It’s still probably too early to call today’s showdown between the Monrovia and La Canada baseball teams a must-win for the Wildcats. But this is about as close to that type of situation as a team can get in mid-April.
The Wildcats (12-3 overall, 3-2 in league) started the season as overwhelming favorites to win the Rio Hondo League but unexpectedly find themselves a game back of the Spartans (9-4, 4-1) for first place in the standings.
La Canada also has beaten the Wildcats twice and owns the head-to-head tiebreaker, which may come in handy come playoff seedings.
“We’ve shown the ability to answer the call when we need to and this is another game like that tomorrow,” Monrovia co-head coach Dave Moore said.
“I think we’ve had two games where we went into them knowing that we at least had to put on a good performance and that was the South Pasadena and the Tahquitz game. And in both those games, our kids went out and played good ballgames.”
Today’s game figures to be a duel between two of the area’s top pitchers. La Canada likely will start left-hander Justin Lewis, who no-nit Monrovia for 6 2/3 innings in a 2-1 win on March 15.
Monrovia counters with Joe Mata. The Wildcats lost to La Canada, 1-0, on Wednesday after leaving 10 runners on base. Against Lewis, there will be no room for error.
“With Lewis and Mata throwing tomorrow, I don’t see anything but a low-scoring game, unless one team comes out and doesn’t play well defensively,” Moore said. “But both teams have played very well defensively and both teams have pitched very well.”
BAIN ROLLING ALONG
San Marino’s Jeff Bain continues to show he has one of the top arms in not only the pitching-deep Rio Hondo League but the entire area.
Bain was dominant on Wednesday in beating South Pasadena for the second time this season with a strong five innings. Bain struck out eight.
Unfortunately for San Marino, Bain won’t be able to pitch the Titans to a win today in their second game of the week against the Tigers.
MOORS FIRING BLANKS
Alhambra has shut out its last three Almont League opponents to stay one game behind first-place Montebello.
The Moors play Schurr today and with a win will add luster to next week’s two games with Montebello.