Cavaliers rally late to beat Monarchs

Central Valley Christian’s Landon Holloway pitches on the road against Exeter.(Kason Clark)

Central Valley Christian baseball comes back for a 2-1 win over Exeter, Cavaliers are now 7-1 in their last eight games to improve to 16-6 this year

EXETER – Throughout this past Thursday night, Central Valley Christian baseball struggled to get its bats going on the road against Exeter. Through the first five innings, the Cavaliers had failed to score as they fell behind 1-0 to the Monarchs.

But with the game nearing its end, the Cavaliers found a spark. In the top of the sixth inning, the Cavaliers loaded the bases with one out. With a chance to make a play, Colton Bowling came through with a single to drive in a pair of runs to take the lead.

“I just had to put the ball in play and score the run from third – at least to tie it up,” Bowling said about the go-ahead hit.

Now with the lead, the Cavaliers played strong defense the rest of the way to win, 2-1, on April 18. The Cavaliers have been coming back lately to win games, so CVC head coach Shane Marshall was not surprised by the result against the Monarchs.

“It was gutsy. That seems to be who we are this year. We’ve won a lot of one-run ball games coming from behind,” Marshall said. “Part of who we are is that we’re never out of the ball game.”

With their knack for comebacks lately, the Cavaliers have gone 7-1 in their last eight games to improve to 16-6 this spring. Now any time they fall behind in a game, Bowling and his teammates know they will always have a shot to win it.

“Everybody wants to win and we keep fighting until the end,” Bowling said. “Nobody gives up and everyone’s pulling for each other.”

It was the second straight win for CVC after defeating Exeter, 4-1, earlier in the week. So when they faced each other this past Thursday, the Monarchs looked for a strong start. And Cade McElmoyl gave them that with an RBI (run batted in) single for the 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.

Exeter starting pitcher Aidan Robertson then cooled the CVC bats throughout the night. Whenever the Cavaliers would get anything going offensively, Robertson would shut it down immediately to maintain the Monarchs’ lead.

“He’s been a good pitcher since he first appeared on a varsity mound,” Marshall said about Robertson. “Anytime that he’s on the mound, Exeter’s going to have a chance to beat that other team.”

But the Cavaliers finally broke through in the top of sixth. Thanks to a pair of errors, including one a bunt, the Cavaliers got two runners on base. A sacrifice bunt from Brody Pimental then put both runners in scoring position and then Dominic Alvarado was walked to load the bases.

That’s when Bowling came through with a two-RBI single to left to give CVC the lead. The Monarchs tried to respond in the bottom of the sixth after getting a pair of runners on base. However, CVC recorded the third out to get out of the inning.

In the bottom of the seventh on their final out, the Monarchs still had a shot with two runners on base. But CVC closed it out to defeat Exeter and drop the Monarchs to 14-6 this season. As they move forward from this loss, Exeter head coach Kevin Kirkman hopes that the Monarchs can improve their bunt coverage and more importantly their bats.

“We have got to hit better for sure. We haven’t hit for a couple of weeks,” Kirkman said. “This was a great ball game but if we had done better on bunt coverage, we might have walked away with a 1-0 victory.”

As the Cavaliers move forward, they will look to continue doing the hard work that has led them to success so far this season.

“We have to do a lot of hard work, practice and just make sure our approach is good,” Bowling said. “We have to just come out, compete and want to win games.”

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