The series final between the Lake Country DockHounds (11-10) and the Kansas City Monarchs (15-7) was quiet until Casey Gillaspie made some major noise in the seventh with an electrifying three-run home run to aid the Monarchs to their first series victory on the road this season.
Lake Country pitcher Evan Kruczynski got the nod for his fourth start of the season. The young New Berlin, Wisconsin native was able to keep the stout Monarchs offensive lineup scoreless in the opening inning, something no opposing pitcher has been able to accomplish the previous seven games.
Veteran Akeem Bostick led the Monarchs on the hill Sunday afternoon for his fifth start of the season. Bostick coming off of back-to-back six inning starts was limited to just four innings on Sunday against the DockHounds. Bostick threw scoreless frames for the Monarchs in the first, second, and fourth innings.
The third inning stalled for the Monarchs after Joel Booker reached base safely to lead off the inning and Darnell Sweeney worked a walk behind him. The two baserunners combined for three stolen bases, but Kruczynski kept the offense at bay, keeping things scoreless at Wisconsin Brewing Company Park
Lake Country’s Jake Snider snuck one over the wall in right field to break the tie in the third inning. Jan Hernandez gave great chase nearly robbing the home run, but it had just enough distance to give the ‘Hounds the lead (1-0).
Monarchs center fielder Joel Booker served to be the team’s spark plug early on at the plate by singling in his first two trips to the plate and scoring the first run for Kansas City in the top half of the fifth to tie the game (1-1).
Kansas City grabbed the lead back from the DockHounds in the fifth (2-1) after Hernandez sent a double deep into the outfield and Adams grounded out to score Gaby Guerrero.
The DockHounds responded a few moments later with Aaron Tackas pushing the tying run across after working a bases-loaded walk against Bostick (2-2). The walk served to be the last batter for Bostick as he exited the afternoon on the mound with 4.0 IP, 4H, 2R, 5BB, and 1K.
LHP Jordan Martinson was called out of the pen to manage the mound for the Monarchs in the fifth. Martinson worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam with the help of Kozma and Sweeney who combined to turn an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. The crafty lefty continued his outing by retiring the DockHounds in order in the bottom part of the sixth inning, and striking out the side in the seventh.
Both offenses had been held fairly limited for most of the series finale on Sunday until the seventh inning when Casey Gillapsie belted a three-run shot on a 3-1 count to put the Monarchs ahead (5-2).
One inning later the Monarchs poured on two more runs all thanks to Gaby Guerrero’s infield single and a Willie Abreu sacrifice fly (7-2). The Monarchs offense produced yet another sac fly in the ninth inning from Booker to score Gillaspie (8-2).
The Monarchs bullpen was spectacular all afternoon. Jordan Martinson finished with six strikeouts through four innings of work. He then passed the ball off to Jameson McGrane to close things out on the first-ever series with Lake Country. McGrane allowed two DockHounds to reach base, but the Monarchs defense turned their second double play of the afternoon to help out the righty hurler. To seal the deal, McGrane set the final batter of the game down on strike, clinching the first road series victory of the season for Kansas City.
The Monarchs will head back home for a short two game series with Winnipeg starting on Wednesday evening. Game one of the series is set to begin at 7:00 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: Martinson (3-0)
LP: Mei (0-2)