Owls and Vaqueros Tie After Grueling 14 Innings | (Update) Owls Win in Bottom of 16th

Freshman Daniel Guerrero pitched four shutout innings, surrendering just three hits and posting a pair of Ks. Photo By: Mykenna De Avila
Freshman Daniel Guerrero pitched four shutout innings, surrendering just three hits and posting a pair of Ks. Photo By: Mykenna De Avila

Glendora, CA - Saturday afternoon's contest between the Owls and visiting Glendale College was called after the bottom of the 14th inning due to darkness. After over six hours of a grueling back and forth affair the game was halted and declared an 8-8 tie, unless the game affects the final WSC East standings at the end of the season. (Update) Which ended up happening, making the two schools finish the game on Saturday April 29th. 

Glendale jumped all over the Owls to start the contest, hitting two home runs and scoring six runs in the top of the first inning. The Vaqueros looked like they were going to dominate the game early, as they scored another in the 3rd for what looked like a commanding lead at the team.

The Owls proved resilient however, and chipped away at the lead of Glendale. The Owls caught a break in the bottom of the second when an error allowed two runs to score for Citrus, to cut the lead to then four runs. After the aforementioned third inning score, Citrus got their deficit back down to five when sophomore Kyosuke Ushimaru scored on a wild pitch.

In the bottom of the sixth, freshman Donovyn Curiel would draw a bases loaded RBI walk. A few pitches later, another wild pitch would lead to another run when sophomore Jordan Achay scored from third to make it 5-7. In the bottom of the eighth, Citrus got their best offensive output of the day when Curiel roped a double to left-center driving in a run. Freshman Kristian Scott would lift a single to right-center two at bats later, and freshman Benjamin Aguilera would give the Owls a 8-7 lead with an RBI single to left field.

The lead wouldn't last though, as Glendale scored on a squeeze bunt in the top of the ninth inning. In extra, Glendale would put just one runner in scoring position, when they got a runner to second in the top of the 12th after a stolen base. Citrus had a few more opportunities putting a runner in scoring position three times, and doing so with just one out twice. Each chance, in each of the 11th, 13th, and 14th innings went unfulfilled though, as the two teams settled for the tie.

Four different Owls had at least two hits in the contest, led by Scott's 4 for 8 effort. Freshman Daniel Guerrero would pitch four solid innings of relief giving up four total runs, one run (unearned), and one walk. Sophomore Roberto Baldanebro was just as strong going 5.2 innings, allowing just four total base runners, all while fanning six Vaqueros.

(Update Cont...)

The Owls and Vaqueros would pick things up in the Top of the 15th inning, with sophomore Brennan Piceno taking over on the hill. Piceno pitched a clean top half of the 15th, a salvo answered in kind by Glendale in the bottom of the 15th. In the top of the 16th, Glendale would threaten with back-to-back two-out singles to center field off Piceno. With a runner in scoring position, Piceno settled down and got a soft lineout to second baseman Curiel to end the threat.

In the bottom of the 16th, freshman Oscar Mejia Jr. would get a one-out single to right field. After a game of cat and mouse with the Glendale pitcher, Mejia Jr. would eventually steal second base, and then move to third on a single by Curiel. Needing just a hit, the Owls would get just that two at bats later, when sophomore Grant Ponder delivered the biggest his of his Citrus career with a single to right-center that won the game for the Owls.

With the win, Citrus ends it's 2017 campaign with a 22-17-1 mark overall and third place finish in the WSC East at 12-8. 

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