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Burbank rides big inning to title

MONTROSE — The Burbank 9-10 All-Star Baseball team didn’t want to extend its stay in the District 16 Tournament.

If Burbank didn’t defeat Tujunga in the championship game Wednesday, it would have to come back and face the same opponent the next night in an if-necessary game. That would leave the squad with just one day’s rest before having to open Section 2 Tournament play Saturday — if it was able to come away with a victory.

The locals didn’t want to take any chances.

Burbank wasted little time showing it meant business, pushing across eight runs in the first inning and rolling to a 14-1 win against Tujunga at Montrose Park.

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The game was called after four innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.

“We knew we wanted to win the game [Wednesday] so we wouldn’t have to worry about having to come back in Thursday,” Burbank Manager Thomas Magoon said. “Not having to play on Thursday gives us another day to rest and practice, and it’s especially good for our pitchers.”

The Burbank pitchers Carter Kessinger, who started, and Blaine Traxel, limited Tujunga to just two hits, with just one of those getting out of the infield. Kessinger went 2 1/3 innings, striking out five, walking one and surrendering the two hits. Traxel went 1 2/3 innings, striking out four of the five batters he faced.

The same success couldn’t be attributed to a trio of Tujunga pitchers, who all had trouble finding the strike zone.

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Burbank took advantage of its opponent’s pitching woes, scoring its eight first-inning runs on just one hit and making Tujunga pay for eight walks.

“In that first inning their pitcher was having problems, so we told the guys to just be patient at the plate,” Magoon said. " But our plan all along as to jump on them early, and try and score some early runs. It was nice to get all of those runs early in the game.

The Tujunga starter walked eight of Burbank’s first nine batters. Traxel had the only hit — a double — sandwiched among the free passes, as he knocked in Max Meltzer who had opened the game with a walk. Chris Magoon, Nick McDonald, Jessie Rodriguez and Leo Carranza also walked to force in runs in the first.

When Carranza, the No. 9 hitter, walked, Burbank had an 8-0 lead and Tujunga had yet to record an out.

Tujunga finally ended the onslaught when it recorded a fly-out and its third baseman pulled off a nifty unassisted double play.

Burbank sent 12 batted to the plate in the first inning.

After the big opening inning, Tujunga settled down, retiring the Burbank batters in the second and third innings without yielding a run.

“They were able to shut us down in those two innings,” Thomas Magoon said of Tujunga. “They made some good defensive plays.”

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Tujunga recorded another double play, a 4-6-3 gem, in the second inning.

Tujunga scored its lone run in the third inning when Dakota Gary singled and was knocked in by a single by Charlie Rocca.

Traxel was three for four with a triple, a double and five runs batted in. His bases-loaded triple in the fourth inning helped Burbank account for five runs in the frame.

Carranza also had a single, as all of Burbank’s 11 players reached base at least once during the contest.

The win puts Burbank into a Section 2 opening-round game at 1 p.m. today at Longden Field in Arcadia. Also taking part in the four-team tournament are squads from the San Fernando Valley, Antelope Valley and Pasadena areas.

“We know things ate going to only get tougher now that we’re in the section tournament,” Thomas Magoon said. “We have to definitely play our best.”


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