Vaqueros looking for fresh start

Edgar Melik-Stepanyan

They're confident and they have something to prove.

At least that's what Glendale Community College baseball Coach

Chris Cicuto has to say about the 2004 Vaqueros.

The confidence lies in the freshmen and sophomore returners, among

them, starters Rene Gonzalez, A.J. Anthony, Matt Jordan, Scott Smith,

Jon Conley and Bill Spottiswood.

"They expect a lot from each other," said Cicuto, who, in his

first year, is the third GCC coach in the past three seasons,

succeeding Jon Strauss and Bob Myers.

"I think our freshmen have confidence in their abilities. They

are not going to be afraid of anyone.

"If we take care of the little things, our season should take care

of itself.

"They are just waiting to put on a uniform and play another team

other than themselves."

GCC went 16-24-1 last year, but it has won four of the past six

Western State Conference titles. The Vaqueros are hoping to return to

their past glory.

"They have something to prove," said the 26-year-old Cicuto, whose

father, John, is the GCC head football coach. "They did not meet

their expectations last year. We want to get that conference [title]

back."

GCC will start four sophomores, including Anthony, a catcher, and

outfielders Jessie Hirdler, Gonzalez and Chris Oliver.

Gonzalez, a 5-foot-8, 155-pound left-hander, graduated from

Burbank High in 2002.

The infield will consist of a talented freshmen class that

includes Jordan (first base), Smith (second), Gabriel Gonzalez

(short) and Daniel Lee (third). Sophomore left-hander Bryan Robinson,

Conley and Spottiswood will carry the bulk of the load for the season

on the mound.

"Billy has all the makeup you want in a good pitcher," Cicuto

said. "He's competitive. He's smart and he loves playing baseball."

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