Baseball: Falcons announce the signing of seven more players

Cerritos baseball celebrates the signing of eight more players
Cerritos baseball celebrates the signing of eight more players

With the announcement of seven more players who have signed with four-year colleges, the Cerritos College baseball team now has 10 players who have moved on to the next level. Joining pitcher JJ Almeda (Colorado Mesa University), outfielder Jason Givens (University of La Verne) and pitcher Carter Stoddard (Cal Poly Pomona), the Falcons are also sending the pitching trio of Steven Salazar, Dawson Holbrook and Timothy Fife to Georgetown (KY) College, while shortstop Julian Francois (Cal State Dominguez Hills), second baseman Andy Vega (Bluefield, VA State University), infielder Dean Ormonde (Clarke, IA University) and pitcher Joseph Cossette (Chaminade, HI University) are all moving on.

Salazar was used as a spot-starter and started three of his 11 games and went 1-5 with a 4.21 ERA in 36 1/3 innings. He struck out 34 batters on the year, which included a season-high eight punchouts in 4 1/3 innings of relief against Fresno City College. Holbrook was used in six games and was 0-0 with seven strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings of work, while Fife tossed 7 1/3 innings in seven appearances and was 0-0.

The Tigers, an NAIA college that plays in the Mid-South Conference, went 29-22 last season and were in need of multiple pitchers after losing five to graduation.

Francois, who started his career as a centerfielder, moved to shortstop in his freshman season and batted .286 as a sophomore with 27 stolen bases on the year. He concluded his career with 46 swipes and drew 45 walks over his career. Ormonde, a 2nd Team All-South Coast Conference pick, hit .323 on the year and improved that to .333 during conference play. He missed seven games due to an injury, but still slapped out four doubles and drove in nine runs while doing a fantastic job as a converted first baseman. He posted a .979 fielding percentage after seeing time at multiple positions his freshman season.

Francois will be joining a Toros team that went 23-27 on the year and will look to him to provide depth in the infield and baserunning speed. The Lions of Clarke (IA) University posted a 29-18 record last year and see Ormonde as a versatile addition to their team. He can play either corner outfield position as well as first base. They're losing five infielders and four outfielders to graduation. 

Vega opened his freshman year as the team's starting shortstop, but moved to second base, where he was a stalwart. He batted .296 on the year and led the team with 40 hits, nine doubles and 18 RBI and was second on the team with 25 runs scored. Cossette started three of the four games in which he appeared and went 0-3 in 10 innings and struck out nine batters.

The second Falcon to sign with Bluefield in the last three seasons, Vega has the ability to play either middle infield positions and will help the team make a return trip to the Black College World Series, where they dropped a pair of games after opening with a win and went 25-25-1 on the season.