MONTROSE — Ricky Perez wouldn't allow his team to lose in Saturday afternoon's Tri-Cities Tournament of Champions Minor Baseball title game at Montrose Park.
The rest of the Burbank Dukes wouldn't even let it be close.
Burbank pounced on the Vaquero Dodgers early with seven runs in the second inning and added nine more over the course of the game, including an eight-spot in the sixth, all while Perez strung together 5 2/3 scoreless innings with just two hits allowed to earn the win in the 16-1 clincher.
“In a game like this you can't hold back, you've got to score as many runs as you can because the other teams come right back,” Burbank Coach Tony Castiglioni said. “Ricky did awesome. Without him, I think, it would have been maybe a different story, but he was just on.”
The turning point came early when the Dukes scored three runs in the top of the second before the first out was recorded.
Niccolo Chuidian reached on an error to start the rally and scored promptly when Bryce Whitaker (two for three with two runs batted in and two runs scored) tripled to right field. The Dodgers committed another error on next batter Giovanni Castiglioni's ground ball, allowing Whitaker to score and Castiglioni to take second
Ian Haley (two for four) followed with a single and Thomas Wilson drove in Castiglioni with a single to make it 3-0.
With one out, Alberto Ayala (two for five with two runs) singled up the middle to score Haley and after a bases-loading walk to James Markey, Wilson scored on Perez' single to right, which was misplayed for an error that allowed Ayala and Markey to score for a 7-0 lead.
“[It feels] good,” said Perez (three for four with four RBI) of leading his team to the title. “I was feeling good on the mound, it's a championship game. ...[My teammates] were great.”
Perez struck out the side in the bottom of the second and didn't allow a baserunner in the third or fourth, while Burbank upped its lead to 8-0 with a run scored by Markey on an error in the top of the
Burbank sent 13 batters to the plate in the top of the sixth inning, scoring first on a one-out double to left-center field by Perez that plated Markey, who had singled. Next came a run-scoring error and the second triple of the day for Whitaker, who drove in Chuidian to make it
Haley singled in Whitaker to force a pitching change and Alejandro Pardo kept the hit parade going with a two-out ground-rule double to make it 14-0. Perez would drive in the last two runs of the day with a single.
The Dodgers, who got hits from Jacob Romero (two for four), Nate Rangle and Christian Burmutiz, scored their lone run with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Romero singled and scored on an error on Burmutiz' base knock.