By Aaron Valdez
There’s an ancient proverb that claims all cats have nine lives.
And as crazy as that might seem, the events that unfolded during Monrovia’s CIF-SS quarterfinal and semifinal match-ups evidently built up a strong case.
In the quarterfinal against Northview last Friday, the Wildcats found themselves in a 6-0 hole but rose from the grave to complete the unlikeliest of comebacks in a thrilling 9-6 victory. Monrovia ‘s listless disposition through most of the game against Northview was quite strange considering it had accrued some good momentum from its 11-0 routing of Sierra Vista in the second round.
However, the tables had completely turned in the later frames when coach Brad Blackmore and the Rio Hondo League champs decided to shift into maximum overdrive. After the Wildcats loaded the bases in the top of the sixth, Logan Barnier stepped up to crush a two-out grand slam off Northview ace Alfredo Frey to pull Monrovia within two runs.
Barnier’s homer lit a huge fire within the Wildcats as they poured it on in the seventh inning with five more runs to cap off the craziest of comebacks.
Interestingly enough, the semifinal game against Hemet on Tuesday played out in similar fashion. After the Bulldogs handed Monrovia a taste of their own grand slam medicine to go up 6-3, the Wildcats stormed back and scored eight runs in the fifth inning.
Steven Bermudez arguably had his best game of the season, going 4-4 at the plate to bring in 4 RBIs. Gabe Arellano and Sennet Schultz hit a combined 3-7 and brought in two RBIs apiece.
For both games, aces Julian Gomeztrejo and Josh Delgado did most of the heavy lifting. The senior duo tossed 11.1 innings while giving up 10 earned runs and picking up eights strikeouts.
Despite the two signature wins, the Wildcats will quickly need to refocus and take their seven remaining lives into the championship battle against La Quinta (21-10) on Saturday.