By Austin Green
Despite a complete game effort from junior starting pitcher Daniel Neria, Burbank fell short in their CIF Southern Section Division 5 second-round playoff game at Hemet, losing 4-2 on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs were unable to overcome a three-run home run allowed in the bottom of the first inning, which proved to be the difference in the game.
Still, head coach Bob Hart praised Neria’s effort on the mound.
“He was outstanding,” Hart said. “One pitch may have been his downfall, but he was solid.”
Burbank mounted a late rally to bring two runs home but struggled with situational hitting and could not complete the comeback.
Hart’s squad finished the season at 13-6 overall, with a 10-4 league record to finish at third place in the Pacific League.
The longtime Burbank skipper considers the 2021 season one of his more enjoyable years in his tenure there, thanks in no small part to the ability to return to play after the coronavirus pandemic wiped out virtually the entire 2020 season.
“It gives you a heightened sense of appreciation,” Hart said. “The relationships that you build… you really learn to value that. The ride was great for us. Every practice was great. The kids were motivated and had good character and that’s all you could hope for as a coach.”