BREAKING NEWS: PHS rallies from 6-0 deficit, wins 9-7

Burbank scored six runs in the first three innings, but if it thought the game was over Burbank sure had another thing coming. Pasadena’s Robert Lain needed only one pitch to hit a grand slam over the center field wall and the Bulldogs added four more in the sixth to cap a remarkable come-from-behind 9-7 win over Burbank on Tuesday afternoon in the Pacific League opener for both schools. William Yost started the two-out, five-run rally with a single to center. Andrew Phillips followed suit with another single to center and Chris Rucker’s RBI single brought home Yost to start the rally and make it 6-1. Chris Klein got hit by a pitch to load the bases, that’s when Lain came to the plate and, to say the least, made things interesting. Ivew Brown started the sixth with a single that rolled by the pitcher and took a bounce off the mound. He beat the throw to second. Phillips singled to right and Chris Rucker’s RBI single to right field scored Brown to make it 6-6. Klein loaded the bases again with a bunt that got past Burbank pitcher Chase Mersola. The throw to first was not in time. Lain, again facing a bases loaded situation, hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Phillips for the winning run. Kevin Winder put the icing on the cake with a single to right field, scoring Rucker and Klein for a 9-6 lead. Klein picked up his first win in two appearances. He walked and gave up a hit to the first two batters in the seventh, had two fielder’s choice for the first two outs, allowing Mersola to score and make it 9-7. Klein got Ryan Favor to ground out to second for the final out. Pasadena showed grit. It took longer than expected, but the bats finally came alive when confidence sunk in. Burbank pitcher Taylor McCauley perhaps played an inning too long. He had given up only two hits heading into the fifth. It wasn’t until midway through the sixth when McCauley was replaced.

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Baseball Rankings: Nothing changes in the top 10, but Alhambra and Monrovia close to toppling St. Francis


1. St. Francis (6-2) — St. Francis beat everyone in the Elks Tournament, lost to Saugus and Crescenta Valley by relatively close margins. We’ll see how strong the Knights really are after they open Mission League play against Crespi today. Crespi is the top-ranked team in Division 2. How strong is the Mission League you ask? Loyola, also from the Mission League, is ranked No. 2 in Division 2.

2. Alhambra (7-1) — Moors found their form after losing to St. Francis in the Elks Tournament final. After soundly beating Kalani in a doubleheader last week, Alhambra went on the road and beat a good Bell Gardens team behind the strong arm of Jonathan Beltran and solid effort at the plate from Greg Saldate.

3. Monrovia (8-1) — I’ll be the first to admit I wondered the validity of the Wildcats pitching rotation. But senior pitcher Aaron Murphee is quickly proving he can carry the load and the tag of a true ace. He shut out South Pasadena in the Rio Hondo League opener, struck out nine and allowed only five hits.

4. Arcadia (4-2) — Apaches get a handful of cupcakes to open the Pacific League season, then head into the Apache Invitational before resuming league against the big boys.

5. Maranatha (3-5) — The Minutemen may have pitching depth but we’ve seen no evidence that relievers can maintain leads. There are some question marks after Dylan Covey, and for the first time in a long time, things won’t get easy come Alpha League play.

6. Pasadena Poly (5-2) — The Panthers have a long layoff because of spring break. No tournaments mean they don’t play until April when they resume Prep League action at Rio Hondo Prep on April 1.

7. Temple City (3-3) — The Rams got a confidence win over Blair. It gets gradually harder from that point forward as San Marino and Monrovia wait on deck.

8. Pasadena (5-2) — Bulldogs split a doubleheader vs. Valley Christian. They get a tough test today against Burbank in the Pacific League opener. I’ll be at that game.

9. La Salle (4-4) — Split a doubleheader vs. Maranatha over the weekend. Covey proved to be too much and the Lancers rebounded in the second game. La Salle travels for a big game Friday at St. Paul.

10. South Pasadena (4-4) — The Tigers suffered close losses to Monrovia. What does that say? It says South Pasadena is here to contend. My money’s on the Tigers to finish second behind Monrovia. San Marnio, Temple City and La Canada have their work cut out.

