All your Monarchs news in one place.

BANANAS ADD 1 MORE GAME TO TOUR

On October 4th the Bananas announced the schedule for their 2023 Banana Ball World Tour, which will bring the young sport of Banana Ball to 33 different cities and had 70 games in total.

Due to an immense demand for tickets the tour will now be 74 games in total as the Bananas are adding games on these dates:

  • 1:00pm on Sunday, March 5th, in 121 Financial Ballpark, Jacksonville, Florida
  • 7:00pm on Saturday, April 22nd, in GoMart Ballpark, Charleston, West Virginia
  • 7:00pm on Thursday, May 4th, in Legends Field, Kansas City, Kansas
  • 7:00pm on Saturday, June 3rd, in Nashville, Tennessee. In Jacksonville and Nashville the Bananas will be playing their arch rival the Party Animals.

In Kansas City the Bananas will be taking on the Kansas City Monarchs from the American Association and in Charleston their opponent will be the Charleston Dirty Birds from the Atlantic League.

“The demand for tickets from Bananas fans has certainly exceeded our expectations,” said Owner Jesse Cole. “So we are glad that we could add extra nights in Jacksonville, Kansas City, Charleston and Nashville to take care of our fans.

”Fans who want the opportunity to be a part of the 2023 Banana Ball World Tour should visit www.thesavannahbananas.com/ticketsand join the Ticket Priority List or to get information on outings for their group, organization, or business.

PITCH CLOCKS ADDED IN 2023

The Board of Directors of the American Association of Professional Baseball has voted to institute pitch clocks as part of effort to address pace of play. The change is effective for the 2023 season.

The American Association pitch clocks will follow the same rules being instituted in Major League Baseball in 2023. Those rules include:

  • Pitchers will have 15 seconds to deliver a pitch with the bases empty.
  • Pitchers will have 20 seconds to deliver a pitch with runners on base.
  • The pitcher must begin his motion before the pitch clock expires or be charged with an automatic ball.
  • Batters must be prepared to receive a pitch in the batter’s box with at least eight seconds remaining. Batters who violate the pitch clock will be charged with an automatic strike.
  • There shall be a 30 second timer between batters
  • Pitchers will be allowed to step off the rubber or attempt a pick-off move twice per batter. If a third attempt to pick-off a runner is unsuccessful, the runner automatically advances one base.
  • The step-off/pick-off limit resets if a runner or runners advance during the plate appearance.

In 2022, the American Association average game time reached three hours and eleven minutes (3:11) and has been on an upward trajectory for over a decade. Pitch clocks were utilized on a trial-basis throughout Minor League Baseball in 2022, which resulted in an average savings of 26 minutes per game.

“We believe a move to pitch clocks was a logical evolution based on the data gathered in affiliated baseball. We further believe this will return the game to what it once was when it became America’s pastime.” said American Association Commissioner Joshua Schaub. “As evidenced by the increased pace of play and little to no effect on on-field play, the rousing success in Minor League Baseball can be duplicated in the American Association. The fan experience is first and foremost on our minds at all times and our clubs are excited to begin instituting these new timers in their ballparks to provide the best fan experience.”

Each ballpark will be equipped with three Daktronics pitch clocks. Two will be located behind home plate. The third clock will be located in the outfield. Exact outfield installation location will be determined by each club.

The American Association is the premier MLB Partner League in North America. The 12-team circuit will open the 2023 season on May 11. For more information on the American Association, please visit www.aabaseball.com or our social media channels.

MONARCHS ANNOUNCE 2023 SCHEDULE

The Kansas City Monarchs have announced their 100-game schedule for the 2023 season. The team is set to open the season on the road at Sioux City (Iowa) on May 12th against the Explorers with the home opener and opening night on tap for May 19th against the Sioux Falls Canaries.

“We’re excited to announce our 2023 season. In the 2023 season we look to build on the successes from last year, learn from our mistakes and play the best baseball in the state of Kansas. We play for Kansas City and look forward to seeing all our friends and fans out at Legends Field next season. Come join the Monarchy,” said Monarchs owner Mark Brandmeyer.

