NORTHEAST GLENDALE — When Aaron Brown sent a two-run shot beyond the 380-foot center-field fence at Stengel Field, it meant more than just an exclamation mark on a Glendale Angelenos come-from-behind win.
In securing the 11-4 nonleague victory Thursday night over South Bay, the Angelenos kept alive their hopes of becoming the first team in the history of the California Collegiate League to post a .500 record in their inaugural season.
“We’ve rallied back from quite a few games this season, but we had a goal today to make sure that we win these last three games,” Coach Tony Riveria said. “That’s a very successful season for a first-year team.
“It’s a been a good season so far, and there’s nobody hanging their heads down. It’s turned out better than we thought it would.”
After finding out last week that it was mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, Glendale shifted its sights on another goal.
Following Thursday’s win, the Angelenos (23-26) need to win their last three games to ensure they reach that mark.
If Glendale indeed closes in on that mark, it can look to Thursday’s game as the starting point for that momentum.
Down three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, Austin Walker hit an RBI single to left to score Matt Tellesco before Danny Casey walked to first, scoring Julian Barzilli, and slicing the deficit, 4-3.
In the fourth inning, Sako Chapjian grounded out to first and scored Brown in the process. That tied the game at 5, and what followed was a steady offensive stream.
The Angelenos scored once in the sixth, twice in the seventh and four times in the eighth. Glendale tallied 11 hits – one in every inning. In contrast, South Bay finished with seven hits – only three over the last five innings.
“We’ve just been trying to find some constancy and today we found it,” Brown said. “Today’s home run was one of the farthest homerun I’ve had. It’s an amazing feeling; it’s probably the best feeling in baseball when you know it’s gone.
“I was blessed to get a good pitch, and I just put a solid swing on it.”
Brown finished three for five with two runs scored and two RBIs. He now has seven home runs.
Casey, the leadoff hitter, went four for four with two RBIs, a run scored and a walk.