Wolves struggle at bat, suffer from two missing players

Published 12:19 am Friday, April 7, 2017

Monterey High School baseball coach Eric Richard knew the Wolves would be facing a strong pitcher in Grace Christian’s Trevor Saucier Thursday afternoon, so he told his players to do one simple thing — swing.

Monterey struggled hitting the ball, however, leading to 17-3 loss as Saucier struck out seven batters in five innings.

Saucier pitched four frames to earn the win.

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“We wanted to be aggressive. There is no sense in going up there and being passive,” Richard said. “If we make mistakes, we want to make aggressive mistakes.”

The Warriors got rolling in the third inning to take a 5-0 lead. Reid Richard and Ju Ju Cooper each responded with an RBI single in the bottom of the third, but it wasn’t enough.

Both Reid and Cooper ended with two hits to lead the offensive efforts for Monterey.

The Wolves registered 7 hits, opposed to Grace Christian’s 20.

“We got in and some guys put some good swings on it,” Richard said. “When you play a team that good, things can get out of hand if you don’t play perfect baseball.”

MHS started strong on defense highlighted by a double play in the first on a quick grab by shortstop Cooper Roach.

But, perhaps it’s biggest struggle was on the mound.

The Wolves utilized four different pitchers on the afternoon, with starter Matthew Womack taking the loss in 2.1 innings.

“(The double play) is just part of our practice and what we do,” Richard said. “We did some good things, and we did some bad things. My pitchers have gone out there and battled. They all try to give us the best chance to win, and sometimes they get hit.”

Monterey also battled with the recent outing of third baseman Cameron King and centerfielder Colton Wilson. Each starter is injured with a broken hand.

“You take two starters out of your lineup and it doesn’t help things,” Richard said. “You can dwell on it, but nobody is going to feel sorry for us when they come in here and play us.”

Kerry King added the final RBI with a single in the fifth inning for the Wolves, and Hunter Lipsy also ended with a hit.

MHS (5-11) will attempt to bounce back at 4 p.m. Tuesday when it takes on Avoyelles Charter at home.