Vaqueros Open Tournament With a Bitter Loss

The Vaqueros lost 3-2 in the opening round against Palomar College after coming off a successful season and high expectations Friday afternoon at Fullerton College.

The Vaqueros came out aggressive to start the CCCAA tournament as outfielder Justin Jones hit a single early in the game and with some clever base running skills he got to third base. He tried to steal home, but got called out in the first inning.

The Palomar Comets drew first blood in the second inning when left handed pitcher Gary Acuna had some troubles with control. Acuna almost got out of the inning unscaved, but gave up a two run double.

Head coach Chris Cicuto said that he feels that his guys were a little jittery, but said the team did a good job and all they can do is keep moving forward.

“He [Acuna] did a great job, he didn’t hurt himself too much. He wasn’t sharp, but he battled and did a great job staying with the game plan,” said Cicuto.

Despite Acuna’s struggles, he only gave up one run. He was on the rope multiple times, but never got knocked out.

The third inning could have been disastrous if not for the Vaqueros’ defense. A wild pitch advanced the runners. Acuno walked the batter that would have loaded the bases, but a quick reaction by the pitcher got a Palomar runner out on third to end the inning.

GCC struggled offensively until the sixth inning when it had the bases loaded with no outs. A double play and a pop fly later the inning was over. The Vaqueros for three consecutive innings had the bases loaded with no outs. That all changed in the eighth inning when Pepe Marquez hit a two run single to put GCC up 2-1.

“I tried not to let the adversity get to me and I realized my defense is one of a kind,” said Acuna. Once I got out of the inning when I let a run in, I regained focus and tried to do the best for my team.”

The bottom of the eighth was a inning that the Vaqueros would like to have back. Walking batters and wild pitches led to Palomar to have runners on third and second.

The super regionals are a double- elimination tournament. Glendale will face the loser of the Fullerton, El Camino game and the tournament will conclude on Sunday. GCC loses one more game and they are out of the tournament.