CVC pitcher Bryce Crook allows no hits in his five innings on the mound for the Cavaliers
VISALIA – Despite a close loss in the second game of their series, the Cavaliers came back to win the final game of the season against the Monarchs.
After losing 1-0 the day before, the CVC Cavaliers overcame a small deficit to beat the Exeter Monarchs 4-2 on Wednesday, May 10 in the final game of the season. Though the Monarchs got on the board first with two runs in the second inning, the Cavaliers quickly tied it up in the third inning off of a triple by Ivan Pepe. Cavaliers relief pitcher Bryce Crook came in for the third inning and pitched the rest of the game, allowing zero hits and zero runs.
“Yesterday we struggled to make adjustments,” CVC head coach Shane Marshall said. “Last night we talked about flushing yesterday in the past, wiping it off your uniform physically. Luckily when we put them on today we were ready to go, ready to make those adjustments.”
After flying out to center during his first at bat, Pepe stepped up to the plate with two runners on base in the third inning. After two balls and a foul, Pepe hit a line drive to right field, sending Brody Pimental and Teague Brandenburg home to tie the game. In the fourth Tyler Hughes sent a line drive to center that allowed Case Anker to score the winning run. Wyatt Walker topped it off by stealing home for a fourth run.
Senior Chapman Dunn started on the mound for the Cavaliers and pitched for two innings before Crook came in for relief. Facing 18 batters, Crook allowed zero hits and zero runs from the Monarchs. He’s been an important pitcher for the Cavaliers this season, leading them to first place in the Tri-County Sequoia League.
“He’s been the definition of consistency on every outing,” Marshall said. “I was happy that Chapman got to get the start for senior day and get us in a spot where Crook was able to come in and finish that game out. I couldn’t be prouder of the two of them for their joint effort in helping us lock in the championship.”
On the other side, Miller Weldon pitched the entire game for the Monarchs. He allowed six hits and four runs. The Monarchs started Carson Hughes against the Cavaliers on May 9 and he pitched a complete game shutout. Since it was the last game of league and the Monarchs didn’t have any chance of unseating the Cavaliers, they decided to save Aidan Robertson for the playoffs.
Miles Munger is out with an upper body injury, potentially for the rest of the season. Shortstop Ruben Ruiz also suffered a lower body injury against CVC on May 9 and did not play on May 10. Missing several key starters, the Monarchs still played a strong game against the Cavaliers. Weldon started off very strong, getting three outs in only four pitches in the first inning. They came out strong on offense, but found themselves shut down by Crook in the final five innings.
“We completed a 4-2 ball game and had two starters out,” Exeter head coach Kevin Kirkman said. “We competed today. That’s all we can ask for. CVC is very challenging.”
The Cavaliers finished first in the Tri-County Sequoia League with a 9-3 record in league play. According to Marshall, they may be moved up to Division III for the playoffs and have competed against Division II and III teams such as Kerman and Fowler, but have never won a Division IV playoff game.
The Monarchs finished fourth in league with a record of 5-7. They’ll start the playoffs on Wednesday with Robertson pitching and hopefully have Ruiz back on the field. Playoff brackets will be announced on Saturday, May 13 after all league games have been completed.