Goudeau, Monarchs Open Season With Win

PHOTO CREDIT: Kathleen Brewer / Sioux City Explorers

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Ashton Goudeau threw five scoreless innings, Hayden Jones delivered a clutch two-run double, and the Kansas City Monarchs began their American Association title defense with a 4-0 win over the Sioux City Explorers from Lewis and Clark Park Friday night.

BOX SCORE

Goudeau, Grant Gavin and Jackson McClelland combined to throw the shutout in the season opener for both teams. The Monarchs defense impressed behind them. Center fielder Travis Swaggerty and second baseman Channy Ortiz both making highlight-reel plays.

“[Sioux City’s] guys are aggressive, they swing early, they put a lot of balls in play tonight,” Goudeau said. “Being able to have a great defense behind you gives you so much more confidence as a pitcher.”

All the Kansas City runs scored in the fourth inning. Explorers starter Joey Murray allowed just one hit in his first three innings, but allowed five baserunners to begin the frame.

Swaggerty scored the game’s first run on a bases-loaded passed ball, and Cameron Cannon walked to load the bases again for Jones. His double down the right-field line made it 3-0 Monarchs. Herbert Iser added a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.

That was all the Monarchs pitching staff needed. Goudeau allowed three hits in his five innings, walking two and striking out two. He threw 73 pitches.

“Just throw strikes, be aggressive,” Goudeau said of his game plan. “I think later on I was able to get breaking balls more consistent in the zone. I think it was a good foundation to start, and I’m excited for the next one.”

Gavin tossed three perfect innings in relief, striking out two batters. McClelland allowed a two-out single but nothing else in a scoreless ninth.

The win sets the tone for a Monarchs team aiming to repeat as American Association champions.

“It’s very encouraging,” Goudeau said. “Especially when the bats heat up too, it’s going to be really exciting to see what our games are like.”

UP NEXT

The Monarchs will look to improve to 2-0 in the second game of the series Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. Fans can watch the game live for free at AABaseball.tv and listen live at 810WHB.com.