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Victoria East's hit parade continues against SA Burbank

By MIKE FORMAN
May 5, 2012 at 12:05 a.m.
Updated May 6, 2012 at 12:06 a.m.

East shortstop Jonathan Ortega bobbles the baseball as he collides with by  Burbank's Nicholas Canas, who was called out for interference.

Victoria East would take seven runs in a playoff game almost anytime.

The Titans scored seven in the first inning and they weren't finished scoring, rolling to a 14-5 win over San Antonio Burbank in Game 2 of their best-of-three Class 4A bi-district series on Saturday at Riverside Stadium.

"We wanted to put the bat on the ball and make contact and just to work," said East catcher Aaron Prado. "We came out swinging. We put the ball in play almost every time."

As a result, East improved to 20-11 with a sweep of the series and advanced to the area round against Corpus Christi Moody, which competed a sweep of its best-of-three game series against Roma on Saturday.

"We were fortunate to come out and jump out on them," said East coach Wes Kolle. "We swung the bat great today and we hit the ball real well all series long."

The Titans had 13 hits in a 7-4 win in Game 1 and added 15 hits in Game 2.

Trey Hempel, who had two doubles, had three hits, and Jonathan Ortega, Gabe Verduzco, Hunter Perkins and Prado each had two.

East scored in every inning but the fourth and struck out only once.

"We started out the season a little sloppy and not so focused," Prado said. "Now we've kind of zoned in and we're playing ball now."

Kolle's only complaint was the Titans' inability to put the Bulldogs (16-12-1) away early via the 10-run mercy rule.

East led 9-0 before Burbank scored five runs on only two hits in the third inning.

East starter John Garcia was victimized by two walks, an error, a wild pitch and a balk.

"We still got to work on the big inning and when we get the lead going out there and pounding the strike zone and pitching to contact and letting them get themselves out," Kolle said. "We've got to get better at that. That's something we're going to keep stressing to them."

Dylan Rab relieved Garcia with a 2-0 count and the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth. He struck out Tristan Settles to end the threat and retired the next six batters in order.

East added three runs in the bottom of the third and single runs in the fifth and sixth innings.

"We still got a relatively young team so I wanted to get some guys some playoff experience," Kolle said. "For the most part, Game 1 was a tight playoff game and I think that's going to help us.

"It was a good series and that's what we wanted out of it to get out there and get some playoff experience, hit the ball and work on us getting better."

The Titans know they'll have to play at a higher level to be successful against Moody.

"We just need to make sure our pitching's on," Prado said. "We need to reduce the walks and errors and we'll be fine."

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