By Andrea Camarena

The Monarchs are closing in on the last two weeks of regular season play and are ready to earn a seed in the post season.

Exeter baseball is 5-6 in the Central Sequoia League and 9-9 overall after taking three straight league wins on the road in Kingsburg, Coalinga and Dinuba.

&#8220All of our games are important the rest of the year,” Exeter head coach Steve Garver said. &#8220We are playing well now. The young men have worked hard and are getting into baseball shape. I think that even with the stiff competition in our league, we will do well the rest of the way.”

The Monarchs have to be at least .500 in league or overall to advance to the Central Section playoffs.

In the last stretch of regular season play, the Monarchs will host Immanuel on Friday, May 4 and Kingsbug on Tuesday, May 8.

Exeter is 1-1 against both the third place Eagles and the second place Vikings.

&#8220With Kingsburg, it will come down to timely hitting and defense for both teams,” Garver said. &#8220In our win, we took advantage of some of their mistakes and in our loss, they used our mistakes.”

Exeter has taken one run losses from Selma and Immanuel in league play and will have to redeem those losses in order to get into playoff contention.

&#8220Sam Williford will pitch against Selma. He has pitched well both times against them but we came up just a it short because of other reasons,” Garver said before the Tuesday night game that occurred after press time.

Exeter rolls over Coalinga, 17-7

Exeter traveled to Coalinga and destroyed the Horned Toads defense firing 20 hits onto the field on the way to a 17-7 victory.

&#8220The score didn't really indicate the drama and intensity of the game,” Garver said.

The Toads got an early lead when they scored three runs in the top of the first on balls lost in the sun. The Monarchs responded in the bottom of the first with a hit, a ground out, two strikeouts and no runs.

&#8220The day didn’t look promising,” Garver said. &#8220But the Exeter players have learned that the game is seven innings long and that all seven innings will and must be played.”

The Monarchs held Coalinga scoreless in the second and came back for 10 runs on nine hits including six doubles. Exeter added five more runs in the third and two in the fifth to finish their scoring. Coalinga scored four in the seventh but couldn't catch up.

Kyle Espinola picked up the win after entering the game in the fourth for the injured Cody Williams. The hitting was lead by seniors Brandon Edmonds, Sam Williford and Chris Parker - each had three hits and joined by Patrick Hutcheson also with three hits.

Exeter takes second win against Dinuba 7-5

The Monarchs and Emperors gave a show fit for baseball royalty on Friday, March 27 as Exeter pulled out a 2-run win in Dinuba.

The Monarchs had runners in scoring position in the first four innings, but couldn’t bring anyone home.

In the fifth, Exeter found home a path to the plate. Dakota Kirkman got on by an error and Patrick Hutcheson walked. They each moved up a base on a double steal and Sam Garver executed a squeeze bunt that scored Kirkman. The next batter, Jack Griggs, also bunted, and the Emperor defense tried to throw out Hutcheson, but failed, allowing him to score. Garver advanced to third and Griggs ended up at first. Sam Williford then doubled, bringing home Garver and Griggs. Three batters later, Jonathan Phillips tripled to plate Williford and the Monarchs finished the inning with five runs.

Exeter couldn't take a break though, and in the bottom of the fifth, Exeter allowed Dinuba to score two runs on a walk and two hits.

The Monarchs responded with one run in the sixth on a Kirkman double and a Hutcheson triple. Dinuba scored three in the bottom of the sixth to make the score 6-5, Exeter, and increased intensity for the last frame.

The Monarchs scored one in the seventh with Brandon Edmonds hustling to second on his ground ball and a throwing error. Phillips brought him home with a single. The Emperors weren’t going down with out a fight though. With a hit, a hit by pitcher and a ground out, Dinuba had runners at second and third with one out. The next batter was hit by the pitcher, but on appeal the base umpire ruled that he had swung his bat and a strike was called. Pitcher Sam Williford then struck the batter out and coaxed a ground out from the next batter to end the game.

The Monarchs played Selma on Tuesday, May 1 and will host Immanuel at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 3 at 7 p.m. and Kingsburg at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8.

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