NORTHEAST GLENDALE â€” 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.
â€œA lot of crooked numbers up there,â€ Cicuto said. â€œThat’s college baseball.
â€œCrooked numbers are the worst nightmare for a pitcher. I’ve got a couple of more gray hairs.â€
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.
â€œEverybody is evenly matched in our division,â€ Cicuto said. â€œIt’s about who makes the least amount of mistakes.â€
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 Guitterez extended the lead to 8-4.
The Vaqueros collected five hits in the fifth to chase Corsini.
â€œOur hitters stayed patient,â€ said Cicuto, whose team finished with 11 hits. â€œWe got our timing down and their pitcher got tired.â€
Glendale college, which got a sparkling 14-strikeout effort from starting pitcher Richard Barrett to help the Vaqueros earn a 3-2 road win against Bakersfield College on Tuesday in a divisional game, 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.
Cicuto needed Glendale High graduate Ryan Perez, Jose Mendieta and Arredondo to close out the game in relief.
â€œPerez did a good job,â€ Cicuto said. â€œHe bounced back big for us.â€
The Vaqueros will face West L.A. College in a divisional road game at 2 p.m. today. They will meet L.A. Mission College again at 1 p.m. Saturday at El Cariso Park in Sylmar.
â€œWe’ve got a good chance to get four wins this week,â€ Cicuto said. â€œThat’s our goal.â€