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Vaqueros reap WSC awards

Baseball: Glendale Community College awarded total of 10 selections on all- conference list after winning division.

May 19, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com

GLENDALE — With a late-season surge, the Glendale Community College baseball team rose to the top of the Western State Conference South Division and stayed there, winning the program's first conference title since 2002.

Clinching the crown amid a crowded four-team race on the very last day of the regular season, the Vaqueros thrived on lights-out pitching, clutch offense and steady fielding, all of which was recognized in the recently released All-Western State Conference South voting.

A total of four Glendale players earned first-team nods, highlighted by the unanimous selection of sophomore outfielder Sean Spear.

"I was really honored and very excited when I got the award," said Spear, who batted a fifth-best .382 in conference with two home runs, 16 runs batted in, 14 runs scored and four doubles, while leading the conference with a .706 slugging percentage and six triples. "I think the reason I kind of stood out was because of my hitting all year. I had a really good year at the plate."

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Infielder Sako Chapjian and pitchers Ryan Sherriff and Michael Noteware all sophomores, were also named to the first team.

Chapjian batted .293 in conference, where he was third in RBIs (21) and home runs (four), while also scoring 18 runs and slugging .507.

"We made the adjustment and put Sako and Spear back to back [in the batting order] so Spear could kind of protect him a little bit and guys could pitch to Sako a little bit more generously and it really worked out for our offense," Glendale Coach Chris Cicuto said. "Those guys are unbelievable hitters and they're the key to our power, our pop and our run production.

"They deserved that honor. They really came through, especially at the end of the year."

Sherriff, a left-handed starting pitcher, became the Vaqueros' ace down the stretch of the season and finished the campaign 3-2 in conference with a 2.30 earned-run average, 50 strikeouts and a .198 batting average against.

"Everything just started clicking for him and his last three performances were just unbelievable," Cicuto said of Sherriff. "In the home stretch, he stayed poised and focused and got better and better with every start. I don't even think he's hit the pinnacle yet."

Noteware was the Vaqueros' most versatile tool out of the bullpen whether entering late in games or in long relief and compiled a 1-1 record with a 1.98 ERA, two saves and 29 strikeouts.

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