By Aaron Valdez
The Monrovia baseball team’s crusade of winning another Rio Hondo League title was put on hold as the Wildcats came out flat in a 4-0 home defeat to the San Marino Titans on Tuesday.
It was a potential title-clinching game for the Wildcats as they were undefeated in nine games of league action. However, it was only fitting for Monrovia to have to go through San Marino first in the final two games of the regular season.
Despite losing to Monrovia 3-0 in the league opener, the Titans have been on the Wildcats’ tails all season as they sit directly behind them in second place. Of course, Tuesday’s game was completely the opposite of the first meeting between the two Rio Hondo League juggernauts.
Ace pitcher Julian Gomeztrejo took the mound for Monrovia and had an uncharacteristic performance, giving up six hits with three strikeouts in four innings of play. This loss marked his second of the season and his four earned runs were the most he’s surrendered since the loss to Tahquitz in the Titans Baseball Spring Classic.
San Marino was determined to put the game away early, scoring two runs in both the first and third innings. The Titans’ bats took advantage of not only runners in scoring position, but of a few mental errors from the Wildcats’ infield, including a balk and a wild throw to first.
On the other hand, Monrovia’s offense was nowhere to be found, recording only three hits as a team from the bats of junior Logan Barnier, senior Steven Bermudez and senior Jordan Erby.
With the loss, the Wildcats drop to a 9-1-1 record while the Titans improve to 9-2 and are in much better position to snatch an elusive league title right from Monrovia’s hands.
The grand finale for the Rio Hondo League crown between Monrovia and San Marino will take place on Thursday and is scheduled for a start time of 3:30 p.m. at San Marino High School.