Baseball: Bunt in 9th inning drives in winning run

Luis Chavarin drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 9th inning
Luis Chavarin drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 9th inning

Freshman third baseman Luis Chavarin, Jr. (Sonora HS) laid down the perfect bunt in the bottom of the ninth inning to drive in freshman pinch-runner Jason Givens (Santa Fe HS) with the winning run in a 7-6 Cerritos College baseball win. The victory over Pasadena City College at Kincaid Field on Thursday closed out the Falcons (12-26-1, 7-16) home schedule this season. They will cap off their year tomorrow in a 2:30 p.m. game at Jackie Robinson Field.

With the game tied at 6-6 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, sophomore Alex Bueno (Centennial, NV HS) led off with a base hit through the left side of the infield. Givens came on as the pinch-runner and was sacrificed to second base by freshman catcher Daniel Mariscal, Jr. (Long Beach Poly HS), who bunted with a full count. Sophomore outfielder Hasan Standifer (San Pedro HS/Jackson State University) followed with a base hit to left field, with Givens held up at third base. Facing the best Lancers (27-12, 15-8) pitcher on their staff, Benny Olguin, Chavarin pushed as bunt to the right of the mound, with Olguin unable to make a play and Givens coming home with the winning run.

Freshman relief pitcher J'amore' Ward (Gahr HS), who came on in the top of the sixth inning, had one difficult inning. In the seventh inning, Ward (2-8) walked Jake Tribble with the bases loaded to bring home a run, while consecutive singles drove in runs to tie the game at 6-6. Ward finished the game going four innings and aside from the seventh inning, retired 10 of the 11 batters he faced.

Trailing 3-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, Cerritos scored three times and took a 4-3 advantage. Chavarin led off with a single, moved to second on a walk, while the bases became loaded after freshman outfielder Julian Francois (Serra HS) drew a two-out walk. Freshman second baseman Andy Vega (Mary Star of the Sea HS) then stepped up and laced a two-run single, followed by an RBI base hit from Bueno.

Consecutive run-scoring singles from Francois (2-for-3, 2 walks, two runs, two stolen bases) and Vega (2-for-5, three RBI) extended the team's lead to 6-3. Bueno (3-for-5, two RBI), Standifer (2-for-5) and Chavarin (2-for-5, RBI) all had multiple hit games, while freshman outfielder Terril Steen, Jr. (North Torrance HS) drew a pair of walks and scored twice.

Photos by Daryl Peterson