Baseball: Pitchers Maddox Le and Brian Roach give the Monarchs some depth for pitching on the eve of league play

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By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Last week, the Monarchs finished up their non-league schedule before hosting the Selma Bears to begin Central Sequoia League play. Between the March 6 win over the Coalinga Horned Toads 4-0 and a split in the March 9 double header against the Mission Prep Royals, the Monarchs left the field with a 7-2 record.

But league finishes in recent years have been middle of the road for Exeter. Something head coach Kevin Kirkman hopes to change. “I am expecting us to compete at the top of the league this year,” Kirkman said.

Already this season the Monarchs have established the fact they have two strong pitchers in Dillon Howell and Jaykob Acosta. In the win over Coalinga (4-2), their pitching staff grew by two. Maddox Le, who got the start and win, pitched three innings. In those innings he struck out two and only allowed two hits.

While Le took care of things on the mound he also showed what he was capable of at the plate. His only hit of the game was a two-run home run.

“This is a pleasant surprise that Maddox is stepping up,” Kirkman said.

In the fifth inning, Brian Roach was called on to make the save. In two innings of work, he faced seven batters, threw 28 pitches, and struck out one.

“I feel very comfortable bringing Brian into any situation,” Kirkman said.

On Friday, March 9, Exeter and Mission Prep (1-1) played two games. In the first game, all of Exeter’s runs accumulated within two innings. They scored four runs in the fourth and three in the fifth for a 7-0 win.

Jaykob Acosta and Caison Wallen each went 2-4. Acosta scored two runs and Wallen scored a run and drove in two RBIs.

Howell pitched a two-hitter game. In the seven innings played, he had six strike outs and one walk.

It was a feast-or-famine outing for Acosta in the second game. Pitching a complete game, he struck out 11 batters but also allowed four runs which proved to be the difference in Exeter’s 4-3 loss, the Monarchs’ second of the season.

On Friday, March 16, weather permitting, Exeter will host the Selma Bears (2-4) beneath the lights at 7 p.m. Last season, Exeter won the series by taking two out of the three games. Out of the last six meetings, Exeter has won five.

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