Baseball: Little things addup for Monrovia, Temple City.

I’ll apologize ahead of time. I misspelled Bobby Hubble’s name in the paper. It appears as “Tubble”. It’s been fixed on this post. Again, my apologies.

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

They say it’s the little things that count, so it’s no surprise then that Monrovia High School baseball co-head coach Brad Blackmore was as impressed with some of the subtle plays in the first couple innings as he was with the Wildcats surviving a bases-loaded situation with no outs against Bishop Amat on Tuesday.
What most Monrovia (19-5) fans will remember is the suspense of the seventh inning, clinging to a 4-2 lead as Bishop Amat loaded the bases with no outs. Senior Joe Mata was tabbed to face a situation some pitchers would rather skip, but Mata prevailed. He got the first batter to ground out, then struck out the next two to end the game, allowing the Wildcats to move on to Friday’s quarterfinals against Jurupa Valley.

Sure, Monrovia was a couple hits away from giving itself possibly six or seven-run cushion, but the fact of the matter is the Wildcats did enough to record a big road win, and it started with seemingly routine plays early on.

Monrovia turned a double play in the first, the infield tested early on. Third baseman Nick Carino, shortstop David Perez and second baseman Reed Miller turned key plays, and catcher Gabe Duran did as well. Carino made a diving catch at third and Perez stopped a hard grounder up the middle. Miller saved his for last when i nthe seventh he made a spectacular play to stop a hard grounder. A run scored cut Monrovia’s lead to 4-3, but it’s a whole new ball game if the ball reaches right field.

“I thought that was a big a play as there was,” Blackmore said.
Chris Burkholder pitched a great game into the fifth and Brad Felty got the Wildcats through the seventh.

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Softball: Monrovia, La Canada ready for Quarterfinals.

CIF-SS PLAYOFFS
QUARTERFINALS
DIVISION 5

La Canada vs. Mary Star at San Pedro Softball Complex, 3:15 p.m.
Beaumont at Monrovia, 3:15 p.m.

By Keith Lair, Staff Writer

The Monrovia High School softball team has traveled near and far to face some of the fastest pitchers in the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 this season.
The Wildcats return home for the division’s quarterfinals today seeing a different challenge. In addition to being fast, Beaumont’s Alyssa Fuimaono has a wicked changeup. The game will be played at 3:15 p.m.

“It definitely would be to our advantage to see someone who is just hard-throwing,” Monrovia coach Dave Guzman said. “But we rarely see (La Canada’s) Lauren (Cox) and (San Marino’s) Michelle (Floyd) throw changeups.

“This pitcher will apply the changeup and it’s a big difference. It’s a legitimate pitch for her. When she shows her changeup, it gets in the batter’s mind and they think about it. Our job will be to keep their pitcher off-balance and not figure out our pattern. That’s the game plan.”

It will be the Wildcats’ first home game in the playoffs. They beat Savanna in Anaheim last week and traveled

4 1/2 hours to shut out Morro Bay on Tuesday. A win would put the Wildcats, 17-8-1, at home in the semifinals against either South El Monte or Barstow.

Beaumont, the tournament’s No. 2 seed, reached last year’s division title game last year, but it lost to La Canada, 1-0.

The secret to getting a win, Guzman said, will be speed. He has moved Chelle Parker up to the No. 2 spot in the batting order.

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Baseball: Monrovia’s Mata proves clutch in seventh.

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer

LA PUENTE – The Monrovia High School baseball team could feel it slipping away in the bottom of the seventh inning against defending champion Bishop Amat in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 playoffs Tuesday.

So, the Wildcats turned to the best pitcher they had left, Rio Hondo League Most Valuable Player Joe Mata.

All Mata had to deal with was the bases loaded, no outs and his team clinging to a two-run lead with the top of Amat’s order coming up.

“I know it was a tough situation when my coach put me in there,” Mata said. “I just said trust your defense and throw strikes.”

That’s exactly what he did.

After giving up a groundout that scored a run to cut the lead to one, Mata ended the game with two big strikeouts, the final coming with the bases loaded to preserve a 4-3 victory over the fourth-seeded Lancers. The Wildcats advance to Friday’s quarterfinals against Jurupa Valley, a 6-2 winner over La Habra.

