State tourney on deck for GCC

Baseball: Vaqueros will take part in four-team tournament for state title beginning Friday.

May 19, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk,
(Raul Roa/Staff…)

GLENDALE — One weekend to get three wins. That's the mission for the Glendale Community College baseball team, which has never been closer to its goal of winning a state championship as the opening round of the 2011 California Community College Athletic Assn. Baseball State Championship tournament draws near.

"The team is really excited," said Glendale outfielder Sean Spear, who has been an offensive catalyst for the first Vaqueros squad to reach state under the tournament's current format. "When we started in early fall this is exactly the position we wanted to be in. Our team motto is pitch by pitch and day by day, but our ultimate goal is to get to the state championship."

It will take more of the same timely hitting, unflappable pitching and refusal to quit that has carried the Vaqueros to a Western State Conference South Division title and wins in the regional and super regional rounds of the playoffs, but mostly, according to Coach Chris Cicuto, it will come down to limiting mistakes and taking advantage of every opportunity.


"If we can just continue with that philosophy and control what we can control, I think we have a good shot to come out with a couple wins and, hopefully, some hardware," said Cicuto, whose team will open the four-team double-elimination tournament at Bakersfield College against San Joaquin Delta of Northern California at noon Friday. "Going into this series, it's just like Week One. We don't have a lot of information on these guys, just a little bit, but it's about us making adjustments pitch by pitch and at-bat by at-bat and trying to find some weaknesses and try to expose them."

The other two teams in the tournament are Southern California's Santa Ana and defending state champion Ohlone of Northern California, which will meet in a first-round game at 6 p.m. on Friday.

"They can all hit, they all have pitching," Glendale third baseman Sako Chapjian said. "They're all solid teams."

San Joaquin Delta (31-11) finished second in the Big 8 Conference and advanced to the state tournament for the second time in the last three years with a win over Cosumnes River College on Sunday.

"We have very good starting pitching and our bullpen's been pretty good, as well," San Joaquin Delta Coach Reed Peters said. "We're battle-tested and we've played some great teams all year long. I think that's really helped us come playoff time."

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