Exeter rallies past Reedley in TCC Sequoia baseball opener

Reedley High’s Mason Cisneros prepares to uncork a pitch during the Pirates’ 4-3 loss to Exeter High in a Tri-County Conference Sequoia Division baseball game on March 14. The junior worked four innings of scoreless relief with four strikeouts and went 2-for-2 at the plate.(Jon Earnest)

Monarchs wipe out early three-run deficit for 4-3 victory at RHS, get clutch pitching late to improve to 8-1 for the season

REEDLEY – The Exeter High Monarchs and Reedley High Pirates showed in their first of three meetings that this spring’s Tri-County Conference Sequoia Division baseball championship chase will be a hard-fought competitive battle.

The visiting Monarchs — going to battle with a 12-player varsity roster — wiped out an early three-run deficit with four runs in the third inning and got clutch pitching in the final inning from freshman Cade McElmoyl to pull out a 4-3 victory Thursday afternoon at RHS varsity field. Exeter bounced back from its first loss (5-3 at Templeton on March 8) to improve to 8-1 on the season.

Coach Kevin Hickman praised his starting pitcher Aidan Robertson, who shook off a three-run second inning from Reedley to shut down the Pirates until McElmoyl came on to record the save.

“He didn’t have his best stuff today, but he battled through to get us six innings, and we scratched enough (offense) to get it done,” he said of lefthander Robertson. “Reedley’s a good team and we’re evenly matched, that’s for sure.”

Exeter made its decisive run in the third, plating four runs on three hits including an RBI double from Ruben Ruiz. McElmoyl and Tanner Garnett also had run-scoring hits. That provided an immediate response to the Pirates’ three-run second, highlighted by a two-run single from starting pitcher Jacob Silva.

“We felt like we had some chances the whole game offensively, we just couldn’t get that big hit,” Reedley coach Russ Sauceda said. “We couldn’t ask anything more from the guys on defense; offensively we just have to push some runs across when we have the opportunity.”

The Pirates stranded a pair of runners in the fourth inning, and Robertson induced a double play ground ball in the sixth inning. McElmoyl then came on in the seventh, allowing a walk and stranding the tying run at second base by retiring Cole Betancourt on a called third strike. He also collected two of Exeter’s nine hits.

Angel Godinez paced Reedley (3-5) by going 3-for-4 including an RBI double and run scored in the second inning. Mason Cisneros relieved Silva in the fourth inning and held the Monarchs scoreless the rest of the way while allowing two hits and striking out four. Darren Ortiz and Ely Garcia also scored runs for Reedley.

Exeter has a cross division home game against Sierra Pacific (5-4) at 7 p.m. Monday, March 18, before returning to Reedley to take on Immanuel High (5-3) in a 7 p.m.  start on Thursday, March 21. The Monarchs have two more TCC contests with Reedley on Tuesday and Friday, April 9 and 12.

The Pirates will have a couple of conference road tests against Selma (4-4, 0-1) at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19 and Hanford West (5-4, 1-0) at 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 21.

Start typing and press Enter to search