Monarchs lead 1-0 in finals series

The Monarchs’ Matt Hall was the winning pitcher of the first game of the American Association Finals series on Friday night in Fargo, North Dakota. Hall struck out seven batters Friday. (Photo from Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks)
The Monarchs’ Gaby Guerrero batted on Friday night in the American Association Finals series in Fargo, North Dakota. Guerrero had three hits Friday. (Photo from Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks)

by Kaitlyn Sanders, Kansas City Monarchs

The Kansas City Monarchs did not know 24 hours ago who they would face in the American Association Finals Friday night. That short notice did not hurt the Monarchs as they won game one 8-4 away at Newman Outdoor Field against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.

The scoring started early as Ryan Grotjohn shot a two-run home run, bringing in Morgan McCullough, who had reached first base on a walk.

Darnell Sweeney then launched a solo home run, giving the Monarchs their third run of the inning. The Monarchs have scored in the first inning of their previous three playoff games this post season.

The RedHawks grabbed two runs on an RBI single and fielder’s choice, courtesy of Leobaldo Pina and Dylan Kelly, cutting into the Monarchs lead 3-2.

The second and third innings were scoreless for the Monarchs, but a double from Dylan Kelly brought in his second and third RBI of the night, and the RedHawks took the lead for the first time, 4-3, heading into the fourth. It was the first post-season deficit KC had faced this season.

The fifth was another multi-run inning for the Monarchs with an RBI double from Colin Willis and an RBI single from Casey Gillaspie, who scored a run off another wild pitch, taking back the lead, 6-4.

The Monarchs produced back-to-back scoring innings as Grotjohn ran in off a wild pitch before a sacrifice fly from Gillaspie brought the score to 8-4 going into the seventh.

Starting left-handed pitcher Matt Hall went six innings, giving up seven hits, four runs and getting seven strikeouts. Right-handed pitcher Jeremy Rhoades went two innings, allowing no hits but striking out four. Right-hander Jameson McGrane pitched the ninth, allowing one hit, no runs and two strikeouts.

Game two of the championship series will continue at 6:30 p.m.Saturday in Fargo. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pregame beginning at 6 p.m. and the video stream airing on aabaseball.tv.

The Monarchs are set to host games three through five (if necessary) Monday Sept. 20, 21 and 22 at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas.

Tickets to all Monarchs post season games can be purchased by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting monarchsbaseball.com.

Monarchs’ president named executive of year

The Kansas City Monarchs have had one incredible year on the field and off, adding another accomplishment to “Reign Reborn” as the American Association has named Monarchs president and general manager, Jay Hinrichs, the league’s executive of the year.

“This is certainly the definition of a team award – it belongs to our associates and interns, media team, the ballclub, our manager and coaches along with our third-party support organizations and event staff. I could not be more proud of this organization or grateful for the opportunity to be part of the team. I also appreciate all the help and guidance from the American Association leadership and the general managers across the league, especially during this inaugural year of the Monarchs,” Hinrichs said.

Hinrichs took over the Monarchs’ day-to-day operations on Sept. 23, 2020, after the team did not play because of the global pandemic during the 2020 season. The franchise then re-branded as the Monarchs in January of 2021, and Hinrichs has successfully guided the franchise through the first season under the new name.

The American Association Executive of the Year is voted on by the other league members, Managers, broadcast-media representatives and front office personnel. The Monarchs set numerous on-field records, but the ballpark, communication and hospitality drew rave reviews from visiting teams, broadcasters and fellow executives.

The Monarchs continue their post-season march this Friday in game 1 of the American Association Championship Series against either Fargo-Moorhead or Chicago. It will be an away game for the Monarchs.

Fargo-Moorhead and Chicago will play game five of their North Division Championship Series Thursday night with the teams tied in the series, 2-2.

The Monarchs will return to Legends Field on Monday, Sept. 20, to play games three through five, with game four and five to be played if necessary.

All post-season games can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning 30-minutes prior to first pitch and the video stream airing on aabaseball.tv.

Postseason tickets can be purchased by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting monarchsbaseball.com/tickets.

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Monarchs blast their way into championship series with 14-2 win at Sioux City

KC sweeps South Division playoffs

The Kansas City Monarchs won the South Division championship series in only three games, beating the Sioux City Explorers 14-2 on Monday night.

The Monarchs now will go on to the American Association Championship Series. They will play either the Chicago Dogs or the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, who are 1-1 in the North Division. Monday’s game between the Dogs and RedHawks was rained out.

The Monarchs got enough runs – six—in the first inning to win the game Monday, but they went on to get another six runs in the third and two more when Darnell Sweeney hit a home run in the eighth.

The bases were loaded in the first inning after Ryan Grotjohn walked and two Monarchs players, Sweeney and Casey Gillaspie, were hit by pitches. There were two outs when the first run was scored on a bases-loaded walk to Ibandel Isabel. Another run walked in, then Paulo Orlando hit a single to score two more. Alexis Olmeda hit a double to score the final two runs of the inning.

The Monarchs had 14 runs on 14 hits in the game, while Sioux City had two runs on seven hits.

Justin Donatella, Monarchs pitcher, got the win after six innings and five strikeouts.

The first two games of the American Association Championship Series will be away on Sept. 17 and 18.

Game 3 will be at home on Monday, Sept. 20, in Kansas City, Kansas. If needed, Game 4 will be at home on Tuesday, Sept. 21. Game 5, if needed, is scheduled Wednesday, Sept. 22.

Tickets to Monarchs home championship games are online at https://monarchsbaseball.com/postseason-2021/.