First published in the May 28 print issue of the Glendale News Press.
Glendale Community College’s baseball team saw its historic season come to an end after falling to Riverside, 14-2, in the third round of the Southern California Regionals on Saturday.
“It was a very talented group, very persistent,” fourth-year head coach Alex Kocol said. “I thought they accomplished a lot and we’re looking forward to just continuing to build the program.”
Sophomore infielder Hans Seo tripled and scored a run, freshman infielder Izzy Madariaga doubled and added an RBI, and sophomore outfielder Alex Mills went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Freshman catcher Isaiah Velazco and freshman infielder Artin Biageyian each produced a base hit, freshman infielder Brandon Hernandez notched an RBI and freshman outfielders Joey Craig, Adrian Gonzalez and Alec Garcia each walked once.
Meanwhile, sophomore right-handed pitcher Julian Jaramillo tossed 1.2 scoreless innings of relief, allowing one hit and one walk with a pair of strikeouts.
The Vaqueros, who won the Western State Conference South title, concluded a terrific season with a 38-9 overall record, including an impressive 22-game win streak between March 4 and April 23 as GCC outscored its opponents 240-92 during that span.
“We had a lot of talent,” Kocol said. “I thought we were deep one through 40. I thought every guy contributed and did a huge part to be a part of this successful season.”
Freshman Brandon Nguyen had a powerful start to his GCC career by slashing .383/.466/.703 while leading the team in hits (67), home runs (10) and triples (seven). He tied the team lead in RBIs (44) with Gonzalez while adding 55 runs and 17 stolen bases. Meanwhile, freshman pitcher Aaron Suval, the conference’s pitcher of the year, finished with a 6-0 record, striking out 80 batters across 83.2 innings with a team-best 2.26 ERA.
Velazco had a great offensive season, leading the team with a .443 batting average (minimum 75 at-bats) and adding 29 runs and 27 RBIs. Gonzalez posted a .393/.515/.652 while leading the team in doubles (14) with 37 runs and 44 RBIs. He also blasted five home runs and stole eight bases. Seo recorded a .344 batting average and a 1.018 OPS with 38 runs, 41 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. Craig registered a .340 batting average and a 1.098 OPS with a second-best nine home runs. He added a team-high 63 runs scored with 37 RBIs and 19 stolen bases. Biageyian batted .343 with 40 runs, 23 RBIs and a team-high 21 stolen bases and sophomore utility player Will Cheatham had 39 hits, 25 runs and 23 RBIs. Mills collected 47 hits, including eight doubles and five home runs, with 40 runs, 37 RBIs and 15 stolen bases and Madariaga produced 40 hits, including eight doubles, three triples and four home runs with 37 runs, 32 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.
Freshman Aedan Cunningham earned a team-high three saves and finished with a 6-1 record in 17 appearances. He pitched to a 2.95 ERA with 51 strikeouts in 39.2 innings, earning a team-best 11.57 strikeouts per nine innings (minimum 30 innings pitched). Freshman Kenji Pallares posted a 7-1 record in 12 games started, with a 3.36 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 59 innings. Sophomore Julian Jaramillo logged 51.1 innings with a 4.03 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 14 appearances (eight games started).
“I think we do a great job here with our young men and our coaches. We would appreciate a lot more support from the local community,” Kocol said.