Zach Walters Homers Twice, T-Bones Down Dogs 8-4

Zach Walters Homers Twice, T-Bones Down Dogs 8-4In American Association Daily, Robert Pannier recaps the exciting games around the American Association from Friday, including the Kansas City T-Bones ruining the Chicago Dogs opener with six runs in the ninth and Eddie Medina tossing seven shutout innings as the St. Paul Saints won their sixth straight. 

Six Run Ninth Downs Dogs

It was a festive night in Rosemount, IL, as the Chicago Dogs were playing their first game in Impact Field. The Dogs were winning 4-2 heading into the ninth, but a six run frame vaulted the Kansas City T-Bones to the victory before a stunned crowd of 6,317. Zach Walters homered twice in the game and the T-Bones hit three homers in all.

The Kansas City T-Bones jumped out in front, scoring a run in the top of the first against Chicago starter Scott Barnes. With one down, Dylan Tice hit his first home run of the season to make it 1-0.

The T-Bones would extend their lead two in the fifth. Tyson Perez retired the first two batters of the inning, but Walters would extend the lead with his first home run of the season.

Chicago responded right away in the bottom of the fifth. Wilfredo Rodriguez and Trey Vavra were both hit by a pitch with one down, and Matt Dean then walked to load the bases. That brought Kyle Gaedele to the plate, who was also hit by a pitch as Luis Paula suddenly lost command of his pitches after pitching so beautifully through the first four innings. Edwin Arroyo singled to score Vavra and Michael Baca followed with a base hit that plated two and the Chicago Dogs were up 4-2.

Zach Walters: 2-5, 2-HR, 4-RBI

From there, the Dogs bullpen did a great job of containing the T-Bones bats. Mark Wagner, Rich Mascheri, and Taylor Grover each tossed a scoreless frame setting up the dramatic ninth-inning.

With Chicago leading by two, Manager Butch Hobson turned to closer Kaohi Downing. He hit Dexter Kjerstad to start the inning, and Jordan Edgerton moved Kjerstad to third with a single two batters later. That brought Angel Rosa to the plate, who clubbed his first home run of the season, a three run blast that put Kansas City back on top. Downing got Keith Curcio to fly out, and it looked like he may escape the frame without any further damage, but Johnny Davis singled before Tice was hit by a pitch, bringing Walters back to the plate. He took the first pitch from Downing deep for his second home run of the game to make it 8-4.

In the bottom of the ninth, Kansas City turned to Carlos Diaz to finish off the contest. He gave up a one-out walk, but struck out Gaedele on three pitches to finish off the game, as the Kansas City T-Bones earned their third straight victory.

Zach Walters finished 2-5 with 2-runs, 2-home runs, and 4-RBI. Dylan Tice was 1-3 with 2-runs scored, a homer, and an RBI. Pasquale Mazzoccoli earned his first win of the season.


Reggie Abercrombie: 3-5, HR, 5-RBI

Reggie Abercrombie Drives In 5, Goldeyes Crush Canaries, 13-1

After dropping their first two games of the season, the Winnipeg Goldeyes find themselves on a roll, winning their fifth straight contest, 13-1.  The Goldeyes pounded the Sioux Falls Canaries behind 16 hits and two home runs. Rinaldo Rodriguez had 4-hits and scored 3-runs and Reggie Abercrombie continues to defy time, recording 3-hits while driving in 5. After a scoreless first inning, Winnipeg jumped out in front with seven in the second. Six different players drove in runs in the frame, including Abercrombie, who delivered a two run single. In the fourth, David Bergin blasted a three run homer and Abercrombie added three run shot of his own an inning later. That was plenty enough run support for Kevin McGovern, who won his first contest of the season, scattering 4-hits over 8-innings.


Jay Baum: 2-RBI

Sioux City Explorers Clip Railroaders, 3-2

The Sioux City Explorers proved on Friday night that they don’t need to outslug teams to earn victories, downing the Cleburne Railroaders, 3-2. The Explorers jumped out to a two run lead in the bottom of the first inning against Cleburne starter Patrick Young. Michael Lang singled with one out and moved to second on a walk to Jay Austin. Nate Samson followed with a double that brought home Lang and Austin scored on a sacrifice fly from Jay Baum. The Railroaders were not able to get anything going against Sioux City starter Keith Picht through the first four frames, but would tie the score in the top of the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Axel Johson and an error that drove home Michael Pair. It stayed tied into the bottom of the eighth when Austin scored on a single from Baum to make it 3-2. In the ninth, Cleburne loaded the bases on two walks and a hit by pitch, but Ryan Flores was able to record the final out for his second save of the season. Baum drove in two of the Explorers three runs.


Keury De La Cruz: 4-5, 2-R, 3-RBI

Keury De La Cruz Leads RedHawks to Victory, 5-3

It was the homer opener for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, who would not disappoint the crowd of over 4000, downing the Lincoln Saltdogs, 5-3. Keury De La Cruz led the way for the RedHawks with 4-hits and 3-RBI as Fargo-Moorhead scored single runs in the seventh and eighth to earn the victory. Each team scored a run in the first, but Lincoln would take the lead again in the top of the second on a solo home run by Nathaniel Maggio. The Saltdogs remained on top into the fifth, when De La Cruz and Tommy Mendonca delivered RBI singles to put the RedHawks in front. Lincoln tied the score in the sixth, but an RBI double by Charlie Valerio in the seventh put the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks on top for good. De La Cruz delivered an RBI single in the eighth to make it 5-3.  Randy McCurry earned his third save of the season and Travis Ballew (3-1) earned his fourth decision out of the bullpen already this season. De La Cruz was 4-5 with 2-runs and 3-RBI.


Eddie Medina: W (1-0), 7-IP, 6-H, 0-ER, 4-K

Eddie Medina Blanks RailCats, Saints Win Sixth Straight

The St. Paul Saints won their sixth straight game Friday night, as Eddie Medina blanked the Gary Southshore RailCats through seven innings in the 5-0 victory. Medina, making his second start for St. Paul since joining the team the off-season, allowed two hits in the first and sixth innings but induced double plays to get out of danger in both frames. Meanwhile, single runs in the first, fifth, and sixth and a two run single by Dante Bichette, Jr. in the fourth staked the St. Paul starter to a 5-0 lead, and he and two relievers made it stand, recording the first shutout of the season for St. Paul.


Jordan Cooper: W (1-0), 7-IP, 3-H, ER, 4-K

Jordan Cooper Tosses Gem to End Winguts Skid, 4-1

The Wichita Wingnuts entered their contest verse to Texas AirHogs as losers of four straight games, but got an outstanding performance from starter Jordan Cooper on their way to a 4-1 victory. Cooper allowed 3-hits over 7-innings of work, only allowing one run. Wichita led after one inning, 2-0, thanks to an RBI sacrifice fly by Tony Thomas and an RBI single by Zach Nehrir. Texas cut the lead in half in the third, but a sacrifice fly by Leo Vargas in the fourth extended the lead back to two. The Wingnuts added an insurance run in the eighth on Abel Nieves’ first home run of the season, and closer Daniel Tillman shook off two bad outings by striking out the side in the ninth for his first save of the season.


By Robert Pannier

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