Baseball: Monarchs struggle in league opener

Jermaine Johnson II

Exeter loses to Immanuel in first CSL game of season

EXETER – Over the last few seasons, Exeter has mastered preseason play. Last year they were 6-3 when the season was canceled and carried that into this year with a 7-4 record. However they’ve struggled in the Central Sequoia League (CSL) and began league play this year with a 17-6 loss at home against Immanuel last Friday.

The Monarchs haven’t finished above third in the CSL since 2016. Their last league title was in 2015 and their journey back to the top will be an uphill battle this season. It was a rough night in their opener against Immanuel as Murphy’s Law was in full effect: everything could go wrong, did go wrong.

Things were looking good early on as Exeter scored three runs in the second inning to go up 4-3. It went south from there. The Eagles scored multiple runs in each of the last four innings compared to just two more total for the Monarchs. The dagger from Immanuel came in the sixth inning as they scored eight runs, aided by a plethora of errors by Exeter. Head coach Kevin Kirkman deems his team can’t play any worse than they did last Friday.

Pitching has been a major struggle for the Monarchs so far. They’re missing two of their senior pitchers due to injuries which has the team short on arms. According to Kirkman, his team has given up over 70 free passes on the mound between walks and hit batters which has continually put his team into holes.

At the plate, the team has been led by a group of veterans. Seniors Jackson Brooks, Christian Farias and Hank Williams along with junior Bryce Duncan lead the team with double digit hits, runs and RBIs.

One day after the game against Immanuel, the Monarchs lost 11-1 in a non-league match against Washington Union. They were in search of their first league win against Central Valley Christian at Rawhide Stadium yesterday, which occurred after press time. They’ll play again this Friday, April 30, at home against Selma at 7 p.m.

Start typing and press Enter to search