Baseball: Gilbert Romero tosses 3-hit shutout in Falcons win

Ramon Bramasco makes a sliding stop on a nice defensive play for the Falcons
Ramon Bramasco makes a sliding stop on a nice defensive play for the Falcons

Sophomore pitcher Gilbert Romero (Alhambra HS) tossed a three-hit shutout on Monday to lead the Cerritos College baseball team to a 3-0 South Coast Conference win over El Camino College at Kincaid Field. The game was a make-up from a rainout last Thursday and then unsafe playing conditions on Friday. Romero, who improved to 5-0 on the year, needed only 105 pitches to shut out the Warriors (14-12, 6-5), and had only surrendered one hit through the first 7 1/3 innings. The Falcons (19-6, 6-4) will now play three games in a row, with the first being a 6:00 p.m. contest against Fresno City College at Elks Field in Santa Maria.

The win also put the Falcons in first place in the South Coast Conference South Division by a half game over both the Warriors and Long Beach City College (14-12, 6-5).

Both Romero (pictured, right) and El Camino pitcher Spencer Long were cruising through the first five innings and had combined to only allow four hits. But in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Falcons scored all th e runs they would need. With one out, sophomore outfielder Rollie Nichols (Serra HS) and sophomore shortstop Ramon Bramasco (Cathedral HS) drew consecutive one-out walks. Sophomore second baseman Jesus Mercado (St. John Bosco HS) stepped up and laced a base hit to left field, which drove in Nichols. On the play El Camino left fielder Joseph Borges threw the ball away, which allowed Bramasco to advance to third base and Mercado to second base.

Freshman first baseman Michael Gonzalez (St. Bernard HS) followed with a ball that rolled between Bramasco and the third base line for a two-run double, which put the Falcons in front, 3-0. Although they would collect just one hit the remainder of the game, it was enough offense for Romero, who struck out six batters, including Matt Bessera to end the game.

Romero received several solid defensive plays from Bramasco, including a sliding stop and clean throw to first base for the third out of the third inning, as well as a hard-charging play in the fourth inning. The Cerritos defense also turned in a pair of double plays, while Romero made his own strong play on an attempted sacrifice bunt, where he cut down the lead runner in the sixth inning.