Baseball: Monrovia shutsout Temple City, sets up huge showdown with San Marino on Friday.

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.

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Baseball: Let’s face it, RHL race is down to three teams.

What started out like a five-team race in the Rio Hondo League has now trimmed to three: Temple City (16-2-1, 6-1), Monrovia (13-3, 6-1) and San Marino (15-6, 5-3).

It’s unlikely that South Pasadena (7-13, 1-6) and La Canada (8-11, 0-7) will make up enough ground to contend for one of the three playoff spots with about five games remaining in league. What the Tigers and Spartans can do, however, is play the role of spoilers. All five teams entered league with at least a three-game winning streak, giving the impression that every game in league would be quite the showdown, and that has been the case despite sub .500 records from the Tigers and Spartans, who have made it tough for the rest to stay in the hunt for a league title. So to say this league still belongs to the Monrovias and Temple Citys would be somewhat farfetch.

“I hesitate to say that and I wouldn’t say it because we survied the other day at La Canada,” Temple City coach Barry Bacon said. “(Anthony) Mizrahi pitched super well, and they’re one error away from not giving up the winning run.”

Nevertheless, the way it stands this week proves to be a big week, particularly for Monrovia which hosts Temple City today at 3:30 and then visits San Marino on Friday. The Titans are off today, so there’s a good chance San Marino coach Mack Paciorek will attend today’s big game. Temple City on Friday visits South Pasadena.

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Baseball: Gabrielino’s Acosta is State Player of the Week.

Three no-hitters so far this season with the latest gem coming last week, it’s easy to see why Gabrielino High School’s Angel Acosta has been chose as this week’s ESPNHS Cal-His Sports State Athlete of the week.

Acosta joinsEmilyLockwood of Norco and Kim Scarsella of Tamalpais, the softball winners this semester, and baseball’s Scott Silva of Clovis West as the spring semester winners.

Acosta last week threw a no-hitter, struck out 10 and drove in two runs to lead Gabrielino (10-7, 8-1) to an 8-0 Mission Valley League victory over South El Monte. Acosta, a senior right-hander, has an 18-strikeout performance this season against El Monte, 13 strikeouts against Arroyo and 16 strikeouts against Mountain View.

Acosta is 5-1 this season with a 0.61 ERA. He has 84 strikeouts this season with five complete games and four shutouts.

Against South El Monte last week, Acosta needed just 88 pitches (57 strikes) to complete his latest feat. He also recorded his 408th career strikeout,which tied him for 11th all time in the CIF-SS with New Life Christian’s Randy Betten (1988-90).Acosta is two behind 10th-place Ian Kennedy’s of La Quinta. With six league games left plus the playoffs, Acosta is on pace to finish at least eighth all time. Apple Valley Christian’s Craig VanHulzen holds the all-time mark of 646 strikeouts.

Acosta is just as potent at the plate. Last week in a 7-0 win over Arroyo, Acosta went 3 for 3 and drove in a run.

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Star-News/Tribune All-Star Game: Rosters are set!

Saturday, April 28 at Damien High
Girls game, 4 p.m.; Boys game, 6 p.m.

Boys: Tribune 98, Star-News 87, Star-News leads series, 5-3.
Girls: Tribune 80, Star-News 69, Star-News leads series, 5-3.

If your name is on the list below all you have to do is show up to practice and ready to play. Your coach/athletic director should have given you the message. If not, e-mail me at for all the info or simply read it in the story below.

COACH: Tim Tucker, Pasadena

Blake Hamilton, Pasadena, Sr.
John Haywood, Pasadena, Sr.
Dion Nelson, Muir, Sr.
Jessy Cantinol, Renaissance Academy, Sr.
Vince De Guzman, Renaissance Academy, Sr.
Ali Jabalameli, South Pasadena, Sr.
Javon Shields, South Pasadena, Sr.
Darrell Dansby, La Canada, Sr.
Taylor Lagace, Arcadia, Sr.
Robby Haines, Arcadia, Sr.
Jeffrey Radzwill, Arcadia, Sr.
PJ Dunn, Maranatha, Sr.
Garren Llorens, Maranatha, Sr.
Jeff Briegel, La Salle, Sr.
Jordan Hill, La Salle, Sr.

COACHES: Hon Trieu, Keppel and Kim Weber, Pasadena Poly

Shaela Flynn, Muir, Sr.
Tahniya Sweatt, Muir, Sr.
Brandi Dubose, Muir, Sr.
Michelle Miller, Pasadena Poly, Sr.
Gina Henderson, Monrovia, Sr.
Domynyque Johnson, Monrovia, Sr.
Kaela Barnes, Monrovia, Sr.
Kelsey Nakamura, South Pasadena, Sr.
Sydney Zarate, La Canada, Sr.
Kristin Leung, San Marino, Sr.
Megan Rutherford, Pasadena, Senior
Sandra Gao, Keppel, Sr.
Lana Haddad, Flintridge Sacred Heart, Sr.
Carrie Morris, Mayfield, Sr.
Devanie Davis, Rio Hondo Prep, Sr.

