By CALEB GRIZZLE
Kansas City Monarchs
GARY, Ind. — The Kansas City Monarchs (7-5) won game three of a four series against the Gary SouthShore RailCats (4-8) at U.S. Steel Yard, 6-4 Thursday night.
A 49-minute rain delay produced a sluggish start for both clubs in the first two innings, as each team left runners on base and exchanged unearned runs after a combined four errors in the first two frames. Casey Gillaspie brought in David Thompson with an RBI single to tie the game in the top of the second to erase the early 1-0 deficit.
David Thompson had a masterful night at the plate for the Monarchs. The KC third sacker led off the top of the fourth inning with a solo home run over the left field fence off RailCats starter Harrison Francis to take a 2-1. The Monarchs tacked on another run to close the fourth on a sacrifice fly by J.C. Escarra, 3-1. Thompson followed with a massive shot over the left field fence in the fifth inning for his second solo home run of the night once again off Francis, pushing the Monarchs lead to 4-1.
Akeem Bostick received the start and was in control on the mound. Bostick pitched six strong innings, allowing only one earned run, four hits and dealing six strikeouts. The first through the fourth inning was Bostick’s most dominant stretch, retiring 10 consecutive RailCats at the plate.
However, the RailCats rallied back into the game with a run in the fifth inning to cut the lead to 4-2. Bostick would depart the game in the seventh and the Monarchs would turn to right-hander Brock Gilliam. With one out, the RailCats would load the bases off Gilliam. The pen was summoned again with lefty Jacob Lindgren coming into the game. Lindgren hit M.J. Rookard with a pitch to bring in one run. The RailCats then got a fielder’s choice off the bat of Michael Woodworth, who beat out a double play ball to tie the game at four.
Carlos Vega of the RailCats brought the Monarchs’ offense to a screeching halt, striking out seven batters in only three innings pitched. The Monarchs’ bullpen carried the game into extra innings, shutting down any hopes of a walk-off finish in the bottom of the ninth with two strikeouts from Brandon Koch (1-0).
The teams would go to extra innings the first of the season for both clubs. The American Association new extra inning rules would go into effect with Darnell Sweeney, the last out of the ninth, starting the top of the tenth at second base. Gabby Guerrero would move Sweeney to third on a fielder’s choice for out number one. Matt Adams fielder’s choice scored Sweeney from third as the RailCats could not make the play at the plate in time. The Monarchs added to the lead with Pete Kozma, driving in the insurance run with a single to right to take a two-run lead.
Jameson McGrane slammed the door shut on the RailCats in the bottom of the tenth with three strikeouts to notch his second save, bringing an end to a long night at U.S. Steel Yard with a final score of 6-4.