Baseball: Justin Almeda shuts down Rio Hondo in 6-1 win

Daniel Castellanos and Justin Almeda prepare to embrace after the Falcons win
Daniel Castellanos and Justin Almeda prepare to embrace after the Falcons win

With nearly 80 Cerritos College baseball alums in attendance, freshman pitcher Justin Almeda (Warren HS) tossed a complete game in a 6-1 victory over Rio Hondo College at Kincaid Field on Saturday. The win over the Roadrunners (17-20, 7-14) gave the Falcons (11-25-1, 6-15) the series win, and will close out their season next week with a three-game series against Pasadena City College. The first game will take place at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Jackie Robinson Field.

It was a tight pitcher's dual with Almeda and Rio Hondo pitcher Matt Herrera through the first three innings. The Falcons scored an unearned run in the fourth inning and broke the game open with a five-run sixth inning. The complete game by Alemda was the first by a Cerritos pitcher this season.

In the fourth inning, freshman outfielder Lucas Iorgulescu (Marina HS) reached on an error and moved to second base on a wild pitch. Freshman catcher Daniel Mariscal, Jr. (Long Beach Poly HS) then laced a two-out double to drive in Iorgulescu for the game's first run.

Hasan Standifer laced a three-run triple Mike Santos dove backward to catch a foul ball Iorgulescu led off the sixth inning with his team-leading 14th double and moved to third base on a single by sophomore designated hitter Alex Bueno (Centennial, NV HS). A pitching change brought on Andrew Baltazar, and the Falcons didn't hesitate to extend their lead. Mariscal opened with an RBI single and after freshman third baseman Mike Santos (Servite HS) drew a walk, it loaded the bases. Sophomore Hasan Standifer (San Pedro HS/Jackson State University) drove a 2-2 offering to the centerfield fence and cleared the bases with a stand-up triple. It was the second triple in the last three games for Stadifer (pictured, left).

Freshman first baseman Dean Ormonde (Long Beach Millikan HS) closed out the scoring in the inning with a sacrifice fly.

Almeda was able to take a shutout into the eighth inning, thanks to some outstanding defensive plays. Ormonde chased down two foul balls for outs, with freshman outfielder Jason Givens (Santa Fe HS) throwing out Gabriel Rico at the plate on a line drove from right field, as Rico tried to tag up on a fly out. Mariscal stood straight up at the plate and was able to give Rico the impression he would beat the throw. But the perfect throw from Givens was caught by Mariscal and he swept his arm around to tag out Rico before he could score.

In the top of the eighth inning, Santos (pictured, above right) was able to dive backward to pull in a foul ball for the final out when the Roadrunners had the bases loaded and were threatening. Finally, in the ninth inning, freshman Elijah Fountain (Grand Lake, LA HS) went to the wall to catch a fly ball for the second out of the inning.

Alumni group
There were nearly 80 former players in attendance at different times during the game for a reunion and included players from five different decades.

Photos by Daryl Peterson