Baseball: Rally falls short in one-run loss

File Photo: Jesus Mercado had three hits and scored three times
File Photo: Jesus Mercado had three hits and scored three times

Trailing 6-1 against visiting East Los Angeles College on Tuesday, the Cerritos College baseball team scored the next four runs. But it wasn't enough, as the Falcons (13-26, 7-14) suffered a 6-5 South Coast Conference loss in their final home game of the season. It was the team's 10th one-run loss of the season and third in a row. They close out the season with a 6:00 p.m. game at East Los Angeles on Thursday.

The rally started with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Freshman outfielder Rolando Nichols (Serra HS) led off with a base hit and scored on a double from freshman first baseman Jesus Mercado (St. John Bosco HS). The inning stayed alive when freshman designated hitter Dominic Bravo (Warren HS) laid down a bunt that was mishandled by Huskies pitcher Ozzie Cano. That led to a fielder's choice RBI from freshman catcher Christopher Gomez (South Torrance HS), which plated Mercado.

Cerritos added a single run in the bottom of the eighth inning, as Mercado drew a leadoff walk and eventually scored on a base hit up the middle by freshman outfielder Micah Hee (Kamehameha, HI HS). Then, in the ninth inning, Nichols singled with two outs and Mercado followed with an RBI double off the wall to draw the team to within 6-5. His double was just a few feet shy of clearing the wall for a game-tying home run.

Freshman relief pitcher Carlos Valle (Bell Gardens HS) tossed a solid 3 1/3 innings and allowed just three hits, while striking out two batters. As a team, the trio of Falcon pitchers that appeared in the game struck out nine batters.