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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Keppel forfeits wild-card win due to ineligible player.

FULL STORY ON KEPPEL FORFEIT

Keppel’s remarkable baseball season came to a disappointing end Friday when the CIF-Southern Section announced the Aztecs will have to forfeit their wild-card win from earlier this week because of an ineligible player, thus eliminating them from the playoffs.

Keppel (8-17) was set to play at Elsinore on Friday afternoon in the first round of the Division 3 playoffs, but instead rode the long bus ride back to school from Wildomar after the violation came to light. The Aztecs will forfeit their wild-card win against Hawthorne, and Hawthorne moves on to play the first round game today at Elsinore.

Keppel coach Houston Hernandez received a call from his administration just as he was stepping off the bus at Elsinore. About a half hour later, he was informed the Aztecs had to pack up and head home.

“This is probably one of the worst days ever,” said Hernandez before elaborating. “It was definitely an administrative error, period. Somebody didn’t do their job and now we have to suffer for it.”

The CIF-SS sent out a statement Friday evening, alluding that more forfeits is a possibility.

“Mark Keppel is faced with the potential loss of every win this season depending on the number of games their ineligible player appeared in,” the statement read. “Information was received by the CIF-Southern Section office this afternoon of a player who transferred from another CIF-SS school without proper paperwork.”

Hernandez said he was succinct when delivering the message, and players mingled on the field in disbelief.

“They stayed on the field for about 20 minutes and it sunk in that all their hard work had been taken away,” Hernandez said. “It was emotional out there, and I was too. How could everything we did be swept away because someobody didn’t do their job.”

Keppel, which finished tied for third with Schurr in the Almont League, earned its first playoff berth this season for the first time in at least a decade. The Aztecs were 7-93 in the five years prior to Hernandez taking over three eyars ago, and the program had won just two of their 75 league games.

“There was nothing that these boys or myself could have done to make the situation any better,” Hernandez said. “It’s a little hard and a little embarassing the way it ended. There was was nothing that these boys or myself could have done to make this situation any better. It really hurts, but hopefully push us really hard for next year.”

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Baseball 101 with Alhambra’s Steve Gewecke ….

As some of you know I graduated from Alhambra (2001) and some of the coaches I’ve covered in my four-year tenure here at the Star-News also at some point were my teachers, most notably Joe Petralia (former boys basketball coach) who was my history teacher. Moors baseball coach Steve Gewecke taught a lot of my friends, but I never had him. Eleven years later, I asked Gewecke what it is he looks for when watching a pitcher warming up in the bullpen. I listened intently:

“If I see a kid warm up you see arm angle, does the fastball run and what kind of curve ball is it. A 12-6 curveball is something that breaks down, your old-fashion drop ball. An over the top guy would easily have a 12-6 curve. But if it’s a 2-8 that’s a slurve, a half-slider and half-curve. A slurve looks like a lollipop curve; has a big break. Basically when they throw a slurve they want you to hit it but they want you to hit it in the air. You throw it with no count or at 1-0 and you want the guy to get himself out with a pop up. I don’t know what kind of break we’ll see (today), but supposedly he throws a lot of them.”

CIF-SS PLAYOFFS
TODAY’S SCHEDULE
DIVISION 3

Carter vs. Alhambra at Moor Field, 3:15 p.m.
Keppel at Elsinore, 3:15 p.m.
DIVISION 5
Mary Star of the Sea at Gabrielino, 3:15 p.m.
Maranatha at Citrus Valley, 3:15 p.m.

Alhambra coach Steve Gewecke left around lunch time on Wednesday and headed for the desert to catch a CIF-Southern Section wild-card playoff game. He made the 160-mile trek to and from Paloma Valley, which played host to Carter.

Gewecke saw plenty and came back with a lot of useful information after Carter came away with an 8-5 victory. The Lions will play Alhambra (20-3) in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 3 playoffs today at 3:15 p.m. at Moor Field.

Here’s what information is readily available: Carter (18-8) is the fourth-place team out of the San Andreas League, won by Colton with a 12-2 record. The Lions possess some size on the mound. Whatever information one needs after that can only be done through scouting, which is exactly what Gewecke did Wednesday afternoon.

Carter got off to a strong start with four runs in the first inning, thanks to two hit batters and one walk. In that short time, Gewecke was able to make his assessment.

“Carter kind of took the game to Paloma Valley and put some of the pressure on them,” Gewecke said. “Carter really tries to push the envelope in terms of putting pressure on the defense, drag, push, squeeze successfully.”

In short, Carter resembles Alhambra, which is making its 12th consecutive playoff appearance in Gewecke’s 16 seasons at the helm.

Carter’s size on the mound is evident. The Lions started 6-foot-6 junior Richard Brotzman against Paloma Valley.

He recorded his sixth win of the season in 12 appearances and went the distance. Gewecke was hoping to catch a glimpse of who the Moors will face today, and that would be 6-2 junior Mark Alvarez.

Gewecke said Brotzman was teetering in the seventh, prompting Carter to send Alvarez to the bullpen. Brotzman held it together to record the complete game, and though Alvarez never entered the game Gewecke wanted to catch Alvarez in the bullpen, but to no avail.

A storage container made it nearly impossible to watch Alvarez, so all Gewecke can go on is what he gathered from Paloma Valley coach Chuck Kemp. Arcadia also faced Carter earlier this year in the Rancho Cucamonga tournament, but the Apaches also faced Brotzman in that game. Kemp told Gewecke that Alvarez has a pretty good curveball, good breaking ball, but not an overpowering fastball.

If not for that storage container, Gewecke could have evaluated Alvarez and known what to expect today.

“If I see a kid warm up you see arm angle, does the fastball run and what kind of curve ball is it,” Gewecke said. “A 12-6 curveball is something that breaks down, your old-fashion drop ball. An over the top guy would easily have a 12-6 curve. But if it’s a 2-8 that’s a slurve, a half-slider and half-curve. A slurve looks like a lollipop curve; has a big break.

“Basically when they throw a slurve they want you to hit it but they want you to hit it in the air. You throw it with no count or at 1-0 and you want the guy to get himself out with a pop up. I don’t know what kind of break we’ll see (today), but supposedly he throws a lot of them.”

And as far as height on the mound goes, it’s an advantage, too.

“I think it does (help) because if they use their height the ball comes out of the hand with more tilt,” Gewecke explained. “It’s harder to hit a ball that’s thrown on a downward tilt than a ball that’s flatter.”

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Baseball: Temple City’s Calvin Copping leads way.

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

TEMPLE CITY – Kaiser High School pitcher Christopher Mathewson made 16 throws to first base the entire game, six in the fourth inning.

Perhaps he should have paid a little more attention to the batters.

Temple City’s Ben Arrue and Gabriel Juarez connected for consecutive RBI singles in the fourth and Calvin Copping proved too strong on the mound with 12 strikeouts as the Rams ran away with a 5-1 victory Thursday in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 playoffs.

Copping made 93 pitches (69 for strikes) and gave up just six hits in going the distance for Temple City (21-3-1), which advances to Tuesday’s second round.

Kaiser (18-9) found no rhythm at the plate, and squandered a golden opportunity in the third with two on and no outs. Copping showed poise despite an unearned run on a Arrue throwing error that allowed Erik Ascencion to score and give the Cats a 1-0 lead.

Copping came back strong, striking out the next two and recording the third out on a groundout, and it wasn’t long before Arrue came back with a little payback.

“You can’t give up so I just cut the tire and let the error go,” said Arrue of his mentality approaching the plate in the fourth. “I felt good that I redeemed myself.”

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