Tom Price Jr.
After the wheels fell off April 5-7 at the Visalia Invitational, the Exeter Monarchs rotated the tires and burned some rubber as they returned to East Sequoia League play in impressive fashion.
On April 12, they blitzed Dinuba in an 18-1 rout and came back April 16 with a come from behind seventh inning 10-7 win over Corcoran.
Exeter jumped out to a 6-0 lead early against Corcoran but watched the Panthers chip away at the lead before moving ahead in the bottom of the sixth inning. In the top half of the seventh inning Carlos Gastelum reached on an error and was sacrificed to second by Matt Downs. Casey Wightman followed with a triple that scored Gastelum and set up the most exciting play of the season for Exeter. With a two ball, one strike count, Exeter coach Steve Garver signaled for a squeeze bunt that was executed perfectly by Mike Pendleton at the plate. With two outs Exeter added two outs Exeter looked to extend their lead after Bryce Eggers singled allowing Brent Pascoe to come to the plate and blast a two run home run.
"[Pendleton] is probably one of the best bunters on this team and I had waited three years for an opportunity to use him like that," Garver said. "Winning games with big home runs is fun but nothing is as exciting as the squeeze play."
Pendleton made sure there were no dramatics in the bottom of the seventh striking out the side in order.
Against Dinuba earlier in the week, Exeter's bats slugged 18 hits, led by Paul Gonzales who had two hits including a triple to lead off the game and Morgan Munger went 3-for-5 with a double.
This was their first game following the disappointing performance at the Visalia Invitational and Garver was relieved to see his team return to its dominant ways.
"We had been playing so poorly over the vacation, it was real nice to see that we could refocus," Garver said. "Pendleton looked great in that game he was really in control."
Exeter will host Lindsay at 4 p.m. on Friday. The Cardinals are the only team to defeat Exeter in East Sequoia League play this year.