In Frank Garriola’s first at-bat of the season, he lifted an infield popup, but over the next three plate appearances delivered two singles and a solo homer to left field in the third inning that catapulted Glendale College to a 3-2 victory over Palomar. It was the first game of a nonconference doubleheader last Thursday at Stengel Field.
The Vaqueros (7-3) also took the second game, 12-2, and bolstered their No. 3 ranking in the state.
“I was leading off so I was looking to get on base,’’ said Garriola, a sophomore who played at Pasadena High of the homer. “I was looking to drive the ball.’’
Glendale College sent seven batters to the plate in the initial frame and scored two runs off freshman pitcher Connor Zalewski, who went six innings and gave up eight hits with three strikeouts.
Freshman Thad Wilson, who played for Glendale High, opened with an infield hit and after Garriola made out, sophomore John Malott reached on an infield hit.
Sophomore Cristian Montes lined a single to left that plated Wilson, and with two out, sophomore Bruno Teramoto’s single brought home Malott.
Palomar (6-2) ranked No. 5 in the state, evened it at 2-2 in the second inning.
Sophomore Grant Buck singled to center field and eventually scored on an error while sophomore Joey Cooper was hit by sophomore hurler Angel Lerma’s toss and crossed the plate on a grounder by sophomore Edgar Morales.
Lerma was credited with the win after working six frames and allowing three hits with one strikeout, one walk and one hit batter.
The Vaqueros had two hits in the seventh, but failed to score. Wilson singled to center with one out and Garriola’s hit to left moved Wilson to second base. But Malott struck out and Montes grounded out.
Teramoto was safe on a one-out single in the sixth inning, but sophomore Matt Colomes grounded out and Malott fanned.
In the fifth, Garriola had a one-out base hit to left, but Malott flied out and Montes bounced into a force out.