Baseball: Falcons open the season with 5-2 win

Rollie Nichols and the Falcons opened the season with a 5-2 win
Rollie Nichols and the Falcons opened the season with a 5-2 win

Using timely hitting and clutch pitching, the Cerritos College baseball team opened the 2018 season with a 5-2 win over visiting Mt. San Jacinto College on Friday. The Falcons (1-0) will now host College of the Canyons at Kincaid Field at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

Sophomore starting pitcher Vincent Fuentes (El Rancho HS) was staked with an early 1-0 lead, which increased to 2-0 after four innings. He worked out of a jam in the top of the first inning when he walked consecutive batters, but got out of the inning with a ground out and a deep fly to center field. After retiring the final two outs of the first inning, Fuentes sat down seven in a row, and nine out of 10 before getting out of another situation in the fifth inning.

He wouldn't last through the sixth inning after allowing a two-run double, which tied the game. Freshman Eric Winchester (Diamond Bar HS), who also started the game as the designated hitter, came on in relief and recorded the final two outs of the stanza. He sat down 12 of the 13 batters he faced to earn the win in 3 2/3 innings of relief.

The 2-0 lead for the Falcons came with an unearned run in the bottom of the first inning after freshman Gabriel Gonzalez (Santa Fe HS) led off by reaching on an error. After he was sacrificed to second base, he moved to third base on a passed ball and scored in a base hit through the left side by sophomore shortstop Rollie Nichols (Serra HS). Sophomore second baseman Jesus Mercado (St. John Bosco HS) added a solo home run in the fourth inning for the two-run advantage.

With the game knotted at 2-2, Cerritos broke the tie when sophomore third baseman Jorge Rodriguez (Bellflower HS) led off the sixth inning with a double and moved to third base on an infield single by Nichols. Freshman Andre Alvarez (Walnut HS) hit into a double play, but Rodriguez scored on the play. They added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on a two-out, two-run single up the middle by Alvarez.

Photos by Daryl Peterson