Softball: Monrovia should be 3-0 in RHL … no, really …

Think about it … Monrovia (7-2, 2-1) gave up seven runs in the first inning against South Pasadena in the Rio Hondo League opener last week. The Wildcats also committed six errors in that inning. “We just looked flat,” Monrovia coach Randy Medina said. “They were mad.” And why wouldn’t they be mad considering how the game ended. Monrovia settled down and gave up only one run the rest of the game, and the Wildcats scored two runs. Take away those seven runs in the first and Monrovia wins, 2-1 instead of losing, 8-2. “That was a game we look back and say ‘That’s an inning we’re not going to duplicate again,’” Medina said. “That’s not us. It’s so uncharacteristic of what we’ve done.” Monrovia shook up the Rio Hondo League when it stunned top-ranked La Canada, 2-0, on Tuesday. The Wildcats went with pitcher Cori Williams for the third time in five days. She helped Monrovia to back-to-back wins over South Pasadena on Monday and Tuesday against La Canada (7-1, 1-1), the top-ranked team in the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 poll. Monrovia’s stunner started in the fourth inning when Nikki Guzman drew a walk. Kelli Eggleston pinch ran and was waved home after Brooke Cowell’s double to right. The throw home was bobbled, giving more than enough time for Eggleston to touch the plate and break a scoreless tie. Cowell took off to third on the play, but the throw bounced into left field, allowing Cowell to score and make it 2-0. Schae Simpson, who relieved Williams in the sixth, got into a jam when she walked La Canada’s Anna Edwards to load the bases. But the threat ended when Simpson got the next batter to ground out to the shortstop and seal the upset. “Working to have a consistent game,” Monrovia coach Randy Medina said. “It was what the girls have been wanting. “We’re excited about the opportunities that this win will open up for us.”

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Baseball: Gabrielino avoids 0-2 start in Mission Valley League; are the Eagles back on the right track?

CLICK HERE FOR A PHOTO GALLERY OF WEDNESDAY’S ARROYO-GABRIELINO GAME

By Keith Lair, Staff Writer

SAN GABRIEL – Mark Roche threw his glove in disgust as he walked into the visiting dugout.

The Arroyo High School pitcher had just given up back-to-back singles to Gabrielino in the fourth inning on Wednesday. The first, by Vince Albelo, tied the Mission Valley League game.

“Our pitcher had a little sore arm there, so we kind of had to make the change,” Arroyo coach D.J. MacKinnon said. “That wasn’t the plan. It’s early in the year. We don’t want to do anything that’s going to prolong the injury. There are a lot more games to be played.”

Roche’s arm was not sore at the beginning of the game, MacKinnon said, and when the switch was made his arm didn’t appear to be sore. It appeared as if MacKinnon was just being safe by sending David Guerrero to the mound in replacing a battling pitcher.

Guerrero induced John Moreno to hit the ball in the infield for an apparent third out. But third baseman Roman Davales’ throw was high and Albelo scored from second base to break the tie.

Sophomore Brendan Campbell then hit a two-run triple and Gabrielino escaped with a 6-4 victory. The Eagles, the three-time reigning league champions, avoided an 0-2 start in league play.

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Baseball: Hernandez is the kind of guy Keppel needs

In just the last few years, it seems like Keppel’s made some pretty good hires. First, it started with football coach Bobby Madrid taking the reigns, and now it’s a young but enthusiastic Houston Hernandez, 25, in charge of turning around the struggling Aztecs. The former St. Paul star is looking to inject some stability and tradition to a program that’s won only seven of its last 100 games…

By Andrew J. Campa, Staff Writer

ALHAMBRA – At 25 years of age, new Mark Keppel High School baseball coach Houston Hernandez is full of zest and zeal.

The La Mirada native resides in a city where baseball is big and played at a high school in St. Paul, where excellence was not an elective.

“We always expected to be in the mix at St. Paul,” said Hernandez, a 2002 alumnus. “We had a streak of something like 20 years of finishing with a better than .500 record.

“How many schools can say that?”

Hernandez reached the postseason all three of his varsity years and even helped the Swordsmen split the Del Rey League title with Bishop Amat in 2000.

His younger brother Estevan Hernandez is a former Whittier Daily News Player of the Year at catcher while his sister Vanessa Hernandez was a solid softball outfielder.

All this makes Hernandez’s choice for his first head coaching job at Keppel somewhat curious.

The Aztecs have struggled lately as Hernandez is the program’s third coach in six years.

Over the last five years, the Aztecs played 100 games and won seven.

During that same time, Keppel has triumphed in 2 of 75 Almont League contests.

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