Santa Ana explodes past Cerritos in offensive showcase

Men’s Baseball Spring 02/15/24
Michael Rocha currently leads the Don’s in batting average at .392. Photo by KaliRaahVisuals / El Don

The Dons defeated the Falcons at home, 21-8, on Thursday after trailing by five runs early in the game. 

In the second inning, the Falcons capitalized on two errors from Santa Ana– a dropped fly ball to center field, and a ground ball to third base that was bobbled in transition. The errors resulted in two runs and bases loaded for the Falcons.

Capitalizing on the errors, Cerritos third baseman Alonso Reyes hit a bases-clearing double over the center fielders to extend the lead to 5-0. 

“We kick a ball at third, we lose a ball in the sun,” said Head Coach Tom Nilles. “Those are plays we need to make.” 

The Dons answered the Falcons’ powerful second inning with Dons freshman outfielder Jake Long nailing a line drive to left, then immediately stealing second on a wild pitch from Cerrito’s pitcher Myles Johnson. 

With Johnson struggling to locate his curveball, he walked sophomore infielder Mathew Dobson. Second baseman Thomas Williams followed him up by lining a ball into right field to load the bases. 

The start of the rally put the pressure on Johnson as he let a ball slip, hitting freshman DH Brady Schrank to bring a run in. The Dons scored again on a sacrifice fly from freshman catcher Abel Castrejon.

Another Dons’ single loaded the bases once again. With freshman shortstop Christian Altamirano at the plate, he hit one deep to right field that bounced off the fence and cleared the bases, tying the game 5-5 at the end of the 2nd inning.

“It felt good, like I got a good of piece of it,” said Altimirano. “I just wanna give a big shoutout to my teammates, they help me out a lot.” 

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Timothy Williams and Jimmy Anda celebrating the fifth out of six runs in the 6th Inning. Photo by KaliRaahVisuals / El Don

The rest of the game was smooth sailing for the Dons as they cruised to victory, scoring 17 more runs for a total of 21. 

Coach Nilles was proud of the way his team overcame the adversity they faced early in the game.

“We have a young group and it helps build their confidence as we get moving forward,” said Head Coach Nilles. “They threw a pretty good arm at us and it’s going to help to prepare the team as we move a little closer to conference play.”

After starting the season with a loss to San Diego Mesa, the Dons have now extended their winning streak to seven, working to repeat their championship success from last season.

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