The Kansas City Monarchs could not hold onto an early lead against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, splitting the second game of the series, 8-4, on Saturday night.
The Monarchs were swinging early, launching two home runs from Casey Gillaspie and Colin Willis in the second inning to grab a 2-0 lead. Dylan Baker held the RedHawks in check through four scoreless innings.
“[Baker] ran out of gas there, I just didn’t want to push him,” manager Joe Calfapietra said. “It was good that he got off to a good start.”
The RedHawks did not respond right away, as the bullpen duo of Brian Ellington and Kevin Lenik held the RedHawks scoreless with back-to-back shutout innings for the Monarchs.
In the seventh inning Fargo-Moorhead produced four runs to take the lead in the ball game. John Silviano reached on an error and Leobaldo Pena drew a walk from Monarchs reliever Jameson McGrane. Alex Boxwell had one of his three hits on the night to drive in the first run for the RedHawks. Sam Dexter then tied the game with an RBI single off McGrane. With two outs, Jordan George hit a clutch double to drive in two more runs and the lead was 4-2 in favor of Fargo.
Playing catch up in the bottom of the seventh, Kansas City cut the lead to 4-3 with a fielder’s choice RBI to first base from Morgan McCullough.
Fargo-Moorhead came right back scoring three runs in the top of the eighth inning. Kevin Krause hit an RBI single driving in one run and another run came home on an error on the throw back to the infield. The RedHawks added another run in the inning and led the game 7-3.
Kansas City picked up a run in the bottom of the eighth but could not get any closer in the game. John Silviano hit a solo homer in the top of the ninth to make it 8-4 in favor of the RedHawks.
Fargo-Moorhead held the Monarchs to three hits as Bret Helton (1-0) picked up the win going six innings while the loss went to McGrane (0-1).
“What’s getting me by surprise is the strikeouts; we’re not making enough contact. The power is there but not putting the ball in play, that doesn’t help, and when you make more errors than base hits, that’s tough to win” Calfapietra said.
The Monarchs will look to claim the series tomorrow afternoon at Legends Field with first pitch set for 1 p.m. Sunday. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 12:35 p.m. and the video stream will air on aabaseball.tv.
Tickets to all Monarchs games can be purchased by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting monarchsbaseball.com.
- Story from Dan Vaughan, Kansas City Monarchs