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Glendale Community College baseball gets off to the right start in regional

Baseball: Rodriguez goes the distance as Vaqueros beat Grossmont, 4-2, in regional opener.

May 03, 2013|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • Glendale Community College's Angel Rodgriguez threw a complete game in a win over Grossmont.
Glendale Community College's Angel Rodgriguez… (Tim Berger/Staff…)

GLENDALE — It was just the phenomenal start the Glendale Community College baseball team was looking to get.

Faced with an unfamiliar opponent in Grossmont College, the Vaqueros turned to freshman right-hander Angel Rodriguez, whose consistent excellence has been a keystone in propelling GCC into the 2013 California Community College Athletic Assn. Baseball Southern California Regional.

PHOTOS: Glendale Community College vs. Grossmont tournament baseball

Rodriguez responded with a clutch performance, hurling a complete game and leading the Vaqueros to a 4-2 win over the visiting Griffins on a hot and breezy Friday afternoon at Stengel Field in the first game of the best-of-three series.

"He's been consistent, that's all you can ask for from a starting pitcher," said Vaqueros Coach Chris Cicuto, who got a big day at the plate from Oscar Tinjaca (three runs batted in) and Justin Jones, who had a pair of hits, a run and the game-winning RBI. "It was so crucial not to get in our bullpen."

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Rodriguez allowed two runs, eight hits and one walk, while striking out five. He retired the side in order to start the game and then did the same thing in the ninth, emphatically ending the contest with a 1-2-3 stanza.

"I felt great, I was ready to go," said Rodriguez, whose record improved to 8-2 after his second complete game of the season. "I actually felt stronger [in the ninth inning] than I was the first inning. I was really focused, determined to finish the game.

"I felt good, once I got the thumbs up from coach [to finish the game], I was locked in. Locked and loaded."

GCC (26-11) can close out the series and move on to the super regionals for a third straight season with a win Saturday morning at 11, with freshman left-hander Gary Acuna taking the hill for the Vaqueros against Grossmont (26-11), which will counter with right-hander Adam Anawalt. If necessary, the third game would take place 30 minutes after the second contest.

"It comes down to relief pitching, that's what it comes down to. … We didn't get it done. … It's uncharacteristic, but it happens," Griffins Coach Randy Abshier said. "It's always gonna come down to what happens on the bump and their guy went nine and they got to our bullpen."

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