Nitros' struggles continue in defeat

BURBANK — It might not be too early to look ahead for the Glendale High baseball team.

With the Nitros all but certain from being absent from the CIF playoffs next month, Glendale Coach Jesus Osuna would settle for the Nitros being competitive with two weeks left in the regular season.

"It's been about us not being able to make the adjustments," Osuna said after visiting Glendale suffered an 11-0 loss to host Burbank on Friday afternoon in a Pacific League game called in the fifth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule. "I want us to make those adjustments and compete.

"We have seven starters who are juniors and will be back next year. We have to look at the next two weeks as setting the tone for next season."

Glendale (4-12, 2-8 in league) was limited to four hits — all singles. Zach Fields finished with two hits and Joseph Franco and Evan Norton had one hit apiece.

The Nitros had two quality scoring chances, but didn't convert on either.

Fields said the Nitros have been pressing lately.

"We have to take what we learn from practice and apply it to the game," Fields said. "We also have to keep working on our fundamentals and go play to the ability we are expected to.

"We need to go out there and set the tempo instead of giving up five runs in the first inning. We also have to play better defense."

After Glendale failed to score with runners on first and second and one out in the top of the first, Burbank (9-13, 4-5) scored five runs in its half of the inning against Glendale starting pitcher Jason Marquez. A two-run double by James Johnson made it 3-0. A squeeze bunt by Chris Okimoto gave the Bulldogs a 4-0 lead before Daniel Starkand's single extended the advantage to 5-0.

Burbank Coach Bob Hart said the Bulldogs sought a quick start.

"You always want to be ale to set the tone, sometimes you can do that early," Hart said. "Fortunately, we were able to score early.

"We wanted to come out aggressive. When you can do that, you get good results. When you don't, you can get abused sometimes."

The Bulldogs scored three runs in the second against Marquez to extend the lead to 8-0.

In the top of the fourth, the Nitros loaded the bases with one out, but Burbank starting pitcher Andrew Hernandez (4-2) got Rafael Rios to bounce into an around-the-horn double play. Hernandez struck out seven.

"[Hernandez] did a great job getting out of that," Osuna said. "He was able to keep the ball down most of the time.

"We swung at way too many more balls than strikes."

The Bulldogs, who won both season matchups against the Nitros, scored three runs in the fourth to close out the scoring.

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