Baseball: South Pasadena beats San Marino 5-4 amid controversy; Titans coach Mack Paciorek, assistant Freddie Diaz and senior pitcher Alan Felix ejected. Temple City beats La Caada 5-1 to extend RHL lead.

South Pasadena’s 5-4 win over San Marino on Friday afternoon ended in controversy and three San Marino ejections.

The bizarre play happened in top of the seventh with San Marino’s Mark Chen at second and Matt Wofford at the plate with the game tied at 4.

Wofford connected for a hard line drive to left field. South Pasadena left fielder Matt Pinson backpedaled to make the catch, but upon colliding with the wall it appeared that the ball came loose, prompting Pinson to make a throw to second but not before Chen scored to make it 5-4 in favor of the Titans.

Field umpire Dave Hargrave ruled the ball was in play but South Pasadena coach Anthony Chevrier appealed to home plate umpire Chris McNeese. After conferring with Hargrave, McNeese ruled Wofford out, negating his RBI double.

San Marino’s Mack Paciorek raced to the field and exchanged in a heated argument with McNeese, who threw out Paciorek moments before throwing out San Marino hitting coach Freddie Diaz.

In the bottom of the inning, the Tigers’ two-out rally started with a Dylan Trimarchi single up the middle, followed by an infield single from Tony Veiller. Trimarchi beat the tag at home to score the game-winning run. When McNeese called the play safe, thus ending the game, San Marino pitcher Alan Felix said something to McNeese, who walked away. Hargrave ejected Felix, and both umpires were escorted out of the field by South Pasadena athletic director Ralph Punaro.

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Baseball: Temple City, South Pas ride confidence wave.

Temple City baseball coach Barry Bacon couldn’t have been more thrilled after beating Monrovia last week to hop in the driver’s seat for the Rio Hondo League.

But it was the Rams’ (13-6, 7-1) win over South Pasadena that really solidified their chances.

“It was a big win for us the other day against Monrovia,” Bacon said. “But we felt this game (against South Pasadena on Tuesday), coming in on their field we saw they were playing better and we needed to put them two games behind us.”

South Pasadena (10-11, 5-3) on Wednesday beat Monrovia (8-12-1, 4-4) to secure second place with four league games remaining.

“I know South Pasadena is not used to being in this position,” said Tigers coach Anthony Chevrier, who finished 7-8 in league last year. “I know they’re excited to have the opportunity to finish higher this season.”

At this point, there may be no stopping Temple City.

“It’s a team growing in confidence,” Bacon said. “It’s a team built on pitching and defense and we’re swinging the bat very well, I think.”

South Pasadena hosts San Marino (5-14, 2-6) at 3:30 today while Temple City throws Corey Copping against host La Caada.

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Baseball: La Salle working on long-term deal to play its home games at Arcadia County Park. Good idea?

Big changes could be coming to La Salle High School if the school is successful in securing a long-term deal that would call for the Lancers baseball team to play its home games at Arcadia County Park beginning next season.

No deal yet is in place, but talks have been extensive.

La Salle athletic director John Matheus confirmed the school is in negotiations, adding that the school’s long-term plan calls for a pool addition and possibly a new gymnasium where La Salle’s baseball field currently sits.

Anthony Harris, slated to officially take over athletic director duties July 1 upon Matheus’ departure, also confirmed the news and said the school’s plan initially had the Lancers playing home baseball games at Arcadia County Park this season.

“But something fell through right before the beginning of the season when we weren’t allowed to play at the park for the dates we had submitted,” Harris said.

La Salle coach Harry Agajanian welcomed the idea of playing at Arcadia County Park.

“If we put a little work into the place we can make that into a nice facility out there,” he said. “It does need some work, like some bullpens. It’s not a whole bunch of work and it would be a great place to play.”

As with everything, there are pros and cons.

“It’s fun to play on campus,” Agajanian said. “It’s always great to be at the school and have the kids there, so we lose that factor. On the flip side, we could get some night games there. We can get a good crowd for, say, Friday night games. That would be a lot of fun.”

La Salle last season played its Del Rey League home games at Arcadia County Park, largely in part because the Lancers had pitcher Brian Hill, known as a fly ball pitcher. At La Salle, an oddly aligned right field works against the Lancers when playing teams that hit the ball long. Such was the case this season when Bishop Amat belted four home runs against La Salle in the series finale at La Salle, prompting Bishop Amat coach Andy Nieto to admit that the field dimensions paved the way for numerous home runs and a 14-run lead in the first three innings.

