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Starkand tosses gem for Dogs

BURROUGHS HIGH — Daniel Starkand has pitched well this season for the Burbank High baseball team. Unfortunately for the senior, he has been involved in some close losses.

The lanky left-hander was given the ball Friday against Burroughs in the first cross-town rivalry contest of the year between the two squads. Starkand made the most of the starting opportunity.

He not only got ahead early in the count continually against the Indians, but he also limited his pitch count and kept the Burroughs batters in check. The end result was a three-hitter by Starkand, who paved the way for a 3-0 Pacific League victory at Burroughs.

“I was getting ahead of hitters and I was getting them to hit my pitch instead of getting their pitch,” Starkand said. “I was getting ahead with my fastball and then once I got ahead I was using my off-speed pitch. My infield was also making the plays behind me.”

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Starkand went the distance, striking out four and walking three in seven innings of work. The senior was unflappable over the course of the first five innings, limiting the Indians (7-10, 4-2 in league) to just a pair of infield hits and retiring 15 of the 16 batters that he faced (one Burroughs baserunner was thrown out at second base). In addition, he didn’t allow an Indians runner past first base in six of the seven innings.

“He just pitched outstanding. I couldn’t be happier for him,” Burbank Coach Bob Hart said. “When you’re dictating instead of reacting, that helps a lot.”

Starkand did get into trouble in the fifth inning. However, the hurler got out of the jam unscathed after a controversial call. Chris Davies walked to open the fifth. That was followed by a base hit to right field by Dillon Disiere and a walk by Brian Pozos. Dylan Goldsack than came to the plate to face Starkand with the bases loaded and no outs. Goldsack powered a grounder to the shortstop, who, seeing he would not likely get a motoring Davies at home with the throw, instead flicked the ball to second to get the out.

On the play, Pozos got tangled up with the second baseman, which resulted in an interference call. Goldsack was not only called out at first, but Davies was sent back to third and Burroughs didn’t get credit for the run.

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Burroughs Coach Kiel Holmes said he didn’t think there was any interference by his baserunner on the play.

“The bottom line was, according to my interpretation of the rule, that was the wrong call,” he said. “Once that call is made, the runner has to go back to third. But I don’t think that call should have been made.

“But you can’t blame anything on an umpire and you can’t blame the loss on that one play. We had to hit the ball better.”

Burbank (7-7, 4-2) began the scoring by pushing across two runs in the second inning. Harrison Hernandez doubled to the left-field corner and scored on a fielder’s choice to second base by John White. The other run was plated by Colson Cripps, who got on base with a single. He stole second — one of three steals on the day for the left fielder — advanced to third on Cripps’ groundout and scored on a passed ball.

The Bulldogs added a run in the seventh when Dylan Mersola led off the inning with a double to left and scored on a towering double over the left-fielder’s head by Hernandez.

Hernandez was two for four with two doubles and a run batted in, Ian McKinnon was two for three with a walk and Mersola was two for four with a double.

“We really didn’t execute our at bats,” Holmes said. “Ultimately, we hit the ball where they were and they got the hits that we didn’t get. To win you’ve got to get runners across the plate, and we didn’t do that.”

jeff.tully@latimes.com

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