By Miguel A. Melendez Staff Writer
It was an odd opening to the high school baseball season last week when the area’s top two teams in No. 1 La Salle and No. 2 Temple City ended in a 2-2 tie in eight innings because of darkness in the opening round of the Arcadia Elks Tournament.
It got more bizare when it was determined that Temple City (1-0-1) would move on to the semifinals despite the tie. The reason the Rams move on and not La Salle (1-0-1)? The first tiebreaker is broken down by which team touched more bases. Temple City won, 22-19. Bases touched is the first tiebreaker used in the first game, and from that point the first tiebreaker is which team have less total runs against.
That was the tiebreaker that determined who would move on between Monrovia (2-0) and Pasadena (2-0). Because the teams never faced each other, the tiebreaker was instituted, and the Bulldogs won the tiebreaker since they gave up just three runs in two games. Monrovia gave up four.
“It’s something you hope doens’t happen, and it hasn’t really happened in our tournament,” said Temple City coach Barry Bacon, who co-hosts the tournament along with Monrovia’s Brad Blackmore and Dave Moore. “Three out of the four (groups) had some kind of tiebreaker. San Dimas just won it flat out.
“It was stranger. I acutally ahd to re-read the rules and make sure we did the whole thing correctly. We did it right. It’s not fun, and Monrovia and La Salle played very well.”
So now, the semifinals are set. Pasadena will visit Alhambra (2-0) at Moor Field at 3:15 p.m. today while Temple City hosts San Dimas.
In the end, La Salle coach Harry Agajanian said a lack of communication is probably to blame for the tie. The Lancers gave up two runs in the first inning to Temple City on a seemingly routine pop fly. The ball landed in front of four La Salle players just past the mound.
La Salle still will have a marquee matchup when it visits Monrovia. The teams have had some history, most notably two years ago when Monrovia beat La Salle, 2-1, in the opening round of the CIF-Southern Section playoffs.
In other Elks games involving area teams, Pasadena Poly visits Arcadia and South Pasadena hosts Montebello.
DERBY HITTING 90′s
La Salle pitcher Bowdien Derby is arguably the area’s best pitcher, and he proved his worth in the season opener.
He pitched seven innings, allowed only three hits and struck out 11 against Temple City. Agajanian said the San Diego-State bound senior is hitting around 91 miles per hour on his fastball. It’s around what he threw in the season finale against Palm Desert in the second round, and it was that kind of performance that created a lot of buzz for the three-year letterman.
But look for Derby to continue making progress, as Agajanian said he’s expected to reach 93 to 95 by mid to season’s end.
YORTSOS IN A COMA
Fromer San Marino three-sport standout Stevie Yortsos, a Star-News Athlete of the Year in 2010, is in a medically induced coma, according to San Marino baseball coach Mack Paciorek.
Yortsos reportedly suffered a concussion a week ago during a game while playing for the USC men’s soccer club team.
Yortsos was a three-sport athlete all four years at San Marino. He was a captain in football, soccer and baseball. Yortsos was at his best his junior year when he earned Star-News All-Area first-team honors in all three sports.
Paciorek said Yortsos has made progress, but he’s got some ways to go.
“He’s a fighter,” Paciorek said. “He’ll fight through this, no question about it.”