Monarchs 5, Cougars 8 – Boxscore
The Kane County Cougars (37-36) late-game offense and home run barrage propelled them to a series-opening victory against the Kansas City Monarchs (46-26). The four Kane County home runs, across the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings helped the Cougars snatch the lead, getting the 8-5 win over the Monarchs.
Runs and hits came at a premium early on Friday night in Kane County. In the top of the first, the Monarchs snagged the first run of the night by capitalizing on a walk drawn by David Thompson. With a two-out RBI double from Matt Adams, Kansas City took an early 1-0 lead.
Vance Worley received the start for the Cougars, striking out one, allowing one hit and one run in his first inning of work. In the home half of the first, Nick Belzer made quick work of the Cougars, striking out one and retiring three-of-four batters on his way to his first-of-four hitless innings.
In the second inning, both offenses stayed quiet, as Kansas City went down in one, two, three fashion. Belzer continued his strong outing, mirroring his first inning of work, by retiring three of four with no runs or hits allowed. The Monarchs grabbed another run in the third inning, which was sparked by an early baserunner, Mallex Smith. Smith, playing in his first game for Kansas City, used his MLB speed to advance to third base on a single from Darnell Sweeney. With runners on the corners, Matt Adams picked up his second RBI of the night—this time a single to right field that snuck past the shift. The Monarchs finished the top of the third leading 2-0. Belzer walked another Cougar in the bottom of the third inning but faced only three batters with an inning ending 5-4-3 double play.
The fourth inning followed the script of the game so far, with each pitcher retiring three of four batters and allowing no runs. Belzer’s last inning of hitless work preserved the Monarchs two run lead.
In the fifth inning, the runs began to flow a bit more freely. Worley began the inning by walking Mallex Smith. Smith immediately stole two bases and set up Darnell Sweeney for an RBI sacrifice fly. The Monarchs pushed their lead to 3-0 but were unable to add anymore as Worley retired the next two Monarchs to finish his own hitless inning of work. The Cougars and the walks finally caught up to Nick Belzer in the fifth inning. Belzer began the bottom of the fifth by walking Sherman Johnson and surrendering his first hit of the night to Galli Cribbs Jr. A one-out single quickly erased Belzer’s no-hitter and generated momentum for Kane County. A ground ball to J.C. Escarra advanced both runners into scoring position. Ernie De La Trinidad stepped to the plate and continued his hot hitting with an RBI triple to clear the bases. With the Cougars trailing by one run, Alexis Pantoja brought De La Trinidad home and tied the game up at 3-3. Belzer ended his outing with five innings pitched, three hits and three runs allowed, and five walks.
Kansas City did not waste any time taking the lead back in the sixth inning with a one-out RBI double from Kevin Santa. Santa’s RBI double was set up once again by an early inning walk, as Worley walked Casey Gillaspie. Santa was thrown out on his RBI double while pushing for third base for the triple. Worley held Kane County’s deficit to one run, leaving the score at 4-3 for his final inning of work. Kane County erased the Monarchs lead swiftly with Frank Rubio now on the mound. A leadoff single from Jimmy Kerrigan set Dylan Busby up for a towering two-run home run off the scoreboard to take a 5-4 lead. The Cougars were not done yet as Luke Mangieri blasted a solo home run to push Kane County’s lead to 6-4.
In the top of the seventh, C.J. Carter entered for Kane County, retiring three-out-of-four Monarchs. Carter walked one, allowing no hits or runs to hold the two run Cougar lead. Frank Rubio continued his work in the bottom of the seventh inning. Rubio faced only four Cougars and allowed only one hit, a two-out, solo home run from Cornelius Randolph. With Randolph’s home run, Kane County led 7-4 heading into the eighth inning.
