08/28/2018 5:58 PM -
Dan Vaughan - T-Bones Media
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The Kansas City T-Bones welcomed 4,268 students to celebrate science, technology, engineering and math Tuesday for the 11:05 am start at T-Bones Stadium. If they were paying attention, they got a lesson in all those disciplines with an exciting 14-13 walk off win for KC over the Sioux City Explorers.
The “science” of it all is that the combination of south winds blowing out and a baseball pitch up in the strike zone in the 85 to 95 mile an hour range when hitting a wooden bat result in balls leaving the ball park often. The teams combined for eight home runs during the game, the first of which was a grand slam over the mini monster in left field by Sioux City left fielder Blake Schmit off Adam Bleday to help give the X’s a six-run advantage in the top of the first.
The T-Bones found themselves trailing 8-0 after an inning and a half. Colin Walsh took Sioux City starter Luis Mateo deep in the bottom of the second to make it 8-1, proving the science was right, and he was joined by two solo shots by Tucker Pennell and Mason Davis to trim to lead to 8-3 and inning later.
Sioux City then jumped to a 9-3 lead in the top of the fourth when Michael Lang hit the left field foul pole to increase the visitors’ lead to 9-3 owing to more home run “science.” KC would chip away in the bottom of the fourth, highlighted by a two-run single to cut the lead to 9-6 in favor Sioux City. Anthony Phillips added a two-run home run in the fifth, and the T-Bones trailed by just one.
“Technology” has made a major impact on both sports and education. The American Association, as all leagues and teams do, puts out daily stats, and the T-Bones add a set of game notes for each game. Those notes for fans and media cover trends and headlines and help tell the story and make the game more understandable. The two teams boast the top two offensive batting averages. The Explores lead the league in average, coming into the day at .304, but KC at .294 actually was out hitting Sioux City 10-8 at this point in the game. That technology of the internet provided the research that told fans that the T-Bones were 49-10 when out hitting their opponents.
On cue, Sioux City breaks out the offense once again in the sixth inning. The first two batters reached off T-Bones reliever Pasquale Mazzoccoli who was later relieved by lefty Joe Filomeno. Sioux City would score four runs—the first three coming on a Jose Sermo three-run home run to left. The last was a manufactured run when Dean Green was hit by a pitch, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and came home on a sac fly to make it 13-8.
But now comes the “engineering” lesson as the T-Bones would engineer the comeback despite being down 13-8. In the seventh the T-Bones got four more runs. Anthony Phillips would triple home Danny Hayes to get his third hit and one shy of the cycle off Keith Picht, and the lead was cut to 13-9. Phillips had a fourth inning double and a eighth inning single to complete the feat. Tucker Pennell hit a single to left center to score Phillips, and it was now 13-10. Sioux City got the double play ball and looked to escape any more damage, but the engineering continued. Mason Davis would walk, and Todd Cunningham and Colin Walsh would single to load the bases. With two outs and facing lefty Patrick Schuster, Noah Perio Jr. would drive in another two runs his fourth and fifth of the day (and his 23rd in the last week) to cut the lead to 13-12.
The final piece of the lesson is the “mathematic” equation. Baseball is full of stats and averages, and the T-Bones taught the crowd one final lesson. One hit plus one hit plus another hit equals walk-off winner. Todd Cunningham singled to start the bottom of the ninth off of X’s closer Eric Karch. The righty had 21 saves coming into the game for Sioux City. Colin Walsh then would single back up the middle to put runners at first and second. Noah Perio Jr. then hit a line drive down the right field line hitting the chalk to score Cunningham, and Walsh, who ran through a stop sign but the throw home was late ending the game as the T-Bones walked off winners. 1+1+1 = T-Bones winners 14-13.
The T-Bones won their 59th game, a new franchise high, and are now 59-34, while Sioux City, who clinched the division, drops to 67-27. KC took two of three in the series and finished the game one full game ahead of third place Wichita in the American Association Wild Card race with six games still to play.
The T-Bones will host Wichita in a big three-game series beginning Wednesday night at 7:05pm at T-Bones Stadium. It will be a Warrior Wednesday—FREE Ticket with Military ID, presented by Warhorses for Veterans—, Pre-game Autographs with select players, and a Sizzle selfie. The game can be heard online on the T-Bones Broadcast Network.
Season, group tickets, mini-plans and nightly party suites are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting the Box Office at T-Bones Stadium. Call the Box Office at 913-328-5618 or purchase and print at www.tbonesbaseball.com. Box office hours are 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday – Friday and 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Saturday.
For additional information or interview requests, members of the media may contact the T-Bones Media Relations Department at (817) 739-3693. Stay tuned to www.tbonesbaseball.com. and the T-Bones Facebook and Twitter pages for updates throughout the season.
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