Senior Brian Dearth strikes out 12 to lift Temple City to 1-0 victory.
Above: Temple City pitcher Brian Dearth against Monrovia (Correspondent photo Larry Goren)
My thoughts: This was another great pitching matchup between Dearth and Richard Kilbury. It was the type of game you wish there wasn’t a losing team.
By Scott Galetti, Staff Writer
MONROVIA Monrovia and Temple City high schools were expected to stage a fight to the finish for the Rio Hondo League baseball championship this season.
The Rams, in a tie for third place with La Caada, are in a fight just to secure the leagues final guaranteed playoff berth.
With two of the areas top pitchers going head to head, Brian Dearth helped Temple City stay in the hunt for third and kept itself at arms length behind Monrovia.
Dearth struck out a season-high 12 batters and threw a complete-game one-hitter to lead the Rams to a 1-0 win Wednesday at Monrovia.
I have not beaten Monrovia since my freshman year when Ryan Tucker hit a walk-off home run here to win the game, Dearth said. This win right here is actually big and it gets our heads up.
The senior left-hander relied mainly on a fastball and changeup to keep the Wildcats at bay in a duel against Monrovias Richard Kilbury.
I had that one-two punch, and I used my changeup as my out pitch and they seemed to swing over it every time, Dearth said.
The win gave Temple City (14-6, 6-4) a half-game lead over idle La Caada (10-6, 5-4) for third and pulled the Rams within two games of the league-leading Wildcats (14-6, 8-2).
We had Richard and Brian battling, and you knew nobody was going to score a lot of runs, Monrovia co-coach Dave Moore said. In the first game, it came down to a misplay to allow us to score two runs and here, it was just a bad-hop single that scored a run.
The Rams pushed across the games only run in the top of the seventh.
Christian Cano singled and went to second on a wild pitch. Sophomore catcher Ruben Jara hit a sharp grounder that took a high hop over the head of Monrovia second baseman Kai Nakamuras head into right-center field to drive in Cano.
Right now in my high school career, thats one of my biggest hits, Jara said. To come back and beat Monrovia, our biggest rivals, thats one of my favorite hits.
It was the kind of hit Moore is used to in this rivalry.
Its baseball, and its going to happen on any field, Moore said. When you have two teams like Temple City and Monrovia battling it out, sometimes things like that make the difference.
Dearth struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh to seal the victory.
Brian was terrific, Jara said. He just came out here and did his work like he always does.
Kilbury (8-1) was equally outstanding and in command early and often as he allowed just three hits and struck out 10 in five innings before leaving the game with a muscle cramp in his back.
Its never good in a close game when you feel like you cant contribute anymore, Kilbury said. For that situation, thats really what was best.
Senior Jeff Wallick (4-2) suffered a tough-luck defeat.
Morgan Hatch was 2-for-3 for Temple City.
The Rams stranded seven runners while Monrovia left six on base.
Both teams had opportunities during the game, Moore said. When you have good pitchers one the mound, they make pitches in situations like that to get out of it.