Baseball: Gabrielino rides frehsman pitcher Angel Acosta to win, 5-1, and claim Mission Valley League title; Monrovia clinches RHL with 12-1 win over South Pas; San Marino beats La Caada, 8-2, settles for second


Above: Freshman Angel Acosta kept his emotions in check throughout the game, but there was no stopping him after the final out was recorded.

CLICK HERE FOR A PHOTO GALLERY OF THURSDAY’S S. EL MONTE-GABRIELINO GAME SHOT BY THE STAR-NEWS’ VERY OWN ACE PHOTOGRAPHER KEITH BIRMINGHAM

RELATED LINK: Acosta paces Gabrielino in title clincher

Just got back from a hot day of watching some good baseball in San Gabriel for the South El Monte-Gabrielino showdown. There was a lot of hype surrounding freshman sensation Angel Acosta, and he didn’t disappoint. He struck out 13 batters, allowed just one run on nine hits and went the distance to lead Gabrielino to a 5-1 win to help the Eagles win their third straight Mission Valley League title. Acosta helped his own cause in the fifth with a two-RBI double to score Rong Huang and Brendan Campbell to make it, 2-1. Acosta, the team’s leading-hitter, finished the game going 2-for-3. Gabrielino coach Joe Laski in his six years at Gabrielino has never started a freshman, but this season he’s starting two. Campbell is also a freshman starting at shortstop. He went 3-for-3 today. Both teams recorded nine hits but Acosta proved to be too much, getting ahead of hitters on seemingly everyone who stepped up to the plate. A wild pitch in the sixth helped Keith Clapp score from third, but it was Matt Lok who kept things alive in that inning for Gabrielino. He took seven pitches and on the eighth pitch got an RBI single that scored Huang to give the Eagles a 4-1 lead. Talking to South El Monte coach Gilbert Adame after the game and he said he’s seen some great pitchers in his time, including Rey Aguilar who pitched at South El Monte and earned All-MVL honors for four seasons. Against Gabrielino his senior season, Adame struck out 35 batters and allowed one hit in two games vs. Gabrielino. Surely, they were happy to see him graduate. He went on to play in the Braves organization and retired from Triple A ball in the Angels organization. Adame also added that Acosta is as good as this kid “Carranza” who pitched for Mountain View and graduated “five or six years ago,” according to Adame. Carranza, too, was a four-time All-Mission Valley League honoree.

By the way, here’s what Robledo had on his blog earlier today:

Mission Valley League baseball title: What’s better than a win-or-go-home championship game at the end of the season. South El Monte (11-6, 10-4) is at Gabrielino (13-11, 10-4) for all the marbles. South won the first meeting 9-4, then Gabrielino came back and won the second game 9-4, too. Anything can happen, there is no dominant pitcher, which makes this wild race to the finish even better. I bet the South takes it, 8-6.

No dominant pitcher? I think Robledo has been drinking too much Kool-Aid. I gotta stop spotting him drinks …

After the game I got on Huntington Drive and cruised on over to San Marino High since it was on my way back to the office. Almost everyone was gone and ran into a few parents. The entire team was still there hanging out in the dugout. Chris Warren allowed two runs in the first but settled down, pitching a complete game to lead the Titans to an 8-2 win over La Caada. The game was tied, 2-2, through five innings before San Marino erupted for six runs in the sixth. San Marino finishes in second place after learning that Monrovia scored nine runs in the first en route to a 12-1 win over South Pasadena. The Wildcats clinched their fourth straight Rio Hondo League title. And so after the dust settles we still don’t know if La Caada will get into the playoffs. Not sure what the loss means for the Spartans but this one was tough because they end the season on a losing note, and who knows how CIF will look upon that. Too bad if La Caada doesn’t get invited to the Big Show.

RELATED LINK: South Pasadena stumbles, loses 12-1

Time to start writing my gamer and finish my column. If you have any questions I’ll be here at the office a couple more hours. Feel free to drop a line.