Baseball: Winning run comes home on wild pitch

Andre Alvarez (33) is mobbed after scoring the winning run on a wild pitch
Andre Alvarez (33) is mobbed after scoring the winning run on a wild pitch

With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 11th inning, the Cerritos College baseball team scored the winning run on a wild pitch for a 2-1 victory over Chaffey College at Kincaid Field on Tuesday. The win secures the sole ownership of the South Coast Conference South Division title, their first since 2014. The Falcons (29-10, 14-7) will close out their regular season on Thursday in a 2:30 p.m. game at Chaffey. The team is also one win away from their first 30-win season since 2008.

With one out, freshman catcher Andre Alvarez (Walnut HS) was hit by a pitch and then advanced to second base on a single through the left side by freshman first baseman Michael Gonzalez (St. Bernard HS). Both runners advanced on a Keon Taylor (1-2) wild pitch, with freshman outfielder Gabriel Gonzalez (Santa Fe HS) getting intentionally walked to load the bases. The third offering to sohomore outfielder Nick Penzetta (Kamehameha, HI HS) skipped off the plate and past Panthers catcher Corben Bellamy, allowing Alvarez to come home with the winning run.

Chaffey appeared poised to take the lead in the 10th and 11th innings, but were left empty handed. In the 10th inning, Penzetta misplayed a ball by Gerry Garcia, which went over his head and rolled to the fence for a lead-off triple. Sophomore Edgar Velasquez (Montebello HS) came on in relief of Carlos Valle (Bell Gardens HS), who pitched extremely well in his four inning on the mound. After Velasquez struck out Andy Otterson, sophomore second baseman Jesus Mercado (St. John Bosco HS) made a great over the should catch of a pop-up with the infield drawn in. The threat ended on another pop-up to Mercado.

In the 11th inning, Colby Sims and Christian Valdez dropped in a pair of bloop singles into the outfield for base hits for the Panthers. Just like in the previous inning, it took another superb defensive play to keep the game tied. On a fly ball to left field, Gabriel Gonzalez got twisted as he was backing up and turned around twice, but came up with the catch for the second out. A groundout ended the inning for Velasquez (3-2), who picked up the win.

The Falcons had a chance to win the game in the ninth inning after loading the bases with one out. But Penzetta bounced back to the pitcher for a force out at the plate, while sophomore outfielder Jakob Gonzalez (La Mirada HS/San Jose State University) grounded out to end the inning.

Gabriel Gonzalez drove in the team's other run with a single in the fourth inning.

Photos by Daryl Peterson