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SHUTOUT: Vaquero pitcher Corey Popham picks up his fourth big win of the season.

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Marlon Miranda, El Vaquero Staff Writer
April 4, 2012
Filed under Sports

Corey Popham pitched a scoreless game on five hits as the Vaqueros defeated College of Canyons 1-0 at Stengel Field Thursday.

Glendale was still feeling the lingering effects of losing a one- run, 14-inning ball game against LA Valley College in their prior game. Head Coach Chris Cicuto was proud of how his team reacted to the let down and rebounded well against the Cougars.

“We showed great maturity in overcoming a disappointing loss,” said Cicuto. “ [Corey] Popham pitched a great game today; he was aggressive and managed the game with quality pitches.”

Popham pitched a shutout but not everything went as he planned. He walked two batters and hit another with a pitch. Due to his crafty pitching, he forced College of Canyons to leave 12 runners stranded on base.

“I just wanted to give our team a chance to win and we beat a real good team,” said Popham. “It was difficult to overcome our last defeat, it was very important for us to come out strong and aggressive this game and put the last loss behind us.”

Neither team gave an inch as they remained scoreless throughout the first four innings. GCC only gave up five hits and two errors. The Cougars gave up seven hits and no errors.

GCC had a scare in the fifth inning with two men on base. With two outs, Canyons got a hit and got the third out at home plate, ending the scoring drive as well as the inning.

Glendale’s focus was on defense, as first baseman Julian Jarrad made multiple outs and turned his glove into a magnet with flashy catches. His glove was the main reason why the Cougars couldn’t get anything going on offense.

“This victory is a huge moral boost for us after our last game,” said Jarrad. “ I used to be a shortstop, so I have great infield instinct that helped me a lot today.”

The Vaqueros’ defense on Canyons was reminiscent of their prior game in which they stranded 19 batters.

In the eighth inning, Cicuto started shuffling his line-up, inserting a pinch hitter which resulted in a hit. Then a pinch runner, a sacrifice bunt moved the runner to second base. Cameron Gardner hit his third single and scored the only run of the game.

“I picked up on the pitchers tendencies, he only had three pitches he was using,” said Gardner. “I wasn’t trying to over hit the ball, I was just trying to make contact. I am just happy we got the win.”

With the lead heading into the final inning, GCC relied on closer Kirk Edson to lead them to victory. Edson is a side winder with a submarine type of release. He confused the Canyons as they struck out and grounded out the side to end the game.

“We really needed this win. Beating a good team after what we have been through lifts the entire team,” said Edson.

GCC’s next game is on Tuesday against West L.A. College.

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