Baseball: Walk-off hit gives Falcons 4-3 win

Andre Alvarez drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning
Andre Alvarez drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning

Freshman catcher Andre Alvarez (Walnut HS) singled through the left side of the infield to drive home freshman outfielder Gabriel Gonzalez (Santa Fe HS) with the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning for a 4-3 win over visiting Fullerton College at Kincaid Field on Thursday. With daylight running out, the Falcons (7-2) loaded the bases with two outs, which led the to game-winning hit by Alvarez, his first of the game. After the first two batters were retired, Gonzalez drew a four-pitch walk, followed by a single up the middle by sophomore third baseman Jorge Rodriguez (Bellflower HS). Sophomore outfielder Rollie Nichols (Serra HS) drew a walk, which chased relief pitcher Jordan Wisner. Alvarez stepped in against Nate Mendoza and drove the 1-1 offering between shortstop and third base and the Falcons swarmed over Alvarez.

Sophomore relief pitcher Edgar Velasquez (Montebello HS) worked out of a difficult jam in the top of the ninth inning. After hitting leadoff batter Thomas Delgadillo, Chase Kerr bunted the ball back to Velasquez. Looking to cut down Delgadillo at second base, Velasquez threw the ball wide of the bag, which put runners on first and third. He struck out Jake Anderson for the first out and then faced Ryan Aguirre. He lined out to Nichols in right field and with Delgadillo looking to break the tie by coming home, Nichols threw a strike to Alvarez, who tagged him out to end the inning. Velasquez (1-1), who earned the win, pitched the final 3 2/3 innings and did not allow a hit, while striking out four batters.

Cerritos opened up a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Rodriguez led off with a base hit and came around to score on a double from Nichols. After advancing to third base on a wild pitch, Nichols scored on the sacrifice fly from sophomore second baseman Jorge Rodriguez (St. John Bosco HS).

Freshman starting pitcher Eric Winchester (Diamond Bar HS) had limited the Hornets (5-6) to just two hits through four innings. However, in the fifth inning, he surrendered a leadoff single and after a two-out infield single, Kerr drove in both runs with a long single. Fullerton took the lead with a run in the sixth inning, but the Falcons responded in the seventh inning.

Freshman pinch-hitter Gabriel Jaime (Santa Fe HS) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and when sophomore outfielder Nick Penzetta (Kamehameha, HI HS) struck out, Hornets catcher Jesse Hayes tried to catch Jaime off the bag. His throw was wild and allowed Jaime to advance to third base. He then came home on a base hit by Rodriguez to tie the game.

The Falcons had a chance to take the lead in the eighth inning, but left two runners on base, while Rodriguez and Nichols were stranded in the bottom of the ninth inning. Rodriguez finished the day, 4-for-5, while Nichols, sophomore shortstop Ramon Bramasco (Cathedral HS) and freshman first baseman Michael Gonzalez (St. Bernard HS) each had a pair of hits.

Photos by Daryl Peterson