ESCONDIDO — Glendale College must remain satisfied with winning the Western State Conference Southern Division championship, its first outright title in 19 years.
The Vaqueros failed to take the next step, as fourth-seeded Palomar completed a two-day, two-game sweep with an 11-9 victory in the first round of the Southern California regional Saturday at Palomar.
"I think we're the top program in our conference," Glendale Coach Denny Barrett said. "We've won the title the past two years but it would be nice to break the ice and win a playoff game. We've got to get over that hump and then we can do some damage."
Though forced to play catch-up from the first inning, the Vaqueros (23-23) had opportunities to inflict damage, but stranded 13 runners. Four times they left the bases loaded.
Palomar (32-7), the Pacific Coast Conference champion, put on an early power display. In the top of the first--Glendale was designated the home team--sophomore Garry Schell hit a three-run home run. Freshman Clint Hinkle followed Shell's long-ball example by leading off the second with a homer to left center.
Glendale showed some muscle itself. Sophomore Matt Hellman had a bases-empty homer, his ninth of the season, in the bottom of the second and Jason Botts homered with two on in the eighth.
Botts and Hellman each had three hits. Daniel Scott and Ryan Noll each had two hits.
Pitching was erratic: There were 17 walks and three hit batsmen. Glendale pitchers walked 10 and hit one.
"When teams are matched as well as these two teams, it's basic fundamentals that make the difference," Barrett said. "They made less mistakes than us."