Tom Crowther has vivid memories about the last time the Burroughs
High baseball team advanced to the championship game of the El
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
“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 Indians are enjoying one of their best starts in school
history. The team has opened with four straight victories -- all in
“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
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.”