08/28/2009 10:09 PM -
With a 3-2 victory tonight against the Joliet JackHammers (31-61), the Kansas City T-Bones (45-48) have clinched the chance to defend their 2008 Northern League title as the #4 seed, the same position they entered the playoffs last season.
Joliet took the first lead in tonight’s contest, gaining a 1-0 advantage against Derek Duclos (2-3) when Adam Klein walked to begin the first and later scored on a wild pitch. Kansas City tied the game in the third inning when Ryan Fox was hit by Rory Shortell (3-7) to begin the frame and eventually scored on a one-out single by Luis Terrero.
Klein again worked a leadoff walk in the bottom of the third and advanced to second on a walk by the next batter, Rob Dahlberg. Kevin Rios then laid down a sacrifice bunt, but a wild throw to first by Duclos allowed Klein to score the second and final run for Joliet.
Duclos left in favor of Weston Curles after surrendering a one-out walk in the sixth inning. Curles induced a double play groundout from the only batter he faced to end the frame. Duclos allowed two runs, one earned, on just one hit while walking seven in the victory.
Greg Jacobs homered with one out in the fifth to tie the game at two. Following singles by Terrero and Jim Fasano, Craig Hurba plated Terrero with a sacrifice fly to cap the score at 3-2. Shortell was charged with three runs on seven hits over seven innings in the loss.
Brady Martinez pitched a scoreless seventh and Justin James threw a perfect eighth in relief for Kansas City. Nate Cotton allowed Joliet to load the bases with a single and two walks in the ninth, but pitched out of trouble to secure his 12th save with a scoreless frame.
The two teams face off again tomorrow in game two of their four-game set, with Kansas City sending Ryan Knippschild (4-7, 4.55) to face Nate Sevier (2-3, 2.77) and the JackHammers. First pitch is set for 7:05.
PRIME CUTS: While Kansas City’s opponent for the first round has yet to be determined, the dates for the two games to be held at CommunityAmerica Ballpark are Wednesday, September 2 and Thursday, September 3. Both games will start at 7:05. Advanced ticket sales are available by calling 913-328-5618 or visiting www.tbonesbaseball.com All tickets for those contests are general admission and are just $6 in advance. They will be $7 on the day of the games.