In American Association Daily, Robert Pannier recaps tan exciting Memorial Day in American Association baseball, including the Sioux City Explorers and the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks winning in walk-off fashion, and the Wichita Wingnuts and Cleburne Railroaders locked in a great pitcher’s duel.
Explorers Win in Walk-Off Fashion
The red-hot Kansas City T-Bones took their five-game winning streak to Iowa on Monday night to take on the Sioux City Explorers. Kansas City found themselves trailing 4-1 through five only to battle back to take the lead before Sioux City was able to tie it in the eighth. That sent the game to extra innings where an error allowed the winning run to come home, giving Sioux City the walk-off victory, 7-6. Jay Austin led the way for the Explorers with 2-hits, including his first home run of the season.
Neither team would get on the board through the first three innings, but Kansas City would take the lead in the top of the fourth. Nick Torres led off with a base hit and moved to second on a walk to Cal Towey. Two batters later, Adrian Nieto walked to load the bases and Torres scored on a sacrifice fly by Angel Rosa to make it 1-0.
The Explorers responded with three in the bottom half of the inning. Michael Lang walked with one down and moved to second on a base hit by Jay Austin. Nate Samson followed with a sharply hit ball into left that scored Lang to tie the game. Austin raced hard for third, sliding in safely as Samson raced for second. The third baseman attempted to throw out Samson, but his throw was wild, going into right field. That allowed Austin to easily score as the runner from second moved to third. The right fielder threw to third but the ball went into the dugout, allowing Samson to score to make it 3-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, Sioux City extended their lead. Dexture McCall started the frame with a base hit and scored when Daniel Jackson doubled two batters later. That made it 4-1.
Kansas City would tie the score in their next at bat. Torres started the frame with a single and moved to second on a single by Towey. Jordan Edgerton loaded the bases on a base hit of his own before Nieto delivered the fourth straight hit to score Torres.
That would be it for James Dykstra, as Eric Karch came on. The bases were loaded with no one out and he drove in a run by walking Rosa. A fielder’s choice by Johnny Davis brought home Edgerton to tie the score at four. However, Karch settled down to retire the next two batters without any further damage.
The T-Bones then put up single runs in each of the next two frames to take the lead. In the top of the seventh, Zach Walter started the inning with a base hit and moved to second on walk to Towey two batters later. With two down, Nieto delivered a clutch single to center that scored Walters to put Kansas City on top.
An inning later, Davis singled and Keith Curcio drew a walk to start the inning. Both runners moved up on a sacrifice and Torres plated Davis with a two-out hit to extend the lead to two.
The Sioux City Explorers responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning. Sam Street came on in relief and retired the first batter of the inning, but Lang singled before Austin clubbed a 2-0 pitch for his first home run of the season. That tied the score at six.
With the score tied in regulation, the game went to extra innings. Patrick Schuster (1-0) tossed a perfect top of the 10th giving his team a chance for victory in the bottom half. Carlos Diaz came on in relief for Kansas City and was greeted by a single by Luis Durango. Durango then stole second and moved to third on an error by the first baseman. That brought Samson to the plate who popped the ball up. Both Torres and Edgerton converged on the ball, running into each other as the ball dropped between them. Durango easily scored with the winning run giving the Sioux City Explorers the 7-6 victory.
Jay Austin finished 2-5 with 2-runs, a homer, and 2-RBI. Nick Torres was 3-5 with 2-runs and an RBI for Kansas City.
Chase Simpson Homers Twice to Help Power Saltdogs to 14-6 Victory
On Monday night, the Lincoln Saltdogs got at least one-run and one-hit from every player in their lineup on their way to a 14-6 victory over the Winnipeg Goldeyes. Lincoln hit four home runs on the evening, including two by Chase Simpson. Simpson and Christian Ibarra each drove in four runs in the contest, and the Saltdogs used an eight-run seventh to seal the victory. The Saltdogs lead 6-1 heading into the seventh when they would add eight runs on the board, which all came courtesy of the longball. Nathaniel Maggio led off the inning with his second home run of the season. Four batters later, Ibarra hit a grand slam, and three batters later Simpson hit his second home run of the game, a three-run shot, to extend the lead to 14-1. Simpson finished 2-5 with 2-runs, 2-homers, and 4-RBI.
Brady Shoemaker Leads Saints Comeback, 11-6
The St. Paul Saints found themselves trailing 6-2 heading to the top of the fifth as the Texas AirHogs were looking like they were going to snap their seven game losing streak. However, nine unanswered runs, including six in the ninth, helped to propel the Saints to the 11-6 victory. Brady Shoemaker led the way with 4-hits, including his first home run of the season, as the Saints scored three in the fifth and six in the ninth to snap a two game losing streak. Dante Bichette, Jr. had the big hit in the ninth, a two run single that put St. Paul on top and Kes Carter added a two run double to extend the lead to four. Carter had two doubles in the game and drove in three runs.
Travis Banwart Blanks Railroaders, Wingnuts Win 1-0
On a day where 3,100 fans came to see Rafael Palmeiro make his first road appearance of the season, it was Wichita Wingnuts starter Travis Banwart who was the star of the show, blanking the Cleburne Railroaders through 7-innings in the 1-0 Wichita victory. The only run of the contest came in the bottom of the first when Tony Thomas grounded a single the other way, scoring Logan Watkins. Banwart and Cleburne starter Jared Mortensen took it from there. Banwart (2-1) allowed 4-hits in his 7-innings of work, striking out 7. Felix Carvallo tossed a scoreless eighth and James Campbell earned his first save of the season with a perfect ninth-inning. Mortensen tossed the first complete game in the American Association this season, giving up just one hit over his final seven innings of work, but taking the hardluck loss.
Alex Gunn, RailCats Continue Dogs Woes
Dogs vs. Cats always seems to favor the dogs, but not on this night as Gary Southshore RailCats starter Alex Gunn tossed six outstanding innings to help continue the Chicago Dogs woes, as Gary won, 4-2. The RailCats took the lead in the bottom of the first when Alex Crosby led off with a walk, stole second and third, and scored on a Mitch Glasser ground out. Chicago tied the score in the top of the fourth, but Gary came back with two runs in the bottom half of the inning to retake the lead and never looked back. Gunn allowed 5-hits and an unearned run in 6-innings of work. Andy Paz finished 3-3 with a run and an RBI for the RailCats.
Brennen Metzger Gives Farg0-Moorhead Walk-Off Victory
The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks earned their sixth victory of the season on Monday night, thanks to a one out, walk-off hit by Brennan Metzger that gave the RedHawks the 3-2 victory over the Sioux Falls Canaries. With the score tied at two heading into the bottom of the ninth, Maikol Gonzalez walked with one out and moved to second on a single by Devan Ahart. That brought Metzger to the plate, who drilled the first pitch he saw for a base hit, driving Gonzalez home with the winning run. Randy McCurry (1-0) earned the victory with a perfect inning of relief.
By Robert Pannier