Monarchs Clinch Division Title; Saltdogs Clinch Playoff Spot

Lincoln Saltdogs

Canaries 1, Goldeyes 10 – Boxscore


The Winnipeg Goldeyes (53-47) beat the Sioux Falls Canaries 10-1 at Shaw Park in their regular season finale on Monday afternoon.


Raul Navarro tripled into the right field corner leading off the bottom of the first, and scored the game’s first run on a double to left from Ian Sagdal.


Sioux Falls (33-67) tied the game in the top of the second.  Trey Michalczewski doubled to left leading off, took third on a single to right from Aaron Takacs, and scored on Angelo Altavilla’s RBI groundout to second base.


The Goldeyes took the lead for good with two runs in the bottom of the third.  Navarro walked leading off and took third when Sagdal reached on a two-base throwing error by second baseman Nick Gotta.  Two batters later, David Washington ripped a two-run single down the right field line.


In the bottom of the fourth, Reggie Pruitt Jr. walked with one out and stole second base.  After Deon Stafford Jr. walked, Navarro grounded into a force play at shortstop.  Pruitt scored when Gotta’s attempt for a double play went into foul territory.  Sagdal made it 5-1 with an RBI single down the left field line that scored Navarro.  Max Murphy singled to left-centre, and the Goldeyes plated a sixth run on a Washington RBI single to centre.  Murphy closed the regular season on an eight-game hitting streak, while Washington reached 80 RBI.


Goldeyes’ starting pitcher Jhon Vargas (5-3) picked up the win, pitching a career-high five innings and allowing one earned run on four hits.  Vargas walked one and struck out two.


Navarro doubled with one out in the bottom of the sixth and scored Winnipeg’s seventh run on a single down the left field line from Murphy.


After there were two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the seventh, the Goldeyes tacked on three more runs on a Stafford RBI single, a Murphy bases loaded walk, and a wild pitch.


RJ Martinez, Travis Seabrooke, Zac Ryan, and Alex Hart each worked a scoreless inning in relief of Vargas.


Seabrooke made his 60th appearance of the season, which ties the American Association single-season record set by former Goldeye Jack Charleston in 2018.  Navarro finished the game with five runs scored, which ties a Goldeyes’ single-game record last accomplished by Adam Heisler on June 26th, 2015 at Sioux Falls.



Milkmen 6, RailCats 4 – Boxscore


The Gary SouthShore RailCats could not close out a surging Milwaukee Milkmen lineup in the closing stages as they took a 6-4 defeat in the final game of the 2022 season. 

In the early goings, the matchup had all the makings of a pitcher’s duel.  While Ryan Zimmerman for the Milkmen shut the RailCats out in his two-inning start, Chris Erwin matched him, striking out three and stranding two runners on base to keep Milwaukee scoreless. 

However, the Milkmen broke through in the top of the third.  Three straight hits led to two runs, giving Milwaukee an early edge. 

The very next inning, though, Tom Walraven stepped up to even the score.  His 16th home run of the season, a towering two-run blast to left field, drew the RailCats level at 2-2. 

Gary SouthShore capitalized on that momentum boost to grab their first lead in the fifth.  Michael Woodworth led off the inning with a single, and on an LG Castillo base hit to center field, a misplay allowed Woodworth to race home and put the RailCats ahead 3-2. 

In search of a quick answer, the Milkmen used two one-out walks to place both the tying and go-ahead runs on base with one out, but a move to the bullpen immediately bailed the RailCats out of trouble.  Aaron Phillips took over on the mound and coaxed two flyouts on just two pitches, keeping the ‘Cats in front. 

He proceeded to throw a three-up, three-down seventh inning, and the RailCats responded by adding onto their advantage.  Daniel Lingua cashed in Woodworth’s leadoff triple by lifting a sacrifice fly to right field, and Gary SouthShore found themselves on top by two. 

Down to their final six outs, Milwaukee chipped away at their deficit, pulling within one in the top of the eighth.  A sacrifice fly brought home their third run and moved the game-tying run to third base, but Julio Vivas induced a weak groundout to second base to preserve Gary SouthShore’s one-run margin heading into the final inning. 

At that point, the Milkmen lineup caught fire as they struck for three runs.  Five consecutive hits, including two doubles, turning around a 4-3 deficit to take control 6-4 just three outs from victory. 


Dogs 5, Cougars 10 – Boxscore


Starting pitcher Jack Fox earned his league-leading 11th win and the Cougars piled up 10 runs on their way to a 10-5 victory over the Chicago Dogs to conclude the 2022 regular season.


Fox (11-3) worked through five innings, allowing two runs on six hits with three strikeouts against four walks. The Cougars (54-46) right-hander finished the regular season leading Kane County in both wins and ERA (3.14).


The Cougars jumped out to the lead in the bottom of the second against Chicago (54-46) starter AJ Kullman (6-10). Nick Franklin and Josh Rolette hit back-to-back doubles to start the inning and make it 1-0. Kane County added another run on an Alexis Pantoja single and error by Chicago center fielder Anfernee Grier to make it 2-0.


After the Dogs scored a run in the top of the third, the Cougars responded with an RBI double by Franklin to make it 3-1. The Dogs would respond on a bases loaded walk by Cody Bohanek to make it 3-2.


With a 3-2 lead entering the bottom of the sixth inning, the Cougars offense erupted. Kane County sent 10 men to the plate and scored seven runs in the inning to break the game open. Ernie De La Trinidad, Galli Cribbs, Jimmy Kerrigan, and Josh Rolette (2) all knocked in at least one run with singles. Following Rolette’s single, Mitch Nay blasted a two-run homer over the left field fence that made it 10-2.


