Aragon, Nitros bust losing skid against Bulldogs

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — For the sixth straight game, the Glendale High baseball squad failed to muster up an earned run.

Unlike the previous five which ended in losses, however, Tuesday afternoon saw the Nitros receive a solid outing from starting pitcher Daniel Aragon and timely defense, as they capitalized on errors to nullify another subpar day at the plate for a 1-0 Pacific League victory over the visiting Pasadena Bulldogs Tuesday afternoon.

Aragon pitched a complete game, giving up just three hits with five walks. The senior hurler didn't get much run support, but a fourth inning leadoff double from Dillon Howard, who later scored on a throwing error ultimately proved to be enough to end the five-game skid.

"Funny thing is that he wasn't going to pitch the whole game, but we decided to take care of this game first and worry about Friday later," said Nitros Coach Jesus Osuna about wanting to rest his arms before games against Burbank and Arcadia this week.

Pasadena (7-9, 2-5) also received a stellar pitching performance of its own from starter Andrew Phillips, who struck out nine batters in four innings. Phillips cruised until the fourth inning when he gave up the double to Howard and walked three batters before getting out of the bases-loaded jam thanks to a diving catch from left fielder Alex Baer.

Bulldogs Coach Mike Parisi relieved Phillips for Calvin Christiansen after a leadoff walk in the fifth inning — Phillips' fifth free pass, matching Aragon to combine for 10 walks issued.

Christiansen struck out three of the six batters he faced in two perfect innings pitched.

It was Glendale's pitcher who would get the final out, however. Aragon's seven strikeouts gave him his second win of the season and helped Glendale improve to 2-5 in league and 4-7 overall.

The Bulldogs didn't help their cause by leaving seven runners on base, including stranding Kevin Chang on third base in the seventh inning.

Chang singled with two outs in the final inning and advanced to third base on a throwing error by Aragon, attempting the pick off.

Relying on leadoff hitter Brandon Cox's speed, Parisi called for a bunt that proved unsuccessful as Cox was thrown out at first to end the game.

Cox showed his speed throughout the game, finishing with three steals.

"Bottom line is hats off to Glendale," Parisi said. "They deserve to win and they wanted it more than us. It was a must-win for us if we wanted to be in the CIF race, but our leadership isn't there, and the dedication to this program isn't there."

With seven games remaining for both Glendale and Pasadena without a promised automatic berth as of today, both coaches are looking to end the regular season strong.

Osuna would also like to get his offense going.

"One of my biggest problems is that we're struggling hitting-wise," he said. "We've struck out 26 times in two games. We need to put the ball in play and let the defense get us out. We're a pitching team but we need to help them out with some offense."

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