Vaqueros Give up Close One to Renegades

Chloe Vignolles-Jeong

The Vaqs tried. They gave it their all, and still came up short, but just by one run, falling to the Bakersfield College Renegades in a 7-6 final score.

Even with an early lead by the Bakersfield College Renegades, they didn’t give up hope. They continued to play to the very last inning.

Michael Noteware started off the pitching lineup for the Vaqs, allowing five hits. An early error in the game by the Vaqs let the Renegades score two runs. And after that three more runs put the Renegades on the scoreboard 5-0.

In the bottom of the first, the Vaqs couldn’t even get a hit.

In the top of the second inning, the Renegades scored two more runs off of stolen bases and dropped balls. However, they contained them to just two runs and two hits. With two outs and runners on second and third, first baseman David Park saved the inning by stopping their running streak.
The Vaqs were able to respond to those two runs, with some of their own.

Nash Hutter got on first base from a hit by pitch, and later stole second. A ball count allowed Park to get on first, but was out after Hong Ahn hit a single to the shortstop. Hutter was on third already, and when the catcher missed the ball, he was able to score Glendale’s first run. Ruben Padilla got a single, and allowed Ahn to get on third base when the Renegade’s third baseman dropped the ball.

Padilla stole second while Thomas Cruz was up to bat. A hit directly to second base got him out, but Ahn made a run for it, scoring the second run. The inning came to end with Jason Ochart’s direct hit to the second baseman.

The Vaqs were still trailing behind by five runs in the top of the third inning.
Relief pitcher Erik Allen came in to try to hold the Renegade’s to just seven runs.
Allen didn’t allow any runs for four innings.
“It felt good,” said Allen. Felt like I needed to come in and keep them from scoring. Just throw strikes and keep the ball low.”

It wasn’t until the fifth inning that the game got much more interesting.

A bunt by Cruz got the Vaqs the first out. Enrique Osuna walked, after a ball count. As Ochart was up to bat, Osuna stole second. The Renegades also walked Ochart. Erik Suarez was up next, and once again Osuna stole third base, as Ochart stole second. Suarez walked, and the bases were loaded.
Designated hitter Sako Chapjian hit a high ball to center field, giving the Vaqs the second out.

Hutter was up to bat. What happened next, no one saw coming. But that’s the game of baseball. It was his first grand slam.

“It was funny when I was in the dugout I was thinking to myself, ‘What if bases get loaded, what if I hit a home run’,” said Hutter. “I was in shock when I hit that. It’s everyone’s dream to hit a grand slam.”
The sixth inning went fast for both teams. No runs, ho hits, no errors, no base appearances.

In the seventh inning, Allen allowed one hit, which went straight to Cruz who knocked the ball off his glove and let the ball roll back to Ochart. That gave the Renegades a single and the Vaqueros an error. Next hitter for the Renegades got a single as well, and now first and second base were loaded. Clay Dungfelder replaced Allen on the mound. He allowed one more hit, and bases were now loaded.

With a 3-2 count and two outs, Dungfelder had to be focused. If he allowed the next batter to get a hit, the scoring deficit would be higher.

The next pitch, the batter swung. Out.
“I didn’t feel the pressure,” said Dungfelder. “I was in the zone. I had a job to get done and I did it.”

Unfortunately, the Vaqs couldn’t come up with any more runs. The last two innings went by just as fast as the sixth. With a hit here and there, none were close enough to let the Vaqs get the lead.
It was, yet again, another disappointing loss.

“We had opportunities and we didn’t take advantage of them,” said Dungfelder.
The Vaqs are now 13-17 in conference, and 5-10 in the WSC.

They will host the Los Angeles Valley College Monarchs Thursday at 2:30 p.m. at Stengel Field.