RailCats 6, RedHawks 3 – Boxscore
After struggling to generate much offense through the first seven innings at Newman Outdoor Field, the Gary SouthShore RailCats got their best swings off in the late stages to take down the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 6-3.
The ‘Cats strung together 16 hits in the series finale, including six in the final two innings, to ensure they left the state of North Dakota with the win.
It did not take long, though, for the RedHawks to jump out to an early lead. Their very first batter, Peter Maris, launched a home run to right field, giving Fargo-Moorhead a 1-0 advantage after an inning of play.
However, the RailCats were quick to respond. In the top of the second, Tom Walraven ripped a one-out single to put a runner on base for Sam Abbott, and he blasted a two-run long ball to place the RailCats in front 2-1.
The home run marks Abbott’s 16th of the season, and that ties him with Cristian Guerrero’s 2008 total for the second most in a single season in franchise history.
For the next five innings, starter Chris Erwin made that one-run edge stand up. He allowed just one hit and one walk over that span, striking three RedHawks out as well to earn another quality start.
Once the seventh inning rolled around, the RedHawks found their way back into the ballgame. A base hit and walk positioned runners on first and second, and a sacrifice bunt led to a throwing error which enabled the tying run to score. Though the next batter popped out, another single loaded the bases with one out, and the go-ahead run stood just 90 feet away.
The RailCats then turned to Julio Vivas out of the bullpen to keep the game tied, and with the RedHawks on the brink of breaking it open, he unleashed his best stuff. A strikeout and pop out stranded the bases loaded, giving Gary SouthShore a momentum boost heading into the top of the eighth.
Having escaped a big inning, the ‘Cats erupted for four runs in their next turn at bat. Jackson Smith and Daniel Lingua led off with back-to-back singles, and Nate Scantlin’s base hit brought Smith home, moving Gary SouthShore back in front. Michael Woodworth lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to plate an insurance run, and Jesus Marriaga banged a double off the left field wall to tally another pair and push the ‘Cats up by four needing just six outs to secure the result.
Vivas went back out to pitch a scoreless eighth, but following a pitching change, the RedHawks got back to work in the bottom of the ninth. A walk and a single got the inning started, and following a strikeout, another knock loaded the bases with one away. A sacrifice fly got Fargo-Moorhead within three at the cost of the second out, and two batters later, Yeison Medina coaxed a fielder’s choice to lock down the win.
Railroaders 11, Dogs 5 – Boxscore
An emerging Cleburne Railroaders (42-48) took down the sliding Chicago Dogs (50-40) in a firework delayed game with a final score of 11 to 5.
Starting the game off hot, Chase Simpson cranked a 3-run homer in the top of the first to help separate the score. This was swiftly followed in the bottom of the inning by Michael Crouse scoring on an error by Cleburne’s shortstop.
The score ended up getting tied in the bottom of the third when Crouse scored again on a sacrifice fly and then Anfernee Grier scored on a Grant Kay single to right field.
In the 5th, Zach Nehrir scored on a sacrifice fly. Meanwhile the Chicago Dogs decided it would be a good idea to take the lead in the bottom of the inning with a two-run smack from K.C. Hobson.
The Dogs remained scoreless after this while the Railroaders put up two in the 7th, one in the 8th, and four in the 9th to bury the Dogs.
The story of the game was Zach Nehrir breaking the Railroaders’ single season stolen base record with 31.
Saltdogs 2, Cougars 17 – Boxscore
For the third time this season, the Kane County Cougars (47-43) scored at least 17 runs in one home game as they took the rubber game from the Lincoln Saltdogs (41-49). The offense collected 20 hits Thursday night, with nine extra-base hits.
By the third inning, it was 12-1 Cougars. Josh Rolette’s two-run single and Alexi Pantoja’s three-run homer in the first put the Cougars up 5-0 quickly. After Lincoln squeaked across one run in the second, the Cougars answered with a four-spot. It was highlighted by Nick Franklin’s three-run home run off Lincoln starter Zach St. Pierre (0-2). Franklin’s blast was his first as a Cougar, but actually his third against Lincoln when he belted two as a Sioux City Explorer. Ernie De La Trinidad, Nick Anderson and Jimmy Kerrigan all drove in runs in the third inning to put the Cougars ahead 12-1.
On the mound, Jack Fox (9-3) cruised to his seventh quality start of the season. After giving up one-run in the second, Fox retired 13 of the next 15 Saltdogs. He tallied four strikeouts, striking out the side in the third. After Fox, relievers Keith Rogalla, Tyler Koch and Jake Stevenson teamed up for three innings of one-run baseball to finish the game.
