Milkmen Rocked at Home by Monarchs
by Jonathan Michel & Hannah McIlree
Franklin, WI. — It was simply a night to forget at Franklin Field for the Milwaukee Milkmen as the Kansas City Monarchs set a franchise record for runs scored.
The Monarchs took no time to get on the board, starting the top of the first inning with a walk and an RBI triple from Ryan Grotjohn. Milkmen starter Myles Smith walked his second batter Gabby Guerrero. Grotjohn scored after Casey Gillaspie grounded out, leaving the Milkmen down by two.
Neither team would score again until the top of the fourth inning when Charcer Burks hit a triple, and then scored on a passed ball to catcher Christ Conley. Colin Willis took advantage of the wind hitting one out making the score 4-0 Monarchs.
Designated hitter Christian Correa set off the sirens after he hit a home run over the left field fence shortening the Monarchs lead to three runs.
Responding in the top of the fifth inning for the Monarchs was Grotjohn, who reached on a single. He was followed by Guerrero, who hit into a fielder’s choice but with one out and one on, Gillaspie hit a home run, extending the Monarchs lead to 6-1.
The Milkmen were in dire need of runners on base in the bottom of the 6th and got one when Conley walked. Unfortunately for the Milkmen, they fell victim to dazzling defensive plays by the Monarchs; a diving catch by Burks in left field for the second out and a nifty catch by Grotjohn on a line drive from his Cal State-Bakersfield teammate Logan Trowbridge.
Kansas City used a few borderline ball/strike calls to their advantage to pile on top of their lead even more, when Darnell Sweeney singled to center and brought home the team’s 7th run in Morgan McCollough. The Monarch’s Burks added a two-run double with the bases loaded to nearly give the game blowout status.
However, the Monarch’s large lead wouldn’t last for long. Adam Brett Walker II gave the Milkmen fans something to cheer about though in the bottom of the 6th, hitting a solo home run to start the inning. The blast was Walker’s 10th of the year.
“[Jake] Matthys pitched well today so I got him late but I don’t know. It just wasn’t our day,” Walker said. “Unfortunately it wasn’t the win we wanted but the home run was nice and I’m going to try to roll off that and keep it going tomorrow.”
After Aaron Hill and Derek Reddy singled, Christ Conley made it a 9-5 ballgame with a 3-run shot into the right field bleachers.
Kansas City didn’t let the Milkmen get too comfortable, tacking on three more runs in the top of the 7th off of Zach Hartman. The Milkmen coaching staff got passionate about the aforementioned borderline calls, leading to hitting coach Matt Passarelle getting tossed. He joined pitching coach Dan Runzler, who was ejected one inning earlier, in the clubhouse.
Things got zany in the top of the 8th when Milkmen manager Anthony Barone sent in outfielder Tony Rosselli to pitch. 2018 was the only time in Rosselli’s career that he had previously pitched, hurling one inning with the Chicago Dogs. The Monarchs tacked on 3 more unnecessary runs against the Milkmen outfielder. Brett Vertigan was the second Milkmen outfielder to take the mound in the 9th and Kansas City continued to mercilessly pour it on the Milkmen, making it 20-5.
The Milkmen and Monarchs face off in the last game of their 4-game series on Thursday at 6:35 PM.
Tickets and more info at MilwaukeeMilkmen.com