Ramirez Dominates, Sermo Goes Deep, RailCats Offense Rocks
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 six games in the American Association on the final day of the regular season, including Luis Ramirez tossing six shutout innings for the Winnipeg Goldeyes, the Lake Country DockHounds used to big innings to defeat the Kansas City Monarchs, and the Chicago Dogs rally past the Sioux City Explorers.
Game Recaps for Monday
Big Innings Propel DockHounds
The Lake Country DockHounds scored five runs in the sixth and added three more in the eighth to help lead them to an 8-3 victory over the Kansas City Monarchs. Juan Graterol led the way, hitting his first home run of the season and driving in three. Austin Davis earned his first victory of the season, tossing five shutout innings.
This was a great battle between Davis and Matt Hartman, as neither team was able to produce any offense through the first five innings. However, Lake Country blew the game open in the sixth, scoring five runs on four hits. Jaxx Groshans singled to put his team on top and Marcus Chiu followed with a two-run single to make it a three-run advantage. That brought Curtis Terry to the plate, who had a two-run double. An inning later, Andy Yerzy pulled Kansas City within four on an RBI single and Jan Hernandez hit a two-run homer, his 15th of the year. The DockHounds were not going to let this contest slip away, however, as Graterol hit a three-run homer in the eighth to secure the victory.
Yerzy was a perfect 3-3 for Kansas City. Chiu had two hits and two RBI for the DockHounds.
Saltdogs Close Season with Victory
The Lincoln Saltdogs scored two in the first and a run in the second to help lead them to a 4-3 victory over the Kane County Cougars. Connor Panas and Luke Roskam both went deep for the Saltdogs. Zach Keenan earned the victory, allowing two runs in five innings, and Wyatt Sparks earned his third save in as many chances.
Lincoln jumped out in front in the top of the first when Panas hit his 22nd home run of the season, a two-run shot. The Cougars responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning, but Roskam drilled a solo homer in the top of the second, his 14th of the year. In the fifth, both teams scored a run. Luis Roman made it 4-1 on an RBI single and Cornelius Randolph drove home a run with an RBI ground out. The Cougars pulled within one on an RBI single by Olivier Basabe in the eighth, but Sparks struck out two in the ninth to finish off the contest.
Dogs Rally to Crush Explorers
The Chicago Dogs erased a three-run deficit, scoring 10 runs over the final four frames to defeat the Sioux City Explorers, 10-3. Jesus Lujano led the way, homering and driving in four. DJ Snelten earned the victory, tossing three scoreless innings of relief. Carlos Diaz took the loss.
Sioux City jumped out to a three-run advantage, scoring a single run in each of the first three innings. Chicago had done nothing, but exploded for three runs in the fifth on just one hit. Two walks and a double started the inning before Brennan Metzger walked to drive home a run. Lujano was then hit by a pitch to drive home another and a wild pitch tied the score at three. An inning later the Dogs sent nine men to the plate, scoring five runs on six hits. Lujano had a two-run single in the frame. In the eighth, Chicago put this game away. A wild pitch and a sacrifice fly by Metzger made it a six-run advantage and Lujano drilled his fourth homerun of the season.
Simington Propels Goldeyes
Miles Simington had three hits and drove in three as the Winnipeg Goldeyes defeated the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, 7-2. This was a great pitcher’s battle between Luis Ramirez and Trey Crumbie through the first five innings as the two starters kept their opponent off the scoreboard.
Winnipeg finally got on the board in the top of the sixth on an RBI single by Keith Torres. Both teams scored two runs in the seventh, and Winnipeg put this game away in the eighth, scoring four runs. Simington had a two run double in the frame.
Dayson Croes and Andy Armstrong also each had three hits for Winnipeg. Armstrong and Murphy scored two runs apiece.
Canaries Down Railroaders
The Sioux Falls Canaries closed out the season with a decisive victory over the Cleburne Railroaders, winning 10-5. The Canaries rapped out 15 hits, led by Mike Hart who had three hits, including hitting his 26th home run of the year.
Cleburne held a one run lead after two, but Sioux Falls scored three in the top of the third. Aaron Whitefield had a two run double to put his team on top and he scored on a sacrifice fly. The Canaries added a run in the fourth, but Cleburne tied the score in the bottom of the fifth on an error and a home run by Zach Nehrir. Sioux Falls was not going to let Cleburne stay in the game for long, however, scoring five in the top of the sixth. Trevor Achenbach had a two run double in the frame. José Sermo hit his league-leading 28th home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth, and both teams scored a run in the eighth.
Sermo finished with three hits and two runs scored. Spencer Sarringar scored three runs for Sioux Falls.
RailCats Hold off Milkmen
The Gary SouthShore RailCats jumped out to an eight-run advantage, then held on for an 11-8 victory. Harrison Francis earned the victory, allowing three runs in five innings for his fifth win of the year. Kyle Mora was rocked for Milwaukee, giving up eight runs in four innings.
The RailCats took a two-run lead in the top of the first then looked like they would blow this game wide open with five in the top of the second. Francisco Del Valle had a two-run double and Jackson Valera a two-run single. Reggie Pruitt responded with a two-run homer in the bottom of the second, but the RailCats put up one of the fourth, fifth, eighth, and ninth innings. This game looked like it was over, but Milwaukee would not go away, sending 10 men to the plate in the ninth, including Miguel Gomez, who hit a two-run homer. Milwaukee had the tying run at the plate, but Jared Price was able to get the final out.
Will Decker finished with four hits and four run scored and Del Valle and Valera each had three hits and three RBI for the RailCats. José Contreras also had three hits and scored three runs. Pruitt had three hits for Milwaukee and Gomez had two hits, scored two runs, and drove in two.
Three Stars of the Night
No. 3 – Austin Davis (Lake Country DockHounds) 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
No. 2 – Luis Ramirez (Winnipeg Goldeyes) 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 0 ER, 6 K
No. 1 – Will Decker (Gary SouthShore RailCats) 4-6, 4 R, 2 Doubles, SB
American Association Daily Notes
The first round of the American Association playoffs are set. The Milwaukee Milkmen will take on the Kane County Cougars while the Chicago Dogs battle the Cleburne Railroaders. Chicago will travel to Texas for Game 1, while the Milkmen heads to Geneva. In the West Division, the Kansas City Monarchs will take on the Sioux Falls Canaries, and the Sioux City Explorers were battle the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. The Explorers head for North Dakota to begin that series while Kansas City heads for South Dakota… For the second straight season, Milwaukee Milkmen infielder Bryan Torres won the batting title. He finished with a .370 average. In 2022, Torres hit .374… Cleburne Railroaders DH José Sermo finished with the most home runs, hitting 28.
American Association Articles on Minor League Sports Report
By Robert Pannier