In the eighth inning, Ben Allison entered for C.J. Carter on the mound. Allison loaded the bases with two walks and a double from Casey Gillaspie. With two-outs, the newest Monarch of the night, Jacob Robson, stepped up to the plate for a shot at late game heroics. Robson faced Ryan Richardson from the bullpen with the bases loaded and struck out looking to end the inning. Jeremy Rhoades entered for Frank Rubio and picked up back-to-back strikeouts to begin the bottom of the eighth inning. With two outs, Luke Mangieri picked up another solo home run, extending the Cougars lead to four runs. Rhoades walked one before escaping the inning, allowing one hit and one run.
In the final half inning, Ryan Richardson entered to slam the door on Kansas City’s comeback hopes. Richardson retired two Monarchs before surrendering a single to David Thompson and an RBI double from Matt Adams. Kansas City trailed by only three runs, with the tying run on deck, when Richardson retired J.C. Escarra on a 5-3 putout to erase any comeback attempt.
Goldeyes 0, Milkmen 5 – Boxscore
The Winnipeg Goldeyes (41-31) lost 5-0 to the Milwaukee Milkmen at Franklin Field on Friday night.
In the bottom of the second, Dylan Kelly poked a double down the left field line with one out. Kelly took third on Logan Trowbridge’s infield single and scored the game’s first run on a wild pitch. Bryan Torres made it 2-0 with a two-out single to centre that scored Trowbridge.
Trowbridge doubled down the right field line with one out in the bottom of the sixth, and scored two batters later on a two-out single through the left side from Jeremiah Burks.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Trowbridge hit a two-run double down the right field line.
Milkmen starter AJ Jones picked up the win, pitching six shutout innings on two hits. Jones walked one and struck out five.
Goldeyes’ starter Landen Bourassa took the loss, allowing three earned runs on eight hits in five and two-thirds innings. Bourassa walked three and struck out four.
Raul Navarro’s 24-game hitting streak came to an end. Navarro hit .420 (42-for-100) during the streak.
Railroaders 9, DockHounds 8 – Boxscore
It took all the Cleburne Railroaders had in the tank to narrowly beat the Lake Country DockHounds 9-8 from Wisconsin Brewing Company Park on Friday evening.
Coming into the game, the Railroaders knew that they could get some runs across on the DockHounds who rank last in the league in team ERA. They began the contest executing their plan to perfection, putting three across in the top of the inaugural frame to jump out to a 3-0 advantage.
Chuck Taylor scored the first run via a single by Edwin Arroyo. It was then Hill Alexander time as he launched his second home run in as many nights over the left field wall to make it 3-0.
The DockHounds weren’t done competing after falling down early, however. Daikan Yoh led off the bottom of the first with a solo shot. Lake Country added another run in the inning with a second home run, this one by T.J. Bennett. After one, it was 3-2 in favor of the away team.
It was already clear that this game was going to be a runs palooza as the game headed into the second inning. In the frame, the Railroaders got another run across, this time by a Nick Shumpert double, his first of four hits on the evening, that scored Jacob Bockelie to put Cleburne up two.
Chase Simpson stepped into the box in the top of the third and hit his team-leading twentieth home run to make it 5-2.
That 5-2 lead wasn’t going to be enough to contain the DockHounds, at least in the early going. After Railroaders’ starter Garrett Alexander hit Jordan Schaffer, walked Bennett, and hit Gio Brusa, he allowed a grand slam to Jake Snider that gave Lake Country a 6-5 lead.
Lake Country added on to that lead in the next inning when Schaffer scorched a single through the hole to bring Casey Dykstra around to score. After four complete, it was 7-5 DockHounds.
That lead wouldn’t last for long. When the fifth rolled around, so did the Cleburne offense as they put up a three-spot in the frame. Kacy Clemens drove in Hill Alexander to bring the ‘Roaders within one. They took the lead when Shumpert singled home both Simpson and Clemens to make the score 8-7.
To round out Garrett Alexander’s night on the hill, he allowed one final run that knotted the score back up at eight in the bottom of the sixth.
It didn’t take long for the Railroaders to regain the lead when Taylor hit a two-out single in the top of the seventh that brought Jacob Bockelie around to score and it was 9-8, Cleburne.
