Hornets commit costly errors to give Vaqueros the edge

Glendale sweeps Fullerton as the Hornets give up a two run lead late.
Fullerton sophomore starting LHP Vincent Segovia had a strong outing, throwing seven innings and only allowing one run against Glendale on Friday afternoon at home.
Fullerton sophomore starting LHP Vincent Segovia had a strong outing, throwing seven innings and only allowing one run against Glendale on Friday afternoon at home.
Matthew Gonzalez

A pair of fielding and throwing errors struck the Hornets again in the late innings, which caused them to blow another lead against the Glendale College Vaqueros, sending the Hornets to a tight 3-2 loss at Fullerton College Friday afternoon.

“We made errors and it’s an ongoing problem why we aren’t 6-1,” said manager Chad Baum. “We keep making errors on balls that are routine in my opinion.”

Sophomore starting pitcher Vincent Segovia was perfect against the visiting Vaqueros going into the 5th inning. However, a moonshot double ended the hit-less outing. His final line was seven strong innings, allowing one earned run to go with three hits, five strikeouts and no walks in a no-decision.

The Hornets (3-4) were aggressive against Vaqueros sophomore starter Shane Alderete with a run scored in the first two innings. Alderete also finished with a no-decision, going five innings, allowing two runs on four hits, striking out five and walking a batter.

Hornets freshman first baseman Trevor Schmidt rounds first base against Glendale College on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024 at Fullerton College. (Matthew Gonzalez)

The second run for Fullerton came from freshman designated hitter Dillon Anderson, who lined a single to left field and then stole second. Anderson then advanced to third base on a ground out to the right side from sophomore left fielder Diego Franco. He was then brought home thanks to a sacrifice squeeze.

Freshman right fielder Noah Rodriguez had a 1-1 count when Baum noticed the defense was positioned further back than they had played previous Hornet batters.

“They were playing back, the first baseman, and it was an easy run to mark so it was more of what they gave us to execute to get that run in,” said Baum. “We practice it all the time, it’s a part of our daily routine.”

Anderson charged for home and Rodriguez perfectly placed the bunt toward the deep first baseman to get the Hornets a 2-0 lead.

An early challenge for the Hornets came in the fifth inning when Vaqueros sophomore second baseman Izzy Madariaga slapped a stand up double to right field. Sophomore first baseman Sam Grunberg hit a deep ball in the air toward the foul line that would’ve brought Madariaga in, but Franco slid underneath the ball to make the final out of the inning to keep the Vaqueros off the board.

The persistent Vaqueros (3-2) went to their bullpen in the sixth inning and sophomore Daniel Vergara provided much needed relief by sitting the Hornets down on six consecutive outs.

“We expect that outcome from all our guys,” said Glendale acting manager Jordan Plasencia. “Vergara came off some shoulder issues, but he’s one of the guys we’re going to be looking to to carry that middle relief role.”

Control became an issue in the seventh inning for Segovia. Vaqueros left fielder sophomore Jackson Benattar struck a flyball to center field for a double. A passed ball from sophomore catcher Andrew Pyle allowed Benattar to be placed on third with no outs. A sacrifice fly to left field from freshman third baseman Ethan Pena tied the game at 2-2.

Hornets sophomore catcher Andrew Pyle runs to first base in the sixth inning against the Glendale Vaqueros on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024. (Matthew Gonzalez)

“Unfortunately our defense and a couple bad pitches that he threw got away from us and he deserved a win today,” said Baum.

Moving into the 8th, sophomore relief pitcher Troon Eakin came out of the bullpen for Fullerton. He tried to field a ball hit to him with his bare hand. He missed, which resulted in a rushed throw that became an error out of play from sophomore second baseman Ryan Kirk.

A second error on back-to-back at-bats put all the pressure on the Hornets, as freshman third baseman Kyle Buchanan made another throwing error on what seemed like a routine toss across the diamond.

The final Vaqueros run came from a ball put in play by freshman center fielder Ethan Kearney. It was hit right to the Hornet infield, creating a chance for redemption and an opportunity to keep the game tied. But, the throw to complete the double play wasn’t in time and the Vaqueros went ahead as Fullerton settled for the force out.

Eakin took the loss, though he did not allow a hit or walk. Glendale reliever Matt Cuccias recorded the win, and closer Joe Estrada recorded the save for the Vaqueros.

This was the second comeback for Glendale over Fullerton, after a walkoff homer gave the Vaqueros the win the previous day, 11-9.

“We’re going to keep working hard and improve,” said Baum. “This is a very young team, we have only three players that have played any significant college experience. We’re taking our lumps with good athletes and good players and learning the hard way unfortunately.”

Fullerton College will resume play Saturday when the Hornets host the Moorpark Raiders (1-5) at noon.

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  • R

    Raymond HollidayFeb 10, 2024 at 1:29 pm

    Where’s the photo of the article’s author?

    • J

      Jake RhodesFeb 11, 2024 at 11:49 am

      Thank you for reaching out Raymond! Jamal A. Walker, this article’s author, is a new staff writer for The Hornet this semester. This is his first published story for The Hornet! We have not taken new staff photos at this juncture of the semester is the answer to your question. Rest assured, we will be doing so in the next couple of weeks.