If Burbank High baseball head coach Bob Hart is able to predict the future, then the Bulldogs will be contenders for the Pacific League banner.
That is if several key players like senior Danny Porras and senior Jake Kelley, who were on the highly successful football team that reached the CIF Southern Section title game, recover from injuries and are able to contribute.
“If we’re healthy, then I think that we’re capable of being right there,’’ said Hart of the league battle that should include favorite Crescenta Valley. “But if we’re not healthy, then the other guys have an opportunity to seize the moment and step up.’’
Another potential problem is that seniors Forest Fajardo and Andy Reyes, who were also important members of the football team, will not be on the baseball squad because Fajardo would rather concentrate on football while Reyes is ineligible because of grades.
The Bulldogs, who are currently 4-3, are coming off a season in which they went 9-13 overall, 8-6 in league action and a 3-2 wild-card setback to Mayfair in the postseason.
But make no mistake; there is talent on the field including senior third baseman Henry Leake, who was an all-league pitcher a season ago.
The other pitchers should include seniors Matthew Lungaro and Colby Vosgien.
“I think our pitching is going to be fine,’’ said Hart. “Colby is a left-hander and has been injured, but we’re hoping that he’s going to be able to help us.’’
The rest of the starters include sophomore Davis Mieliwocki at first base, senior Jonathan Castaneda at second base, sophomore Matthew Porras at third base and the outfield, junior Max Meltzer at shortstop and junior Matthew Shaugabay at catcher.
The outfield will consist of senior Chris Minnick in left field, senior Branden Phillips in center field and junior Abiezer Delgado in right field.
The remainder of the squad will be made up of senior Owen Ruiz, who will play in the outfield, senior Chris Guerra at first base and the outfield and senior Javier Reyes who will toil at first base and the outfield while junior Erik Higgins will patrol the outfield and junior John Ennis is a first baseman and outfielder.