“On that last pitch I was running on adrenaline,” Mata said. “When he swung and missed I just looked for someone to hug.”

It was a victory that doesn’t exactly avenge Monrovia’s loss to Bishop Amat in the 2006 CIF-SS title game, but it was further proof that doing little things can produce big results.

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Baseball: Errors, light bats doom La Salle in 2nd round.


Above: La Salle’s Bowdien Derby entered as a reliever in the third, but it was too late.

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

PASADENA — Timing is everything, and the La Salle High School baseball team learned that valuable lesson on Tuesday.

The errors came in the most inopportune moments for the Lancers that more than helped extend innings for St. Bonaventure, it helped built its rallies.

La Salle’s clutch hits with runners in scoring position never came despite trailing early, and it all summed up to an 8-4 loss in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 playoffs.

La Salle’s (19-8-1) remarkable season came to a sudden end after bringing home the school’s first Del Rey League title and entering the playoffs with momentum as the No. 2 seed, and expectations were high.

St. Bonaventure (18-9-1) was going to be a tough obstacle. The Saraphs have a reputation for being a hard hitting team, and they flexed their muscles against La Salle’s Austin Wallis.

The intimidation process started early in the first when senior Patrick Weigel came to the plate. The 6-foot-7 senior knocked the dirt off his cleats with two hard knocks of the bat. He then proceeded with an RBI single to give St. Bonaventure an early 1-0 lead.

La Salle would came back in the first to take a 3-1 lead thanks to David Sanchez’s RBI single to score Noeh Martinez and then Chris Williams’ two-run home run.

But Weigel came right back in the third and on the first pitch took a hard swing for a three run home run to give St. Bonaventure a 4-3 lead it would not relinquish. But it shouldn’t have happened after a routine double play was botched at second, allowing Grant Gallegos to reach first on a fielder’s choice and Jordan Farris safe at second. The next batter flew out to center before Weigel came to the plate.

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Baseball: Temple City’s young guns getting it done, again.

By Nathan Cambridge, Correspondent

TEMPLE CITY – Pinch-runner Bobby Hubble scored the go-ahead run for Temple City in the fourth inning on a close play at the plate and the Rams hung on from there for a 3-2 victory over visiting Don Lugo in their CIF-SS Division 4 Second Round baseball playoff game Tuesday afternoon.

“Good pitching, timely hitting, and we beat a really good ball club,” Temple City coach Barry Bacon said.

The score was tied at two in the fourth inning with Hubble, who was pinch running for Gabriel Juarez who had hit a single, at second base and two out.

Senior Kyle Starling then hit a single into right field and Hubble, a postseason call-up from the junior varsity, started running and was sent home by coach Bacon. Conquistador right-fielder Andrew Hernandez’s throw beat the sophomore home, but catcher Christian Kelley’s tag was late and the Rams (22-3-1) led 3-2.

“I saw the hit and just took off and rounded third, and it was kind of scary when the catcher had the ball already. I just decided to slide and it was a good feeling when I was safe,” said Hubble, who also pinch ran and scored in the Rams first-round victory against Kaiser.

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Softball: San Marino outlasted in eighth inning; La Canada comes away from The OC with a big win; Monrovia earns big road win, too.

CIF-SS PLAYOFFS
SECOND ROUND
DIVISION 5

La Canada 3, Calvary Chapel (Santa Ana) 1: Lauren Cox (21-3) struck out 10 and allowed only three hits in the victory. The Spartans (23-4-1) totaled nine hits and were led offensively by Katy Lee, who was 2 for 3 with a run scored, Kelsey Strange (2 for 3) and Brenna Gay, who was 2 for 3 with a run scored. Catherine Horner was 1 for 2 with a double and a run scored and Selina Mohr went 1 for 3 with a RBI double and a run scored. Melanie Coyne allowed three runs on nine hits for Calvary Chapel, which committed four errors and fell to 20-6-1. Calvary Chapel’s lone run scored on Kattie Estes’ home run in the fourth inning.

Monrovia 4, Morro Bay 0: Adrian Guerra (17-5-1) pitched seven complete innings in the shutout. Monrovia (18-6-1) took a 2-0 lead when Kaylee Johnson and Shelly Paker reached base with walks and moved up a base. Freshmen Tanya Galvin singled in both runners. Sammy Salcedo also doubled in Nikki Guzman.

DIVISION 6
Jurupa Hills 9, Rio Hondo Prep 8: Maria Calderas (16-13) recorded the win for Jurupa Hills (16-13). Alexis Parker of Rio Hondo Prep (15-5) went 2 for 4, including a home run, and drove in three runs. Rio Hondo’s Madison Loomis went 2 for 4, including a double, and had two RBIs.

South El Monte 1, San Marino 0, 8 inn.

By Keith Lair, Staff Writer

SOUTH EL MONTE – The South El Monte High School softball team could not figure out how to score when it had runners on the corners in the sixth inning.
But with a runner on first base, the Eagles were able to knock off No. 3 seed San Marino, 1-0, in the eighth inning in a CIF-Southern Section Division 5 second-round game on Tuesday afternoon.

San Marino was without coach Nick Shepperele, who was fired after Friday’s 6-3 first-round win over Cabrillo.

Athletic director Andrew Gayl said it was because of “differences with the administration.”

Peter Paccone, who has coached the Titans’ junior varsity team for seven years, led the Titans. He has been assisting the varsity program for the last month.

South El Monte freshman Mia Luques scored from first base with two outs in the eighth on a Demi Nguyen grounder down the third-base line.

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PLAYOFF UPDATES: Monrovia beats Bishop Amat; Temple City beats Don Lugo; Alhambra beats Whittier; La Salle loses to St. Bonaventure.

CIF-SS PLAYOFFS
BASEBALL

SECOND ROUND
DIVISION 3

Alhambra 6, Whittier 4
DIVISION 4
Monrovia 4, Bishop Amat 3
Temple City 3, Don Lugo 2
St. Bonaventure 8, La Salle 4
DIVISION 6
Oxford Academy 8, Pasadena Poly 2

SOFTBALL
SECOND ROUND
DIVISION 5

La Canada 3, Calvary Chapel/Santa Ana 1
South El Monte 1, San Marino 0, 8 inn.
Monrovia 4, Morro Bay 0
DIVISION 6
Rio Hondo Prep at Jurupa Valley
Kern Valley at Pasadena Poly

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Track: Forget Top 3, how ’bout a CIF championship?

I was at South Pasadena High last week working on a feature, and when I was done I had a chat with South Pasadena coach PJ Hernandez. I asked him realistically where South Pasadena could finish at the CIF-SS Track & Field finals. Without hesitation, Hernandez said he thinks they can finish at least top three. I was pretty sick on Saturday and napping throughout the day when in the evening I woke up to a text from South Pas assistant coach CB Richards, telling me that South Pas had just won the CIF title. So forget about top three and forget about young talent coming to fruition down the line. The time was now, and the Tigers proved that over the weekend.

Courtesy photo

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Baseball: Alhambra’s Briones nearly perfect in 6-0 win.

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

ALHAMBRA — The only thing hotter than the baking sun on Friday afternoon was Alhambra High School’s Marco Briones.

The sophomore got off to a sizzling start and rode a perfect game into the seventh before finishing with a one-hitter and facing just one batter over the minimum.

Briones being nearly unhittable coupled with clutch hitting in the first paved the way for Alhambra’s 6-0 victory over Carter of Rialto in the opening round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs.

Briones, a left-hander, needed only 74 pitches to go the distance. He struck out five and had thrown just 50 pitches heading into the seventh. That’s when Carter’s Frankie Sarabia, a senior, connected on an 0-1 pitch for a single to shallow center.

“He showed focus even with a perfect game on the line,” said Carter coach Samuel Lopez, who in his first season led the Lions to the playoffs for the first time in five years.”It was amazing to see.”

The packed crowd at Moor Field showed theirappreciation of Briones’ masterful performance. The frenzy crowd wouldn’t be disappointed asBriones returned the favor by catching a hard line drive with a quick flick of the glove, thenfiring to first baseman Juan Morales to turn the double play. It was the second time Alhambra (20-3) caught a hard line drive. Morales did it in the second inning, the first of many good signs that it would be one of those days for the Moors.

“We made a pretty good team look pretty average offensively,” Alhambra coach Steve Gewecke said. “It’s a testament to (Briones).”

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