Baseball: Conference season opens with 4-3 win

File Photo: Richard Castro drove in three runs in the Falcons win
File Photo: Richard Castro drove in three runs in the Falcons win

Sophomore third baseman Richard Castro (Bishop Amat HS/Cal State San Bernardino) drove in three runs and sophomore closer Andy Hurtado (Downey HS/Rio Hondo College) earned his third save of the season to lead the Cerritos College baseball team to a 4-3 South Coast Conference opening win over East Los Angeles College on Tuesday. The Falcons (8-4, 1-0) snapped a four-game losing skid and will travel to East Los Angeles (2-10, 0-1) on Thursday for a 2:00 p.m. conference game.

Castro opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning, as his two-out single plated both freshman second baseman Andres Vega (Mary Star of the Sea HS) and sophomore shortstop Alex Bueno (Centennial, NV HS).

Freshman starting pitcher David Hays (St. John Bosco HS) was breezing through the Huskies lineup through the first four innings. He allowed two singles, while striking out nine batters. In the top of the fifth inning, East LA slapped out five seeing-eye singles in six at-bats, which tied the game at 2-2. He struck out Steven Villagran for the second out and got a fly ball out to end the inning and his day on the mound.

In the bottom of the inning, sophomore outfielder Buck Anderson (Lakewood HS/Cal State Bakersfield) led off with a double and tried to stretch it into a triple, but was thrown out. A single by Vega, followed by Bueno getting hit by a pitch and Hays drawing a walk to load the bases. Hays remained in the game as the designated hitter. Castro then stepped up and broke the tie with an RBI infield single, while sophomore fitst baseman Nicholas Martinez (La Serna HS) drove in what would be the winning run with a sacrifice fly.

Freshman Adam Chavez (El Rancho HS) came on in relief and pitched the next 1 1/3 innings before making way for Hurtado. With two outs and a runner on third base, Hurtado got Huskies designated hitter Matthew Castro to pop up and end the inning. Hurtado picked up his third save by retiring eight of the nine batters he faced, including four by strikeout.

Castro finished the game 3-for-4 with three RBI, while Anderson collected a pair of hits in the win.