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Vaquero Giants stage perfect five-run comeback for win, 12-6

Baseball: Vaquero Giants overcome five-run deficit for six-run victory Wednesday, 12-6.

June 13, 2012|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — A comeback didn't look to be in the books for the Vaquero Giants against the Jewish War Veterans/Jewel City Glendale Realtor Cyclones in the Tri-Cities Minor Baseball Tournament opener at Babe Herman Field.

The Giants faced a five-run deficit and were without a hit through two innings Wednesday before they began to chip and eventually run away with a 12-6 victory in five innings. The Cyclones chose not to take the field for their at-bats in the bottom of the fifth knowing a win was out of reach due to a league rule that states no team can score more than five runs in a frame and the allotted time was running out in the game.

"It was awesome, it was just exciting," said the Giants' Alexis Gonsalez, who went two for three with three runs batted in. "We learned a lot thanks to the coaches."

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Giants Coach Kevin Ortega said the key to the comeback was the team believing in itself.

"We tell them in the beginning of practice, 'You guys have to play 110% every inning, every game,'" Ortega said. "I guess they didn't want to go home so that's good."

The win advances the Giants (3-16) to advance to the second round of the tournament against the Vaquero Dodgers, who Ortega said are their rivals, Saturday at Babe Herman at 5:15 p.m. and ended the Cyclones' season.

It was Gonsalez who sparked the Giants' rally with his team down, 6-1, headed into the top of the third.

Gonsalez cut the lead to four when he dropped an infield single between the Cyclones shortstop, pitcher and second baseman to score Jean Paul Mendoza, who walked. A wild pitch and ensuing throwing error from the catcher scored two more for the Giants to cut their deficit to two, 6-4.

The Cyclones offense, which came out firing, was shut down in their final two innings at the plate thanks to Giants pitcher Michael Lemus, who struck out five, walked four and didn't give up a hit or a run in two innings on the mound.

"I think they just got a little too over anxious, overzealous and allowed the game to fall apart," Cyclones Coach Tony Iezza said. "It happens, but it's good. It's something we can learn from."

Defense translated to more offense for the Giants, who took a 9-6 lead in the top of the fourth with two walks, three errors and two hits.

Andy Garcia and Gabriel Lara started the frame with consecutive walks for both Giants and two errors — one off a single from Joel Martinez — scored Garcia and Lara to tie the game.

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