The Kansas City Monarchs are on the brink of elimination after falling to Sioux City 8-1 in the opening game of the American Association’s West Division Championship series.
The loss at Lewis and Clark Park means the Monarchs need to win Games 2 and 3 on Wednesday and Thursday night from Legends Field to keep their season alive and advance to the Wolff Cup Finals.
Game 2 of the series is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Legends Field. If needed, Game 3 is set for Thursday at 7 p.m.
Sioux City collected 17 hits in the win, all but two of them singles.
Kansas City starter Zac Grotz was solid, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits over six innings of work. He walked two and struck out one. Brian O’Grady was 2-for-4 with an RBI double for the Monarchs.
O’Grady’s double gave Kansas City a brief lead in the first inning. That was all they would get against Explorers starter Austin Drury. The left-hander threw 5.1 innings, allowing one run on two hits. He walked three and struck out eight.
The Explorers tied the game in the bottom of the first when Wilfredo Gimenez hit a ground ball to third and John Nogowski scored on an error from Taylor Snyder.
The X’s took the lead in the fifth on a Scott Ota RBI single. They scored in each of their last four innings at bat, including the fifth.
That included an RBI groundout from CHase Harris to score Wilfredo Gimenez in the sixth. Scott Ota came in on a wild pitch in the seventh to make it 4-1.
Sioux City poured on four runs in the eighth on six singles, including RBI knocks from Daniel Lingua, Ota and Gimenez.
Ashton Goudeau will start Wednesday’s game for the Monarchs with their season on the line. He’ll go up against Sioux City’s Mitchell Verburg. Fans can watch the game on AABaseball.TV.