Glendale Angelenos baseball team off to first postseason

Enough with the regular season, the Glendale Angelenos are gearing up for the postseason for the first time in the program’s three-year history.

After winning the inaugural California Collegiate Summer League’s North Division championship, the Angelenos will take to their home diamond of Stengel Field to participate in the playoffs.

“We are ready to take that next step with the ultimate goal being to win the playoff series,” said Angelenos Coach Tony Riviera, whose team will face the East L.A. Dodgers in a single-elimination game at 7 p.m. Thursday. “We told the guys we need to think about winning a championship because this might be their only shot, so we want to seize the moment.”

The other opening round game will match the Long Beach Legends, who captured the league’s South Division, against the Ventura Pirates at 4 Thursday at Stengel. The winners of both games will then participate in a best-of-three series, which will begin with a single contest at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Stengel. A second game would be held at 4 p.m. Saturday and an if-necessary third game would follow immediately after at Stengel.

The Angelenos (26-8) closed out the regular season Monday with a 9-2 home win against the Dodgers (23-13).

Riviera said it’s time for Glendale to shift its attention to something that has more at stake.

“I think the guys are pretty excited,” said Riviera, who added that Clayton Voechting will likely be the starting pitcher Thursday. “They understand how important this is.

“We’ve had some guys who have been injured, but now they have gotten healthy. We know from playing East L.A. that they are sound fundamentally.”

Glendale pitcher Matt Robinson, a right-hander, said the Angelenos relish the opportunity to be a part of the playoff picture.

“We are all very excited about this and we want to make the most of it,” Robinson said. “We have had a lot of people coming here looking to play and trying to earn a spot [on the roster].

“It’s going to come down to pitching and defense. Those are two things that we’ve done well the whole season. It’s great to have won the division championship, but it won’t mean as much if you finish second or third in the playoffs. This is something we all want to win badly.”

Copyright © 2019, Glendale News-Press
EDITION: California | U.S. & World