When Zach Walters was signed by the Royals, the Kansas City T-Bones were looking for someone to step up their game to fill the tremendous void in the team’s lineup. Sunday afternoon, they look to have found that catalyst as Chantz Mack homered and drove in all three runs as the T-Bones downed the Salina Stockade, 3-2.
The Stockade took the lead in the top of the first against Kansas City starter Darin Gorski. With one down, Troy Harris was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a wild pitch. Jimmy Heck followed by singling in the center field, moving Paris to the third, before Daniel Aldrich walked. That loaded the bases with just one out. Jordan Caillouet hit a sacrifice fly that drove home Paris, but Salina could not capitalize any further as Gorski struck out Cody Coffman to end the inning.
Connor Bach started for Salina, making his first appearance since blanking Cleburne for five innings which helped the Stockade to snap their 22-game losing streak. Once again, Bach looked brilliant, blanking the T-Bones for the first three innings of the game. However, in the bottom of the fourth Kansas City would finally break through against the left-hander. Marcus Lemon began the inning by doubling into right field before Kevin Keyes drew a walk. With two runners on and no one out, Mack took a 2-2 pitch from the Salina starter and drilled it for a three-run home run, his third of the season.
Now leading 3-1, Kansas City clung to that lead. Gorski came out after the second inning, and five relievers looked to maintain the advantage. They were able to do so until the top of the seventh when Salina would add another run. Roche Woodard led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a fly out. Two batters later, Heck came through again, singling into right field to score Roche to turn this into a one-run game.
In the top of the eighth, Grant Sides came on and pitched a scoreless inning. In the ninth, Cody Winiarski pitched a perfect frame for his fourth save of the season and the Kansas City T-Bones won 3-2. Connor Bach took the loss despite striking out 13 in 6-innings of work.
Chantz Mack finished 1-2 with a run 2-walks, and 3-RBI for Kansas City. Jimmy Heck was 2-4 with an RBI for the Stockade.
The Stockade return to Salina where they will play their first game of the season at home Monday night. They will take on the Wichita Wingnuts in a four-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00.
By Robert Pannier