Estrada Throws No-Hitter For Win Against Pierce

EDDIE ALVAREZ
El Vaquero Staff Writer

When the Vaqueros took the field on Tuesday afternoon they were staring at a long season. When Marco Estrada stepped on the mound to face Pierce College, he was coming off his worst start of the season.

In that game he was tapped for 6 runs, including a homerun.

But that would not be the case in this game. Right off the bat the Vaqueros top pitcher set the tempo by striking out his first two batters he faced.

That would set the tempo for the rest of the game.

Manager Bob Meyers said, “He was in a zone. He was coming off of his worst outing against Citrus and he wanted this to be a turning point.”
Making sure Estrada had his space, Meyers did not speak to him after the third inning.

“I was really excited that I just threw the no-hitter, ” said Estrada. “Everything just felt right that day.”

“During the game, I tried not to think about it; but, once the game was over, it was the greatest feeling I ever had.”

The “no-no”, as it called in baseball, had a chance to be broken up when Estrada led off the ninth inning by walking the first batter he faced.
But all that worry was calmed when the next Pierce hitter hit into a 5-4-3 double play and one out closer.

With the no-hitter on the line, Estrada threw a 1-2 curve ball for his 13th strikeout. This strikeout gave Estrada the no-hitter and the Vaqueros the win. Estrada ended the afternoon with 13 strikeouts, 3 walks, on 129 pitches.

The Vaqueros offensive strength came mostly from Jimmy Harth. Harth led the team with 2 hits and 5 RBI’s.

He got 4 RBI’s in the fifth inning when he hit a grand slam to seal the game for the Vaqueros.

“I have been at a no-hitter, but this was the first game that I have actually called the pitches, all the guys were really excited,” said Meyers, who is in his first year as manager.

Despite the incredible performance from Estrada on Tuesday the Vaqueros are still struggling to defend their conference and state championship.
With an 11-16-1 record going into Thursday’s rematch against Pierce, the Vaqueros are a far cry from the state champions of last year.

The struggles this year have been credited to many things and not just one fundamental error said Meyers.

“In September we looked awful but I think by the first days of October all the problems that come along with the transition were gone.”

“The guys have been working hard but we have not been able to out the three spectrums of baseball together (pitching, hitting, defense). Our pitching has been shaky at best,” said Meyers.

“Our offense has been up and down all season. But what I think has hurt us the most this season is the defensive errors that we are committing day in and day out.”

“A ball club cannot win games if we are making 2-3 errors a game. All that does is put more pressure on the pitching.”

“The things that are happening to us are the kind of things that happen to a baseball team that is struggling,” said Meyers.

The team split two games with College of the Canyons last week losing 14-6 on March 27 and coming back Saturday to attempt to beat them in a thriller 6-5.

The Vaqueros hope to continue to ride to momentum from Estrada’s no-hitter, when they travel to Sylmar to take on Mission College at 1p.m. on Saturday.