Baseball: Falcons slam their way to division title

Teammates greet Ramon Bramasco after his grand slam
Teammates greet Ramon Bramasco after his grand slam

With their 14-0 win over visiting Long Beach City College on Saturday afternoon, the Cerritos College baseball team has clinched at least a share of the South Coast Conference South Division title. It's the first conference title for the Falcons (28-10, 14-7) since the 2014 season. It was the most lopsided win either team in their 157-game history. They will close out the regular season with a pair of game against Chaffey College, with the first taking place on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. at Kincaid Field. Cerritos is currently 2 1/2 games ahead of both the Vikings (19-18, 10-9) and El Camino College (21-16, 10-9), who each have three conference games left on their schedule.

The Falcons benefitted from three LBCC errors in the bottom of the second inning to score five times, while they added five more runs in the bottom of the third inning to put the game out of reach. In the second inning, consecutive singles from freshman first baseman Michael Gonzalez (St. Bernard HS) and freshman outfielder Gabriel Gonzalez (Santa Fe HS) were followed by an RBI double from sophomore outfielder Nick Penzetta (Kamehameha, HI HS). With runners on second and third, sophomore designated hitter Jakob Gonzalez (La Mirada HS/San Jose State University) drove in a pair with a base hit up the middle and advanced to second base on a throwing error.

Sophomore third baseman Jorge Rodriguez (Bellflower HS) then reached on an infield error, with sophomore shortstop Ramon Bramasco (Cathedral HS) forcing a bad throw to first base when he raced down the line on a ground ball, which allowed a run to score. The big blow in the third inning was a three-run opposite field home run from sophomore outfielder Rollie Nichols (Serra HS). That was preceded by RBI singles from Penzetta and Rodriguez.

Capping off the scoring was Bramasco, who launched a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Falcons threatened to add to their run total in each of the next three innings, but the offensive output was more than enough for sophomore starting pitcher Vincent Fuentes (El Rancho HS).

Pitching the first eight inning, Fuentes (4-1) scattered eight hits, but didn't walk anyone and posted nine strikeouts. The Vikings singled twice in the first inning, but he got a pair of popups to end the inning, while a pair of leadoff base hits were left stranded in the seventh inning, thanks to an inning-ending double play.

Rodriguez (3-for-5, 3 runs 2 RBI) and Nichols (3-for-4, 3 RBI, 2 runs) were joined by Michael Gonzalez, Penzetta and Jakob Gonzalez, who each had two hits, as the Falcons finished with 16 hits on the day.

Photos by Daryl Peterson