Baseball: Altered starting pitching pays off in win

The Falcons celebrate after their win over Cuesta
The Falcons celebrate after their win over Cuesta

Playing their third game in as many days, the Cerritos College baseball team looked to sophomore Micah Hee (Kamehameha, HI HS) to make his first collegiate start on the mound. After a first inning where he allowed two runs, Hee kept host Cuesta College off the board, as the Falcons went on to win, 4-2 on Wednesday. The team will play their fourth straight game when they travel to Allan Hancock College for an 11:30 a.m. start on Thursday.

Hee limited the Cougars (13-12) to just one hit over the next five innings and saw his defense turn in three inning-ending double plays, including the fifth and sixth innings. Sophomore Carlos Valle (Bell Gardens HS) took over the final three innings and retired nine of the 10 batters he faced, while striking out four to earn his fourth save of the season. Hee struck out five in his time on the mound.

At the plate, Cerritos scored in the top of the first inning when sophomore third baseman Jorge Rodriguez (Bellflower HS) led off with a double and came home in an error on a ground ball by sophomore second baseman Jesus Mercado (St. John Bosco HS). It became a 2-2 game in the fourth inning after Mercado led off by getting hit by a pitch, moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by freshman first baseman Michael Gonzalez (St. Bernard HS). Freshman catcher Andre Alvarez (Walnut HS) fouled with a doubel to plate Mercado.

The Falcons scored the eventual game-winning runs in the seventh inning, as freshman outfielder Gabriel Jaime (Fullerton HS) and Rodriguez both singled with one out. Sophomore outfielder Rollie Nichols (Serra HS) drove in Jaime, while Rodriguez eventually scored on a passed ball.

For the second game in a row, Rodriguez collected four hits, with four other players recording one hit. His efforts have improved his batting average to a team-leading .364. It also marked his third four-hit affair of the season.