GCC's Angel Rodriguez, Troy Mulcahey haul in All-Southern California baseball honors

Awards were the furthest thing from the mind of Angel Rodriguez during his first season with the Glendale Community College baseball team.

The Vaqueros' ace pitcher can no longer ignore them now that the season's over. He hauled in his second honor with Glendale college in the form of being selected to the All-Southern California team.

"To be honest, I really had no clue about this award. My intentions weren't so much in getting the awards," said Rodriguez of his mind set this season. "To me, it's awesome, it pays off for all the hard work I've done. My focus was to win every game we played, whatever came after that was a plus."

Glendale Community College Coach Chris Cicuto said Rodriguez fell three votes shy of being voted an All-Southern California All-American player, an honor Crescenta Valley High graduate Troy Mulcahey was bestowed in his first season with Fullerton College.

"My coach told me the day after the meeting, I was really excited about it," said Mulcahey, who was voted as a utility player after making a big impact on the mound and at the plate this year, like he did with the Falcons. "It was a huge surprise because I started off really hot but started not to hit too well down the stretch."

Rodriguez was chosen as one of five starting pitchers after being named to the All Southern California team after being a first-team selection in the Western Conference South Division. Mulcahey was a first-team utility player in the Orange Empire Conference.

Mulcahey, who intends to return to Fullerton for his sophomore year, batted .322 (46 for 143) this year with a team-high 33 runs batted in and 12 doubles. He also had a triple and home run this season.

On the mound, he made 10 appearances, eight starts and posted a 3-3 record with a 3.08 ERA. Through 49 2/3 innings he struck out 37 batters, walked 30 and gave up 38 hits.

While the awards and numbers may suggest Mulcahey's transition from high school to college was simple, he said it was a big difference from what he saw at CV, especially at the plate.

"There's big adversity I had to overcome, the pitchers are a lot different from high school," said Mulcahey, adding it was a learning experience. "In high school, they don't know how to pitch right and jumping to Fullerton was huge. They knew how to pitch you in certain counts, they threw you backdoor and a lot of breaking balls. I tried to do too much toward the end of the year, instead of stick with the plan."

Still, Mulcahey and the Hornets, who also had CV graduate Troy Prasertsit on the roster, enjoyed a fantastic 2013 season. They won the Orange Empire Conference, the California Community College Athletic Assn.'s Southern California Super Regional on May 12 and were runners-up in the state championship behind Cypress College May 19. Fullerton finished the year with a 32-15, 15-6 in conference record.

"Overall I felt like it was a great year for me," Mulcahey said, "and there's a lot of room for improvement."

Rodriguez echoed Mulcahey's sentiments on the difference between high school and college. In order to prepare for the next level, the Chatsworth High graduate signed up to play for the Glendale Angelenos, a collegiate summer wood bat team, before the 2013 campaign.

Both Cicuto and Rodriguez, who's set to play for the Angelenos again this summer, said it served as a prep course for the next level.

"Out of high school, I didn't really know much of what I was going to get myself into," said Rodriguez, who felt pitching for the Angelenos helped his pitch selection and how to study the game, the opposing batters and their tendencies. "Hitter-wise it's a whole different ballgame and the game does speed up a little bit. … It kept me on my toes and showed how much I needed to work. One thing it did, it humbled me in a sense and showed me there's a lot more I had to study."

The extra time on the field paid off for Rodriguez, who went 8-3 in 12 starts and 14 appearances for the Vaqueros. He struck out 57 batters and posted a 2.26 earned-run average in 79 2/3 innings. The freshman, who transferred to GCC after a redshirt season at Cal State Northridge, also threw to the eighth inning on four occasions and logged two complete games.

With a pair of individual awards in hand, there could be a temptation for Rodriguez to feel he's arrived but that's no worry for him for Cicuto.

"Obviously it's a great honor to be recognized at the state level, but Angel is a very humble young man," Cicuto said. "He'll be proud of these honors and he'll put them on the wall and keep moving forward. His ultimate goal is to play pro or Division I baseball. He has a goal and he's going to keep working toward that."

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