The Falcons baseball season ends with series split

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Max Perez

Shortstop Ramon Bramasco prepares to fire a ball to first base after tagging second base to complete the double play. Bramasco was one of four Falcons to play all forty games and led the team in at-bats with 153. Photo credit: Max Perez

Max Perez

In the final series of the season, the Cerritos Baseball team split a two-game series with East Los Angeles College.

The Falcons lost the first game 6-5 held Tuesday, April 25, but would come back to win the final game of their season 4-2 on Thursday.

Head Coach Ken Gaylord commented that he feels his team did not close out the season the right way.

The last three losses of the season the Falcons suffered were all one-run losses.

At season’s end, Cerritos finished with an overall record of 14-26 and a conference record of 8-14, the records will not qualify the team for the postseason.

Game One of the series was the final home game for the Falcons and also sophomore night. This season’s baseball team featured only four sophomores, only one of which, second baseman Derrick Edwards, was a starter.

The Falcons fell behind early, trailing 5-0 by the end of the third inning.

Cerritos attempted to climb back, scoring its first run in the bottom of the fourth.

ELAC scored one more run in the top of the sixth to take a 6-1 lead. Cerritos tried to fight back scoring two in the sixth, one in the eighth and another in the ninth but would fall short, losing 6-5, it’s 11th loss by one run this season.

Two days later Cerritos traveled to East LA for the season finale.

Prior to the final game Outfielder Rolando Nichols said, “We just have to play the last game like it’s game seven of the world series and give coach that extra 10 percent he’s been asking from us.”

An RBI single by third basemen Jorge Rodriguez in the top of the second gave Cerritos the early lead.

The Huskies responded with one run in the fourth and another in the fifth to take a 2-1 lead.

The score would stay the same until the top of the eight inning. The Falcons scored three runs off a two RBI doubles by first basemen Jesus Mercado and a RBI single by designated hitter Dominic Bravo.

The pitching pair of Gilbert Romero and Edgar Velasquez combined to allow only six hits and two runs, while striking out 10 East LA batters to secure a 4-2 victory.

At the end of the team’s forty-game season, the Falcons batted a combine .257 with an on-base percentage of .353 and a slugging percentage of .333.

The offense was led by Rodriguez, who finished first on the team in batting average, on-base percentage and third in slugging while also ending with the least amount of strikeouts than any other starter.

Nichols finished first on the team with 27 RBIs, and Edwards finished first on the team with four out of the 10 home runs the team hit all season.

The pitching staff as a whole finished with a combined earned run average of 3.98 while striking out 226 batters and allowing 179 walks.

Romero headlined the pitching staff and finished the season with the most games started (13), wins (4), innings pitched (78) and the most strikeouts (51).

Romero also ended with a team low 3.00 ERA.

Relief pitcher Joe Pacheco led the Falcons with four out of the team’s seven saves.

Gaylord said that this season has had a lot of “what if’s” and it’s something that will have to change next year.

“I don’t hope [it changes] I demand it, I can’t go through another year like this.

“I thought we would be a lot better than what we played,” he said.

Nichols added, “I don’t think we’ve achieved a lot of the goals we wanted to, we could have been doing better in our execution.”

With the majority of the players this season being freshmen, the team will have a chance to bring most of the players back having experience.

“I’m really excited for next year,” Nichols said, “a lot of young guys got a lot of playing time this season because we didn’t have a lot of sophomores.”