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Spear's slam, cycle key jump to first

Baseball: Transfer has huge day at the plate to lift GCC to 18-9 victory over Pierce and into first-place tie in conference.

April 14, 2011|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Set against the backdrop of Glendale Community College's baseball team vying for its greatest win of the season, Sean Spear fittingly turned in the greatest performance of his sophomore campaign.

Playing against first-place L.A. Pierce, his former team, the Oaks Christian product hit for the cycle with a second triple added on, drove in seven runs and scored four more to propel GCC to an 18-9 win on Thursday afternoon at Stengel Field and into a first-place tie atop the Western State Conference South Division.

"It's the biggest one of the season," said GCC Coach Chris Cicuto of the victory, the 20th of the year for the Vaqueros (20-11, 11-7 in conference), which put them into a first-place stalemate with Pierce (18-12, 11-7) that will be settled on Saturday when the Brahmas host a 1 p.m. contest between the two. "And how 'bout Sean Spear."

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While the showdown for first ended in lopsided fashion with the Vaqueros claiming 18 runs on 11 hits, through the first five and a half innings it was a tight 3-3 game with the Vaqueros struggling for hits — all except for Spear, who went five for five and scored his team's first two runs.

"I was really excited to play this game," said Spear, who began his college days at Pierce before transferring to USC and then GCC. "I've been hot lately.

"It was exciting, it was an exciting win. It establishes us in first place where we should be."

Spear ignited the Vaqueros in the game-changing and game-clinching bottom of the sixth — a stanza in which Glendale turned a 3-3 stalemate into an 11-3 blowout with an eight-run eruption and a Pierce implosion.

Four Pierce pitchers allowed three hits, a walk and hit four batters during the frame.

It all began with Spear, who dropped a triple into left field that rolled past a diving outfielder to lead off the inning.

Spear would score the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by Nick Bozeman, who was also hit by two pitches and walked. In all, GCC batters were hit by a pitch six times and drove in four runs on sacrifice flies.

John Schwer and Ryan Daniels scored on a single by Matt McCallister and a subsequent error to make it 6-3 on a play that began a forgettable sequence for the Brahmas and one that continued the Vaqs on their way to winning their fifth straight.

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