“One bad pitch and it’s all over; that’s just baseball,” said first year Head Coach Chris Cicuto, after a 3-2 loss to College of the Canyons (4-5, 1-0) Saturday at Stengel Field.
The Vaqueros (3-6, 0-1) had a 2-1 lead going into the final inning behind masterful pitching by Jon Conley, who pitched all nine innings and had eight strike outs but made one bad pitch, costing Glendale the game. Conley started the final inning by striking out Tim Wojcik, but then an error got COC’s Joey Morelli to first base. Cory Hodge stepped up to the plate and then blasted a home run over the left field fence that sucked the air out of the Vaqueros
“We played really well,” said Cicuto. “We still lost though, and it was just one pitch at a bad time.”
The game remained scoreless through six innings with only seven total hits. The seventh inning opened with a series of singles and sacrifices by the Cougars.
With one out and two players on base, Nick Enciso hit a double to left which scored Wojcik from second. Conley got out of the inning by striking out the next batter, and getting the next one to fly out.
Glendale came out and scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh. With Mark Torre and Blake Gailen on first and second, D.J Milonas bunted for a base hit and the bases were loaded for AJ Anthony. Anthony hit a single past the short stop for an RBI sending Torre home. With the score tied and one out, Chris Oliver had some timely hitting with a single line drive that sent Blake Gailen home. A double play by Canyons sent the game into the eighth inning with the Vaqueros on top 3-2.
The eighth inning belonged to the pitchers, especially Conley who seemed poised to end the game and take away any hope COC had of coming back. Conley duled against for Crescenta Valley High hurler, 6-foot-5 pitcher, Kris Krise.
“Jon (Conley) just out-pitched Kris,” Cicuto said. “Every time he steps on the mound he’s ready to compete, he’s definitely one our leaders.”
After COC took the lead in the ninth Max Hibbs pitched the final inning for the Cougars striking out the side with ease. The final batter for Glendale, Milanos, struck out on three pitches, The Vaqueros never really got the bats going, at the same time they were not able to execute in key situations.
“You’ve got to execute on bunts and sacrifices,” Cicuto said. “We didn’t and that’s why we lost.”
The Vaqueros looked good between the foul lines, especially on the mound. Glendale allowed only four hits until the seventh inning, and those hits did them in. “We played extremely well and we haven’t been playing that well in our non-conference games lately.” said Cicuto. “Our guys are very confident and they know we should have won this game.”
Glendale faces L.A. Valley College (0-14, 0-1) at Stengel Field Saturday at 1 p.m.