ALHAMBRA - The postseason chances have just about slipped away for the Mark Keppel High baseball team.Keppel ran into the hard-throwing right arm of Montebello High's Tony Monroy at home on May 8 and fell to the Oilers, 7-3, in Almont League action.
Monroy, who improved to 7-4, threw five scoreless innings and allowed just one hit while striking out five and walking three to put away the Aztecs.
"It was mostly control," Monroy said. "I was able to hit my spots, outside corners, most of the time. I was struggling with location once in a while, but this was a good one."
Keppel coach Houston Hernandez said Monroy was on his game.
"He's their ace for a reason," Hernandez said of Monroy. "He throws strikes, gets ahead in the count and he used his curveball on us a lot today."
Hernandez added the Aztecs just didn't play well overall.
"We didn't throw strikes," Hernandez said. "We didn't get ahead early. It put us in a hole. We just didn't pull the trigger. We weren't aggressive. They were able to win the ball game because they're batters were aggressive."
Taking the loss for Keppel was starter Victor Chen, who fell to 2-2. Chen pitched two-plus innings and gave up four runs on five hits, striking out two and walking one.
Trailing, 7-0, Keppel scored its three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Third baseman Ruben Mendia had an RBI double while right fielder Will Hatem followed him up with a two-RBI bloop single to center.
DESPITE TAKING THE LOSS, Chen, a sophomore, has had a fine year on the mound for the Aztecs.
"It was alright," Chen said. "I got injured, but I came back. I took a ground ball in practice and it bent back my finger."
Chen came back and found a home for himself on the Aztec mound.
"The season's been good," he said. "My teammates have been helping me."
Chen added he has pitched a lot out of the bullpen, but he said, "I'll do whatever the coach wants me to do."
In addition to a fastball, Chen throws a cutter, change up and curveball.