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 baseball.tv.
Tickets to Monarchs games can be purchased by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting monarchsbaseball.com.