Baseball: Blackmore gets tossed, Titans win big, 10-2

Click here to check out and buy photos from Wednesday’s game shot by Star-News staff photographer Keith Birmingham. People, he’s the best in the biz.

Senior Andrew Sloan pitched four strong innings, allowed two runs on only two hits and struck out four batters to lead San Marino to a 10-2 win over a baffled Monrovia on Wednesday afternoon in Rio Hondo League action. San Marino jumped to an early 3-0 lead in the first after Dylan Bensinger’s line drive down the third base line was good for a double, driving in Jonathan Merhaut. Kevin Gute’s double cleared the bases to score Michael Thompson and Bensinger to make it, 3-0. Bensinger finished the day going 2 for 3 with a double and three RBIs. The Wildcats got on track in the second when Justin De La Nuez scored on Robert Nakamura’s RBI single to right field. With the bases loaded, Richard Kilbury’s RBI single brought Chris Calver home to make it, 3-2. Kilbury’s ball got a lucky bounce that got away from first baseman Joe Forgatch, allowing the run to score. But that’s as close as the Wildcats would get, leaving the bases loaded in the second after Sloan’s shaky start to the inning. He walked three batters but still got out of the jam and a 1-run lead. This was Monrovia’s first game back after a 20-plus day hiatus from the Rio Hondo League. They were the last team in the league to go on spring break and played in a tournament the week they went on break while the rest of the league returned for league action. Wildcats co-head coach Brad Blackmore didn’t see the end of the game. He was tossed in the sixth inning by infield umpire Walter Brown after a lengthy and heated protest. San Marino loaded the bases and scored five runs to take a 10-2 lead. Nothing went right for Monrovia in the sixth. After Forgatch singled, Tarik El-abour came to the plate and showed bunt. Aaron Murphee’s pitch appeared to have make contact with the bat but the umpire signaled El-abour to head to first. Blackmore protested the call and was tossed. San Marino loaded the bases on Stevie Yortsos’s bunt and Merhaut singled in Thomas Lopez who was pinch-running for Forgatch. Things unraveled after that. El-obour scored after Thompson walked, Gute’s single to left drove home Yortsos and Merhaut to make it, 9-2, and Chandler Caldwell’s single up the middle scored Thompson for the game’s final run. Interesting game. Afterwards, Monrovia co-head coach Dave Moore said he wasn’t sure when the team would be coming into the game focused or not focused. He said the Wildcats wanted to tie the game with every swing. “But that’s not our ball game. That was our biggest problem,” Moore said. The Rio Hondo League is not going to be won in the next week or so and it could come down to the final game of the season. This much we know, the Titans can hang. By the way, there was someone at the game making weird analogies, especially late in the game, talking about hotels, Park Ave., letting the ice cream melt, pepperoni’s and HomeTown Buffet. I had no idea what any of that meant but I sure was in the mood for some all-you-can eat pizza at Shakey’s after the game with a side of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

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