Baseball pummels Monrovia, eyes league title

Story by Linda Yun
Staff Writer

Photos by Emiko Essmiller
Staff Photographer

Baseball added another victory to its record after overwhelming the Monrovia Wildcats 10-1 on Thursday, Apr. 20. After a narrow loss in their previous matchup against the Wildcats, the Tigers came out swinging in their final encounter, chalking up 7 runs in the fourth inning en route to a swift victory.

For three innings, the Tigers held the Wildcats scoreless with good communication and solid pitching. Sophomore pitcher Jon Bracamonte struck out multiple Monrovia players and, in tandem with senior catcher Ivan Becerra, prevented the advance of any runners beyond first base. Senior Jason Yipp and junior Devin Robinson hit singles and walked, but both were stranded on base and no runs were scored.

In the fourth inning, junior pitcher and shortstop Nolan Adams secured the first run of the game after bringing home Robinson with a single. Yipp and Adams continued the rally by getting on base. With no time to spare and the bases loaded, senior pitcher and infielder Ben Petrillo reached base on an error and scored two runs, making the score 5-0. 

Trailing 5-0, the Wildcats showed hints of a comeback, but the fight was short lived. A sticky pitch struck Yipp in the leg , awarding the senior a free walk to first base and the Tigers another run to celebrate in the bottom of the fourth. 

By then, the crowd was dwindling but the spirit was not. As the energized Tigers walked into the final stretch of the game, their opponents trailed quietly behind – they had yet to mount a rally.

The fifth inning was uneventful at large, with no runs scored. After a brief timeout to reinforce concussion protocol, senior third baseman Quinn Stirling – with a home run to his name this season – hit a double but collided with the right fielder. It was unclear if he had caught the ball, so Stirling kept running. After being attended by the trainer, it was determined that Stirling was out. On the defensive front, junior Luke Riffle shone in the outfield, tracking down multiple lineouts at the wall to keep Monrovia scoreless.

South Pas went quickly in the top of the sixth inning, with little regard for the profundity of their lead. Yipp fired a leadoff double, setting the tone for the batting lineup. Freshman Aaron Kawasaki got up for his first at-bat and brought Yipp and Stirling home with a triple. Sensing the action in the bases, Monrovia pitcher attempted multiple pickoffs, but none reached the fielder in time to tag a host runner.

By the seventh inning, the Tigers started to bring up players from the benches. The batting lineup switched from seasoned veterans to fresh varsity members – a telltale sign that their victory was secure. The Wildcats caught onto the inexperience and put themselves on the scoreboard with a last minute run, but it barely dented the Tigers’ 10-run lead. The Tigers finished the game 10-1, a wire-to-wire sweep to recover from a 2-1 loss from their last matchup against the Wildcats.

Baseball hopes to continue its winning streak into the final stretch of RHL play and CIF playoffs. First, they must focus on defeating the Temple City Rams on the road on Monday, Apr. 24.

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