Nova, Burgess Homer in Loss to Monarchs
by Ryan Zimmerman, Gary SouthShore RailCats
Kansas City, KS – A pair of longtime Major Leaguers and St. Louis Cardinals infielders, Matt Adams and Pete Kozma, did the main damage for the Kansas City Monarchs tonight as they defeated the Gary SouthShore RailCats 10-3.
The former blasted two home runs while the latter registered five runs batted in as the Monarchs secured a series victory at Legends Field.
Before the Monarchs got going offensively, the RailCats defense flexed their muscles in the first inning. Michael Cruz caught Darnell Sweeney, the American Association’s leading base stealer, trying to take second base to cap off a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play to help the ‘Cats to a scoreless first inning.
Once the bottom of the second inning began, however, the Monarchs took control. Adams kicked off the scoring on a leadoff solo home run, and Kozma followed up four batters later with a run-scoring single. As runners stood on second and third base, Alexis Olmeda knocked a three-run home run over the left-field wall to cap off a five-run frame.
Kozma kept the Kansas City offense going in the third. With the bases loaded and two outs on the board, he snuck a three-run double down the right-field line, putting the Monarchs ahead by eight.
The RailCats kept the Monarchs quiet in the bottom of the fourth thanks to more defensive heroics. Jesus Marriaga robbed Jan Hernandez of a home run as he reached over the right-field wall to make an incredible catch which ended the inning.
Despite the scoreless fourth, the big-league duo teamed up to produce a pair of runs in the fifth. Adams launched his second home run of the game, another leadoff shot, to kick off the inning, and Kozma’s sacrifice fly, his fifth RBI of the game, increased the Kansas City advantage to 10-0.
Though they trailed in the middle stages, the RailCats managed to make some noise in their next two turns at bat. Victor Nova cranked a two-run long ball onto the home run hill in right field to get the ‘Cats on the board in the sixth. In doing so, he becomes the youngest player in franchise history (22 years, 177 days) to hit a home run.
Chris Burgess then followed up the very next inning by smashing a solo home run over the high wall in left field that brought Gary SouthShore within seven.
Ryan Campbell took over on the mound in the bottom of the seventh and shut the Monarchs offense down. He allowed just one hit in his two innings of work, stranding three runners on base as well.
Nevertheless, that was all the momentum the RailCats could generate, as Kansas City secured the final three outs and finished off the win.
The RailCats and Monarchs match up one more time at Legends Field at 3:00 p.m. tomorrow. All the action will be streamed on aabaseball.tv, 95.9 WEFM, and the Gary SouthShore RailCats Broadcast Network through the Mixlr app.