Though the Glendale Community College baseball team saw its run of dominance in the Western State Conference South Division come to a halt following three straight division championships, many of its players still registered fine seasons around the diamond in 2014.
The Vaqueros finished 21-15 and 14-7 in the division for third place after advancing to the postseason the previous three seasons.
The campaign ended with 10 Vaqueros picking up all-conference recognition, highlighted by three first-team selections.
“It was a hard division again,” Glendale Coach Chris Cicuto said. “We are happy to get some people who had good seasons on the list.
“The guys did a lot of different things well.”
Earning first-team honors were sophomore center fielder Jay Sheeley, sophomore pitcher Angel Rodriguez and freshman third baseman Nick Padilla. Those named to the second team were sophomore designated hitter Dylan Trimarchi, sophomore pitcher Keaton Leach and freshman shortstop Brent Sakurai.
Sheeley batted .326 (42 for 129) with two home runs and 21 runs batted in. He also had 11 doubles, 15 stolen bases and scored 24 runs.
Rodriguez, a right-hander who was named the division’s pitcher of the year last season, went 5-3 in 11 starts. He struck out 41 in 64 1/3 innings and posted a 2.80 earned-run average.
Padilla batted .336 (38 for 113) with seven doubles and 18 runs batted in. He also finished with 18 runs and five stolen bases.
Cicuto said the trio helped spark the Vaqueros in various ways.
“Jay put up some good offensive numbers batting third for us and had an unbelievable arm,” Cicuto said. “He’s a heck of a player and we think he will have success at the next level.
“Nick’s numbers were outstanding. He hit over .350 for the majority of the season and was our most consistent hitter. With Angel, his numbers weren’t quite as good as last year, but he was always matched up against the other team’s No. 1 pitcher. He improved and took on the role of being a leader. He was our most consistent pitcher.”
Trimarchi hit .297 (30 for 101) with 15 runs batted in, 18 runs and eight stolen bases. Sakurai batted .245 (24 for 98) with 12 runs batted in, four stolen bases and scored 12 runs. Leach, a reliever, went 2-2 with six saves and a 2.30 ERA. He struck out 18 in 31 1/3 innings.
Earning honorable mention for the Vaqueros were sophomore pitcher Rob Lain, freshman pitcher Jackson Sigman and freshman right fielder Raul Camas.
Lain finished 3-0 and struck out seven. He didn’t allow an earned run in 17 innings. Sigman went 0-1 with two saves. In 24 2/3 innings, Sigman struck out 23 and recorded a 1.46 ERA. Camas batted .242 (3 for 124) with six doubles, eight stolen bases and 19 runs batted in.
The Vaqueros also had three players receive Gold Glove awards for their defensive contributions.
Sheeley finished with a division-leading 11 outfield assists and had 85 putouts and a .990 fielding percentage. Sakurai had 86 assists and 42 putouts to record a .970 fielding percentage. Sophomore pitcher David Lira went 1-1 and struck out 24 in 39 2/3 innings. He posted a 2.50 ERA and added 13 assists and picked off two runners.
Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich.