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.
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.
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.
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.
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.