The La Cañada boys' varsity baseball team edged host Monrovia, 2-1, in a light rain last Thursday afternoon to move into a two-way tie for first place with Temple City in the Rio Hondo League standings.
The Spartans, who improved to 15-3 overall and to 10-3 in league, traveled to Temple City on Tuesday for a pivotal game that could decide the league championship. The Spartans scheduled their ace, Matt Sprowles, against the Rams' pitching whiz, Ryan Tucker. Results were not available at press time.
La Cañada will finish out the regular league schedule today (Thursday) by hosting San Marino at 3:30 p.m. The CIF playoffs will begin next Friday.
The Spartans scored their first run against the Wildcats in the top of the fourth inning on a single by Steven Lee that sent Austin Brady home. La Cañada scored its second run in the sixth inning on a hard ground out to third by Kelson Brown and ensuing throwing error by the Wildcats that allowed Matt Motia to come across the plate.
In seven innings of work, Sprowles gave up one run, scattered four hits, tossed a wild pitch, walked one and struck out nine. In a nearly equal pitching performance, Monrovia's Michael Oeser gave up six hits while striking out eight.
Lee went 2-for-3 with a run batted in. Brown, Motia, and Mitchell Maseredjian also singled as well. Lee had two stolen bases and Brown, Motia and Maseredjian each swiped one.
The difference in the game was the flawless defensive play by the Spartans. Third baseman Lee, shortstop Brown, second baseman Maseredjian and first baseman Motia accounted for 12 outs and 10 assists in the wet conditions.
In an earlier league contest on May 4, the Spartans shut out visiting South Pasadena, 7-0.
The Spartans scored two runs in the top of the first inning to take an early 2-0 advantage. They added two more runs in the third inning and finished their scoring with three runs in the fifth inning.
Starter Brady hurled a complete game shutout, allowing only four hits. He walked one and struck out three. His record improved to 4-2.
Maseredjian went 2-for-3 at the plate with a triple and two runs scored. Lee scored two runs and knocked in one. Motia scored three runs. Stanley Kim contributed a double and T.J. Trumbo had a hit and scored a run.
In addition, Lee swiped two bases and Maseredjian recorded one theft.