Chicago chipped away with three runs in the top of the seventh on an RBI single by Connor Kopach and a two-run double by Trent Bauer. The Dogs also loaded the bases in the top of the eighth. However, Ryan Richardson held Chicago scoreless over the final 1.1 innings to preserve a 10-5 win.


RedHawks 5, Monarchs 8 – Boxscore


Both the Kansas City Monarchs (65-35) and the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (64-36) and came to Legends Field Labor Day Monday with plans to take home the American Association West Division title on the final day of the regular season. It was the Monarchs who would take home the regular season’s top reward with a hard fought 8-5 win in game number 100.


With Nick Belzer getting the start on the mound for the Monarchs and Trevor Simms for the RedHawks, both teams had scoreless first innings. It nearly did not stay that way in the top of the second, when Dylan Harris made a leaping grab at the left field bullpen fence to bring the ball back in and rob Alec Olund of a home run.


In the home half of the second inning, JC Escarra started the Monarchs’ offense going with a double, followed by a single by Pete Kozma that carried JC Escarra to third. Dylan Harris followed is highlight reel play with a RBI single to score JC Escarra to give the Monarchs the first lead of the game, 1-0.


Nick Novak singled, starting the RedHawk’s offense in the top of the fifth, advancing to second on a stolen base. Peter Maris followed with a single that scored Novak, putting the RedHawk’s on the board and tying the game, 1-1.


Dylan Harris opened the fifth inning with a triple crushed out to center field. Darnell Sweeney followed with a single, Ryan Grotjohn followed by a huge double off the Price Chopper wall that scored both Harris and Sweeney, making the lead 3-1.


In the top of the sixth, Leo Pena advanced to first on a single, followed by a John Siliviano home run to tie the game at 3-3.


Christian Correa opened the seventh inning by advancing to first on a hit by a pitch by reliever Jordan Martinson, followed by a Peter Maris double. Manuel Boscan advanced to first on an error by Casey Gillaspie, scoring Christian Correa and securing the first lead of the game for Fargo-Moorhead. A base hit by Drew Ward scored Maris, adding to the Fargo lead, 5-3. The Monarchs brought in Brandon Koch to relieve Martinson, and he got out of the inning without any more RedHawks crossing home plate.


The home half of the seventh inning proved explosive for the Monarchs’ offense. Following the seventh inning stretch with Buck O’Neil, Joe Jones took over the on the mound for the “Fargos” as Ryan Grotjohn restarted the offense for the Monarchs with a lead-off walk. Jacob Robson then crushed a towering shot over Home Run Patio to tie the game at 5-5. Jan Hernandez advanced to first base after a hit by a pitch, and both JC Escarra and Dylan Harris earned free passes to first. Mallex Smith also walked, scoring Hernandez and grabbing the lead back for the Monarchs, 6-5. Fargo summoned Tanner Riley into the game. Darnell Sweeney hit a line drive to center, scoring Escarra and Harris and increasing the Monarchs lead to 8-5.


Brandon Koch stayed on the mound for the Monarchs as Alec Olund walked to start the eighth. Rymer Liriano singled to first, followed by a Nick Novak walk that Brandon Koch argued, leading to his ejection from the game. Pitcher Alex Valdez came in to relieve Koch. Valdez struck out Christian Correa and a double play ball ended the RedHawks threat, and the inning ended with an 8-5 lead.


Valdez would work a three up and three down top of the ninth inning to give the Monarchs their 65th win and claim their third straight American Association regular season division title. Kansas City finished the regular season with the league’s best record and a season high 30 games above .500.  The Monarchs began August with a 1-5 road trip but rebounded to finish 19-5 over their final 24 games.


Saltdogs 10, Explorers 1 – Boxscore


John Bezdicek pitched five scoreless innings on short rest, and the ‘Dogs clinched their first playoff berth since 2017 with a 10-1 win in the winner-take-all finale against the Sioux City Explorers at Mercy Field on Monday afternoon.


The ‘Dogs won the final three games of the regular season to clinch the postseason and will now play the Kansas City Monarchs in the best-of-3 divisional playoff series starting Wednesday night. Kansas City won the West Division after beating the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks on Monday.

Lincoln took a 4-0 lead in the 1st inning. Ryan Long’s double play scored Justin Byrd to make it 1-0, and after Jason Rogers walked with two outs, Luke Roskam hit an RBI single to make it 2-0. Josh Altmann then added a double and Skyler Weber’s RBI single made it 4-0.

The ‘Dogs added another run on Rayder Ascanio’s RBI single in the 2nd. Lincoln scored twice more in the 5th when Weber added to the lead with a sacrifice fly and Welington Dotel’s RBI triple made it 7-0.

John Bezdicek – pitching on three days’ rest – allowed two hits with two walks and five strikeouts. R.J. Fruere pitched a 1-2-3 6th, Jonathan Cheshire pitched a 1-2-3 7th and Carson Lance pitched a 1-2-3 8th. David Zoz allowed one unearned run in the 9th inning.

The ‘Dogs added to the lead with Hunter Clanin’s two-run homer in the 8th, and Ryan Long then made it 10-0 with an RBI single to score Byrd.

Needing to win all three games to finish the regular season, the ‘Dogs clinched their first playoff berth since winning the Central Division in 2017. The ‘Dogs finished the regular season with eight wins in their last nine games to make the postseason.


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