More than likely, if a baseball team walks eight batters and commits three costly errors, then that team is going to lose.
The Glendale Vaqueros were beaten by the Citrus Owls 8-4 just three days after beating the Owls 8-4. This loss makes it the eighth loss in their last nine games.
With five games left in the season, and no post-season plans, the Vaqueros wanted to just win out and carry the momentum into next season. But, a team is not going to win any baseball games unless they do the little things such as making the routine outs, turning double plays whenever the opportunity presents itself, and getting runners in scoring position home.
“We just didn’t execute today,” head coach Chris Cicuto said. “We gave up five runs with two outs and none of their runners on base, and that will always hurt a team.”
Clay Young, starting pitcher for the Vaqueros, did not have his best stuff against the Owls as he gave up six runs and walked seven batters in 4 2/3 innings. Young, however, struck out eight batters, and if not for some bad breaks, put himself in a good position to become the winning pitcher.
However, the Citrus Owls (14-8 through May 2) were very productive at the plate, getting their eight runs off of ten hits. Glendale (12-23 overall through May 2) had trouble picking off runners as the Owls managed to get five steals leading to three runs. In other words, the Vaqueros could not stop the Owls from beating them with small ball.
The game started getting out of reach in the fourth inning, as the Owls made a 1-1 tie ballgame into a 4-1 advantage. With two outs, Young and his defense could not get out of the inning as an Owl batter got on base with a bunt and proceeded to steal second base, and getting in scoring position. A single drove in the runner on second, followed by a two run home run.
The Vaqueros, despite 11 hits, had trouble manufacturing runs at key moments in the game. Glendale put pressure on the Citrus defense in the bottom of the third when outfielder Blake Gailen and third baseman Daniel Lee hit back-to-back doubles with no outs in the inning. Lee advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt, and was in good position to score, but the next two Glendale hitters struck out.
“We didn’t come through in key situations,” Lee said.
In the game, Lee went 3-5 with two singles, a double and a walk.
But the Vaqueros only had two runs going into the ninth inning when they were down 8-2 and needed something close to a miracle. Pinch hitter Bill Spottiswood hit a two-run home run but that wasn’t enough as the game ended.
“We did what we were supposed to do today and won the game,” Citrus College head coach Steve Gomez said. “The players were motivated having lost to the same team three days earlier.”
The Vaqueros have gone through another disappointing season, but Cicuto understands the struggles his team has gone through.
“Coming into the season, there was a lot of pressure put on our sophomores to compete well,” Cicuto said. “And as hard as they always play, expectations were just not met.”