Gunnar Nichols pitches a gem to help Burroughs win first baseball title

Gunnar Nichols struck out 10, walked none and threw a five-hit shutout in Burbank Burroughs' 1-0 win.
Gunnar Nichols struck out 10, walked none and threw a five-hit shutout in Burbank Burroughs’ 1-0 win over Moreno Valley in the Division 5 final.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

Each time pitcher Gunnar Nichols faced a pressure situation Friday in the Southern Section Division 5 championship game, the Burbank Burroughs senior pitcher would take a deep breath, then exhale. He was pretty much unflappable and unbeatable. The Pepperdine commit struck out 10, walked none and gave up five hits to help the Bears win their first baseball title in school history with a 1-0 win over Moreno Valley at Cal State Fullerton.

Catcher Mason Medina drove in the game’s only run with a fourth-inning RBI single. After that, it was Nichols dealing and keeping Moreno Valley off balance with a curveball, slider and change.

“The exceptional curveball he had threw us off,” said Moreno Valley pitcher Frank Camarillo, who gave up only two hits and struck out eight.

Burroughs coach Matt Magallon found a way to get his team in position to win a championship with a combination of great pitching and some clutch hitting.

“Our team since last summer has been visualizing this moment,” Nichols said.


Three errors put the pressure on Nichols to escape situations with runners in scoring positions. He got a 3-and-2 count strikeout in the fourth with a runner on third. He got another strikeout in the fifth with a runner in scoring position. He got a double play in the sixth after two runners reached.

He and pitcher Nick Forrest were lights out in the playoffs.

Division 7

Baldwin Park 4, Hueneme 2: Pitcher Jason Martinez got a called third strike on a 3-and-2 count with two outs and two runners aboard in the bottom of the seventh inning to secure the first CIF baseball title for Baldwin Park. He earlier scored the tiebreaking run in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly from Isaiah Ariza.