NORTHEAST GLENDALE — At this point in the season, Coach Tony Riviera has begun to notice his Glendale Angelenos wearing down a bit.
Their bats have been a little flat lately, he said, which is why there was added emphasize this week about "getting guys in motion."
Glendale's summer collegiate baseball club tallied five hits Friday evening, but it cashed in stolen bases, wild pitches, missed diving catches and errors for a 4-1 victory over the Orange County Black Sox at Stengel Field.
"We've had a lot of games," Riviera said, "so we wanted to make a point that we needed to look for opportunities immediately and out of the gate. And if we were able to do that, we had a good shot of winning this game tonight."
The Angelenos (11-3) turned a pair of Orange County errors into two unearned runs, and came away with their fourth straight victory.
Glendale's Angel Rodriguez (2-0 as a starter) allowed no runs, four hits and three walks, striking out five. He kept the Angelenos in prime position, as they were prepared to strike in the bottom of the fifth inning.
"I came with a set mindset that I wasn't going to give up any runs, and luckily I was able to do that," said Rodriguez.
With two outs in the fifth, Matt McCalister whacked a double off Orange County third baseman Blake Cooper's glove. Chris Stroh then proceeded with a run-scoring single that put the Angelenos ahead, 1-0.
Scott Hong led off the sixth with a double, which Orange County's center fielder, Michael Gregory, failed to get on a diving catch. Hong stole third and then scored on an error. After teammate Pedro Aldape walked, the Black Sox's catcher instantly overthrew to second, clearing the way for Hong to score unscathed.
In the seventh, Glendale's Hector Gomez got on base after getting plucked. He took second on a wild pitch and rounded home when McCalister's flyout led to an error on the Orange County right fielder, who overthrew to third base. Gomez scored easily.
"Definitely, there were some gifts there," Riviera said of the pair of errors that accounted for two Glendale runs.
A couple hiccups by the Angelenos, though, led to the Black Sox scoring in the eighth.
Jason Nieto walked against Glendale's lefty, Kelvin Tolbert. Then a wild pitch advanced him to second and a stolen base to third. And, finally, Nieto rounded home with another wild throw to trim the deficit, 3-1.
But the Angelenos countered in the bottom of that inning with another run.
With one away, Sako Chapjian got on base by way of a fielder's choice. He took second on a passed ball and third on a wild pitch. Then, Nick Rodarte's RBI single scored Chapjian for the final margin.
Corey Popham (four strikeouts) and Tolbert pitched two innings each to close out the game for Glendale, with no hits allowed the rest of the way.
"We're in a good place right now," Riviera said. "Next week is the most important week for us. We've got some huge games coming up, including our first and only away trip to Orange County against the Pioneers.
"They're a very tough team and we have a goal of sweeping them. And if we could do that, we've made a pretty darn good statement."Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times