Kansas City 5, Lincoln 2 – Box Score
The Kansas City Monarchs (1-0) were the only visitors to claim a win on the opening night of the 2022 American Association Playoffs as they topped the Lincoln Saltdogs 5-2 at Haymarket Park.
The West Division Champs took control in the top of the first as 2B Ryan Grotjohn hit a solo home run. Kansas City maintained the lead at 1-0 until the top of the seventh when SS Pete Kozma doubled home both RF Jan Hernandez and 1B Casey Gillaspie and then scored himself when CF Mallex Smith (2-for-4) singled. DH Gio Brusa (2-fof-4) also scored in the frame on a passed ball.
The Saltdogs wouldn’t go quietly as they rallied in the bottom of the ninth. LF Justin Byrd (2-for-4) and 3B Ryan Long both singled and came around to score when 2B Nate Samson singled with one out but reliever Alex Valdez came in and shut down the next two batters to preserve the win and earn the save.
Starting pitcher Matt Hall earned the win as he worked seven innings and gave up just one hit and one walk while recording eight strikeouts.
The series moves to Legends Field for game two on Friday, September 9.
Milwaukee 2, Chicago 1 – Box Score
The Milwaukee Milkmen (1-0) claimed game one of their East Division first-round playoff series with the Chicago Dogs with a 2-1 win on Wednesday night at Franklin Field.
In the bottom of the second inning, LF Aaron Hill drew a lead-off walk and came around to score when 3B Logan Trowbridge (2-for-4) belted a shot to left field. SS Jeremiah Burks, who singled earlier in the inning, also scored on the play but CF Bryan Torres was thrown out at the plate to end the rally and the inning.
The Dogs’ only run of the game came in the top of the fifth inning when CF Anfernee Grier tripled and then scored when 3B Cody Bohanek singled to center in the next at bat.
Starting pitcher A.J. Schugel earned the win as he went six innings and allowed just the one earned run on three hits while striking out five and reliever Rodrigo Benoit shut the door in the ninth to earn the save.
Game two of the best-of-three series is set for Friday, September 9 at Impact Field.
Cleburne 3, Kane County 1 – Box Score
The hottest team entering the playoffs kept their winning ways alive as the Cleburne Railroaders (1-0) topped the Kane County Cougars 3-1 on Wednesday night at The Depot.
The Railroaders closed the regular season on a seven-game winning streak and opened the 2022 American Association Playoffs with their eighth win in a row after falling into an early hole. LF Cornelius Randolph gave the Cougars the lead in the top of the third inning with an RBI double that scored RF Ernie De La Trinidad but the Railroaders responded in the next frame with a solo shot from 3B Chase Simpson (2-for-3).In the sixth, 2B Edwin Arroyo (2-for-4) hit a lead-off single and scored when CF Zach Nehrir (2-for-4) singled two batters later. LF Chuck Taylor also scored in the sixth when Simpson singled later in the inning.
Reliever Kevin McCarthy was tabbed as the winner for working the fourth and fifth innings without giving up a run and reliever Nick Gardewine bagged the save for closing things out with two Ks in top of the ninth.
Game two will take place Friday at Northwestern Medicine Field.
Winnipeg 6, Fargo-Moorhead 3 – Box Score
The Winnipeg Goldeyes (1-0) took game one of their West Division first-round playoff matchup with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 6-3 with the help of a five run third inning.
In the top of the second, RF John Silviano gave the RedHawks the early lead with a lead-off home run but the Goldeyes came back with a vengeance in the third CF. Reggie Pruitt Jr. drew a lead-off walk and scored when SS Raul Navarro singled to left and, two batters later, RF Max Murphy (2-for-2) doubled to score C Deon Stafford Jr. (2-for-4). Murphy touched home on a fielder’s choice from DH Logan Hill and 1B David Washington scored on a sac fly to give the Goldeyes a 5-1 lead.
1B Drew Ward homered in the eighth for the RedHawks and CF Evan Alexander tripled home LF Alec Olund in the ninth but Winnipeg couldn’t pull any closer.
Starting pitcher Landen Bourassa earned the win on the night as he went seven strong innings and allowed just one run on four hits while striking out three batters.
Game two of the best-of-three series is set for Friday, September 9 at Newman Outdoor Field.