The “Monarchy” returns in 2023 with a schedule that includes 50 home dates with eight weekends of Monarchs excitement at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. The Monarchs will also celebrate the 4th of July at Legends Field hosting the Sioux Falls Canaries, and they will also be home for Labor Day weekend to close out the regular season against the Lake Country DockHounds on September 1st – 4th.

The 2023 American Association division format will not change with the Monarchs once again in the West Division. Joining the Monarchs in the West Division members are the Fargo-Moorhead (ND/MN) RedHawks, Lincoln (NE) Saltdogs, Sioux City (IA) Explorers, Sioux Falls (SD) Canaries and Winnipeg (MB) Goldeyes. The East Division is comprised of the Chicago Dogs, Cleburne (TX) Railroaders, Gary SouthShore (IN) RailCats, Kane County (IL) Cougars, Lake Country (WI) DockHounds and Milwaukee Milkmen.

The Monarchs will play 62 games against the West Division with 31 games at home and 31 games on the road. The remaining 38 games will come against the East Division with Kansas City playing 19 home games and 19 road games against the East.

For the second straight year, the season will also feature the highlight of Monarchs hosting the Savannah Bananas as part of the Bananas World Tour on May 5th and 6th at Legends Field. Currently, fans that purchase any 2023 Monarchs Ticket Package (6-game, 12-game, half season, full season) will get on the priority list to purchase Bananas tickets BEFORE they go on sale to the public. (Priority access members will be notified when they are able to purchase Bananas tickets In 2023).

Currently, fans that purchase any 2023 Monarchs Ticket Package (6-game, 12-game, half season, full season) will get on the priority list to purchase Bananas tickets BEFORE they go on sale to the public. (Priority access members will be notified when they are able to purchase Bananas tickets In 2023).

The American Association playoff format will remain unchanged in the race for the 2023 Miles Wolff Cup. The top four teams in each division will advance to the playoffs. The club that wins the division in the regular season will pick their first-round opponent from the qualifiers within the division in the best-of-three Division Playoff Series. The second round Division Championship Series will also be a best-of-three series. The Miles Wolff Cup Finals will culminate in the crowning of a league champion in a best-of-five series.

The Monarchs will announce game times, promotional schedule, and preseason exhibition games and times at a later date. All 100 Monarchs games including all 50 road games can be heard once again on the Monarchs Broadcast Network. Stay tuned to monarchs baseball.com. and the Monarchs Facebook and Twitter pages for updates throughout the season.

Season tickets for the Kansas City Monarchs can be purchased by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting monarchsbaseball.com. Purchase your Monarchs plan today! For additional information or interview requests, members of the media may contact the Monarchs Media Relations Department at (817) 739-3693.

LISTEN TO ALL MONARCHS GAMES LIVE ON THE MONARCHS BROADCAST NETWORK

BY: DAN VAUGHAN

BANANA BALL TO RETURN IN 2023

The Savannah Bananas are bringing their “World Famous Baseball Circus” to 33 cities and 20 states in 2023.

Affectionately referred to as ‘The Greatest Show in Sports” by ESPN with an atmosphere that would make most MLB teams jealous (Sports Illustrated), the Bananas have reimagined the baseball experience and pushing the limit with this tour after selling out every night of the seven-city 2022 Banana Ball World Tour.

Over 700 cities and 28 countries were nominated by thousands of fans for the 2023 tour. The team has now narrowed it down to the final 32 cities for the tour in addition to their games in Savannah.

“The response has been absolutely Bananas for this world tour,” said Owner Jesse Cole. Everywhere we go we hear from fans begging us to come to their city. We are so grateful for their support and because of their passion for the Bananas and Banana Ball we knew we had to extend the tour dramatically in 2023. Now we are bringing the show to almost four times the amount of cities as we did in 2022 to make sure we able to connect with as many Bananas fans as possible.”

