BURBANK — There weren’t many chances for the Burbank High baseball team to find its footing in the batter’s box against Village Christian on Saturday.
The Bulldogs hosted the Crusaders in a nonleague game coming off a 13-run Pacific League win against Hoover on Friday. But against the Crusaders, the hosts strung together just two hits.
Village Christian scored both of its runs in the third inning to shut out the Bulldogs, 2-0, at Burbank.
“That’s good baseball,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said. “I’m OK with that. I see more valuable in that than I do railing up on somebody the night before with a 15-2 win against Hoover. There’s really, actually, intrinsically more value in these types of games.
“It doesn’t reflect on the score, but we faced solid pitching. Well-coached team. I have no issues with losses like that. You always want to win, don’t get me wrong, but if there’s such a thing as a quality loss, that would be it.”
Burbank was hitless in five innings and the Bulldogs’ lone hits came in the first and seventh innings.
There were fine pitching performances turned in by both teams’ pitchers.
Bulldogs senior starter Davis Mieliwocki threw six innings and fanned six, walked two, scattered four hits and allowed two runs scored — one earned.
Village Christian’s starting pitcher and San Diego State-bound Danny Veloz went six innings, struck out six, walked one and gave up two hits. Crusaders reliever and Cal State Northridge commit Tobias Plotkin struck out all three batters he faced at the bottom of the seventh.
“It was a 2-0 game,” said Village Christian coach Chris Casey, who was part of the coaching staffs at Bellarmine-Jefferson and Glendale Community College before taking over the Crusaders’ program in 2017. “I think Bob Hart and his staff do a great job over here at Burbank. I’ve been watching them for years.
“This was a very, very well-played game and it could’ve gone either way. They’ve got some great kids over there and are well-coached and play the game right. I have tremendous respect for Bob and this program. We got them this time.”
Mieliwocki registered the first hit of the game for Burbank (7-11-1) in the bottom of the first inning with a two-out double, but was stranded at second after a strikeout ended the inning.
Veloz and the Village Christian (19-7) defense faced 15 Burbank batters through five innings after Mieliwocki’s double before Bulldogs shortstop Ryan King led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to center.
“We were trying to hit a lot of fastballs,” Mieliwocki said. “He had a pretty nasty slider-sinker that he was throwing a lot. We didn’t get a whole lot of opportunities to get a lot of hittable pitches, but the goal was just to find a hittable pitch and don’t miss it. Unfortunately, we didn’t do that a lot tonight.
“We had two hits, but give credit to the pitcher. He was really good tonight.”
Mieliwocki gave up a lead-off walk to start the third inning and Veloz reached first on a Burbank throwing error from center field to second base. With runners on second and third, Plotkin grounded out to first to score the game’s first run to give Village Christian a 1-0 lead.
The Crusaders followed with another ground-out to shortstop and Burbank resident Ricky Perez scored Veloz to make it 2-0.