Baseball: Buck Anderson comes through with another walk-off hit

File Photo: David Hays held Long Beach City hitless in his seven innings
File Photo: David Hays held Long Beach City hitless in his seven innings

The Cerritos College baseball team was just two outs away from a no-hitter on Monday in their South Coast Conference game against rival Long Beach City College. Not only did the Vikings break up the no-hitter, they scored twice in the top of the ninth inning to take a 2-1 lead. But the Falcons, with their flair for the dramatic, scored twice in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 3-2 walk-off South Coast Conference win. Once again, it was sophomore outfielder Buck Anderson (Lakewood HS/Cal State Bakersfield) who came through with the game-winning hit. The two teams are scheduled to play the second game of their three-game series at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday at Joe Hicks Field in Long Beach.

The one-run win was the eighth of the season for the Falcons.

Cerritos starting pitcher David Hays (St. John Bosco HS) sliced his way through the Long Beach City lineup and struck out 12 batters in the first seven innings and did not allow a hit. He made way for sophomore closer Andy Hurtado (Downey HS/Rio Hondo College), who retired the first four batters he faced. Two outs away from the first no-hitter since Benny Gonzalez tossed a no-no against Treasure Valley (OR) College in 1998, Vikings pinch-hitter Carter White singled through the left side.

Hurtado (1-1) would walk the next two batters to load the bases for Diego Altimirano, who laced a two-run single up the middle. A double play ended the inning, but forced Cerritos to score twice in the ninth inning to win the game.

After Vikings starter Noel Soto pitched the first eight innings, where he allowed one run on four hits, closer Mitchell Knight was called on to finish the game. However, sophomore third baseman Richard Castro (Bishop Amat HS/Cal State San Bernardino) had other ideas, and he laced a double to right-center field to lead off the inning. On the play, White bobbled the ball in center field, which allowed Castro to move to third base. Sophomore designated hitter Matt Den Hartog (Los Alamitos HS) then tied the game with a single to right field. Freshman outfielder Nolan Brown (Long Beach Poly HS) then advanced pinch-runner Bodie Parker (Cajon HS/Chaffey College) to second base for the first out of the inning.

Freshman pinch-hitter Daniel Mariscal, Jr. (Long Beach Poly HS) was intentionally walked, with freshman Camden Angell (Goodpasture Christian, TN HS) coming in to run. A fielder's choice cut down Parker at third base, which set the table for Anderson. In the team's 6-5 comeback win against Pasadena City a week ago, it was Anderson who drove in the winning run. He was able to slice a Knight (4-1) offering on a full count to the backhand of Vikings shortstop David Rivera, who had to slide to knock the ball down. Once he went to the ground, Angell, who was running on contact, was waved home without a throw for the game-winning run.