Baseball: Long ball propels Falcons to 6-4 win

Roberto Salazar (right) is greeted by Michael Gonzalez (left) after his two-run home run
Roberto Salazar (right) is greeted by Michael Gonzalez (left) after his two-run home run

On the strength of three home runs, the Cerritos College baseball team was able to defeat East Los Angeles College, 6-4 in a South Coast Conference game at Kincaid Field on Friday. The win by the Falcons (2-12, 1-2) snapped their eight-game losing skid, and they will travel to Mt. San Antonio College on Saturday for another conference game at noon.

Trailing 1-0 heading into the bottom of the third inning, freshman outfielder Shea Estrin (West HS) got the home run derby started with a leadoff shot, his first of the season. Sophomore shortstop Aaron Paek (Sunny Hills HS/Hope International University) followed with a base hit. He wasn't on base very long, as sophomore outfielder Cody Ahrens (Mayfair HS/Hope International University) launched a two-run blast over the left-center field wall for his third of the year. The home runs against Huskies (9-9-1, 2-1-1) starting pitcher Troy Maki were the first he'd allowed all season.

After East Los Angeles tied the game in the fifth inning with a pair of runs off freshman starting pitcher Leonard Salas (California HS), Cerritos took the lead for good in the sixth inning. With sophomore outfielder Michael Gonzalez (St. Bernard HS) on base after a leadoff walk, sophomore first baseman Roberto Salazar, Jr. (Fullerton HS) clubbed the third home run of the day off Maki (3-1), which put the Falcons in front, 5-3. Gonzalez added an insurance run in the seventh inning with a two-out RBI single that plated Paek, who drew a walk.

Salas, who pitched to one batter in the seventh inning, earned his first win of the season, after allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits while striking out four batters. He worked out of situations in second through sixth innings, including an inning-ending double play in the third.

Sophomore Brian Kossler (Mayfair HS) came on in the seventh inning and after allowing an RBI double to Andy Rodriguez and then hitting Ruben Hernandez, retired eight of the next nine batters he faced to earn the save. He ended the game by striking out Brandon Hernandez.

Photos by Daryl Peterson