Baseball: Darkness halts season opener

Alex Bueno (R) is congratulated after his two-run home run in the third inning
Alex Bueno (R) is congratulated after his two-run home run in the third inning

UPDATE: The game has been determined to be a final score and the ninth inning will not be completed.

Were it not for two innings, the Cerritos College baseball team could have celebrated the start of their season with a regulation win. However, pitching woes in the sixth and seventh innings put the Falcons behind in their 2019 season opener, which was halted after eight innings against Santa Ana College on Friday afternoon. Next up will be a Tuesday game at 2:00 p.m. against Glendale College in the team's first road game of the season.

Through the first four innings, the Falcons held a 4-0 lead, thanks in part to a two-run home run from freshman second baseman Alejandro Bueno (Centennial, NV HS). In the bottom of the first inning, sophomore shortstop Trevor McInerney (Cerritos HS/El Camino College) drew a one-out walk, advanced on a single by sophomore first baseman Michael Gonzalez (St. Bernard HS) and came home on a base hit by sophomore Cody Ahrens (Mayfair HS/Hope International University). They added to that lead with three more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. McInerney singled and came around to score on a two-out single by Ahrens, while Bueno followed with his two-run home run.

Sophomore starting pitcher Eric Winchester (Diamond Bar HS) struggled with his control at times, as he walked four batters through the first three innings. But he was able to work out of a jam in each of those innings and went on to surrender just three hits in the first five innings. He regained his composure and went on to strike out seven batters. Winchester ran into trouble heading into the sixth inning when James Williams led off with a single, followed by an RBI double from Cage Massey.

Winchester was removed in favor of freshman Vincent Martin (Chandler, AZ HS), who uncorked two wild pitches and walked one of the two batters he faced. Sophomore Joshua Jorgensen (Lakewood HS/East Los Angeles College) stepped in and had trouble finding the plate, as well. In addition to walking and hitting a batter, he mishandled a bouncer over the mound for an error, which kept the five-run Dons inning alive.

Santa Ana added four more runs in the seventh inning against two more relief pitches, which put the Falcons behind, 9-4. Cerritos started to battle back with single runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Freshman pinch-hitter Matt Den Hartog (Los Alamitos HS) led of the seventh by drawing a walk and came home on a double inside the third base line by sophomore outfielder Gabriel Gonzalez (Santa Fe HS). Michael Gonzalez led off with eight inning with a walk, moved to second base on a single by Ahrens and scored on a bases loaded sacrifice fly from Den Hartog.

Photos by Daryl Peterson