Holding leads of 7-0, 10-1 and 17-9 still weren't enough to hold off host Compton College on Thursday, as the Cerritos College baseball team needed five runs in the 10th inning to post a 22-17 South Coast Conference win. The victory improves the Falcons record to 6-20 overall and 5-11 in conference play, with the two teams playing the rubber game of their series at noon on Saturday at Kincaid Field.
The 22 runs scored were the most by a Falcon team since a 24-13 win over Cerro Coso College in 2013, with the 39 combined runs the most scored since a 21-20 loss to Cuesta College in 2009.
Cerritos started the game by scoring seven runs in the top of the first inning and added seven more runs in the top of the sixth inning to move their lead to 17-9. However, the Tartars (6-23, 3-12) scored the next eight runs, including five in the bottom of the ninth inning to push the game to extra innings.
In the top of the 10th inning, the Falcons scored five runs on the benefit of just one hit to take a 22-17 lead. Freshman shortstop Alejandro Bueno (Centennial, NV HS) and sophomore first baseman Michael Gonzalez (St. Bernard HS) drew walks to lead off the stanza, while a single from sophomore outfielder Cody Ahrens (Mayfair HS/Hope International University) loaded the bases. The tie was broken when sophomore catcher Andre Alvarez (Walnut HS) was hit by a pitch, and after a pitching change, sophomore designated hitter Trevor McInerney (Cerritos HS/El Camino College) drew a walk to bring in the second run. Freshman third baseman Matt Den Hartog (Los Alamitos HS) was then hit by a pitch to drive in the third run of the inning, with a sacrifice squeeze bunt from freshman pinch-hitter Gregory Navarro III (West Covina HS) bringing in another run. The final run came courtesy of a sacrifice fly from freshman outfielder Shea Estrin (West Torrance HS).
Compton did threaten to put runs on the board in the bottom of the 10th inning, thanks to an infield error and a walk, but freshman Anthony Gonzalez, Jr. (Norwalk HS) got out of the inning without any damage.
With as many runs scored by the Falcons, several players had outstanding games. Estrin, who drove in six runs, clubbed a three-run home run in the sixth inning and also doubled in a pair in the first inning. The six RBI in a game tied for the most by a Cerritos player since Rene Rodriguez drove in six runs in a 2002 playoff game against Grossmont College. Alvarez also hit a home run, a two-run blast in the second inning and finished with four RBI. Bueno tied a school record with five walks and went 2-for-2 with three runs scored. Ahrens (4-for-5, four runs) and McInerney (4-for-6, four runs) both drove in a pair of runs.
There were a total of 22 stolen bases in the game, as well, with Compton accounting for 15 of them.