The Kansas City Monarchs (27-14) lost an extra-inning heartbreaker against the Cleburne Railroaders (12-29) 8-4 Tuesday night at Legends Field.
Darnell Sweeney had a big day for the Monarchs offense. He finished his night 3-5 with two RBIs and a run. Kevin Santa also had a productive night from the plate, batting 2-5 with an RBI. The two hitters combined for five of the Monarchs seven hits.
The Railroaders got on the scoreboard in the third inning. After Hunter Wolfe and Chuck Taylor walked, Zach Nehrir hit an RBI single to give Cleburne a 1-0 lead. Chase Simpson followed this up with a two-RBI single to center field to extend their lead 3-0.
The Monarchs responded in their bottom half of the inning. Willie Abreu led off with a solo home run to right field. A few batters later, Darnell Sweeney belted a two-out bomb to home run hill and the Monarchs trailed by just one run.
Cleburne extended their lead in the fifth as Nehrir drove in his second run of the night with a double to left-center. Kansas City trailed by one entering the bottom of the fifth inning.
With two outs, Pete Kozma and Alexis Olmeda worked back-to-back walks. Sweeney stepped up to the plate and roped an RBI single to right field to bring in Kozma. Kevin Santa followed this up with an RBI double to left-center to score Olmeda and tie the game at four.
The next four innings were a pitching duel as neither team were able to score a run. After nine innings of baseball, the Monarchs and the Railroaders were tied 4-4.
Jameson McGrane toed the rubber for the Monarchs in the 10th inning. Taylor started the top half of the 10th at second base due to American Association extra inning rules. The Railroaders were able to load the bases for Kacy Clemens, son of 11-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion Roger Clemens. Kacy delivered a double to right field and would reach third on an error in right to give Cleburne a 7-4 lead. Hector Sanchez followed up his at bat with an RBI-single to left field to score Clemens and push their lead to four runs.
Jan Hernandez started off the bottom of the 10th at second base, but wasn’t able to score as relief pitcher Austin Fairchild retired three straight Monarchs to end the game.
Game three of the four-game series against the Cleburne Railroaders is tomorrow (6/29) at 7 p.m. at Legends Field. 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: Nick Gardewine (3-1)
LP: Jameson McGrane (0-1)