SYLMAR — Just two days removed from a gritty win at Bakersfield, a fatigued Glendale Community College baseball squad had its six-game winning streak snapped in another Western State Conference South Division road game against LA Mission College.
The Vaqueros held a three-run lead in the sixth inning before giving up seven runs in the frame and 11 unanswered to eventually lose to the Eagles, 14-6, Saturday afternoon at El Cariso Park in Sylmar.
“We were a little tired,” Vaqueros Coach Chris Cicuto said. “We played two games against Bakersfield. Mission is a tough ball club, they took an early 3-0 lead on us.”
Glendale (23-10, 17-4 in conference) will host Mission College again Tuesday before closing out the regular season in a home-and-home with Citrus College.
The Vaqueros still hold a two-game lead in their division with three games remaining. Owning the tiebreaker over second-place Bakersfield (24-10, 16-6) and third-place College of the Canyons (20-13, 15-6), they can secure the division title with one more win or a loss from the two teams left in chase.
The Vaqueros compiled eight hits on the afternoon — four of the long-ball variety, including back-to-back home runs in the third inning from Chris Whitmer (two runs batted in) and Austin Walker.
Glendale’s pitching staff had a rough day, however, and gave up 15 hits. Cicuto pulled starter Steven Rodriguez in the fourth inning for Tyler Delzell, who pitched into trouble and what would be a seven-run rally for the Eagles (14-19, 10-11).
“I left Tyler in the game too long,” said Cicuto who used Brad Felty and Sam Frakes for the final 2 1/3 innings. “He missed a couple of pitches, and Mission did a good job of putting the ball in play.”
GCC tried to answer and had runners on first and third after an Eagles throwing error. Mission’s pitcher Tyler Webb pitched out of it, though, thanks to a double play on a sharply hit line drive off Whitmer’s bat that was snagged at third, leading to a double play at first.
The Eagles extended their lead by four runs in the bottom half of the eighth, as two bunts led to a two-run triple from Spencer Daniels, who was picked up by an Erick Luna single.
Mission capped off the scoring with Patrick Roxbury’s ground-rule double that brought Luna around for what would prove to be an insurmountable deficit for the Vaqueros.
“We just need to rest up, so we can execute the game plan and do the little things,” Cicuto said.