BURBANK — Last time out for Burroughs High baseball saw the Indians win a three hour marathon against host Crescenta Valley to take over sole position of first place in the Pacific League.
But that win would lose most of its splendor if Burroughs failed to take care of business Friday hosting a youthful Glendale squad fresh off its first league win. Against the Nitros, Burroughs did not stumble and came away with a 5-0 victory to remain the last undefeated team in Pacific League play.
"We'll take it," Glendale Coach Chris Funaro said of his team's performance. "[Burroughs] is 5-0 in league. They've beaten everybody already. They are a good team."
Burroughs (11-7, 5-0) got a masterful performance from starting pitcher Luis Pereyra, who went five innings before turning the mound over to Brandon Ortega, who pitched a scoreless final two innings for the shutout.
"I think we could have had a more focused approach throughout the game," Burroughs Coach Kiel Holmes said. "Ultimately it comes down to we did what we needed to do. We put our runs up there. We had strong defense. Our pitching was phenomenal today; I'm happy with that."
Pereyra got the win on the strength of nine strikeouts without a walk while allowing two hits in his five innings of work. The senior allowed just an infield single to Glendale leadoff batter Thaddeus Wilson and a single by Ethan Howard to left field on the first pitch of the fifth inning, after which he struck out the next and what turned out to be the final three Nitros he faced.
"[Pereyra] mixed it up," Holmes said. "Threw that cutter, threw that curveball, threw that change-up in there, just had them guessing all day."
The bulk of the offense came from the duo of Brian Pozos and Aiden Anding, who combined to drive in all the Indians' runs. Pozos got things started with a triple off of Glendale starter Brandon Keen that sailed over the center fielder's head in the first inning to drive in two. The senior also laced a double in the fifth.
"I was just looking for something to hit," Pozos said of his first-inning at-bat. "I was mind blank looking to move over my runners and he left the ball right there and I just swung."
Anding drove in the other three runs for the home team. The diminutive sophomore had an RBI groundout in the second inning, driving in fellow sophomore Noah Hoed from third. In the fourth inning, Anding came up with runners at the corners and hit a ball just over the first base bag for a hustle double and two more RBI.
"Anding has been great," Holmes said of his center fielder. "He's a kid that every time you think he's giving as much effort as he's got he finds another gear. He's really starting to develop at the plate a little bit more offensively. Originally he was a defensive call-up."
Glendale (2-11, 1-4) was limited to three hits and generally struggled to generate any threats on offense. The lone thorn in the side of the Indians was Wilson. The Nitros catcher reached base in all three of his plate appearances by way of the infield single to start the game, an error in the third and a walk in the sixth. After the fourth ball of the free pass got away from the Burroughs catcher, the sophomore astutely kept running and ended up on second. He soon stole third base, but was stranded there as Javier Aguayo grounded out to end the scoring chance.
"Thaddeus is a hustler," Funaro said. "He's got a good eye for baseball."
Despite the win, the Indians will still be looking for crisper efforts as they look to stay atop the Pacific League leader board.
"On the board it's a win, but I think that is a step back," Pozos said of the victory over Glendale. "We didn't play our best baseball today and we should have played a lot better than that, I think."