RBI single in seventh gives Monrovia 4-3 win
(Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger)
By Scott Galetti, Staff Writer
MONROVIA – Sometimes it pays to be in the right place at the right time.
Monrovia High School first baseman/pitcher Richard Kilbury was right where he wanted to be Wednesday afternoon against visiting San Marino.
The 6-foot-1 junior stepped up to the plate in the seventh inning with the bases loaded and one out with the game deadlocked 3-3.
Kilbury lifted a shallow fly ball that fell just fair down the right-field line to score Curtis Cowell with the game-winning run in the Wildcats’ 4-3 victory.
The win kept Monrovia (8-2, 4-0) undefeated in Rio Hondo League play to set up Friday’s showdown at Temple City.
The Wildcats quickly turned a leadoff walk to Cowell into a scoring threat with a sacrifice bunt by Patrick McGeeney and a passed ball.
“One guy in the league that you don’t want to give a free pass to is Cowell, knowing that it’s going to be tough to get a lead out on him,” San Marino coach Mack Paciorek said.
San Marino (8-2-1, 2-2) elected to intentionally walk Patrick Greene and Chris Sanchez to bring Kilbury to the plate with just one out.
“We work on that all the time in practice, bases loaded, bottom of the seventh, and I was able to just poke a ball the other way and it dropped in,” Kilbury said. “It’s huge to come out and start 4-0 because everybody knows that we can come back and challenge again for the league.”
The move to intentionally fill the bases was one Paciorek felt was necessary.
“I feel confident that we’ll put some runners one if we have to so we can get a force situation in order and, unfortunately, it just didn’t work out today,” he said.
“We had Richard Kilbury hitting fifth today and he got the big game-winner for us,” Monrovia co-coach Dave Moore said. “He started out the year as the No. 8 hitter, and he’s done a great job for us.”
The Wildcats’ left-hander also pitched the final inning in relief and collected the victory to improve to 5-0.
McGeeney, Sanchez and Vince Vega all joined Kilbury with two hits apiece.
Monrovia out-hit San Marino 9-4, but the Titans battled back from a 3-1 deficit to make things a bit too interesting for Moore’s liking.
“It probably wasn’t the smoothest game of the year, but I’ll tell you, it was exactly what we envisioned before the Rio Hondo League started,” Moore said. “It was just two teams battling it out and sometimes you don’t come up with your best pitching or hitting performances, but that was a great high school baseball game, and that’s what counts.”
San Marino starting pitcher Nick Wilson (3-1) allowed three runs on seven hits in five innings of work in a no-decision.
“He beat us twice last year and we knew he was going to give us another tough game,” Kilbury said.
Kevin Gute, Wilson and Dylan Bensinger all had RBIs for San Marino.
“We battled through it and we knew that we could put runners on,” Paciorek said. “We’re playing some good teams and playing them awfully tough and that’s the silver lining of it all.
“There’s a lot of positives to take out of this game.”
Gute gave San Marino a 1-0 lead with a sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth, but Monrovia came right back with three runs in the bottom of the inning on a single by Sanchez, a double by Vega and a balk by Wilson to score a run.
San Marino tied the game in the fifth on a run-scoring single by Wilson and a sacrifice fly by Bensinger.
Kilbury went 2-for-4 to improve his season batting average to .545 with five runs batted in “Neither team gave in or gave up anything and both teams just battled for seven innings,” Moore said.