NORTHEAST GLENDALE — A deep pitching staff is a luxury when it comes to condensed all-star tournaments.
The Foothill-Jewel City/Jewish War Veterans got a taste of what advantage it gives a team like Burbank in the opener of the District 16 Junior Baseball All-Star tournament Friday at Scholl Canyon Ball Fields.
Burbank clearly had the advantage on the mound, despite making six pitching changes compared to Foothill's three in the game. Burbank's pitchers held Foothill to six hits and two earned runs in the 12-6 victory.
"We are very fortunate, we basically have nine solid pitchers on a 12-man roster," Burbank Coach Mike Lockheimer said. "All teams should be as lucky as we are with that. We've been on the other end of that and this year we're fortunate we have that."
It didn't hurt that Burbank's offense was on fire Friday, as it piled on 13 hits. Tony Argenziano, Fischer Cabot (two for three), Randy Catlett and Danny Porras each collected two runs batted in for Burbank.
"We started the season not hitting very well at all and we've progressively gotten to where we are today," Lockheimer said. "The kids have really come around on their own — gone to the batting cage and done their own hitting instruction stuff — and everything is dialed in now."
The loss puts Foothill in the consolation bracket of the tournament against the loser of Friday night's Crescenta Valley-Tujunga game today at 9:30 a.m. at the Tujunga Little League Fields. Burbank faces the winner at 12:30 p.m. at the same place.
Lockheimer's son, Conner, led the way for Burbank's offense. He reached base all five times with three singles, a double and a walk to go along with a run batted in.
"We've been on fire," Conner said. "Getting into the count a bit and seeing the ball really good has been key. I have been seeing the ball really good lately."
It was Porras who put Burbank on the board first in the bottom of the second when he blasted a home run to dead center field that scored Catlett, who reached on a fielding error, for a 2-0 lead.
It highlighted a missed opportunity in the top of the first for Foothill, which loaded the bases with one out in the frame on a hit by pitch and two walks. Catlett settled down on the mound and retired the side with an easy pop out to third base and a strike out.
"The first inning told the story, bases loaded one out and we couldn't capitalize," Foothill Coach Dave Miller said. "You've got to hit the ball."
Tony Argenziano gave Burbank another run in the third when he reached on an error and scored on a wild pitch after he stole second and moved to the third on a Fischer Cabot single.
Facing a 3-0 deficit, Miller pulled his No. 1 pitcher Jack Porras.
"I had to pull him to save him just in case we win Saturday, we've got him for Sunday," Miller said. "Both sides are trying to save pitching because it's a tournament that goes Saturday, Sunday, Monday for a winner and for a loser it's five days in a row. You're trying to find arms to pitch."
Burbank opened up an 8-0 lead on four walks, an Argenziano sacrifice fly and a pair of two run-scoring hits — a single from Cabot and a double from Catlett.
A Burbank error in the top of the fifth gave Foothill its first run, as Conner Rodriguez singled aboard with two outs, moved to third on two walks and came home on a fielding error. Dylan Boyack and Nick Martin brought home two more runs with a single and bases-loaded walk, respectively, to bring the score to 8-3.