By CALEB GRIZZLE
Kansas City Monarchs
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Ernie De La Trinidad was perfect from the plate for the Kane County Cougars (36-36) on Thursday night.
De La Trinidad’s six-for-six performance at the plate with a home run, two doubles, and five RBI secured the series win against the Kansas City Monarchs (46-25). Kansas City fell to Kane County with a final score of 12-6.
The Cougars offense started fast in the first frame, with a leadoff home run from Ernie De La Trinidad over the right field wall to secure a 1-0 lead. Jon Harris received the start for Kansas City and settled down after surrendering a solo home run. Harris allowed only one hit the rest of the inning, striking out one along the way to hold the Cougars to one run. The Monarchs offense responded in the bottom of the first by capitalizing on two, two-out walks from starting pitcher Westin Muir. With David Thompson and Matt Adams both on base after drawing walks, Casey Gillaspie brought them both home with an RBI double to right center field. The Monarchs offense was not done yet, with J.C Escarra picking up an RBI single to right field and scoring Casey Gillaspie. Kansas City threatened again as Escarra reached second base on an error, but Muir escaped the inning with the Cougars only trailing by two runs.
In the second inning, the newest Monarch and Overland Park, KS native, Caeden Harris, made his mark on the game with a difficult catch against the wall in left field to prevent an extra base hit. Kane County did not wait long to cut into the Monarchs lead. A single from Galli Cribbs Jr. set up De La Trinidad for a double and his second RBI of the night, cutting the lead to one run. The Cougars tied it up with an RBI single from Alexis Pantoja, ending the inning with the score all tied up at 3-3. Caeden Harris picked up his first hit as a Monarch in the bottom of the second inning, but the other Monarch bats went quiet, as Muir held them scoreless behind a 4-6-3 double play.
Kane County’s offense picked back up in the third inning with a leadoff double to left center from Jimmy Kerrigan. The Cougars wasted no time bringing Kerrigan home with a Dylan Busby home run over the right field wall. Kane County threatened with two runners on base, but Frank Rubio replaced Jon Harris, who left due to injury, to end the inning and hold the deficit to two runs. Kansas City again went quietly on offense in the bottom of the third, as Muir retired three of four Monarchs, allowing no hits and no runs.
In the top of the fourth, Frank Rubio worked to settle in on the mound quickly, allowing three hits but no runs courtesy of a 6-3 double play. Westin Muir once again slowed the Monarchs offense, this time by retiring Kansas in order to hold the score at 5-3.
Jordan Martinson entered from the Swope Health bullpen to replace Frank Rubio. With Martinson on the mound in the fifth inning, the Cougars struck out three times and put three more runs on the board. The Cougars led 8-3 heading into the home half of the fifth. Muir’s last inning of work came in the fifth inning as he retired three of four Monarchs to end his outing with four hits allowed, three earned runs, and two strikeouts.
The Monarchs once again called upon the bullpen with Brian Glowicki entering for Kansas City. Glowicki allowed two runs in his inning of work following an RBI double from Ernie De La Trinidad with the bases loaded, his fourth and fifth RBIs of the night. The Cougars extended their lead to 10-3 heading into the bottom of the sixth. Jack Anderson replaced Westin Muir on the mound for Kane County. With Anderson on the mound, the Monarchs were loaded the bases with a single from J.C. Escarra, a walk drawn by Ryan Grotjohn, and a single from Alexis Olmeda. With the bases loaded and no outs, the Monarchs added two before the inning came to a close with an RBI walk from Harris and an RBI single from Kevin Santa. The Monarchs trailed 10-5, stranding three runners on base in the inning.
Kansas City secured its first one, two, three inning after Brandon Koch entered on the mound in the seventh inning, retiring the Cougars in order. The Monarchs added one more run in the seventh inning, this time against Ben Allison. J.C. Escarra’s deep solo blast to right field cut the deficit to only four runs. Kansas City threatened to add another run with a near inside-the-park home run from Ryan Grotjohn who was thrown out at home.
In the eighth, Koch faced only three Kane County batters, walking one, allowing no hits or runs on his way to another scoreless inning of work. Allison followed suit with his own scoreless inning of work, retiring Kansas City in order striking out one in the inning.
In the final frame, Jacob Lindgren replaced Brandon Koch for Kansas City. Kane County added two more runs after loading the bases with no outs. With the bases loaded, Sherman Johnson reached second base on a fielder’s choice and error by Alexis Olmeda, scoring two runs in the process. The Monarchs trailed 12-6 heading into the bottom of the ninth, down to their final three outs. Ryan Richardson entered to slam the door on any comeback from Kansas City. Richardson needed only 11 pitches to force three fly outs to end the game in one, two, three fashion.
The Monarchs travel to Kane County for game one of a three-game series road trip against the Kane County Cougars Friday nightnat 6:30 p.m. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 6 p.m. and the video stream airing on aabaseball.tv.