By Jacob Bigley
Monrovia headed into Tuesday’s away game undefeated in league at 10-0 with only San Marino High left on their schedule. The standings are already locked, Monrovia will come out on top of the Rio Hondo League standings with San Marino behind in second, but it’s only fitting to end the league season with the top two teams battling for bragging rights.
San Marino’s left-handed UCI commit Miles Glazier (#20) took the mound in hopes of giving the Monrovia Wildcats their first league loss of the season. At the top of the first, Glazier started off hot; retiring the first three batters at the plate.
Pitching for the Wildcats was also a left-hander, Isaiah Ramos (#9). The Titans’ lead-off hitter Bryson Smith (#4) singled to left and stole second on a passed ball. After a strikeout, Garrett Hill (#12) bunted towards Ramos, who picked it up and delivered an off-target throw to first base, allowing Smith to reach home and give the Titans a 1-0 lead.
The Wildcats were then able to string together three consecutive hits: Fidel Jiorge (#2), a single; Juan Quinonez (#21), a double to left center; and James Wright (#5), a double to left center, scoring Jiorge and tying the game at 1-1.
In the bottom of the 5th, Smith led off with a double down the left field line followed by a ground out, which advanced him to second base. Garrett Hill (#12) singled between third and shortstop, giving Smith the green light to round third base and head home, putting the Titans back in the lead 2-1.
Monrovia decided to make a pitching change; replacing Ramos with Justin Rosedale (#10). Rosedale walked J.P. Shohfi (#23), resulting in runners on first and second. A groundball was hit to second baseman Ben Goettling (#26), who scooped up the grounder, tagged the runner headed to second base, and threw out the man at first for a double play.
The Monrovia Wildcats began the top of the sixth inning with a walk from Nick Garcia (#27) but he was replaced by Marcelo Vega (#23) to pinch run. Vega showed why the switch was made by stealing second base and beating the throw. Up next, Isaiah Ramos grounded a ball back to the pitcher who, instead of taking the easy out at first, tried to pick off Vega heading for third. The throw was off-target, which allowed Vega to pop up from his sliding formation and trot home to tie the game 2-2.
Pinch hitter Austin Crain (#16) stepped into the box and a controversial hit-by-pitch call was made by the umpire. After some debate, the umpires met at the mound and decided the ruling “stands as called.” Crain was subbed out for pinch runner Anthony Ramirez (#4).With runners on first and second and no outs, Eric Herrera (#13) hit a routine grounder to third base. The third baseman made a bad throw to first, which resulted in Ramos scoring the go-ahead run and, ultimately, the game-winning run.
Trevor Davis (#33) relieved Glazier, who finished with eight strikeouts, two walks, three runs, four hits and 1.40 ERA in five innings of pitching. Davis was able to retire the next three batters with a ground out, strikeout, and another strikeout. In the 7th, Carson Glazier came back in to relieve Davis and pitched out the inning.
San Marino’s final ups were kept to only three batters by pitcher Justin Rosedale, who recorded a groundout, strikeout, and fly-out to put the Titans away and remain undefeated in League.
Monrovia capitalized on errors made by San Marino. Change just a couple of plays in this game, and the result could have been very different. But–that’s baseball.
These two teams’ final game of the regular season is against each other at Monrovia High on May 14th at 3:30 p.m. Both teams will receive a bid into the CIF tournament for finishing one-two in the Rio Hondo League standings. This final game will be San Marino’s last chance to take that undefeated title away from Monrovia, but I have a feeling Monrovia will have a couple things to say about that possibility.