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Glendale Community College baseball ready for regional showdown with Grossmont

Baseball: Vaqueros host Grossmont College in regional at Stengel Field starting Friday at 1p.m.

May 02, 2013|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • ARCHIVE PHOTO: Chris Whitmer and the rest of the Glendale Community College baseball team will host Grossmont College in a California Community College Athletic Assn. Baseball Southern California Regional opener game Friday.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: Chris Whitmer and the rest of the Glendale… (Tim Berger/Staff…)

As the current Glendale Community College baseball season was on deck, Vaqueros Coach Chris Cicuto admitted how fulfilling it would be to bring home a third consecutive Western State Conference South Division, but the veteran skipper put far more of an emphasis on a game-by-game approach rather than any long term goals of continuing his team’s historic run of success.

Cliched as the one-game-at-a-time approach may be, it’s resulted in a WSC conference title three-peat and, in turn, a third straight appearance in the opening round of the 2013 California Community College Athletic Assn. Baseball Southern California Regional, as the Vaqueros will host Grossmont College in the best-of-three series at Stengel Field beginning Friday at 1 p.m.

And while there’s no doubt that Cicuto and his Vaqueros are hoping for a third straight trip to the super regionals, the approach remains the very same that got them to this point.

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“We’re not here to win a regional, we’re here to win on Friday,” said Cicuto, whose team will host the second game Saturday morning at 11 and a third game, if necessary, to follow 30 minutes after. “We just want to win one inning and then the next.”

Seventh-seeded Glendale (25-11), ranked sixth in the American Baseball Coaches Assn. Junior College Pacific Associations Division poll — the third-highest Southern California team — welcomes a 10th-seeded Grossmont (26-10) squad that took second in the Pacific Coast Conference. Grossmont boasts a pitching staff and lineup rife with gaudy numbers and also the element of surprise, as Cicuto and his staff are relatively unfamiliar with their opponents going in.

“It’s a little tougher going in, not knowing anything about their pitchers,” said GCC sophomore catcher Chris Whitmer, who’s hitting .260 with a team-high four home runs, along with 22 runs, 19 runs batted in and 10 stolen bases. “We just have to go in and play our game. It got us here and it’ll get us as far as we can go.”

In 2011, the Vaqueros went all the way to the state tournament, the first time in program history they advanced to that point. Last season, GCC lost to Orange Coast in the championship game of the Orange Coast Super Regional, falling short of a repeat bid to state. Thus, the Vaqueros carry plenty of experience into their matchup.

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