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Glendale Community College baseball stays course in earning conference win

Baseball: Vaqueros notch 10-3 victory against West L.A. as they continue battle to rise to top of conference standings.

March 27, 2014|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com

GLENDALE — For the first time in a longtime, the Glendale Community College baseball team does not find itself at the top of the conference standings at this point in the season.

However, despite having to play catch-up, the Vaqueros don’t want to look at the big picture and what they need to accomplish during the final five weeks of the season. Instead, Glendale college is taking a more myopic view of its situation and that means looking no farther than its next opponent.

That latest opponent Thursday was West L.A. College, a team at the bottom of the Western State Conference South standings. The Vaqueros received a solid early pitching performance from David Lira and a fine effort at the plate from Brent Sakurai to turn back the visiting Wildcats in a 10-3 victory at Stengel Field.

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The Vaqueros (12-10, 7-4 in conference), who won their third straight game, came into the day in third place in conference behind league-leading Mission College and second-place College of the Canyons.

“We don’t really worry about what we have to go to get back to the top of the conference, we just try and control what we can control as far as that’s concerned,” said Glendale Coach Chris Cicuto, whose team has won three straight conference championships. “We just want to come out here and play good baseball and hopefully come away with a win.

“I wanna say it’s been probably three years since we haven’t been in first place at this time, but that’s fine with us. We just have to take care of it and we can’t control what the other teams in front of us are doing. But getting this win is huge. Every win is huge for us right now.”

The Vaqueros made the most of 10 hits to score their 10 runs. They were also able to take advantage of West L.A. (3-19, 2-9) pitching walking eight batters and hitting three more.

Two of those walks came from Sakurai, a freshman who started at shortstop. Sakurai was two for four with a double, one run scored, four runs batted in and two stolen bases.

Lira also did his part for Glendale, breezing through the first four innings. During that span, the left-hander faced just one batter over the minimum, allowed two hits, no runs and struck out four.

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