The tour will start with a return to West Palm Beach on February 17th. After a stop in Daytona on the way back north, the Bananas will celebrate the seventh anniversary of the announcement of the team name back in 2016 with the Savannah home opener on February 25th. On top of returning to West Palm Beach and Daytona, the Bananas will once again visit Montgomery, Kansas City, and Birmingham during the 2023 World Tour.

The Bananas will play at 10 Triple-A, 6 Double-A, and 6 Single-A stadiums throughout the tour. There will be 4 Spring Training ballparks as well: The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches (Nationals and Astros), George M. Steinbrenner Field (Yankees), Scottsdale Stadium (Giants) and the Peoria Sports Complex (Padres and Mariners). The largest ballpark will be Sutter Health Stadium in Sacramento, which can hold over 14,000 Bananiacs.

It all wraps up with what will be a magical game at Abner Doubleday Field next to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York on September 16th.

In addition to the cast of characters, dancers, performers, mascots, and musicians, the Bananas are bringing their own twist of baseball all around the country. Banana Ball is a fast-paced, action-packed style of baseball with rules that include no bunting, a two-hour time limit, fans catching foul balls for outs, batters stealing first base, and a one-on-one tiebreaker showdown at the end of the game if it’s tied. You can watch previous Banana Ball games on ESPN+ and the Bananas YouTube page.

The 2022 World Tour was turned into a 5-part documentary, Bananaland, that can be seen on ESPN+. The Tour was also covered by HBO Real Sports, the Today Show, FOX Sports, The New York Times, LA Times, CBS Sunday Morning and more.

“The 2023 world tour will be the most mind-boggling, exhilarating, craziest, and fun thing that has ever happened in sports,” said Bananas head coach Tyler Gillum. “The Show will be undeniable. We will have 40 of the most highly-talented and wildly entertaining players in the world traveling around the United States creating ‘Never Forget Moments’ for every family that comes to a game. I’m most excited to bring BananaLand to Oklahoma, my home state. I’m expecting Ada, Oklahoma to close down for that weekend to be in OKC and

Tulsa. It’ll be awesome seeing so many friends and family. Banana Nation we can’t wait to high five you all. See you on the tour!”

The Bananas will face off against their rival, the Party Animals, as well as other professional baseball teams. The Bananas and Party Animals rosters will be filled by independent professional players who have been scouted, tried out, and signed contracts for the 2023 Banana Ball World Tour. Led by Bananas captains Bill LeRoy and Kyle Luigs, there will be plenty of familiar faces on both teams’ rosters. In addition to the everyday guys, the Bananas will have surprise player guests at many stops of the tour. In 2022, former Major League stars Jake Peavy, Jonathan Papelbon, Jonny Gomes, Josh Reddick, Bill Lee and Johnny Bench all joined the team during the tour.

“I am very excited for this world tour starting in February, but more specifically excited to continue the long list of ‘firsts’ for us as a whole,” Kyle Luigs said. “This is by far more ambitious than anything I ever could have imagined, but that’s the great thing about this organization. Playing in so many new places I’ve never been, in front of more fans than I could’ve ever imagined, and in some of the greatest ballparks in the country! The show is only going to keep getting better, for thousands of people that have never seen it before!”

When the Savannah Bananas are not on the road, they play their home games in front of a sold out, 4,000 person crowd at Grayson Stadium in Savannah, Georgia. Bananas games at Grayson Stadium have been sold out for six straight years. The priority list for tickets has reached 80,000 in Savannah alone.

The team has been known as TikTok’s favorite team with over 3.5 million followers, millions more than every MLB team. The Bananas have been featured across the globe for everything from playing a game in kilts, using a Dancing First Base Coach, the Banana Nanas Dance Team, the first ever baseball player to wear stilts, a Banana Pep Band, breakdancing players, and a whole lot more.

For the complete schedule and opportunity for tickets, visit www.thesavannahbananas.com/tickets and join the Ticket Pre-sale List or to get information on outings for a group, organization, or business.

MONARCHS ROAD COMES TO AN END

The KC Monarchs (3-2) championship road came to a heartbreaking end Thursday night at Legends Field as the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (4-2) punched their ticket to the American Association Championship Series (Miles Wolff Cup) with a 4-1 win. The RedHawks got stellar starting pitching from true rookie Peyton Wigginton (1-0), who held the league’s leading offense in check scattering six hits over six shutout innings.

