TUJUNGA — For the members of the Vaquero Major Baseball All-Stars squad, perhaps they have already put their worst game out of the way.
At least they better hope so after what transpired Tuesday night.
Vaquero surrendered 15 hits, including three majestic home runs, in a 16-2 loss to Tujunga in an opening-round game of the Tri-Cities District 16 Little League Major Tournament at Tujunga Little League Fields.
Nothing seemed to work for Vaquero in a contest that was called after four innings because of the tournament-imposed 10-run mercy rule.
“We just didn’t come out to play,” said Vaquero Coach Chris Barcena, whose team will next compete at 5 p.m. Thursday against Burbank or Jewel City/Jewish War Veterans in an elimination contest at Montrose Park. “We made some errors that led to big innings.
“We came out flat, and we are a lot better than we showed.”
Vaquero will have no choice but to turn in a much better performance come Thursday. Tujunga, which got a pair of long home runs from left fielder Zach Kizer, led throughout. Vaquero never mounted a serious comeback bid after Tujunga spiked the plate six times in the top of the second inning to build a commanding 9-0 lead.
Vaquero used three pitchers in an attempt to cool off Tujunga, which will meet Foothill in a winner’s-bracket contest at 5 p.m. today at Tujunga Little League Fields. Unfortunately for Vaquero, its attempts were nullified by a Tujunga squad that had at least three hits per inning.
“They are a good hitting team, but we didn’t make the plays when we needed to,” said Barcena, who got run-scoring singles from Jay Vasquez in the third and Kenneth Garcia in the fourth.
Tujunga jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first on a home run to dead center field by Kizer. Austin Obregon delivered a two-run single in the second to make it 5-0 and Nick Cabrera later added a two-run single to extend the lead to 9-0.
Skyler Payne hit a solo home run and Kizer added a two-run shot to highlight a five-run third to make it 14-0.
Vaquero finally got on the board when Vasquez singled to center to plate Cesar Zamarripa. Tujunga scored its final two runs in the fourth before Vaquero closed out the scoring on a single by Garcia that scored Jacob Garcia.
At least Vaquero will have the opportunity to get in a full practice today, something that should help.
“We are going to have to play better,” said Barcena, whose team finished with six hits.
Kenneth Garcia and Adam Sanchez paced Vaquero with a pair of hits each. Andy Garcia and Vasquez had a hit each. All of Vaquero’s hits were singles.