Monarchs Outlast RedHawks To Take First Place

FARGO, N.D. — The Kansas City Monarchs are alone in first place.

Kansas City edged the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 3-2 in 10 innings Tuesday night at Newman Outdoor Field, improving to 19-9 on the season and moving to the top of the American Association’s West Division standings.

Both teams entered the game 9-1 in their last 10 in a rematch of last year’s West Division Finals. The Monarchs, who lost that series a year ago, earned a measure of payback Tuesday.

LJ Hatch delivered the game-winning hit for Kansas City, a 10th-inning RBI single off RedHawks closer Tanner Riley.

“I felt pretty confident because I could see both of his pitches, and I feel confident enough to put the ball in play there,” Hatch said. “Lucky for me it got through.”

The Monarchs closed the game with a web gem. With two out and the bonus runner on second, second baseman Justin Wylie made a diving catch on a ball up the middle to end the game.

“It was obviously a really big play for the team,” Wylie said. “Being able to close out a win against Fargo, in Fargo, which is such a good club, it’s obviously really big.”

Grant Gavin earned the win for the Monarchs, throwing two perfect innings to finish the game. Normally reserved on the mound, he burst into a fist pump after Wylie’s grab.

“It was not my most proud moment, but I was just excited that we won the game,” Gavin said. “I told Wylie I could give him a kiss.”

Kansas City scored the game’s first run in the first inning. Chris Herrmann knocked an RBI single to score Joshneshwy Fargas and make it 1-0.

Fargo-Moorhead took control with two solo homers in the third off Monarchs starter Zach Matson. Nick Novak and Evan Alexander homered, making it 2-1 after three.

Matson threw five innings, allowing two runs on three hits with one walk and three strikeouts. He threw a season-high 87 pitches.

Jan Hernandez tied the game for Kansas City with a solo homer in the sixth, his fourth longball of the year.

Jordan Martinson bridged the gap for the Monarchs, tossing three scoreless innings. He allowed just two hits (both singles) without walking a batter, striking out four.

The Monarchs’ attention now turns to game two of the series at 7:02 p.m. Wednesday night.

“It’s always nice to start off with a win, and not really be relaxed, but have that confidence going into game two and game three,” Hatch said.

Kevin McGovern will get the ball for Fargo-Moorhead; Cody Deason will start for Kansas City.