Sioux Falls wins third game, 16-10

by Jaxson Webb, Monarchs

The Sioux Falls Canaries (13-27) did not let a 9-1 deficit phase them as they scrapped and clawed their way back to take down the Kansas City Monarchs (26-13) 16-10.

The Canaries were able to rattle off nine unanswered runs throughout the middle innings of Sunday’s series finale. The offense was at its best for the hometown club as they clubbed two grand slams.

The Kansas City Monarchs’ offense scored in the first inning for the fourth game in a row and 18th time for the season.

The Monarchs are now 12-6 when scoring in the first inning. The Kansas City offense could not be stopped until finally failing to scratch a run across in the fifth. Prior to that the Monarchs scored in each of the first four innings.

Joe Calfapietra’s team got on the board in the early going after a Darnell Sweeney walk and Jan Hernandez’s 17th home run of the season (2-0). Sioux Falls responded right away with a home run of their own in the bottom of the first from Trey Michalczewski (2-1).

Kansas City went on a three-inning tear, scoring seven runs to take complete control of the game. The third inning was highlighted by both Matt Adams and Willie Abreu home runs.

The fourth inning got started by a Chad De La Guerra single. The inning continued when J.C. Escarra barreled up an RBI triple, and the inning was capped off with a homer from Darnell Sweeney (9-1).

Monarchs’ starter Jon Harris had a smooth outing until the Canaries bats came to life in the fourth. Sioux Falls put together a four-run inning by being patient at the plate (9-5). Harris surrendered two walks and three hits in the inning which gave the birds some momentum.

Both teams failed to score in the fifth inning, but the tide of the game was turned in the sixth.

The Monarchs closed the book on Jon Harris and brought in right-handed pitcher Justin Donatella. The Canaries’ offense adapted quickly to the pitching change and forced Donatella to exit after just 0.2 innings.
Jordan Martinson came into the game in a tough situation with the bases loaded.

Shamoy Christopher took Martinson’s fifth pitch over the left field wall for a grand slam, and Sioux Falls led 10-9.

The Monarchs did not go away without a fight. Matt Adams stayed disciplined at the plate in the eighth to work a walk with the bases loaded, tying the game back up (10-10), but the struggle from Kansas City’s bullpen continued just a few moments later.

Sioux Falls ran away with the game by producing six runs in the eighth inning. John Nester played hero by belting the second grand slam for the Canaries on the day to ultimately put the game on ice and solidify the unthinkable comeback victory to win the series, 16-10.

The Monarchs will travel home to take on the visiting Cleburne Railroaders in a four-game series starting on Monday.

Kansas City will begin game one at 7 p.m. Monday at home. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 6:35 p.m. and the video stream airing on aa

Tickets to Monarchs games can be purchased by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting

Sweeney shines in Monarchs’ win

by Gabriel Lopez, Monarch

Darnell Sweeney was a double away from the cycle Saturday night at Sioux Falls Stadium in South Dakota.

He finished his night 3-5 with four RBI and helped the Kansas City Monarchs (26-12) beat the Sioux City Explorers (12-27) 8-3.

The Monarchs’ offense got off to a hot start. On the first pitch of the game, Darnell Sweeney belted a solo home run to give the Monarchs a 1-0 lead. Kevin Santa followed this up with a triple. Jan Hernandez stepped up to the plate and mashed his 16th home run of the year, extending the lead to three. Immediately after Hernandez’s at-bat, Casey Gillaspie notched a solo home run. The Monarchs finished their half of the inning with six hits and a 4-0 lead over the Canaries.

Kansas City extended its lead in the third inning. Willie Abreu drove an RBI single to left field to bring in Matt Adams. Later in the inning, Sweeney blasted a bases-clearing triple to score Abreu, Pete Kozma and Alexis Olmeda to give the Monarchs an 8-0 lead.

Lewis Thorpe started on the mound for Kansas City. He retired 11 straight Canaries before Gavin LaValley hit a solo home run in the fourth inning to get Sioux Falls on the scoreboard.

