The Burbank High softball team advanced past the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 5 playoffs without ever setting foot on the diamond. The Bulldogs’ opening opponent, Coast Union, had forfeited due to a lack of players.
So, for all intents and purposes, the Bulldogs’ postseason journey began in the second round by hosting Oxnard Santa Clara.
As it turned out, it was also where that journey came to an end. The Bulldogs were never really able to break through against Saints’ pitcher Mia Guerrero and fell, 7-3, in their CIF-Southern Section Division 5 second round playoff game Saturday afternoon at Maxam Memorial Park.
Senior designated hitter Devin LeClair capped off a seven-run second inning with a towering grand slam over the right field fence and the Burbank High School’s baseball team never looked back, handing Baldwin Park Sierra Vista an 11-3 drubbing in their CIF-SS Division 5 playoff opener.
Burbank (13-5 record) only recorded six hits, but also worked nine walks and took advantage of all four errors Sierra Vista committed on Tuesday.
In his second year as Burbank High School’s head boys’ basketball coach, Sid Cooke has celebrated each major victory with a five-word mantra. He said it when the Bulldogs beat Los Angeles Shalhevet to open the season and again when they rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Crescenta Valley on the road in league play.
So when Burbank upset Santa Ana Foothill, the No. 1 seed in the CIF Southern Section 3AA bracket, 79-73 in a double-overtime thriller on Tuesday, Cooke knew exactly how to describe it.
Kelsey Acosta of John Burroughs threw a complete game four-hitter and the Bears’ defense made several clutch plays behind her to help complete a season sweep over archrival Burbank with a 2-1 win on Wednesday.
“She was incredible,” Burroughs head coach Doug Nichols said of his ace. “It took a few innings to find her rhythm, but once she did, it was over.”
The world has changed dramatically since when the John Burroughs High School girls’ basketball team faced Whittier Christian in the CIF Southern Section Division 2A quarterfinals in February 2020, and when the two teams squared off in the first round of the 2021 Division 2AA playoffs on Thursday.
Everything from the ubiquitous mask-wearing in Burroughs’ Hurst Gym, to the host school’s abrupt mascot name change from Indians to Bears earlier this spring, to the game’s 3:30 p.m. start time to accommodate Burroughs’ senior graduation ceremony that night because the game was being played in late May, would have seemed strange early last year.
But history still repeated itself as Burroughs eliminated Whittier Christian from sectional playoffs the second straight year, pulling away late for a 55-45 victory.
Burbank pitchers Ian Schenk and Ryan King combined for a complete-game shutout and King scored the game’s only run on a delayed double steal in the sixth inning as the Bulldogs handed Crescenta Valley its first league loss at home in a 1-0 pitchers’ duel at Stengel Field on Tuesday night.
The win tied Burbank with Crescenta Valley for second place in the Pacific League standings entering Friday’s game between the two schools at Burbank. It also got the Bulldogs back on track after two 10-run losses to Pacific League-leading Arcada the week prior.
Despite an early one-set lead and outside hitter Jonathan Coleman’s team-high 14 kills, Burbank fell to Laguna Hills on the road, three sets to one, in the first round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs on Tuesday. The scores were 25-20, 19-25, 20-25, 21-25.
Coleman also had an impressive 16 digs, second only to libero Meena Amari’s 19, and a service ace. Amari also led the Bulldogs in aces with two.