Baseball: Cerritos still looking for offensive answers

Falcons defeated by El Camino, 6-1
Falcons defeated by El Camino, 6-1

It's been a difficult season offensively for the Cerritos College baseball team this season. On Thursday, the Falcons (8-16, 3-6) were limited to just five hits in a 6-1 South Coast Conference South Division loss to host El Camino College. The two teams will conclude their halted game from Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday and then play their regularly scheduled game 30 minutes after the conclusion. At the time the game was halted, the first place Warriors (22-2, 9-0) held a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Just like in their previous meeting, the Falcons watched El Camino pick at them offensively, as they scored single runs in the second, fifth, sixth and seventh innings for a 4-1 lead.

Facing Warriors ace, Cassius Hamm, Cerritos didn't get their first baserunner until the fourth inning when freshman third baseman Jorge Rodriguez (Bellflower HS) reached on an infield single. The inning came to an abrupt end when Rodriguez was caught too far off the base on a deep fly out. With runners on first and second base in the fifth inning after sophomore second baseman Derrick Edwards (Mary Star of the Sea HS) drew a walk and freshman catcher Adam Rubio (Montebello HS) singled, freshman first baseman Jesus Mercado (St. John Bosco HS) hit into an inning-ending double play.

El Camino hit a pair of solo home runs and added another run in the sixth inning for a 3-0 lead against freshman starting pitcher Vincent Fuentes (El Rancho HS). The Falcons had their best scoring opportunity in the seventh inning when freshman shortstop Ramon Bramasco (Cathedral HS) singled through the right side of the infield and moved to second base on a Rolando Nichols (Serra HS) walk. Edwards got Cerritos on the board with a single, but the next two batters struck out to end the inning.

They threatened again in the eighth inning and it started with a two-out El Camino error. Freshman designated hitter Christopher Gomez (South Torrance HS) reached on an error, with Rodriguez and Bramasco drawing walks. That was the end for Hamm, who was replaced by Jake Carr and he got Nichols to fly out for the third out.

Fuentes (2-3) pitched 4 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on three hits and struck out six, but also walked five batters. Relief pitchers Edgar Velasquez (Montebello HS) and Joe Pacheco (Redlands East Valley HS) combined for surrender four runs on five hits the remainder of the game.