That score would hold for the remainder of the game, as Railroaders’ closer Nick Gardewine shut the door on the DockHounds in the bottom of the ninth and Cleburne came away with the victory in the first game of their three-game series against Lake Country.
The offense exploded in the game, recording eighteen hits.
Garrett Alexander got the win for the winning Railroaders. He went six innings, allowing eight runs on five hits with three walks and eight strikeouts.
Robert Gonzalez picked up the loss for the DockHounds after his one inning of work where he allowed the go-ahead run to come across.
Canaries 9, RailCats 2 – Boxscore
The Sioux Falls Canaries played one of their most complete games all season as they brushed the Gary SouthShore RailCats aside 9-2.
The Canaries struck early and often, using small ball to manufacture all their runs and put the ‘Cats away in the middle innings.
In the very first inning, the Sioux Falls offense found its groove and jumped out to an early lead. A leadoff single, sacrifice bunt, ground out, and two-out knock helped them move Osvaldo Martinez around the diamond to pull ahead 1-0.
They doubled their tally in their next turn at-bat, once again doing the little things to score a run. Two singles got the inning started before a flyout placed runners on the corners. Nick Gotta then came up to the plate and grounded out between home plate and the pitcher’s mound, allowing another run to score and giving the Canaries a 2-0 advantage.
Sioux Falls returned to the plate in the top of the third and generated another run by playing station-to-station baseball. Two singles and a flyout positioned runners on the corners, setting up Trey Michalczewski to bring home their third run on his sacrifice fly.
Following a scoreless fourth, the Canaries broke through in the fifth and erupted for six runs. 11 batters came to the plate and produced four hits, three walks, and one sacrifice fly to power them ahead 9-0.
From that point forward, Gary SouthShore pitching settled down and held the Canaries off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game. Josh Vincent and Augie Voight both tossed two scoreless innings, stranding five runners on base and striking out two.
The RailCats found their way into the run column in the bottom of the sixth, generating a two-out rally of their own. As Jesus Marriaga stood on first base, a Victor Nova single and LG Castillo walk loaded the bases, and Sherman Graves drew a free pass of his own to plate the team’s first run.
Castillo came through again in the bottom of the eighth to make sure a leadoff Daniel Lingua walk did not go in vain. His double off the wall in right field scored Lingua all the way from first base, doubling the RailCats tally.
However, that was all the lineup could supply, as they could not overcome Sioux Falls’ early outbursts and mount a comeback.
This game was postponed due to rain and will be played in a doubleheader on Saturday, August 6.
Explorers 9, Dogs 5 – Boxscore
The Sioux City Explorers jumped out to a nine run lead through the first four innings and cruised to a series opening 9-5 win over the Chicago Dogs.
In the top of the first with two out and a man aboard, Gabe Snyder crushed a two-run homer to give Sioux City an initial 2-0 lead.
After threatening but failing to score in the second the X’s opened it up in the third with a four run rally. With the bases loaded and no outs, Ademar Rifaela and Sebastian Zawada each singled to bring home a run. Another run scored on an error and a Jack Kelly fly ball to left capped off the rally making it 6-0 Sioux City.
Taking the loss for Chicago was AJ Kullman (6-7) who lasted two innings, allowed six runs, five earned on eight hits with a walk and no strikeouts.
Sioux City got the first two men aboard in the fourth before a strikeout and a fly out to center made it seem as though the X’s would waste the opportunity. But Zawada crushed a three-run homer over the left field wall to put Sioux City on top 9-0.
The X’s held that comfortable lead in part from the dominant outing from starter Patrick Ledet (4-3). Ledet went seven and a third, allowed three runs, two earned on four hits with two strikeouts and two walks. The seven and a third innings makes it the longest start this season for an Explorer.
Chicago scored four times in the bottom of the eighth on an error, a fielder’s choice and a two run double from KC Hobson. A solo home run that led off the bottom of the ninth from Grant Kay gave the game its final score. Thomas McIlraith (16) notched a save striking out the only batter he faced.