Photo by Leonard COUTIN
By Brian PARK
The Falcons were the better team, but the only reasons they would lose, shaky pitching and fielding errors, came plentiful in the beginning innings of the 6-4 Falcon win against Burbank High School(8-7 overall, 2-2 in league play) on April 2, at Stengel Field.
As far as the score implies, the Falcons were dominant on the mound and on the plate, but fielding errors made the win a lot closer than it should have been.
Sophomore Pitcher Nate Rousey allowed only one earned run on five hits during his five innings on the mound. Although only one run was earned, the fielding errors led to several Bulldogs on base. The Falcons got out of the shaky first inning in which four Burbank players reached base, for an early 1-0 Bulldogs lead.
At the bottom of the firstinning, the Falcons came out swinging. Freshman Shortstop Cole Currie led off with a line-drive single to reach first base. Sophomore Centerfielder Elliot Surrey then hit a triple on a line drive down right field, allowing Currie to reach base to tie the score at one apiece.
After Burbank was able to get their first out of the inning, Sophomore Outfielder Troy Mulcahey hit a single down center field to bring Surrey home for a 2-1 lead; a lead the Falcons would not lose for the rest of the game. The inning ended on the next batter as he grounded into a double play.
Burbank standout Chase Mersola was the first batter at the plate to start the second inning. Mersola bashed a solo homer down centerfield to tie the game at 2-2, giving Burbank their final point of the inning. Although shaken by the homer, Rousey recuperated by finishing the top of the inning without allowing another hit.
Again, the Falcons had an answer for the Burbank score. The Falcons used their big bats to muscle in two more runs against the Burbank defense to extend their lead to 4-2 at the bottom of the second.
Just when the game looked like it would be a shoot-out, the tide shifted toward a defensive stalemate. Rousey seemed to pitch with a new intensity, only allowing two more hits at his time on the mound.
The Falcons were able to squeeze in two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to extend their lead to four.
The pesky Bulldogs did not go down without a fight though. As frisky as a Bulldog could possibly be and with a hint of luck, Burbank seemed set for a rally. Burbank ferociously tried to get back in the game, getting on base quickly in the top of the sixth inning. Then, with a error by the Falcon outfield, the Bulldogs were able to score a run and get a runner on second base. The Bulldogs scored on a sacrifice fly ball to get within two points of the Falcons.
The inning ended quietly, as the Falcons failed to score in the bottom of the sixth.
Troy Mulcahey stepped on the mound as a reliever to finish the game off and pitched flawlessly, not allowing a score to end the game with a 6-4 Falcon win.