OCONOMOWOC, Wisc. — With the Monarchs’ backs against the wall late, they counted on Zach Matson to keep them in the game. He delivered, and then some.
Matson threw four perfect innings to finish off a come-from-behind 6-5 win to open a three-game series at Wisconsin Brewing Company Park.
The Garden City native struck out four over innings six through nine, earning the win as the Monarchs (7-6) moved to the right side of .500 for the first time this year. Kansas City has won six of its past seven games.
“I felt like when my fastball was in the zone it was playing well, and I was able to throw my splitter off that and keep the hitters off balance,” Matson said. “Herm [catcher Chris Herrmann] did a great job of calling a game back there.”
The Monarchs got timely hitting in a back-and-forth game to earn the win. Herrmann continued his hot streak with a 4-for-5 performance. He and Jacob Robson both hit home runs.
Kansas City took the lead for good in the seventh on a two-out, two-run double from Dylan Rosa.
The win gives Kansas City the chance to clinch the series victory with a win Saturday night (first pitch: 6:05 p.m.).
“Getting that first one out of the way on the road trip, it sets up the road trip nicely,” Matson said. “We’ve got a good thing going here early; let’s keep it going.”
The Monarchs jumped out to an early lead in the first Johneshwy Fargas hit a leadoff double and scored on a sacrifice fly from Jan Hernandez.
Lake Country responded with two in the third, including a squeeze bunt from Aaron Simmons to make it 2-1.
Herrmann’s solo homer tied it at three in the fourth. It was his fifth blast of the year and 19th RBI, both of which rank second in the league.
An RBI single from Brian Rey put the DockHounds back in front in the fourth, but Robson’s fifth-inning blast tied the score once more.
Simmons struck again in the fifth, hitting a two-run home run off Monarchs starter Brandon Finnegan to make it 5-3 Lake Country.
Finnegan threw five innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits, walking three and striking out a season-high seven batters.
Jan Hernandez led off the seventh inning with a double, and Herrmann hit a pop fly that the Lake Country infield lost in the lights and fell for a hit.
Micker Adolfo knocked Hernandez in with an RBI single one batter later. After a strikeout, Dylan Rosa delivered his game-winning knock to put the Monarchs in front.
Matson took it from there, including throwing a 1-2-3 ninth with the Monarchs up by one.
“Those last three outs, when you’re out there for a while, they don’t seem much different,” Matson said. “You just focus in on what’s going on.”
Hernandez was 3-for-4 for Kansas City; Robson was 2-for-5.
The Monarchs look to clinch the series win Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. Cody Deason will start for Kansas City; Lake Country’s starter is still to be announced.