Burroughs should be in hunt

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High school baseball has begun and Burroughs has the talent and dedication to challenge for the Pacific League title despite losing ace pitcher Kyle Nicol, who is playing for Cal State Northridge.

The Indians are coming off a campaign in which they made the CIF Southern Section playoffs, but lost in the opening round.

Burroughs (19-7 and 12-2 in league) tied for first place along with Crescenta Valley.

Head coach Craig Sherwood thinks the league banner will be a real dogfight.

“I’m really not sure what I have this season,’’ he said. “We’ve been good and we’ve been not so good.’’

Burroughs opened the season last Saturday with a 23-3 loss to Agoura in the Easton Tournament and will begin league play at Hoover on March 28.

Sherwood prides himself on defense. “That’s our No. 1 goal every year,’’ he said. “If you don’t hit well, you can always rely on your defense.’’

Sherwood said the Falcons are the likely top choice. “I think CV’s the favorite to win the league,’’ he noted “They have pitching and tradition. But Burbank is much improved. We’re in the mix and so is Pasadena and Arcadia.’’

Winning and losing is often swayed by the pitching staff which includes seniors Riley Hooper, Matthew Rudas, Henrik Buchanan, juniors Sal Cabezas, Jacob Real, Brandon Ortega and sophomore Niccolo Chuidian.

“In high school, you don’t rebuild, you reload,’’ said Sherwood. “But it’s up to the players to perform. It’s up to the players to succeed.’’

The Indians have several good hitters and they include senior infielder Justin Palafox, junior first baseman Nathan Palafox and senior infielder Brandon Martinez.

The rest of the team consists of senior infielder Erik Gonzalez, senior outfielder Angel Estrada, juniors outfielder/catcher Steven Gonzalez, catcher Matthew Diaz, outfielders Brandon Giraldo, Andrew Jacob Barrera, Casey Cromie, Daniel Leonard and Revin Diego, who can also catch.

The others are freshman infielder Ricardo Perez, Adan Perez and Patrick Hillesland.

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