By Nathan Cambridge, Correspondent
MONROVIA – Monrovia High School shut out visiting Temple City 4-0 on Tuesday to take over sole possession of first place in the Rio Hondo League for the first time this season.
“I guess we’re in first place, so we’re going to try to hold it and win league here,” Monrovia senior Justin Jones said.
Both of the Rams’ league loses have been to Monrovia (14-3, 7-1).
“It’s a tough league. Everything is very tight, so you can drop back in one day,” Monrovia co-coach Brad Blackmore said.
Wildcats pitchers Joe Mata and Brad Felty combined to hold the Rams scoreless while yielding only three hits. Mata (6-1) allowed all three hits, walked three and struck out three in the first five innings. After the junior left-hander walked the leadoff batter on four pitches to start the sixth, Felty took over and held Temple City (16-3-1, 6-2) hitless in two innings.
“We got out-executed by a better team. We got out-pitched by a better team. We just got beat by a better team,” Temple City coach Barry Bacon said.
Monrovia jumped on Rams starter Corey Copping (5-1) for three first-inning runs. Temple City’s Gabriel Juarez and Jonah Jarrard had consecutive one-out singles in the inning, but the Rams failed to score when Corey Copping hit into a double play.
Mata finished 2 for 2 with two doubles, two RBIs and a walk. The junior hit Copping’s first pitch of the fifth inning into deep center field for his second double.
Erik Cox took over as a pinch-runner and came around to score from third with two outs on a wild pitch.