Vaquero Season Ends, New Hope Begins

With a hello came the goodbyes.
From the very first pitch to the last, it was time to leave the 2010 baseball season behind.

Looking back, many players did an outstanding job, while others were still learning to play at the college level.
From injuries to a grand slam to a near-brawl, this season had it all.

Here’s a recap of this years’ starting players (played a minimum of 19 games) and statistics:

The Vaqueros finished 14-21 in the season and 7-14 in Western State Conference under head coach Chris Cicuto.

Left fielder Jason Ochart led the Vaqs this season in batting with a .318. He also had two home runs, 15 runs, 42 hits, two doubles, one triple and 13 RBIs (runs batted in).

Ochart said he had higher expectations of both himself and the team. “It was disappointing,” he said. “It’s hard to enjoy any individual success when we didn’t win. I take more pride in the team’s success than my own, especially as a captain.”

Third baseman Sako Chapjian was in second for batting average with a .294, had three home runs, 23 runs, 35 hits, 12 doubles, one triple and 20 RBIs.

Chapjian had a few problems this season, as he couldn’t find his spot on the field. He was moved around to different bases, and even attempted playing left field.

Cicuto had said earlier in the season that the team has been hurt this year with a lot of starters going down.

“I’ve got to put guys on the spot and if they don’t make the plays you got to find a player who will,” he said.

Eventually, Chapjian stayed at third base, improving his abilities and securing his spot.

In third came catcher Erik Suarez with a .289 batting average, 16 runs, 33 hits, six doubles, and 17 RBIs.

Shortstop Ruben Padilla came right behind with a .279 batting average, 17 runs, 34 hits, five doubles and 14 RBIs.

As for the rest of the team, catcher Malachi “Bo” Silva averaged a .278, with eight runs, 20 hits, three doubles and eight RBIs.

Silva had more to be happy about, as he got married in the middle of the season.

Infielder Thomas Cruz had a .272 average, 17 runs, 25 hits, a double and a triple and seven RBIs. Second baseman Hong Ahn batted a .271, had eight runs and 13 hits, a double and five RBIs.

Catcher and pinch runner Ryan Daniels batted a .237, with 11 runs, 14 hits, four doubles and eight RBIs.

Right fielder Nash Hutter batted a .224, along with 14 runs, 19 hits, six doubles, three homeruns, one grand slam and 12 RBIs.

Hutter stated after the game against the Bakersfield Renegades, that he was thinking in the dugout right before going up to bat, “what if the bases get loaded and I hit a home run?” And sure enough he did, to bring the game that much closer.

Unfortunately, the Vaqs came up short in a 7-6 loss.

Enrique Osuna, center fielder, came right behind Hutter with a .223 average, 14 runs, 23 hits, eight doubles and eight RBIs.

First baseman David Park had a .185 batting average with nine runs, 15 hits, four doubles and seven RBIs.

Park took over first baseman Michael Sherwin’s spot, who suffered a concussion at the beginning of the season when he attempted to tag a player at first base and instead the player ran into him. Sherwin saved the game, but unfortunately was out for the season.

As for the pitching staff, Glendale had some returning players as well as some new faces.

Returning players Spencer Smith had a 3.49 earned run average, Erik Allen had a 5.56 earned run average, and Clay Dungfelder a 5.76 with one win.

New players include Ricardo Valenzuela with a 3.45, and two wins, AJ Smouse with a 3.63, one win and three saves, and Joe Stephen with a 4.02 and four wins.

Other pitchers were Michael Noteware with three wins, Ben Gass with one win, Josh Natham, and Oscar Aguirre. Pitchers Casey Manheim, who had two wins, and Casey Rodgers moved to California from Illinois and Texas, respectively.

Rodgers, a Houston native, came to Glendale following in both his grandfather and father’s footsteps. Rodger’s father, Guy Rodgers, played football at Glendale from 1977 to 1979.

For batters struck out, Stephen led the list with 31 players. Following Stephen were Smith with 29, Valenzuela with 28, Noteware with 26, and Allen with 16.

Fielding leaders were Suarez with .983, Osuna with a .976, Hutter with .969, Ochart with a .932 and Cruz with a .915.

With such a new team, the season was a learning experience. Some players will not be returning next year, as they have served their time being a Vaq, opening up positions.

Although the season wasn’t what the players expected, the team has built a better foundation with each other in hopes to find a better season in 2011.