After deliberating Thursday night and most of Friday, the Rio Hondo League decided to make official the Temple City and Monrovia high school baseball teams’ 4-4 tie that was halted in 10th inning due to lightning on Thursday.
The result had a ripple effect in the league standings and made La Canada the outright league champion with Monrovia second. It also gave San Marino the league’s automatic third-place playoff spot.
Trouble is, not everybody in the league felt the game should have ended in a tie given the fact that all five teams had either championship or playoff implications because of the result.
Both Temple City and Monrovia stood by on Friday in case they got word the game would be resumed. But after consulting with the CIF Southern Section office earlier in the day and further talks, the league upheld the tie because its own bylaws are unclear what to do in this event.
“Common sense would tell you that the game needs to be decided on the field,” said Monrovia co-head coach Brad Blackmore, whose team would have earned a share of the league championship with a win over Temple City.
“Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ve never heard in my life of any season ending with a tie in the last game of league with three playoff spots up for grabs and you have an open date the next day. Why would you not settle it on the field?
“There’s nothing in the bylaws either way. And once it gets to CIF, if the league hasn’t agreed on it, then you have no chance.”
Temple City blew leads of 3-0, 3-2 and 4-3 in Thursday’s game before Monrovia tied the game at 4-4. Then, a fluke lightning storm hit the area and the umpires suspended the game as a safety precaution.
Meanwhile, across town, San Marino edged La Canada, 3-2, to cause havoc in the standings.
League coaches left it in the hands of the athletic directors to reach a resolution to the quandary of whether Monrovia and Temple City should be allowed to resume. Some argued that without a unanimous vote, the league could not grandfather in a new rule where one didn’t exist or was unclear.
South Pasadena and Temple City will have to hope for at-large berths when pairings are announced on Monday.