Canyons Shuts Down Vaquero Season

Brandon Hensley

College of the Canyon’s Caleb Deville pitched a complete game, and in turn completed the Glendale Vaqueros’ baseball season.

Deville was spectacular on the mound for all nine innings as he helped the Cougars defeat the Vaqs 6-1 on Saturday afternoon at Stengel Field.

“He’s their best pitcher,” Vaqs head coach Chris Cicuto said of Deville. “He doesn’t have the fastball that everyone wants to see. But he’s around the zone, his ball moves late.”

Deville, a 6-foot-3-inch-tall sophomore from Valencia High School, gave up seven hits, allowing only one run and no walks. He struck out six.

The victory gave the Cougars (24-15, 19-7 in conference) a season sweep over the Vaqs, winning all four games played this year. They had beaten Glendale two days earlier 12-2.

The loss dropped Glendale (23-18, 13-13) to fourth place in the Western State Conference, all but eliminating them from a possible at-large playoff berth they were hoping to get if they had stayed in third place.

Glendale needed a boost from starter Steven DeArmond, but he was not as fortunate in his outing. He lasted only 3 1/3 innings, surrendering seven hits and five runs, four earned. He walked one, while not recording a strikeout, and his record dropped to 2-2.

DeArmond, a freshman left-hander, said location was the cause of his problems. “I left the ball up too much,” he said.

The scoring started early and often for Canyons. In the first inning, center fielder Brain Charnock smacked a two-run home run to right field to put the Cougars up 2-0.
DeArmond said his pitch to Charnock was a “two seam [fastball]. It didn’t break. It stayed up.”

“A team that’s physical that hit like that, any pitch that’s belt high, they’re going to take advantage of,” said Cicuto.

In the second inning, the Vaquero defense committed its first of three errors when shortstop Danny Casey bobbled a grounder from Mark Hendrickson with two out, allowing Tyler Oldham to score from third base to make it 3-0.

Hendrickson doubled in two more runs in the top of the fourth to make it 5-0, and that was it for DeArmond. Clayton Dungfelder came on in relief and gave the Vaqs just what they needed. Dungfelder went 4 2/3 innings, allowing just one run.

With the pitching back on track though, the offense could barely muster a rally. Against Deville, who was getting strikes over early in the count, Glendale was aggressive at the plate, swinging early and often. It only led to quick outs.

“Swinging at the first pitch I don’t have a problem with. It’s the 2-0 pitches, the 1-0 pitches that we didn’t take advantage of at all,” said Cicuto.

Trailing 6-0 in the seventh, the Vaqs finally put a run on the board when Juan Sanchez scored from second on a hit by Matt Rueda. They could have had more though earlier in the inning.

With Yuki Ishida on third and one out, Andre Sember hit a grounder to third baseman Matt Warr. Ishida began to go home but hesitated, and got himself tagged out in a rundown between Warr and catcher Kyle Leon.

The only other big opportunity came in the ninth when the Vaqs loaded the bases with one out. But Deville got Rueda to hit back to him and an out was recorded at home. Yuya Okuda then grounded out to first to end the game.
Cicuto was sullen in the clubhouse afterward, realizing that his team would most likely not be in the postseason.

“It’s frustrating, it’s kind of sad. The only thing to play for now is pride and I think our guys have a lot of pride.”
The Vaqueros end their regular season Thursday at West L.A. College at 2:30 p.m.