Baseball: Falcons hold on for 5-3 win and three-game sweep

Dylan Immell had a pair of hits and drove in a run for the Falcons
Dylan Immell had a pair of hits and drove in a run for the Falcons

After opening up a 5-0 lead over visiting Compton College on Saturday afternoon, the Cerritos College baseball team was able to hold on for a 5-3 victory. The win gave the Falcons (28-5, 16-2) a three-game series sweep over the Tartars (11-19, 6-9) and earned them their sixth win in a row and 19th win in the last 20 games. The team will host Chaffey College in a 2:00 p.m. non-conference game on Tuesday. The two teams met up back on February 14, with Cerritos posting a 2-1 win.

In the win over Compton, the Falcons scored twice in the first inning to jump out to an early lead. Sophomore shortstop DJ Massey (Gahr HS/Central Arizona College) led off with a walk, stole second base and advanced to third on the throwing error by catcher Emilio Morales. With two outs, sophomore first baseman Mike Santos (Servite HS) was hit by a pitch, which set the table for freshman second baseman Dylan Immel (El Segundo HS). His bloop single in short left field brought home Massey, while a throwing error by Anthony Manuel in left field allowed Santos to score and advanced Immel to third base, where he was stranded.

Freshman pitcher Myles Johnson (Katella HS) struggled with his control at times, but his defense came up with several key plays to get out of scoring situations for Compton. A leadoff walk to Morales didn't go anywhere when Manuel was called for batter interference on a stealing attempt, while Johnson got Elias Pacheco to hit into an inning-ending double play in the second inning. After perfect third and fourth innings, Johnson (7-2) walked Jose Contreras to lead off the fifth inning. After Compton put runners on first and third with one out, Andrew Herrera hit into a double play to end the scoring threat.

Cerritos padded their lead in the bottom of the fifth inning when they scored three times. Massey was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, with freshman catcher Alonso Reyes (Culver City HS) drawing a walk. Freshman outfielder Isaiah Rios (St. John Bosco HS) drove in the first run of the inning with a base hit, while Santos reached on an error, which plated Reyes. A single by Immel put Rios on third base, where he scored on a fielder's choice off the bat of sophomore third baseman Anthony Bassett (Colegio Bautista de Managua, Nicaragua/Los Angeles Harbor College).

Johnson ran out of gas in the sixth inning, as he gave up a leadoff base hit, followed by a fielding error. After both runners were advanced on a sacrifice bunt, it was followed by an RBI single from Quincey Quintero. A sacrifice fly brought home the second run of the inning for Compton, followed by another walk. Sophomore Cade Sonoqui (Long Beach Millikan HS) came on in relief, but struggled, as he walked a batter, hit another and uncorked a pair of wild pitches, with the second one bringing in a run.

Closer Calix Armijo (Mary Star of the Sea HS) came in to record the final out and then pitched the final three innings to earn his eighth save of the season. He retired 10 of the 11 batters he faced on the day. He's tied for the state lead in saves and the most by a Falcon since Elpidio Martin saved nine games during the 2014 season.

Photos by Daryl Peterson