JC Baseball : Evert’s Pinch Single in 7th Leads Cerritos to 4-0 Win
Pinch-hitter Kevin Evert’s two-run single in the top of the seventh inning Saturday broke a scoreless tie and led Cerritos College to a 4-0 win over Laney in a semifinal game of the state championship tournament in John Euless Park.
The top-seeded Falcons (38-5) will play College of the Canyons for the state title this morning at 11.
Cerritos needs only one victory to win the seventh state championship in the school’s history, while the Cougars will have to beat Cerritos twice since they already have one loss in the double-elimination tournament.
Cerritos left-hander Al Osuna and Laney right-hander Gary Alexander engaged in a scoreless pitching battle for six innings before the Falcons scored four times in the seventh.
With one out, Quinn Mack singled, Tony Trevino walked and Ever Magallanes singled to load the bases.
Evert, who came off the bench Friday to hit a key home run that helped Cerritos beat College of the Canyons, then pinch-hit for Bill Mosiello and delivered a two-run single to left field.
Mike Benjamin knocked in Cerritos’ third run with a perfectly executed squeeze bunt. Evert scored the final run of the rally when Alexander (6-3) threw a wild pitch.
Four runs were more than enough for Osuna, who shut out the Eagles on four hits. Osuna, a sophomore transfer from Stanford, allowed only one runner to reach third base, struck out three and walked none while improving his record to 11-1.
Evert’s big hit helped Cerritos win again despite the fact two of the Falcons’ top hitters, Ron Ewart and Scott Wilkinson, are in prolonged slumps.
Ewart was 1 for 3 Saturday and is 1 for 12 in the tournament. Wilkinson, the South Coast Conference’s Player of the Year, was 0 for 4 Saturday and 0 for 11 at Fresno. But whether or not the slumps of Ewart and Wilkinson continue, Cerritos is in great position to win its first state championship since 1979. Because George Horton, the Falcons’ first-year coach, used second-line pitchers to start in Cerritos’ opening-round wins over College of Marin and College of the Canyons, left-hander John Rodriguez (7-1) and right-hander Dave Serrano (12-1) will both be well-rested and available today.
College of the Canyons eliminated Sacramento City, 11-3, Saturday, and later that evening, the Cougars ousted Laney, 7-3, to reach today’s final.