Baseball: Falcons battle back for 6-5 win in 11 innings

File Photo: Buck Anderson drove in the game-winning run in the 11th inning
File Photo: Buck Anderson drove in the game-winning run in the 11th inning

With their never-say-die attitude on full display, the Cerritos College baseball team scored twice in the bottom of the ninth inning and then needed four runs in the 11th inning to post a 6-5 win over visiting Pasadena City College on Tuesday. The win snapped a three-game South Coast Conference losing skid for the Falcons (11-7, 4-3), who will travel to Jackie Robinson Field this Thursday at 2:00 p.m. for another game against the Lancers (9-10, 3-4).

Trailing 5-2 heading into the bottom of the 11th inning, sophomore outfielder Bodie Parker (Cajon HS/Chaffey College) led off by getting hit by a pitch. Consecutive singles from freshman shortstop Andres Vega (Mary Star of the Sea HS) and freshman Alex Figueroa (St. John Bosco HS), who came into the game in the top of the 10th inning, loaded the bases. Sophomore third baseman Richard Castro (Bishop Amat HS/Cal State San Bernardino) laced a 1-1 offering from Chase Pederson (1-4) up the middle to drive in a pair and make it a 5-4 game. The bases were once again loaded after sophomore designated hitter Nicholas Martinez (La Serna HS) drew a walk.

Freshman Daniel Mariscal, Jr. (Long Beach Poly HS), another late-game replacement, drove in the tying run on a sacrifice fly. Cerritos loaded the bases for the third time in the inning when sophomore catcher Owen Beebe (Long Beach Millikan HS) singled through the right side. That set the table for sophomore outfielder Buck Anderson (Lakewood HS/Cal State Bakersfield), who singled to left field, which brought home the game-winning run.

It looked like Cerritos was going to be the victim of their second straight 1-0 setback through the first eight innings. But Pasadena City pushed across a run in the top of the ninth, which meant the Falcons would have to score twice to keep the game going.

In the bottom of the ninth, sophomore pinch-hitter Matt Den Hartog (Los Alamitos HS) singled on the first pitch he saw, while Vega doubled inside the right field foul line on the first pitch, with pinch-runner Parker advancing to third base. Up stepped sophomore second baseman Alex Bueno (Centennial HS), who hit the third pitch of the inning for a single to left field, which tied the game at 2-2 and kept the Falcons alive.

Sophomore Andy Hurtado (Downey HS/Rio Hondo College) received his first start of the season and went the first 5 2/3 innings. He battled out of situations in four of the first five innings, thanks to the six walks and hit batter he issued. But Hurtado ended up striking out nine batters and forced the Lancers to leave seven runners on base until his removal. Pasadena City ended the game leaving 15 runners on base. After recording the first two outs of the sixth inning, Hurtado surrendered a pair of hits and a walk, which drove in the game's first run and prompted his removal.

But Pasadena would go on to score three times in the top of the 11th inning off freshman relief pitcher Aurelio Colon (Verdugo Hills HS), with two runs scoring on a sacrifice fly. Colon was entering his third inning of relief, which was his longest appearance of the season. With the bases loaded, freshman relief pitcher Matthew Garcia (Santa Fe HS) got Dino Miranda to fly out to deep right field. But Parker had to extend his body on the play and rolled over backward, which allowed the two runs to come around and score. Garcia (1-0) retired the next two batters and was credited with the win.

Anderson, Vega and Martinez each had a pair of hits on the day for Cerritos.