DOVER — It had been nearly a year since Kyle Munroe picked up a baseball until he did again this spring in preparation for the Exeter Post 32 season.
There has been little rust thus far, and Monday night’s outing against Dover Post 8 provided further evidence for the tall right-hander.
Munroe delivered his best start of the season by throwing a two-hitter in Exeter’s 7-0 victory over Post 8 in District B American Legion baseball action at Dover High School. Munroe walked two and finished his complete game with his fourth strikeout.
“I felt good, was just pitching to contact and my defense made every play and I just took it from there. This was definitely my best start,” Munroe said. “”It’s been awesome to get back into baseball; I love it. I just started throwing in the spring and just took it from there.”
Munroe is used to just playing summer baseball, as the 2018 Exeter High School graduate didn’t play his final two years in high school. Munroe took a year off from school to work in his first year after graduation, but has certainly been a horse with four starts in Exeter’s 6-1 start to the season.
“He got an opportunity last year, when we were a little down and needed some pitchers and bodies,” Exeter coach Tim Mitropoulos said. “I took a chance on him and he’s been a good soldier so far. He came back this year. I didn’t know if he could, but he did and he always shows up. He’s a good teammate and when he gets the ball, he’s ready to go.”
Munroe allowed a single to Dan Wooster in the bottom of the first inning, but that was erased when Wooster was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. Munroe faced the minimum amount of hitters through the first three innings, and the only Dover player to reach second was when Jacob Bisson doubled in the sixth.
“My defense just made all the plays and I attacked the strike zone today,” Munroe said.
“From last year, I didn’t know what he’d have, but he’s taken the ball and has just thrown strikes,” Mitropoulos said. “He’s thrown strikes and mixes it up. He’s not going to necessarily blow it by you all the time, but he keeps you off-balance and the defense makes the plays.”
Munroe was given a 1-0 lead when Christian Petry led off the top of the third with a single off Dover starting pitcher Aidan McDonough. Petry scored after a steal, a ground out and a wild pitch.
Post 32 (eight hits) took a 4-0 lead in the top of the fourth after Collin Burleigh led off with a single, followed by a walk to John Martel. Exeter scored on an error and two wild pitches.
McDonough (five strikeouts) lasted 3 1/3 innings for Dover (4-6), giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits. Jonathan Lendrum gave Post 32 a 5-0 lead with an RBI infield single off Wooster in the sixth, and it scored two runs on a pair of errors in the seventh.
“It’s just one of those Legion games,” Dover coach Dave Rouleau said. “We just kind of muddle along. (Munroe) threw great and there wasn’t much we could do.”
Exeter Post 32 hosts a doubleheader on Tuesday against Derry Post 9 to continue a daunting six-game week, while Dover travels to Salem Post 63.
“The pitching will be tested this week, that’s for sure,” Mitropoulos said. “We’ve just gotta keep throwing strikes and getting good performances.”