The RedHawks grabbed the lead in the top of the third inning with a lead off single by Evan Alexander and a two-run home run from Christian Correa to left to make it 2-0 off Monarchs starter Jalen Miller (0-1).

While Wigginton was able to hold the Monarchs off the board, Kansas City did have chances to get the offense going. The Monarchs got a runner on in each of the first four innings and had the bases loaded in the fourth, but Wigginton was able to make the key pitches to keep Kansas City at bay.

The RedHawks got a one out double in the fifth and scored on a wide throw at first on a ground ball to the deep right side of the infield from Ryan Grotjohn. The Monarchs second sacker made a great diving play in a deep shift in shallow rightfield, but the throw was low and bounced wide of first baseman Casey Gillaspie for an unearned run.

The “Fargos” would tack on another run in the top of the sixth on a lead off double from John Silviano off Jordan Martinson. Manuel Boscan hit a ball to short that Pete Kozma threw to third to get Silviano, but the throw was low and Darnell Sweeney could not come up with the ball to put runners at the corners. Alec Olund hit a shallow fly to right for the first out, but Evan Alexander hit a sac fly to center to make it a 4-0 score in favor of the RedHawks.

Kansas City would load the bases once again against Wigginton in the sixth, but the lefty would once again make a big pitch to get out of the inning with two outs. Tanner Riley came in for the RedHawks in the seventh and walk J.C. Escarra then get a double play ball off the bat of

Kevin Santa. The rookie right-hander would then issue back to back walks to Mallex Smith and Darnell Sweeney before Joe Jones came in to get the final out. The Monarchs lone run came in the home half of the eighth inning. Jan Hernandez singled off Jones with one out. Casey Gillaspie then doubled to left to put runners at second the third. Pete Kozma struck out but a wild pitch from Jones brought home Hernandez for the only Monarchs run. Jones would retire J.C. Escarra with a pop to second and the Monarchs would go to the ninth down 4-1.

Closer Alex Dubord would work the ninth for the RedHawks. He retired the first two batters before Darnell Sweeney hit a single off the wall in left. Ryan Grotjohn smoked a ball to the right side to shallow right into the defensive shift right into the glove of second baseman Peter Maris to finish out the game closing the book on the Monarchs season by a 4-1 score. The RedHawks move on to play the Milwaukee Milkmen who won the East Division Series on Wednesday night over Cleburne.

WP: Peyton Wigginton

LP: Jalen Miller (0-1)

S:  Alex DuBord (2)

Boxscore

Kansas City completed another successful season under the Monarchs name. The Monarchs led the American Association at the plate hitting .293 during the regular season. The team also led in runs scored (696), home runs (165), OBP (.384) and OPS (.889). On the hill the club had the lowest regular season ERA at 4.40 and tops in strike outs (967) and first in WHIP (1.38). The home run and strikeout totals were new league records and the regular season record of 65-35 was the second highest total in franchise history.

Season tickets to the 2023 Kansas City Monarchs season can be purchased by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting monarchsbaseball.com for more information. For additional information or interview requests, members of the media may contact the Monarchs Media Relations Department at (817) 739-3693. Stay tuned to monarchs baseball.com. and the Monarchs Facebook and Twitter pages for updates throughout the off season.

LISTEN TO ALL MONARCHS GAMES LIVE ON THE MONARCHS BROADCAST NETWORK

By: DAN VAUGHAN JR.

 

REDHAWKS FORCE GAME THREE

The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (3-2) were a pain in the Monarchs’ side all night, as the Kansas City Monarchs (3-1) lost the back-and-forth battle against the RedHawks by a score of 8-5 Wednesday night, forcing a decisive game three matchup to decide the winner of the West. This roller coaster of a ballgame featured four lead changes, but Fargo came out on top in the tug-of-war match after going ahead in the eighth and never looking back.

