Sweeney Homers Twice, Dogs Rally, RedHawks, Cougars Even Series
Featured Image Courtesy of Jennifer Andreachi, Field Dreams Photography
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, Robert Pannier recaps the four games in the American Association on Friday as Game 2s in Round 1 of the American Association playoffs see a lot of great action, including Darnell Sweeney homering twice for the Kansas City Monarchs and the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, Kane County Cougars, and Chicago Dogs even their series. This, plus much more.
Kevin Luckow and Rob Pannier recap the Game 2s in Round 1 on This Week in the Association.
Game Recaps for Friday
Monarchs Complete Sweep
The Kansas City Monarchs advanced to the second round of the American Association playoffs on Friday, defeating the Lincoln Saltdogs, 8-3. That gave the Monarchs a sweep of the three-game series.
Kansas City jumped out to a four-run lead, scoring two runs in the first and two in the third. An RBI single by Ryan Grotjohn and a double play grounder put Kansas City on top in the first. Two innings later, Darnell Sweeney drilled a shot over the left field wall for his first homerun of the playoffs.
The Saltdogs responded with three runs in the top of the fourth. Ryan Long homered with two down, and Jason Rogers followed with a double. That brought Luke Roskam to the plate, who drilled his first home run of the postseason to make it a four-three-game. However, Sweeney struck again, drilling a grand slam in the bottom of the frame to give Kansas City the commanding lead.
Jordan Martinson earned the victory, tossing two scoreless innings of relief. In fact, the Monarchs bullpen tossed five scoreless innings, allowing a single hit and three walks while striking out six. Sweeney finished with two hits, three runs scored, and six RBI. Mallex Smith scored three runs. Roskam had two RBI for the Saltdogs.
Kansas City Monarchs Recap by Adam Cook
Lincoln Saltdogs Recap by Michael Dixon
Cougars Hang on to Edge Railroaders
The Kane County Cougars evened their three-game series with the Cleburne Railroaders on Friday, jumping out to a 4-0 lead, then hanging on for a 6-4 victory. Kane County jumped out to a four-run lead in the bottom the second. Jimmy Kerrigan led off with a double and Nick Franklin followed with a single, driving home Kerrigan. Cleburne starter Kevin Hilton was able to retire the next two batters, but could not get that elusive third out. Alexis Pantoja singled home Franklin to extend the lead to two. After Galli Cribbs singled to put two on, Ernie De La Trinidad followed with a double into center, bringing home two more runs.
Cleburne had no answers for José Fuentes through the first four innings, but finally got on the board in the fifth. A walk and two wild pitches put a runner at third with two down. Edwin Arroyo then delivered a clutch, two-out hit that cut the deficit to three. In the sixth, the Railroaders added two more runs, as Chase Simpson and Nick Shumpert each had an RBI single in the frame.
The Cougars responded with a run in the bottom of the sixth, as De La Trinidad drove home Mitch Nay with an RBI double. The teams exchanged runs in the seventh. A sacrifice fly by Hill Alexander cut the deficit to one once again, but Franklin doubled home Kerrigan to make it 6-4.
Cleburne had their opportunity to tie the score in the top of the ninth, as Ryan Tapani walked the leadoff batter and then gave up a base hit to Zach Nehrir. That put two on when no one out, but the closer was able to retire the next three batters to close out the victory. Kerrigan finished with three hits and scored two runs and Franklin had three hits and drove home to. De La Trinidad drove home three. Arroyo, Nehrir, and Simpson each had two hits for Cleburne.
Grauer Helps RedHawks Even Series
A five run second inning proved to be too much for the Winnipeg Goldeyes to overcome as the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks evened their series with an 8-3 victory on Friday. John Silviano got things going, blasting a two-run homer and Peter Maris added a three-run shot.
Winnipeg was held off the scoreboard for the first five innings by Tyler Grauer, but finally got on the board in the sixth when Ian Sagdal led off with a homerun. Fargo-Moorhead immediately restored their five run lead as Alec Olund went deep in the bottom half of the frame. In the seventh, Grauer gave up the leadoff double and his evening was over. The left-hander allowed four hits and two runs in six innings to earn the victory.
Tanner Riley came on in gave up a two-run homer to Michael Crouse, however, the bullpen was dominant from there. Evan Alexander finished with three hits and scored two runs and Leobaldo Pina had three hits and scored a run. Olund had two hits and two RBI for the Goldeyes.
Winnipeg Goldeyes Recap by Steve Schuster
Dogs Rally to Down Milkmen
The Chicago Dogs found themselves trailing by five coming out of the first, but rallied to down the Milwaukee Milkmen, 8-6. For the second straight game, Logan Trowbridge put Milwaukee on top first, delivering an RBI single and Miguel Gomez later made it a 2-0 lead with a base hit. Two batters later, Hector Sanchez drilled a three-run homer.
Chicago got four of those runs back in the second thanks to a three run homer by Cody Bohanek and a passed ball. Milwaukee put up one in the top of the third when Keon Barnum hit an opposite field homerun, but a two run double by Connor Kopach tied the score. The game remained tied until the seventh when Anfernee Grier drilled a two run homer to give Chicago an 8-6 victory.
The bottom of the Chicago order was outstanding, as the 6-9 hitters were a combined 10-15 with eight runs scored and seven RBI. Stevie Wilkerson and Grier each had three hits and scored three runs. Grier also drove in two. Bohanek had three hits and drove in three and Kopach drove in two. The first three hitters in the Milkmen lineup – Bryan Torres, Trowbridge, and Will Kengor – each had two hits.
Chicago Dogs Recap by Matthew Barthelemy
Three Stars of the Night
No. 3 – Ernie De La Trinidad (Kane County Cougars) 2-5, 2 Doubles, 3 RBI
No. 2 – Anfernee Grier (Chicago Dogs) 3-4. 3 R, Double, HR, 2 RBI
No. 1 – Darnell Sweeney (Kansas City Monarchs) 2-4, 3 R, 2 HR, 6 RBI
American Association Daily Notes
Winnipeg Goldeyes outfielder Max Murphy sat out Friday’s game after suffering an injury on Wednesday night… This Week in the Association and the Minor League Sports Report named Kane County Cougars right-hander Jack Fox as the American Association Rookie of the Year on Thursday. Fox went 11-3 with a 3.04 ERA… This Week in the Association and the Minor League Sports Report named Kane County Cougars Manager George Tsamis as the American Association Manager of the Year.
Lake Country exercised the 2023 contract options on the following players: INF T.J. Bennett, INF Manuel Blanco, OF Lamar Briggs, OF Tristen Carranza, OF Efrain Contreras, LHP Carlos D. Diaz, OF Casey Dykstra, C Wilfredo Gimenez, LHP Robert Gonzalez, RHP Nick Herold, C Duncan Hewitt, RHP Francisco Jimenez, LHP Evan Kruczynski, RHP Alex McRae, RHP Takoda Metoxen, RHP Shea Murray, INF Gabriel Noriega, LHP Jesse Remington, INF Jordan Schaffer, RHP Tyler Schimpf, OF Jake Snider, RHP Greg Veliz, RHP Angel Ventura, LHP Bryan Warzek, RHP Cyrillo Watson and OF Daikan Yoh
By Robert Pannier