Baseball: Missed opportunities result in 4-3 loss

3B Jorge Rodriguez reached base three times for the Falcons against Mt. SAC
3B Jorge Rodriguez reached base three times for the Falcons against Mt. SAC

If the Cerritos College baseball team is to reflect on their 4-3 South Coast Conference loss to visiting Mt. San Antonio College on Thursday, they need to look no farther than their missed scoring opportunities. The Falcons (17-4, 4-2) left nine of their 13 runners on base in scoring position, including the bases loaded in the seventh inning, which contributed to their second straight loss. The team will look to rebound on Saturday at noon when they travel to Walnut to take on the Mounties (16-6, 6-1).

Cerritos was able to capitalize on several Mt. SAC defensive miscues, which led the all three of their runs. But when they had a chance to add to their run total, they came up short. Trailing 4-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, freshman catcher Andre Alvarez (Walnut HS) led off with a single and advanced to second base on a two-out single from freshman outfielder Gabriel Gonzalez (Santa Fe HS). It looked as if sophomore third baseman Jorge Rodriguez (Bellflower HS) was going to drive in at least one run, but his deep drive to center field was run down by Manny Galvan.

Then, in the seventh inning, sophomore outfielder Rollie Nichols (Serra HS) drew a walk to lead off the inning, with sophomore shortstop Ramon Bramasco (Cathedral HS) getting hit by a pitch. That brought sophomore second baseman Jesus Mercado (St. John Bosco HS) and his team-leading four home runs on the season to the plate. The Falcons opted to try and advance the runners with a bunt, and Mercado saw his bunt fielded by pitcher Steven Odorica, who threw to third base to cut down Nichols. With two outs, Alvarez hit a roller to shortstop Elijah Zaragoza, and his throw to second base was high, which allowed the inning to continue. Freshman designated Eric Winchester (Diamond Bar HS) hitter then drew a run-scoring walk to close the deficit to 4-3 until sophomore outfielder Micah Hee (Kamehameha, HI HS) was called out on strikes against new pitcher Matt Garcia.

Falcon starting pitcher Valentin Flores-Gomez (Gahr HS) was not on his game and allowed three runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings to suffer his first loss of the season. Sophomore Carlos Valle (Bell Gardens HS) came on for the next three innings and allowed one run on six hits, while sophomore Edgar Velasquez (Montebello HS) went the final 1 2/3 innings.

Freshman first baseman Michael Gonzalez (St. Bernard HS) laced a two-out double in the ninth inning, but was stranded. The Falcons scored their other two runs on sacrifice flies, one from Bramasco in the first inning and the other from Nichols in the fifth inning.

Photos by Daryl Peterson