Monarchs starting pitcher Nick Belzer led the game off with a two-strike hit-by-pitch to leadoff batter Peter Maris. Belzer would retire the next three batters, but Maris would come around and score in the process, having the Monarchs bats enter the bottom half of the inning down 1-0.

However, the Monarchs offense would see their first baserunner in the second inning after Jan Hernandez drew a one-out walk from the five hole. Casey Gillaspie followed Hernandez up with a single up the middle that just got past the sliding glove of shortstop Sam Dexter, putting runners at first and third. J.C. Escarra, the hero of game one in Fargo, would deliver again with a fielder’s choice that scored Hernandez, evening the score at one. Pete Kozma would then make it three straight productive at-bats when he hit a ground ball to the 5-6 hole, scoring Escarra and giving the Monarchs a 2-1 lead.

In the third, the RedHawks would threaten with runners on second and third with only one away, but Nick Belzer wouldn’t allow it to get any worse for Kansas City as he struck out Drew Ward and then got Leobaldo Piña to ground out, stranding both. The Monarchs would also threaten in their half-inning when they got runners at the corners with one away. After a Jacob Robson strikeout, Hernandez would come to the plate and smack a line drive off of the left field Home Run Patio, extending the Kansas City lead to two. An intentional walk to Casey Gillaspie would load the bases, but J.C. Escarra would fly out to end the inning with the score 3-1.

The RedHawks would again threaten in the fourth, this time loading the bases with one away, but a ground ball right to Kevin Santa at the second base bag would be cause for an inning-ending double play, again stranding the RedHawks scoreless. The Monarchs would also get themselves to a bases-loaded situation in the bottom half, but a long line drive to deep center field off the bat of Ryan Grotjohn would be caught by center fielder Evan Alexander just before the warning track, retiring the inning without a score from either side despite both bases-loaded jams.

After a quiet fifth inning, Manuel Boscan woke Legends Field up in the top of the sixth with a two-run blast to left field, tying the game up at threes.

The RedHawks would then catch a break in the seventh when Brandon Koch would come on and allow two walks, putting runners at first and second with two outs. Then, a ground ball to Monarchs first baseman Casey Gillapsie would be mishandled, loading the bases for John Silviano, who delivered with a two-RBI single, making the score 5-3 Fargo-Moorhead.

The bottom of the seventh would also prove fruitful for the home nine, however. Ryan Grotjohn stepped to the plate with one out and put a charge into one, sending an absolute blast to the top of the right field Home Run Hill, cutting the deficit to one. Then, Jacob Robson would walk and steal second base, putting himself in scoring position when Casey Gillaspie would step in with two outs. Gillaspie would make up for his earlier mistake and come through with an RBI double to the left field corner, tying the game up once again, this time at five a piece.

Monarchs relief pitcher Jeremy Rhoades would begin the eighth inning on the bump, and would promptly walk Alec Olund. Just the way the RedHawks drew it up, Olund would be moved to second by way of the sacrifice bunt, and then be scored with an RBI single right up the middle by Sam Dexter, once again giving the RedHawks a lead, 6-5.

After a relatively quiet eighth, Alex Valdez came on for the Monarchs to attempt to shut down the top of the ninth. His inning uncharacteristically got off to a shaky start, allowing a walk and then a single. Silviano then made it three straight baserunners when he sliced an RBI single to left field, adding one to the lead but also getting himself thrown out at second as he tried for the double. Alec Olund would then drive the nail deeper with another RBI single, bringing the score to 8-5 RedHawks. In the bottom half, the Monarchs would show little signs of life, going down in four batters and sending the West Division Championship Series to a decisive game three.

The Monarchs are back in action for the winner-takes-all rubber match tomorrow night (9/15). The game will start at 6:30 p.m. and can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 6:00 p.m. and the video stream airing on aa baseball.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 monarchs baseball.com. and the Monarchs Facebook and Twitter pages for updates throughout the season.

WP: Brady Stover (1-0)

LP: Jeremy Rhoades (0-1)

S:  Alex DuBord (1)

 

Boxscore

By: Adam Cook

MONARCHS COMEBACK IN FARGO!

