By KAITLYN SANDERS
Kansas City Monarchs
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — On a night when the Kansas City Monarchs celebrated their 2021 championship, there were no fireworks from the reigning champs to start the season in a 2-0 loss to the Sioux City Explorers.
It was a quiet opening day of the 2022 season for the Monarchs, as the Sioux City Explorers (1-0) were the only ones on the board. The Xs scored their first run in the fourth with Nate Samson sneaking by Alexis Olmeda at home plate on a double by Sebastian Zawada to the left field corner.
The Monarchs had their chances but left nine on base as Kansas City (0-1) had three runners reach third base in multiple innings but could not bring them around.
The Explorers doubled their lead in the eighth inning as Nick Franklin hit a home run to right field off Monarchs reliever Nick Belzer, to buy an insurance run, making it 2-0 in favor of Sioux City.
Returning Monarch’s LHP Matt Hall (0-1) started on the mound notching six strikeouts in five innings pitched, surrendering three hits and one run in a hard luck loss. Kevin McCanna (1-0) was outstanding as well for Sioux City, tossing five scoreless innings and allowing three hits with three walks and four strikeouts while picking up the win.
The two clubs will play game two of the series Saturday night with RHP Tyler Beardsley taking the hill for Sioux City while RHP Akeem Bostick gets the nod for the Monarchs at Legends Field in KCK. The first pitch is set for 6 p.m. with the gates opening at 4 p.m. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 5:30 p.m. and the video stream airing on aabaseball.tv.