NORTHEAST GLENDALE — From the get-go, the Glendale Community College baseball team struggled running the base paths.
Those struggles plagued the Vaqueros during a 6-4 loss to L.A. Pierce College on Tuesday afternoon in a Western State Conference Southern Division contest at Stengel Field.
In the first inning, Glendale college (5-7, 1-1 in the division) had a runner picked off. In the fifth inning, all the momentum the Vaqueros had seized fell by the wayside when one runner missed a sign and another fell victim to an alert play by Pierce catcher Steve McGrath.
“We didn’t play under control,” said Glendale college Coach Chris Cicuto, whose team never led. “We missed some signs, and when you do that in conference, it comes back to get you.”
It certainly did for the Vaqueros, who opened up divisional play Monday with an 11-1 home win against West Los Angeles College. L.A. Pierce (9-5, 1-1) had no similar errors in judgment, plus it received a pair of solo home runs to grab the first of two contests to be played by the teams this week.
L.A. Pierce took a 2-0 lead in the fifth on a solo home run by Calvin Culver on an 0-1 pitch by Glendale college starting pitcher Richard Barrett (2-2).
Then the Vaqueros received some good news and bad news in their half of the fifth. They knotted the game at 2 on run-scoring singles by Lazaro Fonta and Luis Rivas.
They ran into trouble with some sloppy base running, however. With runners on first and third, the Vaqueros attempted a double steal with Chris Arredondo caught trying to steal home. Then Rivas, who stole second and advanced to third on an error by McGrath, tried to give the Vaqueros a 3-2 lead before McGrath raced to tag him out at home plate while running down the third-base line.
Those results left Cicuto frustrated.
“We didn’t execute,” said Cicuto, whose team finished with 10 hits despite being without injured infielders Taylor Smale and Danny Casey. “We were stealing when we weren’t supposed to.
“A couple of the mistakes came from being too aggressive, and that’s OK. Every game is just so crucial in conference.”
The Vaqueros had a final opportunity to tie the game in the ninth, but reliever Carter Whitman struck out Matt Rueda to end the game.
Arredondo, Ellis Bowen Jr. and Fonta had two hits each for the Vaqueros.