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Coach leads team back to tourney title game

Jeff Tully

Tom Crowther has vivid memories about the last time the Burroughs

High baseball team advanced to the championship game of the El

Segundo Tournament


In 1996, the first-year coach was a senior on an Indian squad that

was defeated by Simi Valley Royal in the title contest.

Tonight at 7:30, Crowther and Burroughs will get a chance to win

its first championship in the prestigious tourney, after defeating


host Acradia, 4-2, in a semifinal game Thursday.

“It’s nice to be back in the championship,” said Crowther, whose

team lost to Royal, 10-5, seven years ago. “It’s a very good

tournament with a lot of talented teams.

“We are playing well right now and we are excited about being able

to play for a championship in this event.”

To win the title, Burroughs is going to have to defeat Encino

Crespi at El Segundo’s Recreation Park.


Crespi defeated Manhattan Brach Mira Costa, 5-2, on Thursday in

the semifinals.

“We know about Crespi and we realize they have a good team,”

Crowther said. “We scrimmaged them earlier this season and they beat

us up pretty good.

“Crespi is a very good team with a good winning tradition and they

will come to play.”

Crowther said he will start senior ace pitcher Mike Diaz against


the Celts.

The Indians are enjoying one of their best starts in school

history. The team has opened with four straight victories -- all in

the tournament.

“We have tried to search around to find out the last time a

Burroughs team started the season 4-0,” Crowther said. “We think that

it’s safe to say that it’s been close to 25 years since a team

started this well. We are really proud of that accomplishment.”

One of the reasons for the Indians’ success has been the play of

senior Kyle Williams. The leadoff hitter has found a knack for

getting on base, as he has reached safely 16 times in 20 plate


Against Arcadia (3-1), Williams had two hits and was hit by a


Burroughs also received great pitching performances from starting

sophomore left-hander Josh Campbell and Diaz. Campbell improved to

2-0 after throwing 5 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits, no walks and

striking out seven.

Making his first relief appearance since his sophomore season,

Diaz entered in the sixth inning to quell an Apache threat. With one

out and the tying run at second base, Diaz promptly threw six

straight strikes to get the Indians out of the jam.

Diaz made it nine straight strikes to get the first out of the

seventh inning.

Burroughs scored a run in the first inning on two Arcadia throwing

errors. It added two runs in the sixth on hits by Brent Fekety and

Pat Schulties and another in the seventh on two errors and a

run-scoring single by Campbell.

Arcadia -- the defending Pacific League champion -- received a

fine performance from senior pitcher Nolan Bruynincky, a converted

third baseman who had not pitched before this season.

Bruynincky (2-1) surrendered just one earned run, four hits and

struck out 12. He also allowed two walks, but both were intentional

passes to Diaz.

“The Arcadia pitcher threw well enough to win the game,” Crowther

said. “He had good control and it’s too bad he had to lose the game.”