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Vaqueros knocked out of state

May 22, 2011|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com

BAKERSFIELD — From just about dusk until far past dawn, the Glendale Community College baseball team battled to stave off elimination and continue its captivating run toward state glory.

But as night fell upon Bakersfield College on Saturday, so too did the final curtain on the greatest season in the history of the Glendale college baseball program.

Plagued once more by defensive miscues and a familiar adversary, the Vaqueros were eliminated from the California Community College Athletic Assn. State Championships in a 7-3 loss to San Joaquin Delta.

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"You get good people and players into a program and you can do some special things," said Vaqueros Coach Chris Cicuto. "It was a great season.

"The magic wasn't there today."

The Vaqueros (29-16) won their first Western State Conference title since 2002 before advancing past the regional and super regional round of the CCCAA postseason and ultimately becoming the last Southern California team alive at state after GCC eliminated Santa Ana in the first game of the day, 13-6.

"I'm just so proud of these guys," Cicuto said. "Only one team wins the last game… There's a lot of teams sitting at home that would love to be where we are."

Delta (33-12) lost its first game of the day, a 3-2 nailbiter against defending champion Ohlone, but was able to rebound. It did so in much the same fashion as it beat Glendale in the teams' tournament opener on Friday when the Mustangs won, 21-9, thanks in large part to eight Glendale errors. While not a mirror image to Friday's game, Saturday night's contest saw the Vaqueros once again hindered by fielding woes.

"It was a tough loss," said Delta Coach Reed Peters of the 3-2 Ohlone setback. "It was just one of those things where you gotta regroup.

"You keep putting good at-bats together and make them make plays and they're gonna kick a few."

The Vaqueros committed four errors and allowed three unearned runs, as the defense did no favors for an offense stymied by Delta right-hander Kyle Hassna, who threw a complete game, allowing six hits, four walks and two earned runs.

"That's what we needed," Peters said. "He pitched his rear off."

Glendale standout center fielder Sean Spear had three of the Vaqueros' hits and ignited a last-gasp rally in the eighth when he tripled home Sako Chapjian and scored himself on an error on the play to cut the score to its final tally.

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