GLENDALE — For at least the first part of the season, things will be a work in progress for the Glendale High baseball team.
Some major changes have unfolded, starting with the addition of a new coaching staff and the arrival of a bushel of players who have little to no varsity playing experience.
“It’s a young team, so our goal will be to finish right around .500.” said Glendale co-Coach Chris Funaro, whose team suffered a 7-1 nonleague home loss against Gladstone on Tuesday. “We do have some key returners, but we also have some new players in a group that includes five sophomores and 11 juniors.
“We want to change the mentality here and teach them how to win. They are still learning how to do that. It’s basically about everybody getting on the same page and us all trying to piece everything together.”
Glendale (1-2) finished with six hits, all singles. Gladstone (2-1) scored a pair of runs in the second and third innings to break the contest open at 4-1.
The Nitros struggled defensively. Several fly balls were misjudged by Glendale outfielders and Gladstone used a steady running game to register six stolen bases.
“We were a little complacent in the outfield,” said Funaro, who shares the coaching responsibilities with John Tuttle. “We made some mental errors.
“I think we have the type of team that will come around and eventually score some runs.”
Glendale took a 1-0 lead in the first. Thaddeus Wilson led off with a single and moved to second on an error by the shortstop. Wilson scored on a single by Brandon Keen off Gladstone starting pitcher Adrian Solchaga (1-0).
The lead didn’t last long. The Gladiators scored twice in the second to take a 2-1 lead. Chris Martinez tied it at 1 with a run-scoring single and Nick Zaragoza followed with a sacrifice fly to left to make it 2-1.
Gladstone padded its lead at 4-1 in the third on a two-run double by Eric Rivera that sailed over the left fielder.
The Gladiators scored twice in the fifth. Rivera made it 5-1 with a run-scoring single and Aaron Sanchez extended the lead to 6-1 on a groundout. They closed out the scoring in the seventh on an error by the second baseman.
Wilson, a sophomore second baseman, said it will likely take some time for the Nitros to come together.
“It’s just about being able to work on the basics,” said Wilson, who finished with two hits. “Even the pros have to do that.
“We don’t want to get down when we make a mistake. If we do make a mistake, then it’s about getting right back up.”
Solchaga went the distance, recording 14 groundball outs.
Glendale, which also got two hits from Justin French and one from Jordan Miller, will next participate Friday in a nonleague road game against Avalon.