05/15/2014 11:45 PM -
Kansas City, Kan. -- After days of waiting to finally play their home opener, the T-Bones had to wait a little longer for the conclusion of it. The T-Bones hosted the Lincoln Saltdogs in CommunityAmerica Ballpark on Thursday, May 15, and were not able to complete it till the next day.
After erasing a five run deficit, the T-Bones forced extra innings with two key runs in the ninth. Then after four scoreless frames, head umpire Trent Delmont suspended the home opener till Friday May 16 prior to the start of game two.
The T-Bones were not able to carry the momentum when they resumed play the next day, dropping the home opener 11-7.
In the 16th Saltdogs shortstop Maikol Gonzalez banged a leadoff single to right center and was plated home for the go-ahead run by first baseman Ian Gac who ripped an RBI single through right. The Saltdogs then tacked on three more insurance runs to come away with the two-day season opener.
In the 16 inning, two day defeat, the T-Bones were just shy of the record in terms of time accumulating 5:30 of game time, the record for longest game in franchise history is 5:46. They tied their longest game on opening day in terms of innings with 16 innings of action.
After five solid innings out of starter Daniel Barone, first-year manager John Massarelli went to the bullpen with a tie ball game at 2-2. He called in lefty Kristhiam Linares in the top of the sixth, who was rattled giving up three runs off five hits.
The Saltdogs tacked on two more insurance runs in the seventh off four hits, on Chris Squires as they continued to rough up the T-Bones bullpen, jumping out to a 7-2 lead after seven.
But rather than call it a night, the T-Bones clawed back into the game, as designated hitter Bryan Sabatella and right fielder TJ Mittelstaedt pinged a pair of singles to score three runs in the eighth, to bring within 7-5.
It was a nearly flawless game that was until the home half of the ninth before the Saltdogs committed the two costly errors of the ballgame. Down just 7-5 the Kansas City T-Bones were clinging to their final outs in their home opener against the Lincoln Saltdogs.
A leadoff double by first baseman David Espinosa, followed by a pair of singles from second baseman Danny Richar and Sabatella, helped the T-Bones force extra innings.
Barone got the nod for the T-Bones pitching professionally for the first time since 2009. He tossed five innings on the bump allowing two runs off six hits, striking out six in his return to baseball.
Joe Bisenius started for the Saltdogs in the opener, he led the league in strikeouts before being purchased by the Atlanta Braves in 2013. Bisenius continued where he left off fanning nine batters, in five innings on the mound allowing two runs off three hits.
As a team the T-Bones were sent back to the dugout on 21 punch outs for the most strikeouts as a team in a single game in franchise history. Between the Saltdogs and T-Bones combined, there were 36 strikeouts recorded, which became an American Association record. The previous record was 32 between the Diablos and Wichita Wingnuts back on June 20.