Baseball: Quality start leads to shutout win

Gil Romero tossed eight shutout innings to improve to 4-0 on the year.
Gil Romero tossed eight shutout innings to improve to 4-0 on the year.

Posting his third straight quality start, Cerritos College sophomore pitcher Gilbert Romero (Alhambra HS) kept visiting East Los Angeles College off the board in a 3-0 South Coast Conference win at Kincaid Field on Saturday. Romero (4-0) went eight innings and allowed two hits, while striking out eight. He was also the beneficiary of two inning-ending double plays, including one in the seventh inning when he allowed the first two runners to reach base. The shutout lowered the team ERA to 2.71, which ranks fifth in the state.

The Falcons (15-2, 2-0), ranked #4 in Southern California and winners of their last eight games, will now host Rio Hondo College at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

The game was scoreless through the first three innings, with Cerritos getting all three of their runs in the fourth inning on only one hit. After sophomore shortstop Ramon Bramasco (Cathedral HS) led off with a double down the left field line, sophomore second baseman Jesus Mercado (St. John Bosco HS) and sophomore outfielder Rollie Nichols (Serra HS) drew consecutive one-out walks to load the bases. The first run scored when Bramasco scored on a wild pitch from East LA starting pitcher Steven Nuno. With freshman first baseman Michael Gonzalez (St. Bernard HS) still at the plate, he drove in the second run with a sacrifice fly. The third run scored when Huskies second baseman Grant Victor booted a ground ball by freshman designated hitter Roberto Salazar (Fullerton HS), which allowed Nichols to score.

Romero (4-0) allowed a first inning single and didn't give up another hit until the seventh inning. He struck out both Oscar Osorio and Bryan Duenas in the fourth inning with a runner at third base after a failed pickoff attempt. Romero was sailing through the next two innings until he walked Matthew Sosa at lead off the seventh, while Osorio followed with a single over the outstretched glove of  Mercado. Romero struck out Duenas, with freshman catcher Andre Alvarez (Walnut HS) hanging on to the foul tip, which was followed by an inning-ending double play.

Sophomore Edgar Velasquez (Montebello HS) came on in the ninth inning and allowed a one-out single before Sosa grounded into a double play to end the game. It was the fourth save of the season for Velasquez.

Photos by Daryl Peterson