Mark Pena, leading man for Falcon baseball

Mark Pena catches a fly ball hit to him in a recent home game against El Camino. Pena is batting .364 with a home run and 28 RBIs so far this season. Photo credit: Taylor Ogata

Taylor Ogata

Mark Pena catches a fly ball hit to him in a recent home game against El Camino. Pena is batting .364 with a home run and 28 RBIs so far this season. Photo credit: Taylor Ogata

Taylor Ogata

When you think of a “face of the franchise,” you think about some big name players on any team in any sport.

Mark Pena, a 22-year-old sophomore center-fielder out of Bell Gardens High School and a Liberal Arts major, can be considered the face of the Cerritos College baseball program.

In a recent series against El Camino, Pena is batting .364 with a home run and 28 RBIs, according to the stats on the Falcon Athletics Page.

He also currently holds the school record for consecutive games with a hit with 32, breaking the original record of 23 set by Jerry Pena back in 2008 on Tuesday, March 1 against Los Angeles Mission.

He ended the 2015 season on a 12-game hitting streak.

“I’ve been playing ball since I was eight years old,” Pena said. “I also chose to attend Cerritos because it’s close to my high school and I heard it’s a great program.”

“He’s a talented player as well as a good leader,” first baseman and teammate Mike Heenan said. “He also has a good attitude and excellent work ethic. He’s a nice person all around.”

Head coach Ken Gaylord was wondering who Pena was when he first entered Cerritos College, but he knows him very well now.

“I’m really proud of his development,” Gaylord said. “He’s a very valuable piece to both my team and our school. He’s a good student and also a leader to our program.”

In 2015, Pena was named to the first All-South Coast Conference team while appearing in 29 games and leading the team with a .309 batting average to go with a home run, 11 RBIs and six stolen bases, one year after being a red-shirt for medical reasons.

In high school, he got second All-Almont League team honors as a senior and also earned a high school Gold Glove award.

Pena was born in Downey on October 13, 1993 to Arnold and Jamie Pena and has two siblings, Richard (19) and Miranda (21).

While he has lived in the LA area for most of his life, he has also spent time in Texas.

Pena’s most memorable moment was hitting a home run in the seventh inning to tie a game.

His nickname is “Cargo” and his favorite athlete is Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen.

After graduating from Cerritos, Pena hopes to transfer CSU Long Beach, UCLA, or Arizona State and pursue the rest of his Liberal Arts degree.