La Salle’s right field is lined 300 feet; left field at 275 feet; and right-center at 260 feet.

“Maybe a couple of them hit the gap, but a few of them are definitely caught (at Bishop Amat),” Nieto said. “It’s one of those games you hope you never get to at this park when you deal with those kind of parameters.”

That was a stark difference from the previous meeting at Bishop Amat’s field when La Salle pushed the game to extra innings before losing 3-2 in nine innings. Bishop Amat hit no home runs in that game.

Harris noted the difference, too.

“It’s pretty obvious when you play a team like Bishop Amat that’s going to go yard against you more times than not most of those balls are going to be long outs somewhere else,” he said.

If the school is successful in securing Arcadia County Park, the Lancers softball team — after losing their home field at nearby Latter Day Saints Church and currently playing at Big League Field Dreams in West Covina — would join the baseball team at Arcadia, Matheus said.

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Baseball: San Marino, La Caada, Monrovia and Maranatha all trying to cope with injuries, lack of depth.

Above: San Marino’s Doug Mayberry, who has had to deal with a variety of injuries.

There was a high sense of optimism when the high school baseball season started.

A season riddled with injuries, however, has all but derailed the hopes of some teams (San Marino, La Caada) while others (Monrovia, Maranatha) try to overcome depth problems.

San Marino (5-14, 2-6) recorded its biggest win of the season Tuesday when it beat Monrovia, 6-3. Before that, the Titans had little to celebrate.

Senior catcher Mark Chen broke his nose three weeks ago in the second game of a doubleheader against Maranatha. His first game back was Tuesday. Sophomore Bradley Haslam has been out several weeks with a leg injury and will return for the first time Friday at South Pasadena. Everett Phillips, regarded as the ace this season, pitched three innings against Charter Oak in the third game of the season and has not pitched since because of a ligament strain in his throwing elbow. He’s not expected to pitch the rest of the season.

Doug Mayberry, the lone all-league returnee who batted .382 with 15 RBIs and 10 doubles as a junior, has been in and out with a variety of injuries.

Sophomore Matt Wofford, batting .387, also has been out the last two weeks. San Marino coach Mack Paciorek promoted Nick Gott, son of former Dodger pitcher Jim Gott, from the junior varsity team. Gott in his second start for the Titans tweaked his knee against Temple City in a pickoff attempt.

Paciorek is not discouraged.

“It’s one of those years you can’t shake,” he said. “But it’s nice to see the motivation with their insistence to get back on the field. That’s the one thing all athletes have to learn, is you have to work hard to get back. They’re giving us that motivational boost.”

Paciorek said he knew the Rio Hondo League had more parity this season, but a surprise still ensued.

“South Pasadena having so many seniors you knew were going to make a run at one point,” he said. “Temple City’s got the pitching, we knew that going in. But the surprise is Monrovia. It’s not that they’re not good, but they’re not what they have been. That’s kind of caught everyone off-guard.”

Monrovia’s quest for a sixth consecutive league title is on thin ice. The Wildcats (8-11-1, 4-3) need to win outright and hope La Ca ada (8-9, 2-6) upsets Temple City (13-6, 7-1) Friday.

The Spartans started league with five consecutive losses before beating San Marino, 4-3, and Monrovia, 5-4. UC Santa Barbara-bound Brendon Shoemake and Sam Baldwin have been bright spots in La Caada’s pitching rotation.

Monrovia started the preseason ranked No. 1 by this newspaper despite returning only three starters. But filling big shoes in the rotation and key spots elsewhere slowed the Wildcats.

“Temple City is sitting pretty right now,” Paciorek said. “We are no longer in control of our destiny. We can win out and still not make the playoffs or we can win three of four and make the playoffs, if other things go our way.”

Maranatha (9-12, 4-5) is in a rebuilding mode as it sits in fourth place in the Olympic League.

The Minutemen, No. 7 in the preseason rankings, returned five starters this season, but losing Star-News Player of the Year Dylan Covey to graduation left a considerable gap in the lineup.

Maranatha also lost significant power at the plate. The Minutemen batted .312 with a .421 on-base percentage and .398 slugging percentage last season.

They’re batting .262 this season.

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