Baseball: Offensive explosion leads to 20-7 victory

File Photo: Andre Alvarez was one of two players with four hits and four RBI in the Falcons win
File Photo: Andre Alvarez was one of two players with four hits and four RBI in the Falcons win

An eight-run first inning by the Cerritos College baseball team helped open the floodgates against host Ventura College, as the team went on for a 20-7 non-conference win on Tuesday. The 20-run outburst was the second in as many years for the Falcons (5-1), who scored 21 runs against Pasadena City College last season. The team will have little time to enjoy the win, as they travel to College of the Canyons on Wednesday for a 2:00 p.m. game. Prior to the start of the game, they will conclude their suspended game from January 30, where the teams were tied, 5-5 after nine innings.

The eight-run outburst in the first inning saw 12 men come to the plate, with half of the runs scoring with two outs. With one out, sophomore third baseman Jorge Rodriguez (Bellflower HS) drew a walk and advanced to third base on a single from sophomore outfielder Rollie Nichols (Serra HS). Freshman catcher Andre Alvarez (Walnut HS) drove in the first run when he reached base on a fielder's choice, while sophomore shortstop Ramon Bramasco (Cathedral HS) followed with a two-run triple and then scored on a wild pitch. The inning continued with a Jesus Mercado (St. John Bosco HS) single and stolen base before coming home on an RBI double from freshman designated hitter Roberto Salazar (Fullerton HS). A throwing error put runners on first and second base with two outs, which was followed by an RBI single from freshman outfielder Gabriel Gonzalez (Santa Fe HS), while the scoring was capped by a two-run triple from Rodriguez.

The recipient of the run support was sophomore starting pitcher Valentin Flores-Gomez (Gahr HS), who pitched the first five innings. He allowed two runs through the first four innings, but labored in the fifth inning and surrendered five runs (four earned) on four hits. Sophomore Carlos Valle (Bell Gardens HS) came on in relief and proceeded to earn his second save of the year after throwing four stellar innings. It comes on the heels of a 3 1/3 inning save against Golden West College. Valle allowed just one hit and struck out three batters in his time on the mound.

Cerritos scored in six of the nine innings, while they finished with a season-high 23 hits. Alvarez had a career-day by going 4-for-4 with a walk, scoring five times and driving in four runs, with Bramasco breaking out of a small slump with his 4-for-6 day with four RBI and three runs scored. In all, seven different players at multiple hits, with the trio of Mercado (3-for-5, three RBI), Salazar (3-for-6, four RBI), Gabriel Gonzalez (3-for-6, three runs) and freshman first baseman Michael Gonzalez (St. Bernard HS) all recording three-hit games.