It was a good beginning for the Burroughs High baseball team.
Playing on the road Wednesday afternoon against Downey in a CIF Southern Section Division III wild-card game, the Indians scored a run in the top of the first inning to stake themselves to an early lead.
But the Vikings came right back and tallied two runs in the bottom of the first frame to take a lead they would never relinquish.
Five errors played a huge part in Burroughs’ undoing, as it saw its season come to an end with a 5-1 loss.
“I wake up every day and think in my heart that we can win whatever game that we’re playing that day,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “But you just can’t win when you can’t play catch. Our motto for our program is to play catch and we didn’t do that today. I am just so disappointed that we couldn’t play catch.
“I’ll tell you, if you can’t play defense you can’t win games.”
The Indians, who placed fourth in the Pacific League, ended the season at 13-16.
Burroughs finished with seven hits compared to just three for Downey.
“Our pitching has been solid all year and it was solid again today,” Sherwood said. “They didn’t deserve what they got today with the errors.”
Burroughs took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after leadoff hitter Brian Garcia doubled to center field. Nicco Chuidian sacrificed Garcia to third and he was able to score on a ground-out by Julian Jaramillo.
Downey (17-13), the runner-up from the San Gabriel Valley League, answered in the bottom of the first inning with two runs to make it 2-1.
The teams played to a stalemate for the next three innings. Burroughs had an inning-ending double play in the third to keep Downey from adding to its lead.
However, in the bottom of the fifth, the Vikings took advantage of two Indians errors to plate three runs to increase their advantage to 5-1.
Burroughs was finally able to add to its run total in the seventh inning. Andres Salazar led off with a walk and Nathan Palafox (one hit, one walk) followed with a single to left. After a pop-out, Collin Johnson delivered a base hit to right to load the bases. Garcia (two for four with a run batted in and a run scored) hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Salazar (one hit, one walk), but Johnson was thrown out at second trying to advance on the play.
The Indians put runners on base throughout the game. In the third, Jacob Barrera led off with a single to left but was stranded. In the fourth, Diaz singled to center with one out and the Indians couldn’t bring him home and, in the sixth, Garcia had a leadoff base hit to center and was not picked up.
“We haven’t hit all year, so today was just par for the course,” Sherwood said. “We have left over 200 men on base this year. You just can’t go into a game expecting something different to happen that hasn’t happened in the last 28 games.”
Downey received a good effort from starting pitcher Steven Hallinan. The senior went 6 1/3 innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits while striking out seven and walking two.