Monarchs run the table, prepare for playoffs

With a 14-5 win over Brookings Thursday night, the Renner Monarchs completed the regular season at 19-2, and a perfect 12-0 (including forfeits) in Sioux Empire League play.
We were supposed to play the Sioux Falls Squirrels Sunday but that ended up being the second forfeit. So Thursday ended up being the regular season finale.
Erik DeJong went 5-6 with a homer and 4 RBI, and Juan Thomas, Nate Hewes and Brian McGuire all had three hits, with The Large Human swatting his fifth homer, tying him with Tim Huber for the team lead. Kevin Knetsch returned from the DL to go 2-3 minus a left ACL. Sam Gotham whiffed 9 in 7 strong innings for the win.
I went 1-4 with an RBI single and a walk, a disappointing effort in what is likely to be my final start of the season (I also managed to take out Hewes with a pretty good hip-check in the outfield). I could still get an AB here or there in the postseason, but most likely my homerless streak will extend into 2014.

We’ll open the district tournament Thursday in Renner against the Squirrels. The Sioux Falls Brewers will take on Brookings. Two of those four teams will advance to state. And yes, putting the two teams that are clearly the best in Class A in the same district seems pretty dumb to me, too.

Going undefeated in league play is a nice little feather in the cap, and is a testament to our consistency and depth.
Its been an incredibly fun season, for me as a new player on the team, but I think for everybody. “It’s a great group of guys” is an overused cliche, but it applies. We’re all pumped for the playoffs, but we’ll be relaxed and confident.

Though we swept the Brewers during the season, they’re a very formidable opponent. We aren’t assuming anything. The Squirrels almost beat us last week and Brookings is tough whenever they’ve got Marcus Heemstra on the mound.

Like I said, its been a fun year, but now comes the fun part.