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

The rosters are set for next week’s 9th annual Star-News/Tribune All-Star Basketball Game at Damien High.

Pasadena High School’s Tim Tucker will coach the boys and Keppel’s Hon Trieu will team up with Pasadena Poly’s Kim Weber to coach the girls. Tucker and Trieu will look for some redemption going into next week. Tucker two years ago lost and Trieu last season lost along with the boys, marking the first time in the history of the event that the Star-News teams were swpet. The Star-News boys and girls lead the all-time serires, 5-3. There will be a 3-point contest at halftime of both games. The girls game is expected to tip off at 5 and the boys at 6:30.

Tucker and Trieu were selected Star-News coaches of the year. Tucker led Pasadena to its fifth CIF-Southern Section Division 3AAA championship while Trieu led Keppel to the semifinals of the Division 2A playoffs.

It was only two years ago when Tucker, taking part in his fourth all-star event, lost in the waning minutes.

“I still remember that game and I remember how they had seemed to practice more than we did that year,” Tucker recalled. “That was my first time losing in that game I believe. This year we’ll come in with a little bit more passion.”

Trieu, in his second season at the helm, still has a hard time thinking back at when the Star-News, 80-69.

“Why you gotta remind me of that,” quipped Trieu. “To win would be nice. You don’t want to be coach of the year and then lose in the all-star game.”

The boys team will feauture one of the premiere shooting guards in the area in Pasadena’s Blake Hamilton. The 6-foot-5 standout currently is on a recruiting trip to Hawaii. Arizona State and New Mexico State also have come into the picture. Fellow senior John Haywood, one of the more athletic guards in the area, is also on the team. Muir’s Dion Nelson and Renaissance Academy’s Vince De Guzman should give the Star-News a formidable backcourt. Renaissance Academy’s Jessy Cantino, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound power forward, will provide some serious post presence.

The boys will practice on Tuesday and Thursday of next week at Pasadena High from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Trieu this season requested to have Weber join his staff. The two are longtime friends who have never coached together. They met while playing on the basketball teams at Occidental College where they graduated in 1996 with their Bachelor’s and Master’s. Weber on board also gives her one last chance to coach the area’s all-time leading scorer in Michelle Miller, the three-time Star-News Player of the Year who recently was named by ESPNHS Cal-Hi Sports as the CIF State Division V Player of the Year.

“She coached Michelle Miller and her insight on Michelle will definitely help me,” Trieu said. “Weber is the perfect coach to do so. And I’ve never coached with her so this would be a great opportunity.”

Miller will cap her decorated high school career in the all-star game and leaves a storied legacy at Pasadena Poly and in the San Gabriel Valley. Miller, a point guard headed to Princeton, averaged 32.5 points, 13.0 rebounds and 2.1 blocks last season.She finished second (3,331) in the CIF-Southern Section for most points in a career behind Hall of Famer Cheryl Miller (3,446), who set the record at Riverside Poly from 1978 to 1982. Her addition to the roster gives the Star-News the best scorer in the entire San Gabriel Valley.

Miller will have a strong supporting cast, led by Muir’s trio inShaela Flynn,Tahniya Sweatt andBrandi Dubose. Flintridge Sacred Heart’sLana Haddad will provide some height and stout rebounding ability while Monrovia’s Gina Henderson, the Rio Hondo League most valuable player and first-team All-CIF selection, gives the Star-News a strong 1-2 scoring punch alongside Miller.

The girls first practice is Wednesday at Pasadena Poly from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

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Baseball Video Preview: Crescenta Valley at Arcadia is a big Pacific League showdown. We won’t be there, and you can blame the 7 p.m. start time.

Arcadia grad Lionce Haggerty produced this fantastic video hyping up the highly-anticipated Crescenta Valley-Arcadia showdown in the Pacific League tonight at 7 at Arcadia. We won’t be at the game because the last two 7 p.m. games we’ve covered at Arcadia have ABSOLUTELY killed us on deadline. If I remember correctly, our Keith Lair covered a game where the sprinklers made the game longer along with extra innings. Lair even filed a story where the final score didn’t make the game story because the game went way past deadline. We just can’t afford this again, and this is exactly why we hate 7 p.m. games. You’re probably asking, “but you guys cover all football games that start at 7 p.m. What’s the difference” … you’re right, we do cover every Friday night football game, but the big difference is we get extended deadlines during the football season specifically for high school football coverage. It’s a tough decision, but we’ve learned the hard way. Hope you understand.

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