The moon waited until the eighth inning Monday night in Fargo to rise above the right field wall in North Dakota. The moon got a great view of a ninth inning pinch hit three run blast off the bat of J.C. Escarra. That home run would give the Kansas City Monarchs (3-0) a 5-2 lead and the eventual final score in game one of the West Division Championship Series over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (2-2).

The headline going into the game at Newman Outdoor Field was the matchup of a pair of ace lefthanders getting the starting nods for both clubs. The pair did not disappoint. The Monarchs Matt Hall tossed 5.1 innings giving up one unearned run on six hits with nine strikeouts in a no decision. The RedHawks Kevin McGovern went seven innings surrendering one earned run on six hits to also not figure in the decision.

“Kay-see” got on the board in the fourth inning loading the bases with one out off of McGovern. Jan Hernandez and Casey Gillaspie both singled with Pete Kozma drawing a walk. Gio Brusa hit a bouncer to third brining home Jan Hernandez as Brusa raced to first, to beat out a double play chance for the “Fargos”. McGovern would get Alexis Olmeda to ground out to first to get out of the inning with Kansas City leading 1-0.

In the home half of the sixth the RedHawks would tie the game up. Leo Pena reached on an error by Darnell Sweeney at third to start the inning. Hall would strikeout John Silviano then walk Manuel Boscan to put runners at first and second. A wild pitch would move Pena to third for the RedHawks. Alec Olund then singled through the five and six hole to tie the game at one. Evan Alexander reached on an infield single that second baseman Ryan Grotjohn was able to make a diving grab on to keep the go ahead run from scoring but load the bases. Brandon Koch would come in the game and get an infield pop out to second from Sam Dexter, then retire Christian Correa on a fly to left to end the inning and leave the way stations full for the RedHawks.

McGovern would exit after the seventh inning stretch and would see his club grab the lead off the Monarchs pen. Jordan Martinson came in for Koch and got a strikeout of Peter Maris for the first out. Drew Ward would work a walk followed by a single from Leo Pena to put runners at first and second. John Silviano would single home the go ahead run for the RedHawks scoring Ward. Martinson induced Manuel Boscan into an inning ending “pitchers best mate” double play, to leave the game at 2-1 in favor of the RedHawks.

Reid Birlingmair was summoned from the Fargo-Moorhead pen. The Monarchs would muster one hit off the righty but would no score in the top of the eighth frame. Brian Glowicki worked a scoreless bottom of the eighth for Kansas City to take the game into the top of the ninth and set up the heroics of the Monarchs.

Birlingmair would retire Jacob Robson on a ground out to second for the first out. The Monarchs then got back-to-back walks from Jan Hernandez and Casey Gillaspie to put runners at first and second with a wild pitch moving Hernandez to second during the Gillaspie at bat. Joe Jones came into the game for the RedHawks to face Pete Kozma. The Monarchs shortstop, would single back up the box to score Hernandez and tie the game at two. Gio Brusa would strikeout looking for out number two. The Monarchs would turn to J.C. Escarra with two on and two outs. On a one and one count, Escarra would launch a three-run home run deep into the North Dakota night, to give the Monarchs a 5-2 lead.

Alex Valdez would come into the game in the bottom of the ninth for the Monarchs. Valdez with strikeout pinch hitter Ben Livorsi and Peter Maris to get the first two outs of the inning. Drew Ward would single to right but Valdez would get the 27th and final out on a fly ball to center from Leo Pena to notch his second save of the postseason.

Glowicki (1-0) picked up the relief win for the Monarchs, while Birlingmair (0-1) was charged with the loss for the RedHawks. The Monarchs now lead the best of three game series one game to none.

The Monarchs and RedHawks will play game two of the West Division Championship Series Wednesday night (9/14) at 6:30 p.m. at Legends Field in Kansas City. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning 30 minutes before game time and the video stream airing on aa baseball.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 monarchs baseball.com. and the Monarchs Facebook and Twitter pages for updates throughout the season.

