In American Association Daily, Robert Pannier recaps an incredible night of baseball in the American Association, as there were just four games, but plenty of excitement. Kansas City Swept a double-header, tossing a no-hitter in the night cap.
Extra Inning Victory, No-Hitter Highlight T-Bones Sweep
The Kansas City T-Bones opened their five-game series with the Texas AirHogs in style, winning a pair of one run games to extend their winning streak to three and move themselves within six games of the South Division leading Sioux City Explorers. Kansas City won the opening game in extra innings before four pitchers combined to no-hit Texas in the 1-0 victory. The no-hitter was the second in franchise history.
In Game 1, neither team was able to score in the first, but Texas would take the lead against Kansas City starter Tommy Collier in the bottom of the second. Correlle Prime led off with a double and moved to third on a base hit by Na Chuang. Casio Grider followed with a base hit that scored Prime and Chuang came home on the ground out to extend the lead to two.
The Kansas City T-Bones responded right away in the top third. Dexter Kjerstad led off by drawing a walk but was erased on double-play. With two down, Mason Davis kept the inning alive with the double and he scored when Dylan Tice followed with a single into right field. After Todd Cunningham reached on a walk, Tice scored on a base hit off the bat of Nick Torres to tie the game at two.
In the fifth, the AirHogs retook the lead. Yang Jin started the inning with a double and scored when Stewart Ijames hit a sacrifice fly two batters later.
The game went to the top of the seventh with Carlos Contreras looking to close it out. However, he gave up a leadoff single to Kjerstad, who moved to second on a sacrifice. That brought Davis back to the plate. A wild pitch allowed the runner to move to third and when the third strike bounced in the dirt and rolled to the backstop, Davis reached first and Kjerstad came home to score.
In the top of the eighth, Kansas City would take their first lead of the game. Zach Walters led off of the single and moved to second on a sacrifice. He came around to score on a single by Kjerstad to give the T-Bones a 4-3 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, Carlos Diaz came on looking to close out the contest. He retired the side in order for his ninth save of the season.
Dexter Kjerstad seemed to be in the center of every scoring play for Kansas City on the night, finishing 2-3 with a run and an RBI. Correlle Prime was 2-4 with a run scored for Texas.
Game 2 was dominated by the Kansas City pitching staff. Francisco Gracesqui would start for the T-Bones against Texas AirHogs righty Sun Jianzeng. Both starters were brilliant through the first four innings as neither team could mount a rally. Gracesqui (2-2) rolled through his four innings of work, allowing 2-walks and no hits.
Jianzeng was equally impressive early on, not giving up his first hit until the fifth. However, that proved to be critical. The Texas starter retired the first batter of the fifth, tossing 4.1-innings of no-hit ball, but Kjerstad proved to be a nemesis to the AirHogs all night, turning on the first pitch for his fourth home run of the season. That would prove to be the only run of the game.
Kevin Hill came on in the fifth for Kansas City and retired all three batters he faced, striking out two. In the sixth, Joe Filomeno came out of the T-Bones bullpen and retired all three batters he faced, striking out one. That brought a call in the seventh for closer Cody Winiarski, who gave up a two-out walk, but got Grider to fly out to end the contest.
The no-hitter was the second that the Kansas City T-Bones have tossed in the last two seasons as Matt Sergey no-hit Texas almost exactly one year ago (July 28). Kjerstad had another hot game, going 2-3 with a run and an RBI.
Tyler Kane Holds Down Saltdogs
Tyler Kane returned to the form that Wichita Wingnuts fans were used to in 2017, holding the Lincoln Saltdogs to 2-hits in 6-innings to help him earn his first victory of the season since returning from Mexico. The score was tied at two until the fifth when Wichita would take the lead for good. Logan Watkins tripled to start the inning and scored on a base hit by Zach Nehrir, who would later come around to score on a single by John Nester. Kane came out after six, striking out seven. Daniel Tillman came on in the ninth and struck out the side for his 12th save of the season. The victory gave Wichita victories in two of the three games in the series with Lincoln.
Leobaldo Pina Drives in 5 to Send RedHawks Soaring over Goldeyes, 9-4
The struggling Winnipeg Goldeyes took it on the chin Thursday night as Leobaldo Pina helped lead the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks to a 9-4 victory. The third baseman had 4-hits and drove in five. Winnipeg scored four in the top of the first and looked like they were going to blow this game open early, but the RedHawks responded with a pair of runs in each of the first three innings. Pina drove in two in the first with a single. With the game tied in the third, Chris Jacobs and Yhoxian Medina each drove in a run to give Fargo-Moorhead the lead. Up by two the sixth, Pina cleared the bases with a three run triple. Trey McNutt (2-4) earned the victory.
By Robert Pannier