Cerritos baseball flounders at tournament play

Taylor Ogata

The lone tournament of the 2016 Cerritos College baseball season happened Mar. 22-24 at Allan Hancock and Cuesta Colleges.

The Falcons had a rough three games going 1-2 in the tournament, starting with a 10-4 loss to Fresno City College in the first game on Tuesday on the Allan Hancock campus baseball field.

The next day, Cerritos bounced back with a 9-2 victory over Merced College at Cuesta’s ballpark.

Wednesday’s win was the only one the Falcons would get as they got defeated by College of the Canyons on Thursday by a score of 5-3 back at Allan Hancock.

In the win against Merced, Mark Pena went 2 for 4 with an RBI triple while Emiliano Estrada went 1-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and scored two runs himself.

However, the victory was bookended by two defeats where Cerritos made a lot of defensive mistakes and had a stone cold offense.

Pena said after the tournament, “We shot ourselves in the foot on defense when we played Fresno and our offense was well below average.

“The same thing happened against Canyons. We made various errors and could not execute with the bat.”

All the Falcon players learned a lot of lessons from the three games at the two Central Coast community colleges.

First baseman Mike Heenan said, “We can compete with these highly ranked teams in all of California and we also have the skill and potential to beat them and become a powerhouse for the entire state.

“We just need to play our best baseball at the right times and come through when the time is right, which is the goal of the entire team.”

Heenan also played a key role in the win over Merced by going 1 for 4 with an RBI double.

His teammate Gary James, who also had an RBI double in the lone victory of the tournament, also learned a very important lesson from the showcase.

“The longer we play the game, the more we know how to play and we keep getting better at it,” James said. “We’re a good team, and we all know that we can bring home a championship. We just have to play like a championship team.”

After the tournament, Cerritos is now 12-9 overall.

The Falcons open a three-game series against East Los Angeles College on Tuesday, March. 29 at 6 p.m.