WP: Brian Glowicki (1-0)

LP: Reid Birlingmair (0-1)

S: Valdez (2)

Boxscore

SWEEPIN’ WITH SWEENEY!

The Kansas City Monarchs (2-0) completed the two-game sweep of the Lincoln Saltdogs (0-2) by a score of 8-3 Friday night at Legends Field behind the outstanding night from third baseman Darnell Sweeney. Sweeney was responsible for seven of the eight Monarch runs thanks to a two-run home run and a grand slam.

The second game of the West Division Playoff Series got started in a unique way. After an error and walk got the bottom half of the inning off to a Monarchs-friendly start, Ryan Grotjohn made it even friendlier with an RBI single. Later, Jan Hernandez came to the plate with Darnell Sweeney at third. During the at-bat, Saltdogs catcher Skyler Weber would attempt to pick Sweeney off at third base, but the throw would doink right off of the barrel of Hernandez’ bat and roll towards the home dugout, scoring Sweeney unearned and giving the Monarchs a first inning 2-0 lead.

Monarchs pitcher Jalen Miller would continue his dominance on the mound to this point, still not allowing a baserunner through three. In the bottom of the third, the Monarchs offense would come back alive when Darnell Sweeney would follow up Mallex Smith’s leadoff walk with a 2-run home run, extending the lead to 4-0.

However, the Saltdogs offense wasn’t going to wait around forever. In the top of the fourth, Miller would finally show some cracks, as a pair of home runs – one solo and one two-run – would cut the Kansas City lead to one. That one-run lead felt a little too close for Darnell Sweeney, however, as he added on to his outstanding night with a grand slam, making it a five run lead for the Monarchs, 8-3.

The momentum would continue to sway in the Monarchs’ favor in the top of the fifth when reliever Jordan Martinson would enter on and promptly strike out the side in order. Unfortunately, the momentum wouldn’t amount to much on the offensive side, as the side would be retired despite a walk from J.C. Escarra.

This would be the beginning of a lot of zeros for the rest of the game, as not another run crossed the plate for the remainder of the game, despite there only being one more 1-2-3 inning. Alex Valdez started the top of the ninth on the bump for the Monarchs and allowed two baserunners, but neither would score, sending the Monarchs to the West Division Championship Series with a final score of 8-3.

The Monarchs will begin the Western Division Championship Series Monday night (9/12) on the road against the winner of the Winnipeg Goldeyes and Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks series that is tied at one game apiece. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning 30 minutes before game time and the video stream airing on aa baseball.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 monarchs baseball.com. and the Monarchs Facebook and Twitter pages for updates throughout the season.

WP: Jalen Miller (1-0)

LP: Garett Delano (0-1)

S: N/A

Boxscore

By: Adam Cook

HALL DOMINATES AS MONARCHS WIN

Matt Hall took the ball for the Kansas City Monarchs (1-0) in game one of the West Division Series and showed why he was named the starting pitcher on the American Association Post Season All-Star team. Hall (1-0) tossed seven innings of one hit shutout baseball as the Monarchs beat the Lincoln Saltdogs (0-1) 5-2 Wednesday night at Haymarket Park in Lincoln. With the win the Monarchs need one more win in the best of three game series to move on to the West Division Championship Series.

The Monarchs got on the board in the first inning with two outs on a solo home run from Ryan Grotjohn off Lincoln ace Greg Minier for a 1-0 lead. From there Minier (0-1) would scatter four hits until the seventh.

The Saltdogs would get a lead off single from Justin Byrd to start the game, but that would be the only hit Matt Hall would allow the rest of the way. After a two out walk in the third inning, Hall would retire the next 13 batters and leave the game after seven. The lefty would strikeout eight in his seven goose egg innings.

In the seventh the Monarchs would finally get to Minier. With one out, Jan Hernandez and Casey Gillaspie drew walks. Gio Brusa hit a smash to the keystone corner that turned into an infield single to load the way stations for Kansas City. Pete Kozma hit another smash to third that would ricochet into foul territory and down the left field line for a double to score two runs. With runners at second and third Lincoln went to right-hander Matt Cronin to take over for Minier. The Monarchs would pick up a run on a passed ball on Skyler Weber and their fifth run on an RBI single from Mallex Smith to give the Monarchs a 5-0 cushion.

