In American Association Daily, Robert Pannier recaps five exciting American Association games from Tuesday evening, including the Kansas City T-Bones scoring five in the ninth to down the Sioux City Explorers, and the St. Paul Saints defeating the Texas Airhogs in 11.
T-Bones Rally to Down Explorers, 7-6
The Kansas City T-Bones found themselves trailing 6-2 heading to the ninth inning against the Sioux City Explorers Tuesday night, but mounted an impressive five run rally to down the Explorers 7-6. Adrian Nieto had a two-run single in the frame and Dexter Kjerstad capped off the comeback with a three-run homer to give the T-Bones their sixth win in the last seven games.
Sioux City would take the lead in the bottom of the first. Luis Durango led off with a single and Michael Lang followed with a slow roller near the mound. Hunter Adkins fielded the ball, but his throw to first was wild. Both runners moved into scoring position and scored when Nate Samson singled two batters later. That made it 2-0.
In the fourth, the lead became four. Jose Sermo singled to start the frame and Dexture McCall and Dylan Kelly drew back-to-back walks to load the bases with no one out. Daniel Jackson sent Sermo home with a sacrifice fly and McCall came home on a fielder’s choice by Durango to make it 4-0.
In the bottom of the fifth, Lang was hit by a pitch and then stole second. He scored on a single by Samson, the third RBI by the Explorers shortstop, to make it 5-0.
Meanwhile, Taylor Jordan was dominating the T-Bones. The Sioux City starter retired 18 of the first 19 batters he faced, with Zach Walters leadoff single in the second being the only base runner he allowed.
In the seventh, Kansas City finally got on the board. With one down, Dylan Tice reached on an error and he moved to second on a Walters second hit of the game. Nick Torres followed with a double into the gap in center, bringing Tice home and Walters scored on a single by Cal Towey. Torres looked to score on the play, but a great throw from Lang nailed him at the plate to end the inning.
Sioux City would extend their lead back to four in the bottom of the eighth. With one down, Jose Sermo crushed his first homer of the season to make it 7-6.
Jordan came out of the game after eight, yielding 5-hits and one earned run. He struck out 4.
The Explorers turned to closer Geoff Broussard, but he found himself in trouble right off. Tice led off with a double and Torres and Towey would reach on back-to-back walks to load the bases with one down. That brought Adrian Nieto to the plate, who singled to left, scoring both Tice and Torres to cut the deficit to two.
Tyler Fallwell took over for Broussard and struck out Angel Rosa for the second out of the inning. That made Dexter Kjerstad the last hope for the Kansas City T-Bones and he proved to be the savior the team was looking for. On a 1-1 pitch, he drilled a three-run homer that put Kansas City ahead, 7-6.
In the bottom of the inning, Francisco Gracesqui came on looking to close it out. He issued a two-out walk to Samson, but retired the final batter for his second save of the season.
Zach Walters finished 2-4 with a run and an RBI. Dexter Kjerstad was 1-3 with a run, 3-RBI and his game-winning homer. Nate Samson was 2-4 with 3-RBI for Sioux City and Jose Sermo was 3-4 with 2-runs and an RBI.
Dogs Woes Continue, RailCats Win 6-3
The struggling Chicago Dogs saw their losing streak reach eight games on Tuesday, falling to the Gary Southshore RailCats, 6-3. The sixth inning proved to be the deciding frame. Trailing by one, Chicago got a run scoring double from Trey Vavra and an RBI single from Craig Maddox to take a 2-1 lead. However, Gary Southshore responded with four runs in the bottom of the frame and never looked back. D.K. Carey had the big blow of the inning, a three-run double to make it 5-2. Lars Liguori (1-0) earned the victory with three outstanding innings of relief and Gabe Perez recorded his second save of the season.
Four-Run Seventh Gives Canaries 5-3 Victory Over RedHawks
In the battle of the birds, the Sioux Falls Canaries would be victorious on Tuesday night, thanks to a four-run seventh that helped the team down the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, 5-3. The RedHawks led 2-1 heading into the decisive frame. Pete Perez came on to pitch for Fargo-Moorhead and retired the first two batters, but Jabari Henry kept the inning alive with a double and he moved to third on a single by Chris Grayson. Travis Ballew took over and gave up a two run double to Chris Jacobs. After a walk to Aaron Gretz, Burt Reynolds blasted a double of his own, bringing home both runners to make it 5-2. James Jones closed it out for his third save of the season. Joe Bircher earned his first victory of the season with eight outstanding innings.
Grant Heyman Helps Goldeyes Rally to Down Saltdogs, 6-4
After giving up three runs in the second, the Winnipeg Goldeyes found themselves trailing by two to the Lincoln Saltdogs. However, five unanswered runs helped Winnipeg to rally, led by Grant Heyman, who drove in two while hitting his third homer of the year in the 6-4 victory. Trailing 3-1, Winnipeg tied the score with two runs in the fourth. Josh Mazzola gave his team the lead with a sacrifice fly in the sixth, and Heyman drilled a two-run shot an inning later to make it 6-3. Victor Capellan came on in the ninth and recorded his fifth save of the season. Heyman finished 2-4 with 2-runs, a homer and 2-RBI for Winnipeg.
Saints Staff Blanks AirHogs in 3-0 Victory
It took 11 innings on Tuesday night, but the St. Paul Saints were finally able to earn the victory with three-runs in the second extra frame to down the Texas AirHogs, 3-0. That capped off a masterful pitcher’s duel that saw three Saints pitchers toss 11 shutout innings. Matt Solter started for St. Paul and gave seven fantastic innings, allowing 4-hits while striking out 7. Mike Devine tossed two shutout frames, and Beck Wheeler tossed two scoreless innings of his own. The AirHogs Miguel Rosario was even better, no-hitting the Saints through the first five innings and finishing with one hit allowed through seven. St. Paul would finally win it in the 11th on an RBI single by Dante Bichette, Jr. and a two-run single by Justin O’Conner.
By Robert Pannier