Explorers, Monarchs Sweep, Dogs, Milkmen Stay Alive
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 four games in the first round of the American Association playoffs, including Miller Hogan tossing six shutout innings to lead the Kansas City Monarchs to a sweep of the Sioux Falls Canaries and Mitchell Verburg tosses six dominating innings to send the Sioux City Explorers onto the next round. Plus, both the Chicago Dogs and the Milwaukee Milkmen earn victories to stay alive.
Game Recaps for Friday
Verburg Completes Sweep for Explorers
Mitchell Verburg tossed six scoreless innings and the bullpen did the rest, as the Sioux City Explorers defeated the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, 2-0. Three relievers each tossed a scoreless inning to complete the blanking of the RedHawks. The victory gave Sioux City is sweep of the three-game set.
Verburg allowed two hits and two walks while striking out four. Fargo-Moorhead had no answers for the Explorers pitching staff, producing two total hits in the game. Carlos Diaz and Max Kuhns each tossed a scoreless frame and Sean Rackoski came on in the ninth to earn his second save of the series. Colten Davis took the loss despite giving up just one run in six innings.
Sioux City broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth when Scott Ota doubled home Kyle Kasser to make it 1-0. That one run lead held until the eighth, when Kasser singled, plating Vince Fernandez to extend the lead to two. Ota and Wilfredo Gimenez each finished with two hits.
Hogan Dominates as Monarchs Complete Sweep
Miller Hogan tossed six shutout innings in three relievers each tossed a scoreless frame as the Kansas City Monarchs defeated the Sioux Falls Canaries, 4-0. The victory gave the Monarchs a sweep of the three-game series. Hogan allowed six hits and no walks while striking out eight. Alex Valdez, Bubby Rossman, and Patrick Weigel each tossed a scoreless inning. Akeem Bostick allowed three runs in six innings, taking the loss.
In the third, Taylor Snyder provided all the run support that Hogan needed, hitting his second home run of the postseason. Two innings later, Jacob Robson hit a two-run homer and Micker Adolfo added a solo shot in the seventh. Snyder and Justin Wylie each had two hits for the Monarchs, Jabari Henry had two hits for Sioux Falls.
Dogs Down Railroaders to Stay Alive
The Chicago Dogs found themselves trailing by two entering the bottom of the fourth, but scored five unanswered runs to defeat the Cleburne Railroaders, 5-2. Luke Mangieri hit a three-run homer, giving his team the lead as Chicago stayed alive in the best of three series. Nick Green earned the victory, allowing two runs in seven innings, and Brian Schlitter came on to earn his first save of the postseason.
The game was scoreless until the fourth when José Sermo delivered a two-run single. In the bottom half of the fourth, Ryan Lidge cut the deficit in half with an RBI single, and Mangieri followed with a three-run homer, his first of the postseason. An inning later, Payton Eeles added a sacrifice fly to close out the scoring. Eeles finished with two hits. Hill Alexander had two hits for Cleburne.
Seven-Run Fourth Propels Milkmen
The Milwaukee Milkmen were seeing their 2023 season come to an abrupt end, trailing by two after three innings on Saturday. However, the team responded with seven runs in the top of the fourth to earn a 9-7 victory. Frankie Bartow earned the win, tossing 4.0 innings of relief, allowing two runs. C.J. Eldred suffered the loss, giving up six runs in 3.1 innings.
The Cougars were rolling early. Both teams scored a run in the first and third innings, and Kane County added to in the second. However, Milwaukee responded with seven runs in the top of the fourth, sending 11 men to the plate. Bryan Torres delivered a two-run single to tie the score and Roy Morales delivered a two-run double, putting his team on top for good. Michael Crouse also had a two-run single in the frame. The Cougars would not go away, scoring two runs in the bottom of the fourth and adding a run in the ninth, but Milwaukee held on for the victory. Peyton Gray earned the save.
Torres finished with two hits, two runs scored, and two RBI, and Cam Balego was a perfect 3-3, reaching base in all five times. Hector Sanchez had three hits for Kane County, and Jonah Davis, Todd Lott, and Ernny Ordonez each had two hits and two RBI for Kane County.
Three Stars of the Night
No. 3 – Cam Balego (Milwaukee Milkmen) 3-3, 2 R, 2 BB, SB
No. 2 – Miller Hogan (Kansas City Monarchs) 6.0 IP, 6 H, 0 BB, 0 ER, 8 K
No. 1 – Mitchell Verburg (Sioux City Explorers) 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 BB him, 0 ER, 4 K
American Association Daily Notes
Both the Sioux City Explorers and Kansas City Monarchs advance to the West Division Finals with their victory on Friday. These teams will face each other for the fourth time in the last five playoffs.
American Association Articles on Minor League Sports Report
By Robert Pannier