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Burbank cool under fire

Baseball: All- Star 9-10 squad wins Section 2 opener despite foe's late rally.

July 16, 2011|By Edgar Melik-Stepanyan, Special to the Leader
  • Burbank's Carter Kessinger pitches the ball during a game against Pasadena American at Arcadia National Little League Fields on Saturday.
Burbank's Carter Kessinger pitches the ball during… (Cheryl A. Guerrero,…)

ARCADIA — There was no need to worry.

No need to panic. No need to unravel.

Holding onto a three-run lead with one out and the tying run at the plate, the Burbank 9-10 Baseball All-Star team knew that it still was going to prevail.

The District 16 champions were right.

Burbank held on, defeating District 17's Pasadena American Little League, 5-2, on Saturday in a first-round game of the Section 2 Tournament at Longden Field in Arcadia.

"We were confident we were going to win this game," Burbank Coach Thomas Magoon said. "We're six pitchers deep. I have confidence in all of the pitchers."

Burbank will play District 40 representative Sherman Oaks — a 9-0 winner against District 51's Quartz Hill on Saturday — at 4 p.m. today in a winner's-bracket game. Magoon expects a tougher challenge from Sherman Oaks.


"They're all a bunch of hitters," he said. "They look tough, but our kids are up to the task."

He limited his pitchers' work Saturday to prepare for today's game.

Magoon used five pitchers — none of who threw more than 33 pitches — to limit Pasadena American to just four hits, three of which came in the bottom of the sixth inning.

The first five Pasadena American hitters in the sixth reached base — three on hits and two on errors — leading to two unearned runs. But, with Pasadena American poised for a rally, Burbank pitchers Gio Zamora and Brandon Giraldo quickly quieted their opponent's faithful.

Zamora struck out Pasadena American's No. 9 hitter on six pitches for the second out and Giraldo induced a groundout to short to end the game.

"The last three outs are the hardest outs to get, whether you're up by 20 or you're up by five," said Magoon, whose team notched its first out of the sixth when Pasadena American — trailing, 5-1 —tried a double steal with a runner at first and third and got tagged out at the plate.

Magoon's defense turned in the play of the game in the fourth.

With Burbank leading, 4-0, Pasadena American loaded the bases with just one out. But Zamora forced a 4-6-3 double play to end the frame and the threat.

"That double play took all of their steam out," Magoon said. "It deflated them. That's what allowed us to get it going."

After being held scoreless through the first three innings, Burbank got it going at the plate in the fourth.

It sent nine batters to the plate, took advantage of four walks — on a total of 19 pitches — and used two hits to score four runs. Zamora, Jacob Barrera, Chris Magoon and Nick MacDonald each scored in the inning. Zamora added a run in the fifth.

Blaine Traxil provided the key hit of the fourth with a two-run single. Traxil, who'll likely start on the mound today, went four for four, and Zamora contributed two hits.

"It took us one time through the lineup to see the pitchers," Thomas Magoon said. "It was just a matter of finding the holes and getting it through the infield. We were confident."

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