Owls finish season on sour note

Jayson De La Pena walks to his bench after striking out to end the bottom of the 8th inning against the Glendale Vaqueros on April 26. Citrus would lose the game 7-3.

Jayson De La Pena walks to his bench after striking out to end the bottom of the 8th inning against the Glendale Vaqueros on April 26. Citrus would lose the game 7-3.

It’s been a tough season all year for the Fighting Owls and Friday’s game against the #5 ranked Glendale Vaqueros was no different.


Citrus starting pitcher Oscar Gomez got into a jam at the top of the first inning giving up singles to the first three batters. With two runners on base, Glendale’s Oscar Tinjac hit a single to center field to score in a run. Gomez got out of the jam by picking off runners on base and striking out Glendale’s Julio Jarra to end the inning.


Glendale’s pitcher Gary Acuna was a deciding factor on why the Owl’s offense was stagnant on Friday’s game.


Acuna allowed 5 hits over seven innings while Citrus’ Gomez allowed 12 hits over 5 innings of work.


Citrus’ offense was shut down all game by Acuna, but they jumped on Acuna with errors made, but Citrus just could not convert them into runs.


In the third inning with the bases loaded and two outs. Citrus’ 3rd baseman Warren Fishback got hit by a pitch and in came the tying run to make it 1-1 score.


Up came Mike Rowland with bases still loaded and two outs when he hit to Glendale’s shortstop Pepe Marquez to end the inning on a fielder’s choice to get the out at 2nd base.


The game was tied until the sixth inning when the Vaqueros started a rally on Mike McCallister’s bunt with two outs. The Vaqueros must have gotten a jolt of confidence and would go on to score three runs with Dylan Trimarchi hitting a single to left field to advance Marquez to second. Another single came from Sergio Plasencia to score in McCallister. Pepe Marquez would continue the rally with a single of his own to score in another run. Jay Sheeley would then hit a double to score in another run.


Citrus would then make a pitching change for Gomez and bring in Ryan Ponder. Ponder would then end the rally by getting Edgar Montes to ground out.


“He’s been extremely successful at the bunt and has outstanding speedc” said Glendale head coach Chris Cicuto of McCallister’s bunt that started the three run rally.


“I was making things happen, especially with two outs,” said McCallister.


Citrus’ offense was kept at bay until Acuna was taken out of the game.


“My main objective was my mental approach on the game,” said Acuna, “I went out to pitch to contact and let my team do their jobs.”


Their offense came alive in the ninth inning when they got a rally going with the bases loaded and only 1 out against Glendale’s relief pitcher Michael Robinson. Blake James would then come up to bat and hit a double to center field scoring in two runs with runners on 2nd and 3rd base.


Glendale’s Robinson would get Nick Simmons to strike out looking, but then walked Warren Fishback to load the bases. Up came Mike Rowland, Citrus’ leader in RBIs, with the bases loaded again with two outs. The pressure was on, but Robinson would get the best of Rowland by striking him out and ending Citrus’ losing season.


Citrus’ season comes to a finish with a 14-21 overall record and 8-16 mark in Western State Conference play.