Falcons rally opening day with a walk-off win

Mario Jimenez

The Cerritos Falcons baseball team got a good start to the 2015 season as they rallied to earn a 6-5 walk-off win against Glendale College on Tuesday, Jan. 27 at Kincaid field.

Falcons sophomore pitcher Kyle Carpenter took the mound against the visiting Vaqueros and tossed six innings giving up one run on five hits, while walking two and collecting three punch-outs.

“I struggled at first, but I tried new things on the mound over and over to see what (would) work,” said Carpenter.

Carpenter indeed labored through the first few innings as he struggled to establish command of his secondary pitches and got himself into deep hitter’s counts.

He gave up a solo home-run to the Vaqueros to designated hitter Bryan Faucher in the second inning, which wound up being the only run he surrendered as he managed to settle down and find the zone as the game went along.

The Falcons got on the board by putting up three in the fourth, an inning highlighted by a base-clearing two-run double hit by sophomore left fielder Shane Preston.

Glendale rallied for four runs in top of the seventh against the Falcons bullpen and took a 5-3 into the late innings. Sophomore pitcher Andrew Bueno gave up two of the runs as he came in with the bases loaded and proceeded to hit back-to-back batters, thus walking in two runs.

After the game, Bueno shared his thoughts on how he did, “I felt that I attacked (and) I hit my spots (but) I let a few pitches get away but at the end we still got the win.”

On this day not too many people on the diamond were happy with the inconsistent strike zone that the home plate umpire was calling and Bueno is no exception as he thought the umpire called a poor game, but admits that adversity like this is part of the game.

Not every player on the team feels like the Falcons performed up to expectations. Sophomore pitcher Travis Bonner is one of them and believes the umpires aren’t an excuse for losing.

“I think we’re better than how we performed today, but baseball is a funny game and we know the umpires aren’t perfect and they’re going to make (bad) calls and they’re going to stick with them because that’s how they are.”

Despite knowing that he and his teammates can play better, Bonner acknowledged that the Falcons battled through the adversity presented to them and got the first win of the year.

Head coach Ken Gaylord certainly felt the umpire made poor calls and feels that both teams suffered as a result.

“He was horrible for both teams and he really hurt us on that one call at second that he overruled.”

The call Gaylord is referencing occurred in the top of the seventh as the Vaqueros had runners on the corners with one out and shortstop Brent Sakurai hit a ball into the hole at short that was backhanded by Falcons sophomore shortstop Daniel Lopez.

Lopez tossed the ball to second where the runner was ruled out by the second base umpire.

However, the call was overturned on an appeal to the home plate umpire by the Glendale manager. Glendale went to capitalize on the extra out granted to them and take the lead in the inning.

When talking about Carpenter, Gaylord admits he didn’t have command of his secondary pitches.

“He didn’t have good command of his change-up, which I think would’ve been effective against a team like this,” said Gaylord.

Going into the bottom of the ninth down two the Falcons managed to load the bases with one out for Carpenter who was promptly hit by the first pitch thrown his way.

This made the score 5-4 and back-to-back singles by freshmen first basemen Brett Thompson and catcher Gary James, the latter of which ended the game in walk-off fashion.