Late-inning home run stuns Falcons

Monica Gallardo, Opinion Editor

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Four home runs fled Nancy Kelly Field during the Falcons’ 8-7 loss to the Cypress College Chargers.

Utility first baseman Evelyn Labatos said, “We were doing really good in the beginning and then toward the end, we just didn’t finish the game. We were getting a lot of hits and we thought we dominated the game, but we didn’t.”

Utility third baseman Karissa Hamilton said, “We need to keep our heads up and finish the game all the way through. Picking each other up and not leaving runners on base that was a crucial thing.”

The Chargers struck first with two runs, but were quickly met with a tie after first baseman Haley Petruccelli’s two-run home run in the first inning.

The score remained idle until the top of the fourth inning, when Charger’s right fielder Justice Walker hit a solo home run to left center field.

Cerritos wasted no time in catching up, as third baseman Crystal Cano led-off the bottom of the fourth inning with her own home run on the first pitch of the inning.

The Falcons continued to score, taking advantage of erratic infielding by Cypress.

Cerritos shortstop Jenny Collazo hit an RBI-double to right and was eventually brought home before pitcher Jennifer Navarro was caught at second base, recording the third out of the inning.

With a 7-3 lead in the seventh inning, the Falcons seemed to have a secure cushion to earn the win, until Cypress managed to gain two baserunners with one out.

Ana Pedroza replaced Jennifer Navarro on the mound and quickly got the second out on a fielder’s choice to second, leaving runners at the corners.

An RBI single by catcher Jezz Portillo inched the Chargers closer to the Falcons, increasing the score to 7-4.

Navarro, after moving to third base, failed to convert the third out and made a throwing error to first, giving Cypress an unearned run and advancing both runners.

Pitcher Taylor Pierce then came up with two runners on and sent the ball over the right field wall, giving the Chargers the final 8-7 lead.

Catcher Jesseca Martinez said, “We just have to shake it off, get it next game and finish stronger next time. Learn from our mistakes.”