Cougars Blank Monarchs as K.C. Drops Third Straight
by Adam Cook, Kansas City Monarchs
Geneva, Ill — The Kane County Cougars (38-36) took the series W against the Kansas City Monarchs (46-27) Saturday night by way of the shutout, securing a 3-0 win. The big three-run fourth inning for the Cougars provided all the offense in this one, as both teams’ bullpens were lights out.
Mallex Smith got the night started off right for the Monarchs, using his blazing speed to muster a leadoff infield single in the first, but the next three batters were retired in order, keeping the top of the first scoreless. Monarchs pitcher Brock Gilliam got the spot start in this one, and continued his dominance from his last time on the bump with a 1-2-3 bottom half.
In the top of the second the Monarchs offense made a little more noise with two walks, eventually putting runners at first and third with one out, but an untimely double play would keep the game tied 0-0. In the bottom half, Jimmy Kerrigan would stay hot and lead the inning off with a single, but Gilliam didn’t let that phase him and retired the next three in order.
The third inning was more of the same for the Monarchs bats, as Caeden Harris led the inning off with a single before the next three went down in order. On the other side of things, Gilliam stayed on top of Kane County with his second 1-2-3 inning in the first three innings.
After the Monarchs bats went 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth, Alexis Pantoja led off the bottom half with a leadoff single, which was followed by a walk, putting two on for Jimmy Kerrigan. Kerrigan would do what Kerrigan does, and delivered for the Cougars with an RBI double, giving Kane County the first lead of the game. Gilliam would then record back-to-back outs, but then back-to-back walks, walking in the second run of the game. B.J. Lopez would then reach on an RBI infield single before the third out, leaving the fourth with a 3-0 lead.
The Monarchs didn’t take this lightly, however. In the top of the fifth, Kansas City loaded the bases with one out with help from a Kevin Santa double and a couple walks, which forced Cougars starting pitcher Koby Bishop from the game for relief pitcher Jack Anderson. Anderson would come in and get the job done, retiring the next twobatters and turning the inning over with no harm done. Gilliam would continue to show signs of fatigue in the bottom half, recording one out before allowing a walk and a single, placing runners at first and second and chasing Gilliam from the game for Jordan Martinson. Martinson would have the same fate as Anderson, as he would retire the next two batters in order and turn the inning over.
Anderson continued to have the number of the Monarchs bats in the sixth, putting up a 1-2-3 inning. Martinson continued the trend of relief pitcher dominance and also retired the side in 1-2-3 style, bringing the game to the seventh with the score still 3-0 Kane County.
Casey Gillaspie led off the top of the seventh with a walk, and then an error allowed Kevin Santa to reach first and Gillaspie to reach second with one out. Unfortunately for the Monarchs, the next two batters would get sat down and KC would continue to be held scoreless. Jacob Lindgren entered on the mound for Kansas City in the beginning of the bottom half and promptly retired the side in four batters.
Ex-Monarch CJ Carter would enter for the Cougars in the top of the eighth. Jacob Robson would begin the inning with a single, but a flyout and double play would end the momentum and the half-inning. Last night’s starting left fielder Brandon Koch would return to his usual role and enter on the mound for the Monarchs in the bottom of the eighth. Koch would alternate baserunners and outs, allowing a walk and a single with outs after each. The fifth batter of the inning would receive a free pass as well, loading the bases for the man who terrorized the Monarchs in the series prior, Ernie De La Trinidad. Koch delivered in the clutch, striking out the red hot bat and leaving the bases loaded.
Ryan Richardson would enter on the mound to in the ninth to stave off the last chance for the Monarchs. David Thompson would lead the inning off with a 5-3 groundout, but J.C. Escarra would drive a double and bring some life to the visitor’s dugout. The momentum would be snuffed, however, as the next two batters would be retired, ending the game with a final score of 3-0 Kane County.
The Monarchs will begin a three-game series against the Sioux City Explorers tomorrow (8/7) at 1:00 p.m. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 12:30 p.m. and the video stream airing on aabaseball.tv.
Tickets to all Monarchs games can be purchased by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting monarchsbaseball.com. For additional information or interview requests, members of the media may contact the Monarchs Media Relations Department at (817) 739-3693. Stay tuned to monarchsbaseball.com. and the Monarchs Facebook and Twitter pages for updates throughout the season.
WP: Jack Anderson (3-2)
LP: Brock Gilliam (5-2)
S: Ryan Richardson (6)