The Kansas City Monarchs (37-18) dusted off a few early struggles before completing the home series sweep over the Lake Country DockHounds (19-37). KC came out on top in a back-and-forth battle where both teams held a lead twice behind a big 10-hit offensive showing, headlined by Jan Hernandez’s 3-for-5 night.
The DockHounds Gio Brusa began the game with a bang as he blasted a two-run home run to the out-of-town bullpen in left field and gave Lake Country an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first. In the bottom half, the DockHounds would remain in control when their starting pitcher Alex McRae struck out the side in order.
Over the next two innings, Thorpe would look more like his normal self, only facing four batters in both the top of the second and third innings.
The next signs of life from the DockHounds came in the fourth, when Lance Briggs roped a line drive down the left field line, advancing Tristen Carranza from first to third, but a great play off the left field wall and strong throw from Darnell Sweeney would hose Briggs at second base, retiring the side scoreless. In the bottom half, the Monarchs offense would finally come alive for Thorpe with a leadoff bomb from second baseman Chad De La Guerra, cutting the Lake Country lead in half. The DockHounds would go on to allow two more baserunners but strand them both, only allowing the one run in the inning.
The top of the fifth would be led off with back-to-back singles from Zion Pettigrew and Efrain Contreras. Then, a ground ball from Gabriel Noriega would induce a double play but score Pettigrew. Despite the run, Kansas City was lucky to get the double play when they did, as the next batter of the inning, T.J. Bennett, would hit a solo home run and extend the Lake Country lead by only one, bringing the score to 4-1 DockHounds. In classic Monarchs fashion, the bats wouldn’t let the lead hold for long. The inning was led off by back-to-back-to-back doubles from Pete Kozma, J.C. Escarra, and Darnell Sweeney, cutting the Lake Country lead to one for Chad De La Guerra with Sweeney in scoring position. De La Guerra would not make it four straight doubles, but he was productive nonetheless with an RBI single to right center that scored Sweeney, knotting the score at fours.
In the bottom of the sixth and the top of the seventh, both teams would relieve their starting pitchers with entrances from Cyrillo Watson and Jordan Martinson, respectively. Cyrillo would have a clean sixth, only allowing one walk to Kozma before the turn of the inning, but he would begin to show struggles with control in the seventh, awarding two-out walks to Jan Hernandez and Matt Adams, setting the table for Home Run Derby champion David Thompson, who hit a hard ground ball to shortstop Noriega that turned out to be too hot to handle, loading the bases with two away. Cyrillo’s control would continue to haunt him, as Hernandez would score from third on a wild pitch, giving the Monarchs their first lead of the game, 5-4.
Martinson would begin the top of the eighth, but he would allow a single, walk, and hit by pitch, loading the bases and forcing manager Joe Calfapietra’s hand, subbing Brandon Koch for Jordan Martinson on the mound. Koch’s first batter was Wilfredo Giminez, who would hit a fielder’s choice ground ball to first, scoring Gabriel Noriega and tying the game up once again. A rare David Thompson error would score T.J. Bennett during the next plate appearance and give the DockHounds their second lead of the game. But once again, the Monarchs took this personally. Takoda Metoxen would begin the bottom half on the bump, and after two singles and a fielder’s choice, Chad De La Guerra would step up with Darnell Sweeney at first and Pete Kozma at third. De La Guerra would then become the first of three straight walks that would give the Monarchs their second lead of the game, making the score now 7-6 Kansas City, and chase Metoxen from the game for Shea Murray. Murray would promptly allow a singe to David Thompson, scoring Chad De La Guerra and Jan Hernandez and blowing the lead wide open, putting the Monarchs ahead by three, their biggest lead of the game.
Koch would stay on for the top of the ninth, first allowing a leadoff walk to Zion Pettigrew and a single to Efrain Contreras, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Koch wasn’t phased, however, as he retired the next three batters, striking out Gio Brusa to secure the win for himself and the series sweep for the Monarchs.
The Monarchs will have an off day tomorrow before hitting the road to begin a four-game series in Milwaukee against the Milkmen on Monday (7/18). The game will begin at 6:35 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.
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.Tickets to all Monarchs games can be purchased by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting
WP: Koch (2-1)
LP: Metoxen (0-1)