Baseball: Rodriguez long ball gives Falcons 3-2 win

Jorge Rodriguez hit the eventual game-winning home run in the 6th inning for the Falcons
Jorge Rodriguez hit the eventual game-winning home run in the 6th inning for the Falcons

Sophomore shortstop Jorge Rodriguez (Bellflower HS) launched a two-out, two-run home in the bottom of the sixth inning to propel the Cerritos College baseball team to a 3-2 South Coast Conference win over Los Angeles Harbor College at Kincaid Field on Tuesday afternoon. With the game knotted at 1-1, Rodriguez hit a 2-0 offering from the Seahawks Fernando Rivas for his first home run of the season. The Falcons (25-8, 10-5) will take on LA Harbor (15-17, 3-11) at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday in Wilmington.

Sophomore starting pitcher Gilbert Romero (Alhambra HS) cruised through the first three innings, but a lead-off single to Ruben Markham, and subsequent balk advanced him to second base. A pair of infield outs brought home Markham to tie the game. Romero (7-0), who ended up being charged with both runs, came out in the top of the seventh inning with one out and runners on first and second. Sophomore Carlos Valle (Bell Gardens HS) came on in relief and gave up a sacrifice fly for the second Seahawks run of the game, but retired eight of the next nine batters he faced to earn his fifth save of the season.

In the top of the eighth inning, Jon Applebury singled and advanced to second base on a throwing error by Rodriguez with two outs. Sophomore outfielder Jakob Gonzalez (La Mirada HS/San Jose State University) was then able to race down a tailing line drive in right field off the bat of former Falcon Dominic Bravo for the third out of the inning. Valle retired the Seahawks in order in the ninth inning, including a pair of strikeouts.

Once again, Cerritos was able to get runners on base, but could not cash in on their opportunities. They scored the game's opening run in the bottom of the first inning when sophomore second baseman Rollie Nichols (Serra HS) came home on a two-out base hit from freshman catcher Andre Alvarez (Walnut HS). But in the second inning, the Falcons were able to load the bases with no outs and came away empty. Sophomore outfielder Nick Penzetta (Kamehameha, HI HS) led off with a single and moved to second base when freshman outfielder Gabriel Gonzalez (Santa Fe HS) drew a walk. Looking to advance both runners, Jakob Gonzalez saw his sacrifice bunt mishandled, which loaded the bases. Rodriguez was able to hit the ball hard, but right at shortstop Isaiah Bumgarner, who doubled up Gabriel Gonzalez.

The Falcons also left a runner at third base in the third and fourth innings, before leading the bases once again in the seventh inning. Sophomore designated hitter Ramon Bramasco (Cathedral HS) drew a walk, followed by a two out walk to freshman first baseman Michael Gonzalez (St. Bernanrd HS) and an infield hit from Gabriel Gonzalez. But Jakob Gonzalez bounced back to the pitcher to end the inning.

Rodriguez finished the game 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI, while Bramasco and Penzetta each added a pair of hits in the win.

Photos by Daryl Peterson