by Cerwin D. Haynes
(photos by Adrian Nevarez)
Down 3-1 in the bottom of the ninth, the Huskies made a valiant effort to come from behind and stop their recent losing streak. In fact, ELAC came within 90-feet of tying the game, as East had scored a run and then had runners on second and third with two out. But Noah Nieto would strikeout to give the Cerritos Falcons (9-4, 2-0) a 3-2 victory over the home Huskies (2-11, 0-2).
East Los Angeles would score first in the bottom of the third inning: with one out, right fielder Nico Bobadilla would get hit by a pitch from Falcons' starting pitcher Nathaniel Davalos. Center fielder Steven Villagran then singled to left field with Bobadilla advancing to third. Next up was third baseman Juan Guardado, who would lift a sacrifice fly to senter to score Bobadilla. Cerritos would tie the game in the top of the fourth with an RBI single to right by designated hitter Richard Castro.
In the top of the fifth, ELAC ran into some miscues: with no outs, Falcons left fielder Shea Estrin was hit by a pitch; he would steal second and then advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt by Huskies starting pitcher Pedro Silva. Silva, now facing catcher Owen Beebe at the plate, balked, which scored Estrin; Beebe would single to right. A pair of Cerritos infield singles would then load the bases, and Beebe - now at third - scored off a Silva wild pitch.
To ELAC's credit, they did not falter under the pressure of high traffic on the bases. Silva would retire the next two men, and Coach Hines called for an intentional walk to Castro before pulling his starter for reliever Salvador Zepeda. Brought on to face right fielder Nolan Brown, Zepeda struck out Brown to keep the Falcons' run damage minimal for the inning and the score at a 3-1 deficit for the Huskies.
The score would remain 3-1 until the bottom of the ninth: with runners on first and second with two out, ELAC pinch-hitter Joseph Figueroa would line an single to left, scoring Guardado from second. Figueroa and Davian Valdivia (the runner at second) would both advance a base courtesy of a passed ball, and Noah Nieto was called off the bench to face Falcons closer Andy Hurtado with the tying and winning runs in scoring position.
Unfortunately for the Huskies, Nieto was facing a closer who's notched saves in three out his first four appearances with an ERA of 1.13. Hurtado struck out Nieto to end the Huskies rally and save the game.
- This was the second straight one-run loss ELAC has dropped to Cerritos. The Huskies lost 4-3 at Cerritos on Tuesday.
- Despite the two losses to the Falcons, East has only given up seven runs in the two games - a vast improvement over the eight games prior where the team has allowed a total of 82 runs.
- ELAC heads back out to Cerritos on Saturday to complete the three-game set. There is a strong chance the game may be moved up to tomorrow since Saturday's forecast calls for rain in the area.