The Kansas City Monarchs (32-17) drop game three to the Cleburne Railroaders (16-33) as they come back from behind but surrender the lead in the bottom of the tenth, getting walked off with a final of 12-11.
The Monarchs trailed by as much as six twice throughout the game but managed to tie it at 10-10 in the top of the eighth and continued to keep it a close game until a 2 RBI walk-off from Eddie Arroyo sealed Kansas City’s fate.
The Railroaders got on the board first in the bottom of the third as Hector Sanchez singled; then Nick Shumpert doubled to left field, and an Arroyo sacrifice fly brought in Sanchez, bringing the score 1-0 going into the fourth.
In back-to-back innings, Cleburne rounded the bases as Zach Nehrir to lead off the inning before stealing second and heading to third on a fly out from Chase Simpson. Hill Alexander sent one to center field for a two-run home run, adding to the Railroaders score, 3-0.
The Railroaders weren’t done adding to the scoreboard in the fifth as Jacob Bockelie got a base hit before Arroyo doubled to right field and Chuck Taylor launched a home run to right field to double Cleburne’s lead at 6-0.
The Monarchs were held to just five hits through five innings with base runners Gaby Guerrero and Kevin Santa both going 2-2 but being stranded both times.
David Thompson got the Monarchs on the board in the top of the sixth with a solo home run to left field to make it 6-1 in favor of Railroaders. A pitching change for Cleburne to Danny Zardon did not stop Casey Gillaspie from hitting a two-run home run to bring in Jan Hernandez, cutting the Railroaders lead in half at 6-3.
In the bottom of the sixth, Kacy Clemens hit a ground-rule double before an Alexander base hit, bringing Clemens home for an RBI. An error from third baseman Thompson advanced Sanchez to first and Alexander landed at third base. Jacob Bockelie singled, bringing in Alexander for another run, and Sanchez filled the spot at third. A sac-fly from Arroyo brought in one last RBI for the Railroaders in the sixth and took back a six run lead, 9-3.
In the top of the seventh, Cleburne would turn to Kevin McCarthy out of the bull pen, and the Monarchs promptly load the bases against the Railroader reliever. Alexis Olmeda singled to center field before Darnell Sweeney and Thompson were both walked. A fielder’s choice got Jan Hernandez out at first base but brought in Olmeda for an RBI. Matt Adams then doubled and cleared the bases, adding two more to the Monarchs tally before the Railroaders initiated another pitching change with the score at 9-6. Cleburne’s new reliever, Austin Fairchild, immediately gave up a two-run home run to Guerrero, bringing the Monarchs within one at 9-8.
It was homer after homer for both sides of the ball as Chase Simpson sent a solo shot to right-center field to give the Railroaders a bit of a buffer at 10-8.
Alexis Olmeda singled to start off the top of the eighth before Sweeney hit a ball out to left field for a two-run home run, tying the game at 10-10.
The Railroaders had a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the eighth, but a crucial strikeout from Brandon Koch ended the inning, the game still tied. Monarchs were retired in order in the top of the ninth by Hunter Cervenka. Cleburne managed to get two runners on with two outs with back-to-back walks but Monarch’s closer Jameson McGrane retired Alexander on a ground ball back to the mound to send the game to extra innings.
With Guerrero on base at second under the American Association extra-inning rule, Pete Kozma reached on an error from the second baseman Arroyo scoring Guerrero, putting the Monarchs up one at 11-10 heading into the bottom of the tenth. Arroyo would avenge the error in the bottom of the tenth. With runners at second and third and two outs he would deliver a bases clearing RBI single to center field that would end the Monarchs five-game winning streak.
Monarchs starting pitcher Jon Harris went 4.1 IP, with 6 H, 6 R and 4 strikeouts versus Railroaders starter Kody Bullard who went 5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R and 6 strikeouts.
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WP: Cervenka (2-0)
LP: McGrane (1-2)