In a scene that has become all too familiar for Montebello High School, Alhambra left the field Tuesday celebrating another victory over the Oilers.
“It’s the same old story,” said Montebello Coach Rafael Gutierrez after his team’s 5-0 loss to the Moors.
The win gives Alhambra a two-game lead in the Almont League baseball standings, as the Moors (10-2 overall) raised their record to 5-0. Montebello (8-3) dropped to 4-2.
“This puts us two up and gives us the season series against Montebello,” said Alhambra Coach Steve Gewecke, whose team defeated the Oilers, 3-0, March 15 in the first meeting between them.
The third and final game is at 3:15 p.m. Friday at Montebello.
“You put yourself in a tough spot when you lose two of three in a series like this,” Gutierrez said.
The Oilers were shut out again by Alhambra’s Frankie Wright, who pitched a three-hitter. The senior right-hander (5-1) needed only 91 pitches to go the distance. He struck out two and walked two.
Montebello starter Jose Matos gave the Oilers another quality start and took a shutout into the fifth inning. That’s when the trouble started for the Oilers. Matos walked two batters and Montebello committed two errors.
Ryan Pinon led off the fifth with a single and was sacrificed to second. Juan Carlos reached base on an error by shortstop Daniel Lopez and Wright drew a walk to load the bases. Matos walked Juan Crespo to force in a run and exited the game.
Anthony Millan came in from left field to relieve Matos and got a ground ball out. Alhambra’s Juan Morales hit a ground ball that went through Lopez’ legs, resulting in a two-run error.
The Oilers’ defensive woes and tough luck carried into the sixth.
Alhambra’s Andrew Figueroa started a two-run rally with a bloop single and stole second. After Jeremy Duran bunted for a single, Ryan Pinon hit a grounder to third, but Montebello’s Michael Aguilar made a bad throw trying to get Duran at second, preventing Montebello from turning a possible inning-ending double play.
Matos, who gave up three hits and three walks, suffered the loss. Matos and Millan combined to limit Alhambra to five hits.
“Matos has pitched well both times against Alhambra, but he’s had those one or two at-bats that cost him,” Gutierrez said. “Alhambra made all the plays, and Frankie (Wright) didn’t walk anyone with the bases loaded.”
Montebello, which needed 10 innings to defeat Bell Gardens, 2-1, a week earlier, has scored four runs in 21 innings.
“You’re not going to win that many games with numbers like that,” Gutierrez said. “We put too much pressure on our pitching.”