Milkmen Walk-Off Dogs, Explorers Rout Monarchs
American Association Daily provides insights, features, and recaps of the action from around the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions. In today’s edition, Rob Pannier recaps the two Game 1s in the second round of the American Association playoffs, including the Milwaukee Milkmen walking-off the Chicago Dogs on a two-run pinch-hit single by Drew Ward in the bottom of the ninth, and the Sioux City Explorers routed the Kansas City Monarchs.
Game Recaps for Monday
Ward Pinch-Hit Gives Milkmen Walk-Off Victory
He has had a disappointing season offensively and spent most of Monday’s game on the bench, but Drew Ward is one of the most professional hitters one will find and he proved that, delivering a two-run, pinch-hit single in the bottom of the ninth to give the Milwaukee Milkmen a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Dogs. Juan Echevarria earned the victory, tossing 1.2 innings of scoreless relief, and Brian Schlitter blew the save, taking the loss.
Milwaukee took a one-run lead in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by Michael Crouse. Chicago responded right away as Cody Bohanek hit a two-run homer in the top of the second to put the Dogs on top. An inning later, the Dogs extended the lead to two on a solo homer by Payton Eeles. Joe Wieland was solid through five, holding the Milkmen to one run, but Milwaukee began to rally in the sixth. A hit by pitch, a single, and a walk loaded the bases with one down. Gabriel Cancel followed with a single to pull Milwaukee within one, but Wieland got Miguel Gomez to ground into the double-play to end the threat.
Jake Newberry and Joe Cavallaro each tossed a scoreless frame to help hold the lead, sending the game to the ninth. Schlitter came on and retired the first batter of the inning, but then walked Cancel. Next up was Gomez, who dropped a bloop single into shallow right-center field to put two on. A groundout moved both runners into scoring position for Ward, who worked the count full before singling into left field, driving home the tying and winning runs.
Ryan Zimmerman started for the Milkmen and pitched well, allowing three runs in 6.1 innings. He struck out 10. Wieland allowed three runs in six innings for the Dogs. Bohanek and Eeles each had two hits for Chicago.
Drury Hurls Explorers to Game 1 Victory
Austin Drury allowed one run in 5.2 innings to lead the Sioux City Explorers to an 8-1 victory over the Kansas City Monarchs. Drury allowed two hits and three walks while striking out eight. The bullpen did the rest, as four relievers combined to toss 3.1 scoreless frames. Zac Grotz took the loss for the Monarchs.
Both teams came away with a run in the first. Drury retired the first two batters of the inning, but gave up a walk to both Chris Herrmann and Micker Adolfo. Brian O’Grady followed with a double that brought home Herrmann, but Drury struck out Taylor Snyder to end the threat. Grotz retired the first two batters in the bottom of the first, then gave up a single to John Nogowski and a walk to Matt Lloyd that put two on. Wilfredo Gimenez followed with a single that allowed Nogowski to score when Snyder’s throw went wild.
The game remained tied through the first four innings, but Sioux City took charge, scoring single runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, then adding four in the eighth to seal the victory. Scott Ota put his team on top for good in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI single and Gimenez scored on an RBI groundout by Chase Harris in the sixth. Three singles in the seventh loaded the bases before a wild pitch brought home Ota.
The first three batters of the eighth reached on back-to-back-to back-singles, with Harris scoring on a Daniel Lingua single. Ota followed with the fourth straight single, plating Delvin Zinn. A single by Nogowski loaded the bases. Two batters later, Gimenez singled up the middle, scoring two more to make it 8-1.
Gimenez finished with four hits and drove in two runs. Harris had two hits, scored twice, and had an RBI. Ota and Nogowski each had three hits. Ota scored twice and drove in two. Sioux City recorded 17 hits. O’Grady had two hits for the Monarchs.
Three Stars of the Night
No. 3 – Drew Ward (Milwaukee Milkmen) 1-1, 2 RBI
No. 2 – Scott Ota (Sioux City Explorers) 3-5, 2 R, 2 RBI,
No. 1 – Wilfredo Gimenez (Sioux City Explorers) 4-5, R, 2 RBI
American Association Daily Notes
The Kansas City Monarchs pitching staff gave up 13 total hits in the two games against the Sioux Falls Canaries, but gave up 17 to Sioux City on Monday.
American Association Articles on Minor League Sports Report
By Robert Pannier