The Cougars shined defensively as well. In the second, Sherman Johnson made a diving grab to start an impressive inning-ending double play. Then Galli Cribbs Jr. turned heads with a sliding grab behind second base to put away Matt Goodheart in the fourth and an acrobatic bare-handed play to retire Josh Altmann in the seventh.
Multiple Cougars had big offensive nights. Anderson drove in two runs and scored twice. Johnson, Kerrigan, and Cribbs all had three hits. And on-base streaks continued for Ernie De La Trinidad (15), BJ Lopez (13) and Cribbs (4).
Goldeyes 4, Monarchs 7 – Boxscore
The Kansas City Monarchs (56-34) won the final game of the four-game series against the Winnipeg Goldeyes (49-41) by a score of 7-4 Thursday night at Legends Field. It was the Monarchs 33rd win at home this season and their seventh against the Goldeyes in nine games.
With Matt Hall on the mound for the Monarchs and Jhon Vargas for the Goldeyes, both teams’ offenses fired up early. Winnipeg got on the board first as Raul Navarro’s single got the Goldeyes started. Ian Sagdal followed with another single, but the wild pitch to Max Murphy allowed the Goldeyes to score, starting the game with an early Winnipeg lead 1-0.
The Goldeyes’ lead wouldn’t last long, however, as Mallex Smith, Ryan Grotjohn, and Darnell Sweeny all got free passes, loading the bases off Vargas. Jacob Robson slammed a triple to left field, clearing the bases to take back the lead, 3-1. The Monarchs bats stayed hot as Jan Hernandez hit a single up the middle that brought in Robson, followed by a single from Gio Brusa and a double from Pete Kozma that scored both Jan Hernandez and Gio Brusa, bringing the lead to 6-1 at the end of the first inning.
The second inning remained quiet, but Winnipeg’s bats fired back up in the third. Reggie Pruitt Jr. started the inning off with a base hit, followed by another from Raul Navarro. A double by Ian Sagdal brought in Reggie Pruitt Jr, and a Max Murphy fielder’s choice scored Raul Navarro as the Goldeyes cut into the Monarchs lead, 6-3. The Goldeyes Ryan Blanton came in for Jhon Vargas and managed to hold the Monarchs scoreless in the bottom of the third.
The fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh innings remained scoreless, but Winnipeg started to threaten in the top of the eighth as Max Murphy advanced to first on a hit-by-a-pitch by Jeremy Rhoades. David Washington followed with a walk; then Jacob Rhinesmith advanced to first on a single, bringing in Max Murphy and cutting into the Monarchs lead, 6-4.
In the home half of the eighth, Alexis Olmeda hit a solo home run bomb to right field off Tasker Strobel, and the Monarchs took the run right back.
Brandon Koch came in for the save in the ninth inning, striking out the side and ending the game with a 7-4 win for the Monarchs.
Explorers 4, Canaries 1 – Boxscore
Zach Hedges dominated over the course of eight innings and the Explorers finished off the five game series with the Sioux Falls Canaries with a 4-1 win.
Sioux City’s offense took a quick lead in the top of the first on a two-run homer off the bat of Trey Martin to jump out in front 2-0.
The Explorers doubled their lead in the fourth. Chase Harris collected one of the five doubles hit by the X’s in the ballgame and scored on another double by Miguel Sierra who immediately came in to score on a Jack Kelly base hit giving Sioux City a 4-0 lead.
Zach Hedges (4-7) cruised to his third straight win. He set a new season high for an Explorers starter by going 8 innings full. He allowed only one run on three hits and struck out four with a single walk. After allowing a base hit in the bottom of the first he then retired the next eleven consecutive batters.
Over his last three starts, all wins, Hedges has allowed only one earned run, three total across 20 innings of work on ten hits with 18 strikeouts and two walks.
Ty Culbreth (7-5) was on the losing end of the matchup. He allowed four runs in six and a third innings on nine hits with seven strikeouts and four walks.
Sioux Falls lone run of the ballgame came in the seventh when Wyatt Ulrich reached on a double and scored from a Jabari Henry single.
Thomas McIlraith (18) picked up the save with a scoreless ninth and collected a strikeout.
With the X’s win and a Saltdogs loss, Sioux City is now three games up on Lincoln for the final playoff spot in the west division.