Looking to snap a four-game losing skid, the Cerritos College baseball team opened up an 8-1 lead over host El Camino College on Saturday, en route to an 8-5 South Coast Conference win. The Falcons (18-6, 5-4), along with the rest of the SCC, will take a week off from their conference schedule for their annual Spring Break week. Cerritos will head to Santa Maria on Tuesday to face Fresno City College in a 6:00 p.m. game at Elks Field on Tuesday. It will be the first of three straight games in the area for Cerritos.
In the win over the Warriors, the Falcons trailed, 1-0 after the first inning, but scored the next eight runs of the game. It started with three runs in the top of the third inning, as sophomore Jakob Gonzalez (La Mirada HS/San Jose State University) singled with one out and advanced to second base when freshman outfielder Gabriel Jaime (Fullerton HS) drew a walk. Consecutive run-scoring singles by sophomore third baseman Jorge Rodriguez (Bellflower HS) and sophomore outfielder Rollie Nichols (Serra HS) put Cerritos in the lead. The third run of the inning came on a sacrifice fly from sophomore shortstop Ramon Bramasco (Cathedral HS).
It was a 5-1 advantage in the fourth inning when sophomore second baseman Jesus Mercado (St. John Bosco HS) and freshman first baseman Michael Gonzalez (St. Bernard HS) led off with back-to-back base hits. The bases were loaded when freshmen catcher Andre Alvarez (Walnut HS) had his sacrifice bunt mishandled for an error, which loaded the bases. Freshman designated hitter Eric Winchester (Diamond Bar HS) drew a walk, which plated the first run, with a double play accounting for the second run of the inning.
Three more runs were plated by the Falcons in the fifth inning when Rodriguez doubled to get things started and scored on a base hit by Bramasco. Mercado followed with an RBI double and advanced to third when the throw home from outfielder Spencer Long got away from catcher Jose Ruiz. Alvarez capped off the team's scoring on the day with an RBI single up the middle.
Sophomore starting pitcher Valentin Flores-Gomez (Gahr HS) was limiting El Camino to one run on five hits through the first 6 2/3 innings before a two-out hit batter and double ended his day. Sophomore Micah Hee (Kamehameha, HI HS) came on in relief and surrendered a two-run single to put the game at 8-3. Hee gave up a pair of singles to start the eighth inning and then came out in favor of Winchester with one out. With two outs and the bases loaded, Winchester struck out Long to keep the Warriors at bay.
El Camino threatened once again in the bottom of the ninth inning when Winchester gave up a lead-off walk and then a single. Sophomore Edgar Velasquez (Montebello HS) came on in favor of Hee walked Jordan Folgers to load the bases, followed by an RBI single from Spencer Palmer. With Matthew Beserra at the plate, the Falcons got a big defensive play when he lined to Mercado at second base and was then able to double up Folgers. Velasquez closed out the game when he got Ruiz to ground out.
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