Controversial Calls Foil Explorers Comeback, Monarchs Take 2-0 Lead
Kansas City, KS (9/11/21) — Colin Willis hit two home runs and drove home six RBI while Gabby Guerrero continued his torrid hitting with another three RBI and powered the Kansas City Monarchs to an 11-6 victory over the Sioux City Explorers in game two of the South Division Championship Series to take a 2-0 series lead.
Gabby Guerrero started off the ball game where he left off in game one, He tripled with two out in the bottom of the first to put the Monarchs up 1-0.
Sioux City tied the game on a Mitch Ghelfi two out double in the second which scored Blake Tiberi from first.
The Monarchs however retook the lead almost immediately, as Colin Willis smacked a two run home run to right to pit Kansas City back on top. Guerrero once again delivered with two outs and the bases loaded with a base hit to score a pair and give Kansas City a 5-1 lead.
The loss fell to Sioux City starter Zach Hedges (0-1) who allowed six runs in three and two-third innings as he surrendered nine hits and a walk while striking out seven.
In the fifth the X’s pulled back into the ballgame with a two out rally. Back to back doubles by Seamus Curran and LT Tolbert produced a run, and Nick Franklin homered against his former club to make it a two run ball game, 6-4.
Sioux City had a golden opportunity in the sixth as they loaded the bases with no one out, with the tying run at second and the go ahead run at third. But Carlos Diaz (1-0) kept Sioux City off the scoreboard by striking out the side. Diaz ended up going an inning and a third in relief with three strikeouts and two walks.
The game turned on its head in the sixth as Kansas City was able to load the bases after having two outs and no one on. Once again it was Willis who hit a game-altering grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the sixth to push Kansas City well ahead 10-4.
Willis hit two home runs and drove home six RBI. He hit five homers against the Explorers in the regular season.
Both teams traded a few solo home runs with Mitch Ghelfi and Seamus Curran smacking home runs for the X’s and Darnell Sweeney adding one for the Monarchs.
Trailing the best of five series by a pair of games the Explorers now return home to face the Monarchs in game three with games four and five also taking place in Sioux City if necessary.
by Connor Ryan, Sioux City Explorers