NORTHEAST GLENDALE — After opening its season with a pair of victories, the Glendale Angelenos took a small step back Thursday night.
It's something Glendale Coach Tony Riviera said can be fixed, provided the Angelenos learn from the experience, but he wasn't at all pleased with what transpired following Glendale's 6-5 nonconference loss to the East Los Angeles Dodgers' blue team at Stengel Field.
"We looked way too relaxed and the guys took it for granted after getting 15 hits [Wednesday]," Riviera said. "We are way too good of a club to lose a game like this.
"Our guys, for some odd reason, played not to lose rather than play to win."
The Angelenos opened their season Tuesday with a 6-5 win before posting a 12-1 victory Wednesday. On Thursday, Glendale spotted the Dodgers a 5-0 lead in the fifth inning and had several chances to mount a comeback. Instead, the Angelenos' rally fell short.
The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning against Glendale starting pitcher David Lira, who played at Glendale Community College last season. After giving up a lead-off single, Lira appeared to have Sean Stone picked off at first, but Glendale first baseman Ellis Whitman, a former Vaquero, appeared to lose the ball in the twilight and allowed Stone to move to second. Stone scored on a ground out to third later in the inning.
In the fourth, the Dodgers scored three runs to take a 4-0 lead against reliever Nick Rodarte. East L.A.'s first three batters reached base before Cody Doyle hit a bouncer to shortstop Matt McCallister, who was participating in his first game with the Angelenos. McCallister, who played at Glendale college, fielded the ball cleanly, but his throw home sailed wide past catcher Sako Chapjian and allowed two runs to score.
"Matt tried too much too soon," Riviera said, "but it's better than him not trying at all."
A wild pitch by Rodarte made it 5-0.
East L.A. starting pitcher Gus Garcia, who played at Glendale college, held the Angelenos hitless through four innings. However, Glendale got back-to-back singles from
The Angelenos pulled to within 5-4 in the seventh. Pedro Aldape hit a bases-loaded double to make it 5-3 with no outs. With one out, Edgar Montes, who played last season at Glendale college. made it 5-4 with a ground out.
Aldape said the Angelenos were in line to erase the deficit.
"We were down five runs early and it's tough to come back," Aldape said. "Then, we started to get rolling and everything began to click again.
"We had our opportunities, but we just couldn't capitalize on all of them."
The Dodgers took a 6-4 lead in the eighth on a run-scoring double with two outs by Stone. The Angelenos closed to within 6-5 in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Tellesco.
"In a catfight like this, you have to go up there battling," said Riviera, whose team finished with six hits. "We battled at times.