Brian Glowicki worked around two base runners in the top of the eighth inning to keep the game 5-0. Jameson McGrane would come into the game in the bottom of the ninth. The righty would allow a lead off single to Justin Byrd, but would strike out Rayder Ascanio for out number one. The Saltdogs would load the bases on a single from Ryan Long and walk for Jason Rogers. Former Sioux City Explorer Nate Samson, knocked in two runs on a single to right to cut the lead to 5-2. The Monarchs would go to the pen and bring Alex Valdez into the game with the tying run at the plate. Valdez would strikeout Josh Altman and get a ground ball to short from Wellington Dotel to force out Sampson at second and preserve the win and pick up his first save of the post season.

The Monarchs will be off on Thursday as the series shifts to Kansas City. Kansas City was the only team of the four road teams to win their first-round game Wednesday night. The win was the 39th win in franchise history in the post season.

The Monarchs will play the second game of the playoff series against the Lincoln Saltdogs Friday night (9/9) at 6:30 p.m at Legends Field in Kansas City. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 6:00 pm and the video stream airing on aa baseball.tv.

Tickets to all Monarchs playoff 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 monarchs baseball.com. and the Monarchs Facebook and Twitter pages for updates throughout the season.

WP: Hall (1-0)

LP: Minier (0-1)

S: Valdez (1)

Boxscore

By: DAN VAUGHAN, JR.

HALL NAMED POST SEASON ALL-STAR

The Kansas City Monarchs loaded their bus to Lincoln Tuesday to begin their Division Playoff series with newly named American Association Post Season All-Star starting pitcher Matt Hall. It was the second award in two weeks for Hall as he was named the Rawlings Pitcher of the Month last week by the American Association.

The Lee’s Summit, Missouri native went 10-2 this season for the Monarchs in 14 starts with a 1.09 ERA in 82 innings. Hall notched 113 team-leading strikeouts and finished the year with five straight wins for Kansas City. Hall, who also serves as the pitching coach for the club, yielded 10 earned runs and posted the lowest ERA for a single season in franchise history as well as the lowest opponents average against at .197.

The left-hander would have an outstanding August going 5-0 for the month in five starts, tossing five-of-six quality starts and going at least five innings in all of his starting nods. Hall threw 31 innings, giving up just three earned runs with 48 strikeouts. He had three games with at least 10 strikeouts and one on August 20 in Lincoln  where he punched out 12.

Hall was named the Poinstreak Pitcher of the Week the first time this season for the week ending May 22nd after making two starts and surrendering just one earned run in 11 innings with 12 strikeouts. Hall would follow that week up with three consecutive starts and with three consecutive wins, and he would have his contract transferred to the San Francisco Giants on June 12.

Hall returned to the Monarchs on July 14 and allowed just three earned runs in 37 innings with 48 strikeouts while notching six quality starts in seven outings through August 14. He was named the Pitcher of the Week for second time this season for the week ending August 14th.  Hall went 2-0 for the week and tossed 14 scoreless innings, scattering five hits with 18 strikeouts.

Hailing from Lee’s Summit, Hall attended Lee’s Summit West High School and played collegiately at Missouri State University where he was a sixth-round draft pick in the 2015 draft by the Detroit Tigers. Hall had his contract purchased on September 11, 2018 and made his Major League debut on September 15, 2018. He was traded after the 2018 season to Boston and appeared in four games for the Red Sox.

This season under Hall’s watch as pitching coach, the Monarchs had the lowest team ERA (4.40) in the league and set a franchise and American Association record for strikeouts (967) in a season.

The Monarchs will play the first game of the playoff series against the Lincoln Saltdogs Wednesday (9/7) at 7:05 p.m at Haymarket Park in Lincoln, Nebraska. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 6:35 pm and the video stream airing on aa baseball.tv.

Tickets to all Monarchs games including any possible playoff 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.