Both teams were quiet until the Canaries scored a pair of runs in the sixth. Wyatt Ulrich led off the inning with a single to center field. Jabari Henry hit an RBI double to score Ulrich and was brought in on an RBI single by John Nester. After six innings of play, Kansas City led 8-3 over Sioux Falls.

Thorpe earned a quality start as he finished his night, allowing three runs while striking out eight batters in six innings of work.

Brock Gilliam relieved Thorpe in the seventh inning. After missing several weeks due to an injury, he didn’t miss a beat. Gilliam struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh. He threw two more scoreless innings and struck out Angelo Altavilla to end the game and earn his first save of the season.

The Monarchs will face off against the Canaries in the rubber match at 1:05 p.m. Sunday in Sioux Falls. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 12:35 p.m. and the video stream airing on aa

Tickets to Monarchs games can be purchased by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting

Monarchs drop series opener to Canaries

by Caleb Grizzle, Monarchs

The Kansas City Monarchs (25-12) couldn’t take flight against the Sioux Falls Canaries (12-26) Friday and fell in a close, 5-4 fashion.

The Monarchs started their Friday night right with some two-out magic in the first frame with a Matt Adams two-run blast to right field, following a Gaby Guerrero single.

Akeem Bostick received the start for Kansas City and produced two scoreless innings before surrendering any runs to the Canaries. The Monarchs turned a much needed 6-4-3 double play in the first to snuff out any early momentum for the Canaries.

Both offenses went quietly in the second with flyouts and a pop out from the Monarchs, and a one, two, three inning from Bostick. Bostick recorded his first strikeout to start the second and retired the next two batters with help from the field.

The Monarchs went scoreless in the third, stranding one in scoring position, leading 2-0 heading into the home half.

The Canaries swooped in and stole the lead in the third inning behind a flurry of runs. Aggressive base-running and a leadoff single from Nick Gotta sparked the scoring in the third. Following a walk to load the bases, a hard hit grounder to second base forced an errant throw from Darnell Sweeney that led to two runs to tie the game. The Canaries, with only one out, were not done in the inning with three more RBI singles, before the Monarchs could end the inning.

In the fourth, the Monarchs responded quickly with a leadoff single and aggressive base-running of their own. David Thompson’s leadoff single was followed up by patience at the plate from Jan Hernandez. With two on and no outs the Monarchs executed a double steal during a strikeout. Pete Kozma delivered with an RBI single bringing home the All-Star starters, Thompson and Hernandez. Bostick settled down after the five-run third inning, with a one, two, three frame in the bottom of the fourth. Bostick needed only nine pitches to retire the side.

The fifth inning was scoreless for both teams even as the Canaries threatened, with runners in scoring position, to try and extend their one run lead.

In the sixth, the Monarchs were retired in one, two, three fashion by the Canaries’ reliever Mitchell Walters. Bostick recorded two outs in the bottom of the sixth before Kansas City turned the ball over to Brandon Koch to hold the Canaries at bay in the sixth.

In the top of the seventh, the Monarchs nearly tied it following a one-out double from J.C. Escarra but were unable to bring him home after a warning track flyout from Willie Abreu. Escarra tagged to third base, but after some nifty fielding from the Canaries, they closed the door on the Monarchs comeback attempt in the seventh.

In the home half of the seventh, Koch continued to work in the seventh inning, allowing no runs, one hit and securing one strikeout to continue to hold the Canaries close heading into the final frames.

In the eighth, the Monarchs were shut down and held scoreless after the Canaries called upon their bullpen to bring in Matthew Dunaway. Dunaway retired the Monarchs in order and recorded one strikeout.

The Monarchs relied on Frank Rubio to replace Brandon Koch to hold the Canaries scoreless and provide them one final shot at stealing game one of their the three-game series.

The Canaries’ Riley Ferrell struck out the first batter he faced in the top of the ninth and retired the next two batters he faced to secure his sixth save and slam the door on the Monarchs.

The Monarchs will continue their road trip with game two of three against the Sioux Falls Canaries at 6:05 p.m. Saturday, June 25. The away game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 5:35 p.m. and the video stream airing on

Tickets to Monarchs games can be purchased by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting