Vaquero’s Lose Under Monarch Reign

Chloe Vignolles-Jeong

Glendale just can’t seem to get a break this season. One inning they’re leading, the next they’re giving up runs as easy as one, two, three.

That was the case on Saturday when they hosted the Los Angeles Valley College Monarchs at Stengel Field.

The Vaqs took an early lead in the bottom of the first inning with a run-scoring single by Erik Suarez to bring them 1-0.

Starting pitcher Richie Valenzuela had an outstanding performance for six innings, allowing no runs and just one hit.

“Awesome, absolutely awesome,” said head coach Chris Cicuto on Valenzuela’s performance. “Guys make errors behind him but he bounces right back, and that’s awesome. Tells you a lot about his competitiveness.”

The Monarchs stood no chance against Valenzuela’s pitching, and even when they had the slightest hope of making an appearance on base, an outfielder or an infielder would be there to catch the ball and get the out.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Jason Ochart found a hole in the right field for a double to give the center fielder Enrique Osuna, who also hit a double, a chance to score and give the Vaqs a little breathing room with a 2-0 lead.

Valenzuela was on a roll, but at the top of the seventh inning, things started to get hot for the Monarchs.

With two outs, it looked like they were going nowhere. A fly ball headed directly to right fielder Nash Hutter looked like it would’ve been the third out, but the ball dropped right out of his glove.

“We’re trying to shuffle guys around, to get the right click,” said Cicuto. “We’ve been hurt this year, a lot of starters have been going down. Our game plan has changed now. I’ve got to put guys on the spot and if they don’t make plays you got to find a player who will.”

Then another double and a single by the Monarchs allowed them to tie up the game.
With one out left in the inning, and a man on second base, they still had a chance to increase the lead. Another double that went right over third base and all the way to the fence allowed the Monarchs to increase their lead to 3-2.

Hutter managed to redeem himself when a Monarch hit a single and a man on second base was on the run to home plate.
“We made the catch in right field, and that inning is over with,” said Cicuto. “We got the momentum going with a two-run lead, but we didn’t make that play so it slowed things down.”

Glendale had lost their streak and couldn’t manage to get a run at the bottom of the seventh, leaving players stuck on first and second base.

Closing pitcher AJ Smouse took over at the top of the eighth inning and held the Monarchs to finish the game.

The Vaqs, however, couldn’t manage to even get on base and in the bottom of the ninth, the Monarchs’ closing pitcher shut the Vaqs down in just eight pitches.

Even with the Vaqs being 10-10 in season, and 2-5 in conference, Cicuto is sure that the players will come right back.

“We’ll be fine,” said Cicuto. “I’m very confident in our guys. As long as they can get through this dead period.”

The Vaqueros will host the College of the Canyons Cougars Thursday at 2:30 p.m.