Falcons Baseball wins close game against LA Valley College 8-7

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Starting pitcher sophomore Nicholas Martinez pitch for 6 innings against Los Angeles valley Photo credit: Derrick Coleman

Edgar Mendoza, Managing Editor

The Cerritos College baseball team secured an 8-7 win over the Los Angeles Valley College Monarchs on Jan. 30. The Falcons spent the first half of the game clinging to small leads, hoping to keep the Monarchs at bay.

The game began with a moment of silence for Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobello, as well as his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa, who perished in the helicopter crash that also claimed the lives Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and four others.

The top of the first inning saw the Monarchs up to bat, with only 1 batter walking, 1 strikeout, and 1 runner out at first.

The Falcons proceeded to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first, with freshman Second Baseman No. 15 Andres Vega hitting a home run to left field, giving the Falcons an early 1-0 lead. The first inning came to a close with all three outs being obtained through pop flys caught by the Monarchs outfield.

Vega describes the run as “energizing for the team, it really got us going with good momentum.”

The second inning played out similarly for both teams, coming to a close with neither team getting a single hit or a runner on base.

In the top of the third inning ,following a throwing error by Sophomore Shortstop No. 3 Alex Bueno, the Monarchs were able to get a runner on base.

A bunt allowed the Monarchs to get a second runner onto first base on a fielder’s choice, and a throwing error by sophomore pitcher No. 9 Nicholas Martinez allowed the Monarchs to load second base as well.

A second bunt by the Monarchs would give them their first out, but would allow their runners to advance to second and third base respectively.

A pop fly put the Monarchs on the board, with one runner scoring and the other advancing from second to third base in exchange for the second out of the inning. The inning would come to a close with the game tied 1-1, with one runner left on base.

In the bottom of the third, the Falcons were unable to obtain a hit, only getting sophomore outfielder No. 1 Buck Anderson onto base through a walk. Anderson successfully stole second base, but was caught stealing 3rd. The remaining two outs were obtained through strikeouts, bringing the third inning to a close, with one runner left on base.

In the top of the fourth inning the Monarchs had zero hits and zero runs, only placing one runner on base as a result of a walk, but were unable to capitalize on this opportunity.

The Falcons picked up steam in the bottom of the fourth inning, with sophomore designated hitter No. 17 Richard Castro hitting a single to right field, then proceeding to steal second base as freshman First Baseman No. 21 David Hays struck out swinging.

Sophomore Outfielder No. 5 Bodie Parker kept this momentum going, hitting a double to left field, allowing Castro to score a second run for the Falcons.

Freshman Third Baseman No. 11 Alex Figueroa gave the Falcons their second run of the inning hitting a single down the left side of the field, allowing Parker to bring the score up to 3-1 in favor of the Falcons. Figuero was caught stealing second, and freshman Catcher No. 40 Benny Perucho struck out swinging, bringing the inning to a close.

The fifth inning saw neither team score a run, with only the Monarchs getting a single hit, and both The Monarchs and the Falcons closing the inning with one runner left on base, through a grounder and a walk respectively.

The Monarchs would rally in the top of the sixth , starting off with a triple, followed immediately after by a single that brought the score to 3-2 in favor of the Falcons. Following a walk which put a runner on first and second base , the Monarchs were able to capitalize on a fielding error by Bueno, allowing them to both score the tying run and advance a runner to third base.

A bunt allowed the monarchs to bring their runner home, bringing the score up to 4-3 in favor of the Monarchs, however the Falcons were able to end the inning quickly with three consecutive outs soon after.

In the bottom of the sixth, freshman First Baseman No. 21 David Hays fouled out to third base , and Palker was walked onto first base. Figuero was also walked, advancing Parker onto second. Sophomore Outfielder No. 24 Shea Estrin was able to reach first base on a fielder’s choice, but Figuero was taken out attempting to reach second base. Estrin proceeded to steal second as Sophomore First Baseman No. 44 Matt Den Hartog pinch hit for Perucho. Following a fielding error , Estrin advanced to third, and Parker was able to score. Freshman Outfielder No. 16 Sergio Medrano then pinch ran for Den Hartog, as Anderson was able to advance to second on a throwing error and Medrano advanced to third, with Estrin scoring a second run for the Falcons in the inning.

Vega then singled to left field, allowing Anderson and Medrano to score. Bueno was the last out of the inning, as the Falcons reclaimed the lead 7-4.

The seventh inning saw neither team score, however the Falcons were able to obtain two hits by Hays and Castro, but were unable to capitalize on the loaded bases.

A two-run home run allowed the Monarchs to bring the score up to 7-6, but the Falcons quickly shut them down by means of three consecutive ground-outs.

In the bottom of the eighth, Anderson was walked onto first, and advanced onto second on a throwing error. He then scored on a wild pitch that also advanced Vega onto first. A double play by the Monarchs followed by a strikeout then brought the inning to a close, with the Falcons leading 8-6.

In the top of the ninth, the Monarchs attempted to rally, but were unable to score more than one run, as the Falcons brought the game to a swift close with an unexpected double play.

Anderson attributes the teams win to “taking it inning by inning, returning every run with one of our own, and working together , as one team.”

The Falcons went on to win their next two games.