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Softball Rankings: La Caada still the team to beat


1. La Caada (7-1) — The Spartans are clearly the best team in the area and the team to beat in the West San Gabriel Valley. They’re the only team in our area ranked No. 1 in their respective CIF-Southern Section Division 5 top 10 poll. I hear Friday’s game against South Pasadena will be played under the lights, but the schedule on MaxPreps says 3:30 p.m. I have no problem with late games, but from a reporter’s perspective, covering night games can sometimes be a potential nightmare with deadlines and all.

2. La Salle (6-3) — It was fun watching Allie Forillo dominate St. Monica in the Camino Real League opener last week. You know the deal. She struck out 15 and came within two outs of a perfect game, but settled for a no-no. Colleen McWilliams was clutch as always, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs. A name to look out for is Katie Smither. The freshman went 2-for-2 with a triple, a single and a walk. She also scored three runs.

3. San Marino (6-4) — Michelle Floyd is the real deal. If anyone really doubted that, then her perfect game last week certainly settled the case.

4. South Pasadena (4-3) — The Tigers opened Rio Hondo League play with a dominant 8-2 win over Monrovia. The rankings reflect until Saturday, so we didn’t take in consideration that the Wildcats returned the favor Monday with a 3-1 win. Nevertheless, there’s a hint in the air that we’ll see more parity in the Rio Hondo League. After La Caada, of course.

5. Mayfield (3-1) — I’ll get my first chance at watching Mayfield on Thursday vs. Maranatha. Is Clancy pitching? Either way, I’m curious to see what kind of supporting cast the Cubs now have.

6. San Gabriel Mission (5-1) — San Gabriel Mission’s schedule doesn’t seem all that daunting. The Pioneers lost to San Gabriel, but there’s no update on their game vs. Alhambra. The schedule gets easier come league play.

7. Maranatha (4-3) — The Minutemen have a tough challenge in a rematch against Marymount today. They’ll play two more nonleague games (Mayfield, L.A. Baptist) before opening Alpha League play against Marshall next week.

8. Temple City (5-5) — We knew we were going to see great things from Jessica Loicano (.357, two home runs, two doubles, one triple), but we’re also seeing something special develop with junior Jessica Flores, who leads the team in batting average (.469).

9. Monrovia (6-2) — The big test comes today vs. La Caada. Win or lose, it’ll be a good barometer for the Wildcats to use and see how far they’ve come along.

10. Arcadia (3-4) — The Apaches open Pacific League play at home against Hoover today. Sam Miller continues to tear it up.

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Softball: Morgan Barchan hits first career HR in college

In an effort to keep you guys up to date with our former stars, we will post updates here and there when information is made readily available. First up, former Arcadia star Morgan Barchan. The Southern Illinois freshman had a sensational game last week, batting 4-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs in the Salukis’ 8-0 win over Evansville in Missouri Valley Conference play.

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Softball: South Pasadena could make things interesting

It’s always fun when a team takes the next step and goes from living in the shadows to contender. You have to be impressed with what South Pasadena did on Friday. The Tigers upended Monrovia, 8-2, in the Rio Hondo League opener for both schools. Indiana-bound Shelby Gogreve is arguably the area’s best infielder. Batting leadoff for the Tigers, Gogreve was batting .615 with a .722 on base percentage and a 1.462 slugging percentage. She has two home runs, three doubles and a triple heading into Friday’s game. But it’s not just Gogreve making waves. Rochester College-bound Courtney Dunlap is a senior utility player batting .533 with a 1.267 slugging percentage as she plays third, first, catcher and DP, with a baffling four triples and three doubles. Cynthia Ream-Garcia is a freshman to keep an eye on. She is batting .333 playing first base and is kind of a force of nature. Marrissa Baca is pitching good enough to win most games with a current 2.45 era, but it is a little scary how good she could be if she could become a little more consistent. If I had to pick a softball game of the week, without a doubt it’s South Pasadena at La Caada on Friday.

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