(Temple City) – Calvin Copping went six plus innings and Kyle Starling came on to get the last three outs to lead Temple City to a 4-1 win over Monrovia and to the Rio Hondo League Crown Thursday.
Copping allowed just three hits in his six frames while striking out six. Monrovia’s only run came in the first inning when Joe Mata doubled in Justin Jones. Copping walked the leadoff batter in the seventh before giving way to Starling.
“He wanted the ball. I told him I pitched Corey (Copping) on Tuesday and I needed him today,” said Temple City Coach Barry Bacon. “He told me ‘I got this’ and he did. He wanted to show everybody how good of a pitcher he was today. I honestly think he may have pitched his way into a college scholarship today. He was that good.”
After Monrovia got one in the first the Rams came back with four in the second courtesty of four walks by Mata. The Wildcats issued eight walks in all. Kevin Shue and Brad Felty relieved Mata and combined to walk four more.
Copping (Calvin) singled in the first inning to get things started. He had two of the Rams three hits. Starling, Benji Sanderson, Gabriel Juarez and Cameron Legrand also scored in the inning. Shue relived Mata in the second but wild pitched a run in. That was all the Rams needed as they held off M-Town the rest of the way.
“Offensively we weren’t exactly the Yankees. But those walks were huge because we worked the count and really earned them. We kept the pressure on by taking a lot of pitches,” Bacon said. “I really think we earned this league championship. They (Monrovia) beat us two out of three but it came down to this one game and we got it done.”
In the seventh inning Nick Carino walked to lead off the inning and Starling came on. Mark Santano greeted him with a base hit to left to put runners on first and second. But Starling then got Reed Miller to line out, Jones on a fly ball to right and slammed the door by striking out the last battter looking.
The Rams finished the season 20-3-1 overall (10-2 in league) and will get a home game in the first round of the playoffs next Thursday. Monrovia took second in the Rio Hondo at 9- 3 and 17-5 overall. The Cats will also begin the playoffs next week.
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