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Glendale Community College baseball sweeps San Diego Mesa, heads to sectionals

Glendale Community College baseball sweeps San Diego Mesa, heads to sectionals
Members of the Glendale Community College baseball team celebrate during a 12-3 victory against San Diego Mesa College in a California Community College Athletic Assn. Super Regional contest Friday at Stengel Field. (James Carbone)

GLENDALE — It’s been a rather impressive postseason run thus far for the Glendale Community College baseball team.

Though there have been a couple of tough situations, the Vaqueros have found a way to regroup at the right time by turning to their deep lineup and pitching staff to overcome obstacles and register victories.

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It’s got the Vaqueros marching on to the next round after recording a sweep in the California Community College Athletic Assn. Southern California Super Regionals.

Glendale received four hits from St. Francis High product Christian Muro and five innings of relief from Dexter Wilkerson to record a 12-3 victory against San Diego Mesa on Friday at Stengel Field.

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Glendale (30-15) will take part in the best-of-three sectional tournament against a team to be determined. The event will begin either Thursday or Friday at a site to be determined.

It’s the farthest Glendale, which won the Western State Conference East Division championship before rallying to top Santa Barbara in a regional series, has advanced in the postseason since reaching the state tournament in 2011.

“It’s pretty amazing to get this far and we want to keep it going,” Glendale interim coach Alex Kocol said. “We get to keep playing and we received some stiff competition from San Diego Mesa. We didn’t feel like we had a big lead today and they made us a better team.

“We have a very deep lineup and we have pitchers who can come in and handle different situations. You just find a way to get it done and we were able to.”

The Vaqueros, who received a walk-off home run in the 11th inning from Hans Seo to notch an 8-7 win in the series opener Thursday after yielding a 7-0 lead, jumped out early Friday and held San Diego Mesa (28-15-1) at bay.

Glendale built an 8-0 lead in the fourth inning and didn’t allow San Diego Mesa, which won the Pacific Coast Conference title before defeating Golden West College in three games in the regionals, to catch up.

Glendale took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a run-scoring single by Brandon Lewis (St. Francis).

The Vaqueros scored three runs in the third to take a 4-0 lead.

Tom Tabak drove in a run on a fielder’s choice to give Glendale a 2-0 lead. Trent MacKinney made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly before Muro had a run-scoring single to give Glendale a 4-0 cushion.

“We go up there and we aren’t thinking too much,” said Muro, who drove in three runs and scored twice. “You jump out to a lead like that and it’s huge for your momentum.

“You like to have a lineup that can contribute in so many ways.”

Muro added a two-run single in the fourth to make it 7-0. Later in the inning, Lewis had another sacrifice fly to give the Vaqueros an 8-0 lead.

The Olympians cut the lead to 8-1 in the fourth, getting a run-scoring single from Isidro Velez against Wilkerson, who relieved starter Kyle Nicol (Burroughs) to begin the third.

Casey Slattery notched an RBI-ground-rule double to give Glendale a 10-1 lead in the sixth before San Diego Mesa scored twice in the sixth to pull to within 10-3.

A sacrifice fly by Lewis in the eighth made it 11-3 and Hayden Luff added a solo home run in the ninth to wrap up the scoring.

Wilkerson, a right-hander, went five innings. He allowed three runs and six hits to record the win.

“I think coming back against Santa Barbara really helped us in this series,” Wilkerson said. “We had a real good match-up against a very good team in this series and now we can refocus.”

Glendale received two hits apiece from Seo and Alex Mills. MacKinney scored three runs for the Vaqueros, who got two from Tabak.

San Diego Mesa got three hits from Kevin Van Linge and two apiece from Velez and Raymundo Gutierrez.

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