Exeter springs into action

By Andrea Camarena

The Monarchs bounced off an opening loss at the 23rd Annual Visalia-Tulare Invitational on Saturday, March 31 to take two straight wins over Mendota and Granite Hills starting 2-1 in pool play.

Farmersville had a slow start at the 18-team tournament, falling to Porterville and Orosi in its first two contests.

Woodlake also had a rough start taking a 4-13 loss to Delano on Saturday.

Mt. Whitney takes 8-3 win in opener

Exeter suffered an 8-3 loss to one of the tournament's four hosts, Mt. Whitney on Saturday in a game where one inning made the difference.

Mt. Whitney scored early thanks to a single, an error and a sacrifice fly to take a 1-0 lead at the bottom of the first inning.

Exeter responded with two runs in the second. The Pioneers walked Exeter's Brandon Edmonds at the top of the inning and Chris Parker reached first on an error to put Edmonds in scoring position.

Exeter's Jonathan Phillips sent a grounder into play and an error allowed Edmonds to cross home and put Parker at third. With runners at first and third, Exeter's Sam Garver executed a safety squeeze to bring in Parker for Exeter's second run.

In the bottom of the second, the Pioneers brought in another run to bring the game to a tie for two innings.

The Monarchs took their second lead in the top of the fifth when Patrick Hutcheson reached first on a walk and stole second base then moved over to third on a groundout by Cody Williams. Exeter's Jack Grigg took advantage of Mt. Whitney's shallow infield with an RBI single to bring in Hutcheson for the go ahead run.

But Exeter's lead was short lived as Mt. Whitney banked five runs, four unearned, on three errors, a double and three singles.

Exeter's pitchers kept the Monarchs in the game. Sam Williford started the game and in four innings, allowed two runs, three hits, a double and struck out one batter.

Cody Williams closed the games and recorded the loss. Pitching for the last two innings, Williams allowed gave up one earned run, six hits and dealt out two strikeouts.

Exeter serves up victory, 16-1 over Mendota

Cody Williams got his chance to earn a win as the Monarchs faced Mendota on Saturday afternoon at Mt. Whitney High School.

Williams started the game on the mound and his Monarchs put him ahead with two runs in the first inning, six in the second, one more in the third and seven big runs in the fourth. Williams left the game after four innings with a 16-1 lead, two strikeouts and no earned runs.

Will Brown came in to close the game and secured the win with four strikeouts in three innings.

At the plate, Exeter out hit Mendota 16-6 with Edmonds slamming three hits, four RBI and a triple.

Williams and Jonathan Phillips each added three hits while Parker and Hutcheson contributed two hits each.

Exeter takes 5-3 win over Granite Hills

The Monarchs earned their second victory of the tournament when they faced Granite Hills on Monday, April 2 at Tulare Western.

Exeter took a small lead in the first inning, picking up a singe run then added another in the second and the fourth and finished with two runs in the fifth to help pitcher Dakota Kirkman take the win.

Hutcheson, who went three for four with three singles and a run, led the Monarchs at the plate.

Parker and Williford each had two hits and Phillips and Garver both had two RBI.

Farmersville falls 3-11 to Porterville

The Aztecs took a beating in their opening contest of the tournament, falling 3-11 to Porterville in seven innings.

The Panthers charged through the first inning to pick up eight runs and stretched their lead to 11-0 at the bottom of the second.

Farmersville brought in its first runner at the top of the third and added two more to the score in the fifth to finish the Aztecs scoring.

Porterville's Kevin Hulse earned the win giving up just one run and two hits in four innings.

Farmersville's Chris Ortiz took the loss after giving up 11 runs, three unearned and 11 hits in one and one third innings.

Mark Barrios was the Aztecs reliever and he held Porterville to no runs, five hits and one walk in three and two thirds innings.

On offense, Famersville's Manuel Amaya and Amador Madrigal each made two hits. Amaya also had a double and three RBI.

Mark Barrios, Nolan Rios and Tyrone Taplin each had one hit for Farmersville.

Cardinals stump Aztecs 15-7

Farmersville looked confident after picking up four runs in the top of the first inning on Monday, April 2 at Redwood High School, but Orosi's hard hitters eventually took a 15-7 win over the Aztecs.

Farmersville's Isaac Hernandez led off with a walk in the opening inning and a Chris Ortiz triple into deep center field drove him home for the first run of the game. Two batters later, Farmersville pitcher Nolan Rios knocked Ortiz in with an RBI single. Barrios then grounded out to bring in Amaya and move Rios over to third.

Rios scored the final run of the inning on a passed ball at the plate, giving Farmersville a 4-0 lead after half an inning.

But Orosi was hot at the plate and answered with six runs in the bottom of the first inning. The Cardinals managed a double, a triple and a single on their way to taking the lead from Aztecs pitcher Nolan Rios.

Shaken, the Aztecs went scoreless until the seventh inning while Orosi added five runs in the second and another in the fifth to lead 4-12 as the game entered the sixth inning.

Orosi served three up, three down at the top of the sixth then added three runs to stretch the lead to 4-15 heading into the seventh.

The Aztecs scored three more in the seventh but couldn't close in on the lead, taking their second loss of the tournament.

Tournament pool play concluded on Tuesday, April 3. Woodlake faced Firebaugh at 1 p.m. at Mt. Whitney and Tulare Western at 1 p.m. at Tulare Western. Exeter also faced the Mustangs at 4 p.m. at Western and Farmersville played Corcoran at 1 p.m. at Mt. Whitney.

The third place game will take place at 4 p.m. today, Wednesday, April 4, at Mt Whitney High School and will be followed by the Championship game at 7 p.m. also at Mt. Whitney.

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