Baseball: Another quality pitching start leads Falcons to win

Ramon Bramasco (right) is greeted by teammates after his two-run home run
Ramon Bramasco (right) is greeted by teammates after his two-run home run

For the fifth time in a row, Cerritos College sophomore pitcher Gilbert Romero (Alhambra HS) turned in a quality start. On Tuesday against Long Beach City College, Romero pitched the first eight innings and allowed just one run on three hits, while striking out six to improve his record to 8-0 on the season. The Falcons (27-9, 12-6) increased their lead in the South Coast Conference South Division to two games with four games left in the regular season. Cerritos and the Vikings (18-17, 9-8) will meet up again on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. at Joe Hicks Field.

Romero retired the first eight batters to start the game and then allowed a single, followed by a walk in the third inning. He got out of it by getting Val Stammler to pop up to end the inning. His only mistake of the day came in the top of the fourth inning when Reese Berberet sent his first offering over the fence for Berberet's state-leading 18th home run of the season. In his final two at-bats against Romero, Berberet struck out. Romero was in cruise control at times, setting down eight in a row after the Vikings put runners on first and second with one out in the fourth inning. Sophomore Edgar Velasquez (Montebello HS) pitched the ninth inning and retired all three batters.

The Falcons got on the board in the bottom of the third inning when sophomore second baseman Rollie Nichols (Serra HS) led off with a walk and advanced to third base on a single by sophomore designated hitter Ramon Bramasco (Cathedral HS). The two came home when sophomore third baseman Jesus Mercado (St. John Bosco HS) singled up the middle. Cerritos would go on to leave the bases loaded and eventually stranded 11 runners on base.

Bramaso doubled the team's run total when he hit his second home run of the season in the bottom of the fourth inning. Sophomore shortstop Jorge Rodriguez (Bellflower HS) led off with a double and scored when Bramasco launched a shot over the right field fence off losing pitcher Jacob Alcorn (6-4). Cerritos finished off their scoring in the bottom of the eighth inning, as sophomore outfielder Jakob Gonzalez (La Mirada HS/San Jose State University) led off with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and then to third base on a passed ball. With two outs, Bramasco was intentionally walked and Mercado made the Vikings pay for it with a two-run single up the middle. Jakob Gonzalez also made two nice plays on defense, including a diving catch for the final out of the game.

Mercado finished the day 3-for-5 with three runs scored and a pair of RBI, while Rodriguez, Bramasco, freshman catcher Andre Alvarez (Walnut HS) and freshman outfielder Gabriel Gonzalez (Santa Fe HS) all recorded a pair of hits.

Photos by Daryl Peterson