BURBANK — Burbank High's baseball team, the co-defending league champion, found itself in an all-too-familiar situation Friday of having to play catch-up in a Pacific League game against visiting Glendale.
But, although the Nitros enjoyed a three-run advantage after a big four-run inning, Glendale couldn't hold on to the lead. Burbank battled back, scoring three runs in the fifth inning and tallying the winning score in the sixth, to rally for a 5-4 victory at home.
The win is only the second in league for the Bulldogs (5-11-1, 2-4 in league) this season.
"Nothing has come easy for us this season," Burbank Coach Bob Hart said about his team's effort in battling back from a 4-1 deficit.
"We were without two starters to start the game because of decisions that I made. But we were able to show some resiliency in being able to battle back and I like the fact that we just didn't phone in the game when we got behind. We just kept battling."
Glendale (5-11-1, 2-4) entered the day in a three-way logjam for fourth place in league. Though it took some time for their offense to get rolling, the Nitros looked to be in control when they took the lead in the fifth inning.
"That was the thing; we're not used to being ahead like that in a game," Glendale Coach Alan Eberhart said. "We just had to make plays. We got ahead and we just didn't make the plays that we should have on defense.
"We had our chances. We are getting better because we are in games, we just have to be able to put it all together."
With the score tied at 4, Burbank was able to manufacture the winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning. It all started when Andy Reyes led off the inning and was hit by a pitch. The next batter, Jake Noud, laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Reyes to second. That brought up Reece Loock, who put down another bunt. With Reyes running on the play, the Nitros were able to make a bang-bang play at first to just get Loock, but the baserunner was able to motor all the way from third to score.
"We had a bunt and steal in that situation," Hart said. "Once I saw that he was able to get the bunt down and the fielder lost some concentration, we just turned Reyes loose. And he is faster than you know what, so he was able to make that play happen with his speed."
The Bulldogs received a fine performance from relief pitcher Cameron Briggs, who locked down the Nitros in the final two innings to pick up the win. Briggs struck out the side in the sixth inning on just 10 pitches, then fanned the first two batters he faced in the seventh. He ended the game by inducing an infield pop-up.
Burbank struck first Friday, scoring a run in the third inning. Noud pushed a single through the middle and scored on a double to left-center field by Camden Palmisano.
The Nitros were able to grab a 4-1 lead with four runs in the fifth inning. After consecutive singles by Ethan Howard and Jack Porras, Glendale loaded the bases on a walk by Justin French. The next batter, Connor Rodriguez, lofted a double over the left fielder's head to score Howard and Porras. Two batters later, Thaddeus Wilson came through with a two-run single to center that plated French and Rodriguez.
"Although we did get down, we knew that we could hit their pitching and we just had to be patient," said Palmisano, who was two for three with a double and two runs batted in. "It was just a matter of time until we got to him and we were able to come up with some key hits to do that."
Noud was two for two with a run scored.
The Bulldogs evened the game at 4 with three runs in the fifth inning. Burbank scored one run on an error and the others on RBI singles by Palmisano and Randy Higgins.
Tyler Lousararian also had a hit for Glendale.