Exeter needs two more wins

By Andrea Camarena

Exeter stumbled in two close games last week, dropping its league record to 5-8 and overall record to 9-11. The Monarchs need two straight wins this week to keep them in the running for playoffs with at least a .500 overall record.

The Monarchs hosted the Kingsburg Vikings last night, Tuesday, May 8, after press time and are scheduled to travel to Coalinga on Friday, May 11 to face the Horned Toads.

Exeter is 1-1 against both the Vikings and Toads but earned wins against both teams in the second round of Central Sequoia League play.

&#8220The highly competitive Central Sequoia League has toughened up the Monarchs and hopefully this will bode well for Exeter in the playoffs,” Exeter coach Steve Garver said.

The Monarchs were playing strong on a three-game win streak and hadn't lost a game since April 17 when they hosted the Selma Bears on Tuesday, May 1.

The 4-1 defeat to the 12-1 Bears was the third loss that league-leading Selma has dealt the Monarchs. The first two games were hotly contested, decided by a total of three runs.

The final game with Selma was another heartbreaker for Exeter.

The Bears led off the first with two runs, only one earned, on a double, a groundout, a wild pitch, a hit batter and an error.

Exeter responded in the bottom of the first with a lead off triple by Patrick Hutcheson and on the next pitch Sam Garver suicide squeezed him home for the Monarchs only run of the night.

The game went scoreless for four full innings with Sam Williford pitching a gem for Exeter. On offense, the Monarchs placed runners in scoring position against Selma pitcher Chris Pena but couldn't get a run across the plate.

In the sixth inning, Selma scored two more runs on a combination of a walk, fielder's choices, one hit and a sacrifice fly.

In the sixth and seventh innings Exeter mounted an attack, but came up short each time. Unable to score, Exeter finished with another loss.

On Friday, May 4, with the season winding down, the Monarchs hosted the Eagles for the final time of the season. The last time the two met in Reedley, the Monarchs left with a sour tasting loss by one run. This game proved to be an exciting pitchers duel with the Monarchs again losing by one run.

Brandon Edmonds pitched for Exeter and Jarrod Katayama won the game for Immanuel. Each pitched well and through the first three innings, neither gave up a hit.

Up to that point, the Monarchs had stranded three runners in scoring position and the game looked like it would come down to which team could push across a run and then hang on for the victory.

In the top of the 4th, Immanuel did just that with a walk, an error and a sacrifice fly to score the first run. It would prove to be all they needed. At this point Edmonds still had a no-hitter going as well as Katayama. In the 5th inning Edmonds gave up an infield single to break up the no-hitter. Sam Williford came in to pitch the final two innings for the Monarchs. He also gave up only one hit. Both Exeter pitchers pitched well.

Unfortunately for the Monarch batters, Katayama didn’t allow a hit for the entire game. In the 6th inning Exeter got a runner to second, but he was stranded. In the 7th, the Monarchs loaded the bases before Katayama ended the game with a strikeout. Three fine pitching performances and the Monarchs end up with another one run loss. Exeter has lost two games by two runs this year and four by one run. The highly competitive Central Sequoia League has toughened up the Monarchs and hopefully this will bode well for Exeter in the playoffs.

Start typing and press Enter to search