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Andres Rivera helps Vaquero All-Stars topple Tujunga

Baseball: Pitcher strikes out 10 to lead 9-10 squad to 6-0 opening-round win at Pacific Park.

July 05, 2012|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

SOUTHWEST GLENDALE — Andres Rivera isn't afraid to look himself in the mirror.

At least twice a week, Rivera will spend some time standing in front of a giant mirror in his room and work on his pitching delivery. It's played a vital role in helping the Vaquero 9-10 Baseball All-Star examine his mechanics.

Rivera wasn't too shabby facing live batters in his latest outing, as he struck out 10 and allowed a pair of hits in 4 2/3 innings Thursday afternoon to help Vaquero post a 6-0 District 16 opening-round win against Tujunga at Pacific Park. Vaquero will next meet Burbank in a winner's-bracket contest at 5 p.m. today at Pacific Park.

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"I look at the mirror and see what I'm doing right or wrong and it's helped me out," said Rivera, who was removed after reaching the 75-pitch limit. "I just want to practice my mechanics and that keeps me going."

Rivera, a right-hander, got in a jam in each of the first two innings. However, he calmly worked his way out of both situations.

In the top of the first, he surrendered a lead-off hit to Jacob Hanna, who advanced to third with one out. Rivera then got a strikeout and a pop up to end the threat. The first two batters reached base in the second before Rivera promptly got two strikeouts and snagged a line drive for the final out.

"I got in those two jams and then I got out of them by focusing on the catcher's glove and throwing strikes," Rivera said.

Vaquero Manager Luis Cejudo marveled at Rivera's performance.

"He's an awesome player and he showed it again for us," said Cejudo, whose team finished with two hits. "He shut them down and we got the best out of him."

Vaquero scored four runs in the second. Omar Hernandez walked on a full-count pitch with one out and the bases loaded to make it 1-0. An error by the first baseman gave Vaquero a 2-0 lead before Jacob Romero blooped a two-out bases-loaded double down the right-field line on a 1-0 pitch to extend the advantage to 4-0.

"It's the bases loaded and I was feeling kind of nervous," Romero said. "I just wanted to hit the ball."

Vaquero took a 5-0 lead in the third on a groundout that scored Michael Lemus.

Vaquero closed out the scoring in the fourth on an error by the shortstop.

Relievers Gerrardo Fuentes and Romero combined to get the final four outs.

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