Baseball: Monrovia’s skid continues, loses to South Pas.

By Keith Lair, Staff Writer

MONROVIA – The South Pasadena High School baseball team got pitcher Tony Veiller back at the right time.

The senior right-hander had been unable to pitch because of an injured finger until last week.

On Wednesday, he showed he was back at full strength by throwing a complete game and leading the visiting Tigers to a 6-1 victory over Monrovia in Rio Hondo League play.

“The coaching staff got together and was hoping we could keep things close until he got back on the mound,” South Pasadena coach Tony Chevrier said. “He threw strikes and gave us the opportunity to win.”

The win ended a 20-plus game losing streak to the Wildcats and propelled the Tigers into second place, a game ahead of the Wildcats.

“It’s like climbing a mountain,” Veiller said of finally beating the Wildcats. “This is the first time we’ve ever done this.”

Veiller was nowhere close to being perfect, but he was good enough to let his defense do the work. He scattered three hits and hit a batter. In his previous outing, a nonleague win over Hoover, he pitched 3 2/3 innings.

The win put a serious dent in the Wildcats’ bid to win their sixth consecutive league title. Monrovia has lost seven consecutive games, three in league, and is three games behind first-place Temple City with seven games to play.

Monrovia committed four errors and had two base-running mistakes.

The Tigers’ Conor Bednarski singled in the second and went to third on Corey Richard’s single. Keaton Leach hit a blooper to left field which Reed Miller tried to dive to get. The ball popped out of his mitt and Bednarski scored.

A two-base error and consecutive fly balls to center field made it 2-0 in the fourth. A fielder’s choice after a pair of singles made it 3-1 in the fifth.

South Pasadena broke it open in the sixth with three runs off three pitchers.

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Softball: La Caada jumps on San Marino miscues, 7-4.

UPDATE: For the record, a few of us took a second look at the score book. Upon further review, we’ve determined Michelle Floyd had six unearned runs against one earned. Lauren O’Leary had two unearned runs against one earned, which came in the sixth inning. There was some confusion early in the game as to whether a Floyd pitch was a wild pitch or a passed ball. Also, passed balls on dropped third strikes are not considered as errors.

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

SAN MARINO – There was frustration throughout, with a barrage of errors being the culprit.

Nevertheless, the La Caada High School softball team capitalized early and often as it completed a Rio Hondo League sweep over San Marino with a 7-4 win Wednesday.

San Marino (11-6, 5-3) started a young infield with the absence of all-league shortstop Alexis Watanabe and all-league third baseman Jacqueline Martinez. Watanabe (.500, 10 RBIs, five doubles) was out with an illness and Martinez (.314) served a one-game suspension stemming from an ejection Tuesday against Monrovia.

The inexperienced infield was prone to vulnerability, and no one knew that better than La Caada coach KC Mathews. The Spartans (17-3, 8-0) were aggressive on the basepaths and quickly pounced on the Titans, who committed four errors and had a slew of miscues at home plate.

Continue reading “Softball: La Caada jumps on San Marino miscues, 7-4.” »

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Baseball: Arcadia feeling pressure in the Pacific League.

“There’s pressure to win games because we don’t score any runs, It would be nice to get a base hit to score some runs.”Arcadia coach Nick Lemas after the Apaches’ 2-0 win over Pasadena.

Above: Aggressive base running isn’t a problem, as Arcadia’s Drew Klein is tagged out at home in the second inning against Monrovia earlier this year, but key base hits are becoming far and few in between.

Arcadia’s 25th consecutive Pacific League victory wasn’t easy. Pasadena made it tough, to the point that the Apaches’ two runs in their 2-0 win came on sacrifice flies. As our Keith Lair wrote, Arcadia has to find imaginative ways to manufacture runs, and they did Tuesday. A while back I subtlety wrote in a headline that KJ Edson is doing his job, but that a little more run support would make things easier. Almost immediately a fellow by the screen name of “Broken Arrow” added his two cents: “(L)ast time I checked, all you need is one more run than the other guy so a lack of run production is moot as long as they pitch and play catch.”

