Burbank Junior All-Stars win and stay alive in Section 2 baseball tourney

GLENDALE—Burbank's second win in the Major Baseball Section 2 Tournament has left it one of two teams still fighting for the championship.

The victory also enables the locals to go against a team that defeated them just two days prior — Sherman Oaks.

In Monday's elimination game with Quartz Hill, Burbank looked to an offense that has been the team's strength throughout, and did not disappoint yet again, as two home runs and 12 total hits lifted the District 16 Major Baseball champions to a 14-6 victory at Montrose Park that eliminated Quartz Hill from the tournament.

The rematch with Sherman Oaks will be Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Montrose Park — District 16's host site.

"We got hitters," Burbank Coach Thomas Magoon said. "We know that when we need to come through with runs, they will. Not many teams have been able to hold us down."

If Burbank defeats Sherman Oaks, then the two teams will play again on Wednesday. Sherman Oaks has not lost thus far.

For the second time in the tournament, Burbank scored in double figures. Brandon Giraldo led the way with five runs batted in, including a three-run home run in the third inning that broke a 1-1 tie.

"It was a 2-1 count, so I knew it was a hitter's count," said Giraldo, who went two for four. "I knew I had to swing hard, and the ball look good, so I hit it hard and it went out."

Burbank never looked back, scoring 12 unanswered in the midst of Giraldo's clutch hit. Carter Kessinger also hit a home run in the third inning, a solo shot, to give Burbank a 5-1 advantage.

Blaine Traxel, Jacob Barrera and Giraldo, Burbank's 3-4-5 hitters, combined for seven hits and eight runs batted in. It was a complementary and potent lineup from top to bottom, and from the bench, as eight of the 12 position players registered a hit. Joe Metcalf put in a multi-hit day, going two for three.

Traxel's RBI double in the fourth initiated a five-run inning for Burbank, which would capitalize on two costly errors from the Quartz Hill defense.

Barrera's double in the fifth extended Burbank's lead to 11-1. Bryan Oasay's infield single gave Burbank its 12th run of the ball game. Giraldo avoided the tag on a dribbler hit to the second baseman, allowing for Traxel to score.

Burbank's pitching was solid through four innings, giving up three hits and holding Quartz Hill's offense at bay. Quartz Hill had five hits, but did rally in the fifth inning on five walks to score five runs. Alec Lopez's grand slam highlighted the frame, which saw the Burbank lead cut to 12-6.

The rally would not be sustained, however, and the lead proved insurmountable, as Burbank answered with two runs in the sixth and closed out the nearly two-and-a-half-hour hour game shortly after.

Magoon will need every aspect of his squad to play well if Burbank is going to defeat Sherman Oaks on consecutive days and earn the Section 2 Major Baseball championship.

"The kids are going into it," said Magoon, whose team fell to Sherman Oaks, 11-5, on Sunday. "We've faced them three years in a row and they've had our number all three years.

"We're confident, though. [Sunday's] game was closer than the score. It was 6-5 when we ran out of pitching. It's replenished now."

Magoon also said the team is tough, gritty and knows what they need to do to win the game.

"We're going to leave everything out there," he said.

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