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Vaqs take advantage of late chances

Baseball: Glendale Community College plays small ball to plate tying, go-ahead runs against L.A. Valley.

March 24, 2012|By Emin Avakian

VALLEY GLEN — Trailing by one run in the ninth inning, the Glendale Community College baseball team had the rare fortune of seeing its first two batters of the inning safely reach base without putting a bat on the ball, or even take a swing.

Having each been hit by a pitch, David Garcia and Matt McCallister watched from the bases as the top of the lineup executed to bring them both home and turn a one-run deficit into a one-run lead going into the bottom of the ninth.

Then in the bottom half, Vaqueros reliever Kirk Edson pitched a perfect frame to secure the 5-4 victory over host L.A. Valley College in a Western State Conference South contest Saturday afternoon.

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The win marks the end of a solid week for first-place Glendale (17-6, 8-2) which also notched road wins against Mission and Citrus and is now riding a three-game winning streak.

"We knew it was going to be a challenge," Vaqueros Coach Chris Cicuto said after the tilt with the Monarchs, who fell to 6-4 in conference play. "They've been playing well lately. You need to minimize the mistakes in a game like this. We made them early. They made them late and couldn't recover."

The two hit batsmen, which ultimately allowed Cameron Gardner to rope a single into the outfield that brought McCallister home for the game-winning run, capped off an error-riddled game from both defenses but also stellar pitching that at times nullified potentially costly mistakes.

AJ Monarrez took the mound in the fifth inning for Glendale with the score tied at 2 and runners when Vaqueros starter John La couldn't continue due to a blister on his finger that Cicuto said was affecting his pitches for over two innings.

Monarrez gave up one run on a sacrifice fly that put the Monarchs up, 3-2, but still kept the game close as the Glendale offense struggled to string together hits.

"I went to AJ a little earlier than planned," Cicuto said. "Both AJ and KJ (Edson) are competitive pitchers and they pitched well for us today."

Edson relieved Monarrez with two outs and runners on first and second in the eighth inning with Valley up, 4-3. The freshman right-hander faced four batters and picked up the win.

L.A. Valley started David Armas and the sophomore didn't disappoint, giving up one earned run in eight solid innings.

"Their pitcher was outstanding," said Cicuto of the right-hander, who gave up five hits. "Armas has been pitching well lately and his record has reflected that."

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