GLENDALE — Glendale High’s baseball team lost its fifth straight game — the last four coming in the Babe Herman Tournament — that saw it done in by solid pitching.
The Nitros scored two runs in the tournament on 11 hits and have been shut out in their last two contests, including an 8-0 loss to El Camino Real on Wednesday afternoon that served as the most lopsided defeat for Glendale of the season.
Despite the recent struggles, Glendale Coach Alan Eberhart feels the team will be better off in the long run, particularly in Pacific League play.
“It’s all behind us now,” he said. “We’ve played nine games already and have learned a lot. We’re still making mistakes in situations; seniors are making mistakes they shouldn’t make. We’re going to have to fix things we can control. We faced some good pitching and that’s something we can’t control.”
The four hits off El Camino Real starter Brian Gallagher was the highest output in the tournament for Glendale, which had the leadoff runner on base in the third, fourth and fifth innings, and two runners on base in the third and fourth, as it tried to overcome a 3-0 deficit.
Hank Drosdik’s bloop single in the third was the first hit allowed by Gallagher and was soon followed by a one-out walk, drawn by leadoff hitter Thaddeus Wilson.
Brandon Keen led off the fourth inning with a double. The senior and Tyler Lousararian were at the corners after Lousararian’s one-out single.
Justin French continued the trend in the fifth inning with a leadoff single.
Unfortunately for the Nitros (2-7), a double-play put an end to the threat in each of the three innings and prevented a rally.
“Anything we hit hard, we hit right at them,” Eberhart said. “When it’s not going well, those things happen. But I thought we played better today.”
The Conquistadors, winners of four in a row, including prevailing against Pacific League teams Burbank and Arcadia, were paced by a potent lineup that tallied eight hits and drew seven walks.
El Camino Real’s No. 9 hitter, Trevor Dergazarian, brought in the game’s first run with a double. He would later score on a RBI groundout off Glendale’s starter Jack Porras.
Porras did not allow another earned run until the sixth inning, in which he was pulled for reliever Sage Atallah. Porras threw 101 pitches over 5 1/3 innings, giving up six earned runs. A miscommunication between Glendale outfielders in the third inning resulted in an error that proved costly, as it led to El Camino Real’s third run.
“He’s had better command,” said Eberhart of Porras, who was dealt his shortest outing in his third start of the season. “If everything goes well and we’re not making mistakes, then he throws fewer pitches, gains confidence and pitches a good game.”
Shortly after Glendale failed to capitalize on its third consecutive opportunity to score in the fifth inning, the Conquistadors tacked on five runs in the sixth on five hits off Porras and Atallah. Porras’ balk resulted in the first run of the inning. A subsequent double and a hit batter on the next at-bat would spell the end of the junior’s day.
With an eight-run cushion, El Camino Real called on Logan Stone to close it out in the seventh against Glendale’s No. 4-5-6 hitters, and he did so in perfect fashion. Gallagher struck out five batters in six innings of work.
Keen, Lousararian, French and Drosdik registered hits for the Nitros, who will not play a game until March 29 when they host a doubleheader with Flintridge Prep.
“We did some good things, did some bad things [in the tournament,]” Eberhart said. “We played better today. We can’t get discouraged this early in the season.”