MONARCHS BEST CLEBURNE IN HOME RUN DERBY
August 6, 2021
By: Jack Johnson
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — In a back-and-forth shootout, the Monarchs came out with a 16-12 victory over the second place Cleburne Railroaders. Kansas City’s five home runs pushed its total over 100 on the season.
After Jake Matthys allowed a run in the top of the first, the Monarchs ignited their offensive explosion in the bottom half. Morgan McCullough, who’s been on fire since moving to the lead-off spot, smoked a solo home run over the wall in right-center to tie things up at one. A few batters later, Darnell Sweeney rocked a two-run shot to the opposite field to give Kansas City a 3-1 lead.
The Railroaders managed to retake the lead after scoring a total of three runs in the second and third innings, but 22-year-old Cleburne starter Jalen Evans couldn’t avoid solid contact. Kansas City responded with two more runs in the third on Gabby Guerrero’s 14th homer of the season.
However, a one-run lead wasn’t safe enough. The Railroaders knotted things back up at five in the top of the fourth on a solo home run by Osvaldo Martinez.
In the bottom of the fourth, Kansas City put the final nail in the coffin on Evans. With two runners on, Ryan Grotjohn pounded a three-run homer to give the Monarchs an 8-5 advantage. The Railroaders, however, answered back with two runs off Matthys in the top half of the fifth.
The game, for the most part, was busted open when Kansas City came to the plate in the bottom of the fifth. Five runs came in to score thanks to a two-run single from Colin Willis and three-run bomb by Daniel Wasinger. The home run was Wasinger’s first professional home run.
Ryan Newell came on in relief of Matthys in the sixth, but he allowed two more solo shots off the bats of Martinez and Ramon Hernandez — cutting the lead to 13-9.
After their bats cooled for an inning, Cleburne came roaring back off Gunnar Groen and Dalbert Siri. The Railroaders tagged the pair for three runs and cut the deficit down to one.
Fortunately for the Monarchs, the offense added some cushion in the bottom of the eighth. Guerrero had an RBI-single and Casey Gillaspie smashed an RBI-double that scored two.
Holding a four-run lead in the ninth, Siri stayed on and slammed the door for his third save of the season.
Kansas City faces Cleburne in Game 3 of a four-game set tomorrow night. First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m. with the gates opening at 5:00 p.m. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the video stream airing on aabaseball.tv.
Tickets to all Monarchs games can be purchased by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting monarchsbaseball.com. For additional information or interview requests, members of the media may contact the Monarchs Media Relations Department at (817)739-3693. Stay tuned to monarchsbaseball.com. and the Monarchs Facebook and Twitter pages for updates throughout the season.
WP: Matthys (7-1)
LP: Evans (0-1)
S: Siri (3)