Baseball: Winning run scores on wild pitch

File Photo: Gabe Gonzalez scored the winning run on a wild pitch
File Photo: Gabe Gonzalez scored the winning run on a wild pitch

Throughout the season, the Cerritos College baseball team has found a variety of ways to win. On Wednesday in their non-conference game against visiting Ventura College, the Falcons, ranked #4 in Southern California, recorded their fourth walk-off win of the season. The 3-2, 11-inning win came courtesy of a two-out wild pitch, which was the team's sixth win in a row and improved their record to 13-2. In their first meeting, Cerritos posted a 20-7 win over the Pirates (6-8). The victory also improved the Falcons home record to 8-0 this season. Cerritos will open South Coast Conference play on Thursday when they travel to East Los Angeles College for a 2:00 p.m. game.

After tieing the game with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Falcons opened the bottom of the 11th inning with freshman outfielder Gabriel Gonzalez (Santa Fe HS) lacing a single through the right side of the infield. Sophomore third baseman Jorge Rodriguez (Bellflower HS) moved him to second base with a sacrifice, while an infield groundout by Ramon Bramasco (Cathedral HS) advanced Gonzalez to third base. With sophomore second baseman Jesus Mercado (St. John Bosco HS) at the plate, Pirates relief pitcher Jeff Thoeben bounced the first pitch and it skipped away from catcher Shane Gipson, which allowed Gonzalez to score.

The beginning of the game didn't look promising, as Ventura scored both of their runs in the top of the first inning. Sophomore starting pitcher Vincent Fuentes (El Rancho HS) struggled with the first five batters, allowing a walk and three singles. He got TJ Heade to hit into an inning-ending double play to get out of trouble. Fuentes gave up hits to the first two batters in the second inning and was faced with runners and second and third. After TJ Foreman fouled out, Fuentes struck out Steele Ledford and then got Chris McKee to ground out.

From that point forward, Fuentes kept the Pirates at bay by retiring 15 of the next 16 batters before Heade singled with two outs in the sixth inning. He was taken out after walking Gipson, with sophomore Jakob Gonzalez (La Mirada HS/San Jose State University) coming on in relief. Gonzalez continued the masterful pitching by getting out 13 of the 15 batters he faced, and went on to toss 4 1/3 innings of relief and surrendered only a walk. Sophomore Carlos Valle (Bell Gardens HS) came on in the 11th inning and allowed a pair of hits, but earned the win.

Trailing 2-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, sophomore outfielder Nick Penzetta (Kamehameha, HI HS) led off with a base hit, with Gabriel Gonzalez advancing him to second on a sacrifice bunt. Rodriguez stepped up and drove a single into center field. Holding at third base, Penzetta was able to score when Gipson threw wildly to second base trying to cut down Rodriguez. On the next pitch, Bramasco drove in Rodriguez with a base hit.