Vaqueros Lose in Tournament, Meyers Looks Toward Future

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el-vaquero-staff-writer/" class="creditline">EDDIE ALVAREZ
El Vaquero Staff Writer

When most people in the community talk about Vaquero baseball, they talk about pride and a winning tradition.

When John Strauss left late in the summer, it left Bob Meyers with one of the toughest jobs in the world, winning without prep time.

He had to take over the reputation of Western State Conference South Division Champions, three of the last four years, without enough adequate time to prepare for the season.

Coach Meyers has had a difficult first season as head coach. After being hired late in the summer, Meyers knew he would not have an easy job in front of him.

But after having early transition problems over in October, the Vaquero’s had their sites set on repeating as conference champions.

After a below average pre-season the Vaquero’s were still poised going into the regular season. Troubles of the pre-season continued to haunt the Vaqueros in the spring.

The Vaqueros ended 16-24-1 for the season after falling 6-2 to Pierce, Citrus 7-1, and Canyons 10-3 over the weekend in WSC tournament.

“Its tough to try to take anything positive away from this season” said Meyers. “Its hard to win ball games when we are making the same mistakes that we have been doing the whole entire season,” said Meyers.
“You can not compete in a league like ours when you are making about two and a half errors a game.” Defense was a problem for the Vaqueros all season, which made the pitching staff work harder then it should have had to.

Vaquero pitching was rated sixth in the WSC with a 4.95 ERA which included over 200 innings pitched, 157 strikouts, 67 walks and two saves.

Of course every pitching staff has an ace, and Mario Estrada was just that for the team. Estrada was an unanimous all conference first team selection. His impressve season includes a no-hitter against Los Angeles Pierce College on April 1.

Estrada was first in the WSC among starting pitchers with 5-2 record, 72 strikouts, 14 walks and a microscopic 1.69 ERA.

Despite the great numbers by Estrada, the Vaquero offense lacked the muster that it takes to be good in a tough league such as the WSC south.
With a .279 batting average, they were almost 100 points behind league leading College of the Canyons, who hit .371.

Despite the low team hitting, Landon Cortenbach led the team in hitting with .309 average. Cortenbach was the only player from GCC in the WSC top 50 in hitting.

“We had problems like we did against Canyons all season long. If the gloves were making the plays our bats were not producing the runs to stay in the ball games, which goes back again to doing the fundamental things,” said Meyers.

The Vaqueros will have to play harder next season to return to the level their potential allows. With a full roster full of returning players, however, that should not be a problem.

” I think that one good thing that we can take away from this season is the fact that guys can see what kind of mistakes we shouldn’t be making for the following season,” said Meyers.