Sweeny, Willis Help Monarchs Slug Way Past Apollos
Kansas City, Kan. — After taking the first two games of a weekend series, the Monarchs used an explosion from their offense to defeat the Houston Apollos 11-5 and finish off a three-game sweep.
Following a scoreless frame in the top of the first from RHP Jake Matthys, Kansas City (12-10) jump-started its offense in the home half. Darnell Sweeney took the first pitch he saw from Houston starter Alex Merithew and pounded it off the wall in right field for a lead-off double. On the next at-bat, Ryan Grotjohn dribbled a ball up the middle that deflected off Brain Dansereau’s glove and rolled into shallow center field. Sweeney managed to score on a wild throw home and Grotjohn moved all the way to third base on the throwing error. Later in the inning, Gabby Guerrero drove in the second run on a groundout to give the Monarchs a 2-0 lead.
The Apollos (4-20), however, answered back in the top half of the second. Despite scoring six combined runs in the double-header on Saturday, Houston rallied for four runs. David Aldrich rocketed a two-run home run, and Yeiler Peguero doubled home two more to give the Apollos a 4-2 lead.
The back-and-forth matchup was flipped on its head, once again, in the bottom of the third. The Monarchs erased a two-run deficit three batters into the inning, as Grotjohn drove in Sweeney on an RBI-double and Guerrero singled home Grotjohn to knot things up at four. Kansas City, however, didn’t stop there. Colin Willis stroked an opposite field double off the wall in left field to score Guerrero, and the newly acquired Charcer Burks smacked the fourth double of the inning to give the Monarchs the lead, 6-4. Burks came around on a wild pitch — capping off a five-run third inning for Kansas City.
In the bottom of the fifth, the bats made noise again. With two outs, Kevin Santa drove in the eighth run on a hustle double to center field, Sweeney scored two more on his third double of the game, and Guerrero singled to tally the 11th run on an RBI-single.
Back on the mound, Matthys settled into a groove. Aside from his four-run second inning, the right-hander tossed five scoreless innings and qualified for the win. Elroy Urbina, Erik Cha, and Carlos Diaz combined to complete the final three innings and secure the win for the Monarchs.
Kansas City will have an off-day on Monday before continuing its nine-game homestand on Tuesday night against Gary SouthShore. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 6:40 p.m. and the video stream will air on aabaseball.tv. The game will also air on 1510 ESPN Kansas City.
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: Jake Matthys (2-0)
LP: Alex Merithew (1-3)
By Dan Vaughan, Kansas City Monarchs