Vaqueros Disarmed by Best Team in State

Chloe Vignolles-Jeong

The errors are what got them. Again.
That’s what gave the other team three runs.

That’s what let the other team win. That’s what allowed the No. 1 one team in California, the Santa Ana Dons, to defeat the Glendale baseball team 3-1 on Wednesday at Stengel Field.

“Mentally we were definitely prepared. We competed to win,” said head coach Chris Cicuto.

But on the field they didn’t show much of that.

In the first two innings, starting pitcher Casey Manheim kept the Dons to just three hits and no runs. Glendale followed closely behind with two hits.

As the third inning came around, the mistakes started to happen. Relief pitcher Erik Allen came in at the top of the third. When a Santa Ana player tried to steal second base, Allen threw to second baseman Hong Ahn, but Ahn slipped in the dirt as he tried to catch the ball. The ball rolled back, and shortstop Ruben Padilla tried to grab it, but the ball slipped away.

Centerfielder Enrique Osuna finally got ahold of the ball and threw it home but it was too late. A Santa Ana player had already scored.

“It’s a little intimidating playing against them. But once you get started it gets less intimidating,” said Padilla about playing against the Dons.

One more Don came up to bat and hit it to left field, but left fielder Sako Chapjian dropped the ball and Osuna once again tried to save play, but it was too late. Another run scored by the Dons.

“We played OK, but obviously the mistakes got us,” said Cicuto. “They scored on errors, we gave them those runs.”

In the bottom of the third, Santa Ana left some of the Vaqs stranded at first and second base. A chance to score came when Padilla walked to first base and Erik Suarez hit a double to left field allowing Padilla to get on third and Suarez on second with two outs. All hope was lost when Jason Ochart struck out.

A glimmer of hope shined in the bottom of the fifth inning when Malachi “Bo” Silva hit a triple, deep into right field. “It felt good coming back off a broken thumb and your first hit is a triple,” said Silva. “It felt good to contribute.”

Next up was Ahn, who ended up walking to first. Thomas Cruz, third baseman, bunted the ball, which gave the Vaqs their first out in the inning but allowed Jake Whitaker, who took over for Silva at third base, to score the first run.

A double play by the Dons cut off the Vaqs chances to keep scoring runs.

The Dons scored once again in the top of the sixth inning when the catcher, Silva, dropped the ball allowing a runner to score.

At the bottom of the sixth, Glendale got only one hit, still trailing behind by two runs.

In the top of the seventh, Glendale put in relief pitcher Casey Rodgers, who allowed no hits and no runs in the inning.
“Rodgers did great coming off the bullpen,” said Cicuto.

The Vaqs only managed to get one hit in the bottom of the seventh, but it wasn’t enough to score.

In the top of the eighth, the Vaqs still couldn’t seem to come together. A hit to left field allowed a Don to get a double when Chapjian once again let the ball drop.

“He’s playing out of position. He’s not comfortable there yet,” said Cicuto about Chapjian’s performance at left field.
After the next hitter, the runner on second managed to get to the third.

With one out in the inning, and a chance for the Dons to score, a hit to third base allowed Cruz to throw to Silva and get the runner out. Saving the Vaqs another run.

In the top of ninth, pitcher AJ Smouse took over for the Vaqs. No hits were allowed in the inning and the outs came one after the other.

However, in the bottom of the ninth, the Vaqs couldn’t retaliate.

The final score was Santa Ana 3, Glendale 1.
Cicuto expects the team to “take the same mentality against conference teams.”

The Vaqueros are now 11-14 in season, and 3-9 in conference.

They will host West Los Angeles College on Thursday at Stengel Field at 2:30 p.m.