris.
Caruso picked up the victory for Loyola, allowing one run on two hits with five strikeouts through four innings.
The Burroughs pitching duo of starter Jesse Galindo and reliever Kyle Nicol combined to allow three runs on nine hits with six strikeouts, while stranding nine base runners in seven innings.
“We don’t have overpowering arms, but we have smart pitchers who know how to work,” Sherwood said. “Jesse did a good job and has proven himself reliable. Overall, I’m happy with what I saw.”