Glendale Angelenos start first winning streak of season

GLENDALE — At the plate and in the outfield, Hector Gomez wants to prove that he can make an impact this season for the Glendale Angelenos.

He provided several good examples on both ends Thursday.

PHOTOS: Angelenos vs. Halos baseball at Stengel Field

Gomez finished with three hits, scored two runs and registered an assist to propel host Glendale to an 8-0 nonleague victory against the Southern California Halos at Stengel Field.

“You just try to go out there and do what you can to help out,” said Gomez, a left fielder who played last season for the Angelenos and played at Cal State Dominguez Hills. “At the plate, it’s about trying to establish myself and be aggressive.

“You want to put up quality at-bats and I do that by staying patient. It was very important to come out with a win.”

Glendale (2-1) posted its second straight shutout victory. The Angelenos registered a 4-0 win against the visiting Riverside Rebels on Sunday.

Glendale Manager Tony Riviera said the Angelenos will rely on Gomez on both ends.

“He’s a clutch hitter,” said Riviera, who piloted the Angelenos to a 40-win season in 2012. “He’s a power hitter who puts the ball in play all the time.

“He understands the strike zone and how to square up on pitches. For us, it comes down to pitching and defense. He can make the big plays on defense, too.”

The Angelenos took a 1-0 lead in the first on a sacrifice fly to center by Gomez that scored Jay Sheely, who helped Glendale Community College win its third straight Western State Conference championship this season.

Glendale enjoyed a big third, scoring four runs to extend the advantage to 5-0. Gomez had a run-scoring single to make it 2-0. John Schwer then looped a run-scoring single to right to pad the lead at 3-0. Ruben Padilla followed with a double to right center to make it 4-0 before an error by the shortstop made it 5-0.

The Angelenos tacked on another run in the fifth when Gomez scored on an error by the center fielder to extend the lead to 6-0.

Glendale starting pitcher Billy Richardson went five innings, striking out six and scattering three hits. The right-hander gave the Angelenos a shot in the arm by striking out the side in the first.

“He’s a guy we believe has a tremendous ceiling,” said Riviera, whose team finished with 13 hits. “We are trying to get his confidence going and have him understand how to pitch to contact.

“He came out in the first inning and set the tone.”

Gomez displayed some strong defensive skills in the sixth to keep the shutout in tact. With runners on first and second and no outs, Alex Sawelson singled to left. Gomez fielded the ball cleanly and made an accurate one-hop throw to catcher Andre Angel-Bello to cut down Tyler Yuckert. Angelenos reliever Clayton Voechting then got an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play.

Gomez said he was able to line up the throw with little difficulty.

“I was thinking about possibly making a play like that,” Gomez said. “I felt like my throw was spot on.”

The Angelenos scored a pair of runs in the seventh to make it 8-0 on back-to-back run-scoring singles by Dylan Trimarchi and AJ Fritts.

Former Glendale college standout Ellis Whitman finished with three hits for the Angelenos, who got two from Schwer, Fritts and Angel-Bello. Schwer scored a pair of runs.

Voechting pitched two scoreless innings. Sam Frakes and Carl Daniels, both of Glendale college, followed to turn back the Halos (1-2).

Glendale will meet the visiting Ventura Pirates at 5 p.m. Friday in a California Collegiate Summer League North Division contest.

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