Vaqueros able to hang on

GLENDALE — Glendale Community College baseball Coach Chris Cicuto used a trendy phrase after he nearly saw his team squander a six-run lead in the ninth inning.

Cicuto looked at the new scoreboard in right field at Stengel Field after the Vaqueros posted an 11-9 victory against L.A. Mission College in a Western State Conference Southern Division contest Thursday afternoon.

“A lot of crooked numbers up there,” Cicuto said. “That’s college baseball.

“Crooked numbers are the worst nightmare for a pitcher. I’ve got a couple of more gray hairs.”

A team that’s able to score two or more runs in an inning is said to hang a crooked number on the scoreboard.

The Vaqueros (7-8, 3-3 in the division) did it twice, including scoring eight runs with two outs and nobody on base in the fifth inning. L.A. Mission College (8-9, 3-4) scored four runs with two outs and nobody on in the ninth, and nearly knotted the game after Joe Almendarez missed a grand slam home run by less than two feet.

Almendarez registered a two-run double before Glendale college reliever Chris Arredondo struck out Michael Lindberg with the tying runs on base to help the Vaqueros win their second consecutive divisional contest.

“Everybody is evenly matched in our division,” Cicuto said. “It’s about who makes the least amount of mistakes.”

That appeared evident through the first four innings, when the teams combined for no runs and four hits.

It appeared that Glendale college starting pitcher Chris Turner (3-0) and L.A. Mission College starting pitcher Chris Corsini (1-2) would be locked in a pitcher’s duel.

Then the teams went on the offensive attack in the fifth inning.

L.A. Mission scored four runs off Turner, a Hoover High graduate, before the Vaqueros responded with eight runs in their half of the inning, which lasted almost 40 minutes.

Glendale college’s Michael Mendoza, who recorded three hits, had a run-scoring single to cut the deficit to 4-2 before Yuya Okuda delivered a two-run single to knot the score at 4.

Pinch-hitter Kevin Ibarra gave the Vaqueros a 5-4 lead with a single to right field.

A bases-loaded walk to John DeGomez, who finished with two hits and a stolen base, made it 6-4. A throwing error by L.A. Mission third baseman Ricardo Gutierrez extended the lead to 8-4.

The Vaqueros collected five hits in the fifth to chase Corsini.

“Our hitters stayed patient,” said Cicuto, whose team finished with 11 hits. “We got our timing down and their pitcher got tired.”

Glendale college scored one run in the seventh and two in the eighth to make it 11-5. Lazaro Fonta and DeGomez each had run-scoring hits in the eighth.


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