Baseball: Sweep of awards for Falcons

Head coach Ken Gaylord was named the conference's Coach of the Year
Head coach Ken Gaylord was named the conference's Coach of the Year

In a season where the Cerritos College baseball team captured the South Coast Conference South Division title, the team was rewarded by receiving the top three awards. Head coach Ken Gaylord, who has guided the Falcons to a 29-11 record and #1-seed for the Southern California Regional Playoffs, was named the Coach of the Year. Joining him in receiving top awards are sophomore shortstop Ramon Bramasco (Cathedral HS), who was named the Most Valuable Player, while sophomore Gilbert Romero (Alhambra HS) was voted the Pitcher of the Year. It's the sixth time Gaylord has been named the conference's Coach of the Year.

Ramon Bramasco was named the conference's Player of the Year Bramasco (pictured, left), who was a 2nd Team selection last season, batted .402 during the 22-game conference schedule, while adding six doubles, three home runs and 20 RBI at the plate, while defensively, he led the conference with 63 assists and also turned 15 double plays. At separate times during conference play, Bramasco had both nine-game and seven-game hitting streaks. As for Romero (below, right), he went 5-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 55.2 innings in conference action. He averaged almost seven innings per start and had only one outing where he allowed more than two runs. Romero was also a 2nd Team all-conference selection last season.

Others earning 1st Team all-conference honors includes sophomore starting pitcher Vincent Fuentes (El Rancho HS), sophomore second baseman Jesus Mercado (St. John Bosco HS) and sophomore outfielder Rollie Nichols (Serra HS). Those who garnered 2nd Team recognition include sophomore starting pitcher Valentin Flores-Gomez (Gahr HS), sophomore relief pitcher Carlos Valle (Bell Gardens HS), sophomore third baseman Jorge Rodriguez (Bellflower HS) and freshman first baseman Michael Gonzalez (St. Bernard HS).

Fuentes posted a 3-2 record with a 2.30 ERA in conference play, while striking out 24 batters in 27.1 innings on the mound. He tossed eight shutout innings against Long Beach City College and struck out nine batters. As for Mercado, he hit at a .333 clip with 14 RBI in conference play, which included four three-hit games, along with a pair of four-RBI games. Nichols, a two-time 1st Team pick, saw time in the outfield as well as second base and was selected as the utility player. He batted .326 with two home runs and 16 RBI in the 22-game conference season, while recording nine multiple-hit games, which included a four-hit game against Compton College.

Gil Romero was voted the conference's Pitcher of the Year After missing two seasons due to injury, Flores-Gomes returned to the mound and went 2-1 in conference play with 18 strikeouts in 21.1 innings, which included six innings of two-hit pitching with six strikeouts against Compton. He also limited El Camino College to five hits in 6.2 innings with six strikeouts. Valle earned three saves with a 1.86 ERA in 19.1 innings. He struck out 14 batters and issued just one walk. Valle recorded a four-inning save against Rio Hondo College, while his other two saves were at least two innings each.

Rodriguez batted .297 in conference play with one home run and 10 RBI and had eight multiple-hit games, which included a four-game streak where he had two hits in each game. He had three hits in two of the final three regular season games. Gonzalez, a converted outfielder, committed just two errors at first base all season, while he batted .314 with 12 RBI during conference action. It included eight multiple-hit games, while he went 9-for-12 during the three-game series against Compton.