Glendale Angelenos pick up first division victory

GLENDALE — Angel Rodriguez and Jay Sheely played major roles in helping the Glendale Community College baseball team win a Western State Conference South Division championship in the spring.

Now, the duo is looking to get something else accomplished in helping the Glendale Angelenos win the California Collegiate Summer League’s North Division.

They each got off to a good start, as Rodriguez struck out seven and Sheely hit a solo home run and scored a pair of runs Friday night to spark the host Angelenos to a 6-2 division victory against the Ventura Pirates at Stengel Field.

Glendale won its third game in a row to improve to 3-1 with the win in its division opener. It was also the Angelenos’ first-ever California Collegiate Summer League outing after playing as an independent last season.

Rodriguez said he’s up to the task of providing a spark in the Angelenos’ quest to capture the division.

“It means a lot trying to come out here and help a different team,” said Rodriguez, who allowed three hits and two runs in five innings. “We are going to enjoy this, but it’s serious when you step out there between the lines.

“I had some trouble early and I couldn’t get myself under control with my pitches. I had to think hard about being better, so I relaxed. By the third inning, I had things under control.”

The Pirates (0-1) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Cary Jacobson scored on a wild pitch by Rodriguez.

Glendale tied it in its half of the first on a bad-hop single over second base by Hector Gomez that scored Sheeley of Glendale Community College.

An error by the Glendale third baseman gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead in the second. Rodriguez, a right-hander who was named the Western State Conference’s South Division Pitcher of the Year after winning eight contests, escaped further damage by striking out the next two batters with the bases loaded.

The Angelenos scored a pair of runs in the fourth to grab a 3-2 advantage. A sacrifice fly to right by Sako Chapjian, formerly of Hoover High and Glendale college, brought in Gomez to tie it at 2. Dylan Trimarchi, also a member Glendale college, then sliced a single to right to score John Schwer, a former Vaquero, to make it 3-2.

A bases-loaded walk to Ruben Padilla on a 3-2 pitch gave the Angelenos a 4-2 lead in the sixth.

Sheely led off the seventh with a home run to left to pad Glendale’s lead to 5-2. A run-scoring double by Gomez made it 6-2.

Sheely said it’s been a smooth transition to the Angelenos, who include 11 of his Glendale college teammates.

“It’s been cool to be able to come in here and play,” said Sheely, a center fielder. “It’s a little bit of a different atmosphere, but we want to try to win the division.

“Angel bounced back. It’s all about location for him. When he’s able to locate his fastball, then he can also go to his curve ball. Then, he’s lights out.”

Trimarchi and Gomez led Glendale with three hits each, all singles. Glendale finished with 12 hits.

Glendale and Ventura are scheduled to meet again at 5 p.m. Sunday at Stengel.

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