Exeter falls to 6-3 prior to league play after suffering a home loss to Hoover
By Jermaine Johnson II
EXETER – The Monarchs have had some struggles playing under their home lights at Dobson Field. After their 1-0 loss to Hoover last Friday, all three of their losses this season have come in front of their home fans.
After an 0-2 start, the Monarchs put together a strong 6-game winning streak where they outscored opponents 90-17. Nearly 30% of those runs came in one game. Right before their loss to Hoover, Exeter traveled to Woodlake and dominated the Tigers 26-3. It was the most runs scored in a game by the Monarchs since they beat Granite Hills 30-0 in 2016.
While the Division IV Monarchs had their way with the Division V Tigers, but had a much tougher time with the Division III Hoover Patriots. Defensively they were stout. They allowed one run which came off of a wild pitch in the first inning. From there, junior Dylan See threw another strong game for Exeter. The Patriots only managed to get one ball out of the infield and that one was caught in right field. In the fourth inning Hoover had the bases loaded but the Monarchs were able to save themselves without allowing a run. Exeter’s offense got two runners on base but couldn’t turn it into points. They were also picked off for the fourth time this year.
In the next inning, Exeter’s defense had back-to-back errors to put two runners on base. Then they forced three straight outs to keep the score at 1-0. In the sixth inning, senior Julian Vargas hit a triple due to an outfield error. The Patriots recovered well and forced three straight outs and left him on third. In the final inning, the Monarchs had two more runners on second and third base but couldn’t bring them home.
“We had bad base running…we didn’t move our guys over when we hit. We had many chances to win that ball game and we didn’t do our jobs,” Exeter head coach Kevin Kirkman said. “Dylan See threw another good game for us. He gave us seven innings and we just didn’t hit.”
This is the fifth year in a row that the Monarchs and Patriots have met in the regular season. Exeter leads the series 3-2.
“They’re a well-coached team and their pitcher threw strikes against us,” Kirkman said.
This week the Monarchs will have a team-building trip as they travel to Mission Prep in San Luis Obispo on Friday, March 13. A day later they’ll travel to Coast Union in Cambria. These are their final two games before league play.
“We need to be better disciplined hitters next week and we have to be ready to make some plays. We weren’t ready tonight [against Hoover],” Kirkman said.