As I pointed out, he obviously missed the point. My point was that if Arcadia (17-3, 8-0) was hitting the ball as well as its pitching rotation was producing, the Apaches would probably be running away with the Pacific League with much more authority. At this point, Crescenta Valley (18-2, 7-1) must like its chances with another shot at Arcadia when they meet May 13 under the lights at Arcadia.

We don’t know what Crescenta Valley is batting as a team because they dont’ post their stats on MaxPreps. To Arcadia’s credit, it does. The Apaches, as a team, are batting .287 with a slugging percentage of .358. By contrast, Temple City, the first place team out of the Rio Hondo League, is batting .339 with a .431 slugging percentage.

Pundits will say the Pacific League is arguably tougher competition and the Apaches have faced tougher competition. Not necessarily. Temple City played some tough competition in the Apache Invitational, playing the likes of San Dimas and Glendora. Arcadia beat Temple City 4-3 in that tournament and Temple City beat Pasadena, 7-1.

In the Pacific League, Arcadia has won four of its eight games by two runs or fewer. By contrast, Crescenta Valley has won each of its league games with blow out wins, with the exception of a 3-1 win over Burbank. The Falcons lost to Arcadia, 2-0 4-2.

Nevertheless, you have to give credit where credit is due, and the Apaches are in a position to finish league undefeated for a second consecutive season. Arcadia last year became the only school Pacific League history to finish league undefeated.

But after Tuesday’s game, it’s apparent that run production is becoming an issue.

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Softball: La Caada, San Marino ready for round II. Spartans got the best in first meeting, 3-0.

La Caada and San Marino meet again. The Spartans (16-3, 7-0) got the upper hand in the first meeting a few weeks ago when they beat the Titans (11-5, 5-2) under the lights at La Caada High. I told a few people that I thought this rivalry lost a little bit of its luster when San Marino got beat by Monrovia 2-0 earlier in the Rio Hondo League season. That all but gave La Caada a cushion in the league standings without having to yet play San Marino. San Marino and La Caada, I think, are the top two teams in the West San Gabriel Valley, albeit the Spartans hold a considerable gap between them and the rest. While San Marino suffers with lack of depth, the Spartans seem to flourish with depth from top to bottom. Add to that the fact that La Caada standout Lauren Cox is back in the circle throwing a bit, and you have a Spartans team that arguably has the best power hitter (Anna Edwards) and a powerful 1-2 punch in the circle with Cox and Lauren O’Leary, who has been outstanding all season. San Marino is led by Michelle Floyd who is 11-4 with 178 strikeouts with a 0.61 ERA and six shutouts this season. Alexis Watanabe (.500, 10 RBIs, five doubles) leads the team in batting. Floyd is just as dangerous with a bat in her hand (.476, 11 RBIs, two home runs) but with little else coming elsewhere, the Titans become vulnerable.That’s what leads me to believe La Caada will likely sweep the series today when they meet at San Marino.

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Baseball: Temple City takes two-game lead in Rio Hondo League standings. Is this the end of Monrovia’s reign?

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

SOUTH PASADENA – Some will point to a five-run explosion in the seventh inning as the key to the Temple City High School baseball team’s 11-4 Rio Hondo League win over South Pasadena on Tuesday afternoon.

The reality is, the visiting Rams (13-6, 7-1) let their defense do the talking, getting out of pressure-moment innings, particularly in the sixth, when a potential momentum swing for the Tigers (9-11, 4-3) never came to fruition.

“They had runners in scoring position in many of the innings,” said Temple City coach Barry Bacon, whose Rams sit atop the league standings with a two-game lead. “We just pitched out of it and played good defense today.”

Continue reading “Baseball: Temple City takes two-game lead in Rio Hondo League standings. Is this the end of Monrovia’s reign?” »

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