Baseball: One-run loss fifth of the season for Falcons

File Photo: Falcons suffered 4-3 loss to LB City
File Photo: Falcons suffered 4-3 loss to LB City

In five of the 10 losses suffered by the Cerritos College baseball team this season, they were just one swing away from tying the game. The Falcons (27-10, 12-7) absorbed a 4-3 South Coast Conference loss to rival Long Beach City College at Joe Hicks Field on Thursday for their fifth one-run loss of the season. In spite of the loss, Cerritos still sits atop of South Division standings with three games left in their regular season. They will close out their three-game set with the Vikings (19-17, 10-8) at noon on Saturday at Kincaid Field.

Cerritos scored three times in the top of the fourth inning to take a 3-1 lead. However, LBCC scored a single run in the bottom of the stanza and then scored the eventual game-winning runs in the bottom of the seventh inning against one of the team's most reliable relief pitchers, Carlos Valle (Bell Gardens HS). He allowed consecutive triples to lead off the seventh inning and then an RBI single before being replaced by freshman Eric Winchester (Diamond Bar HS). In his two innings, Winchester allowed just one hit, while striking out three batters. Sophomore starting pitcher Micah Hee (Kamehameha, HI HS) tossed the first six innings and gave up two runs on six hits with five punchouts.

The Falcons scored their three runs in the fourth inning and recorded a pair of triples of their own. Sophomore third baseman Jesus Mercado (St. John Bosco HS) led off with a three-bagger and then scored on a double from freshman catcher Andre Alvarez (Walnut HS). With two outs, freshman outfielder Gabriel Gonzalez (Santa Fe HS) drove in Alvarez with a triple and then scored on a base hit from freshman shortstop Jorge Rodriguez (Bellflower HS).

They got the first two batters on base in the sixth inning when sophomore outfielder Nick Penzetta (Kamehameha, HI HS) reached on an infield single and advanced to second base when freshman first baseman Michael Gonzalez (St. Bernard HS) drew a walk. Gabriel Gonzalez advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt, but the Falcons stranded both runners in scoring position. Including the final two outs of the sixth inning, Cerritos had their final 11 batters retired by Garrett Rennie, who picked up the win.