Falcons eliminates College of the Desert

Outfielder, Nico Briones yelling and pumped after scoring at home from second base.
Outfielder, Nico Briones yelling and pumped after scoring at home from second base.
Joel Carpio

The Falcons are moving on to the next round of the playoffs as they swept and eliminated the College of Desert Roadrunners 4-1 on May 4.

This is Cerritos College’s first playoff baseball win since the Falcons beat Grossmont 5-3 back in 2016 and their first playoff series win since 2011.

College of the Desert struggled with locating their pitches as they gave up nine total walks to Cerritos.

A rocky start wasn’t how Cerritos starting pitcher, Franky Lopez wanted the game to start but he found himself in a jam early on.

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the first with only one out the home crowd felt the tension as they turned quiet quickly.

Lopez rallied and was pumped after getting a flyout and a strikeout looking to get out of the jam unscathed as the home crowd got right back into the game cheering and yelling.

This was Lopez’s first playoff appearance but he said pressure wasn’t even a thought in his mind coming into the game.

He went on to explain what got him through the bottom of the first that let him escape the inning with no damage.

“Honestly it was just building that confidence cause I lost a bit of confidence, I took a deep breath and looked at the team I got, how great they are defensively,” Lopez said, “Once I got that second out I knew it was game over from there and that’s all I needed.”

Lopez would go on to pitch eight innings giving up no earned runs and it was smooth sailing for Cerritos once they took the lead because they never looked back.

Almost every inning the Falcons had men on base and a chance to tack on more runs but the hits weren’t exactly timely as Cerritos only scored one run on a hit.

Things went quiet and the game sped up after the fifth inning because no runs came across home plate.

Falcons relief pitcher, Calix Armijo came in to relieve Lopez and finish the sweep to advance Cerritos into the next rounds of the playoffs.

Despite being outhit by the Roadrunners the Falcons’ patience at the plate proved to be pivotal as the walks played a big role in them getting four runs.

Head coach, Nate Fernley talks about how they took advantage of the walks that were given to them and how passing the baton with walks helped them obtain the win.

“Those two guys throw pretty hard [Roadrunner pitchers, Trevor Stowe and Dylan Van Meeteren] the plan was to be patient because those guys can get a little wild and you’re not gonna get tons of hits off guys like that,” Fernley said, “I think they did a really good job at just being patient, working pitch count, getting the bunts, getting on base and finding a way to win.”

Cerritos outplayed the Roadrunners defensively and College of the Desert head coach, Sam DiMatteo, iterated how he felt Cerritos just outdid them on defense.

“Defensively that was one of the better defensive teams [Cerritos] that we’ve come across, when you put that type of pitching together with that type of defense it’s very very hard to score runs and you can’t give them anything for free,” DiMatteo said.

DiMatteo went on to give Fernley kudos for a well-put-together team on Fernley’s first year as coach of Cerritos.

“My hats off to them and Nate [Fernley] for a phenomenal team he put together, especially for year one,” DiMatteo said, “You just have to give credit where credit is due, they’re a good baseball team.”

Cerritos continues to play in the next round of the playoffs at home on May 9.


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About the Contributor
Joel Carpio
Joel Carpio, Managing Editor
Joel Carpio is the Managing, Co-Sports, & Co-Social Media Editor for Talon Marks, he enjoys playing sports, listening to music, and is an avid fan of the Dodgers, Lakers, Rams, Kings, and LAFC. He is planning on transferring to San Diego State University and earn his bachelors degree in Journalism. In the future he wants to be a sports broadcaster.
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