06/20/2019 9:00 PM -
KANSAS CITY, Kan. –The rubber match of the series between the Kansas City T-Bones and the Sioux City Explorers was a dogfight, with both teams playing for the series victory. In the end, the Explorers broke the T-Bones’ hearts when they stunned them for three runs in the top of the ninth to steal the game and the series away from Kansas City.
Kansas City (15-16) hurler Erik Manoah (1-0) was shaky to begin the first inning, allowing a leadoff walk to Kyle Wren that would eventually come around to score off of a wild pitch, a stolen base, and an RBI-groundout by Nate Samson to give Sioux City (17-17) a 1-0 lead.
The T-Bones made it a new ballgame in the bottom of the first when Dylan Tice took a one-out walk, and then Casey Gillaspie drove him in with a double down the right field line to even the score.
After throwing a scoreless frame in the second, Manoah ran into trouble again in the top of the third. A two-run shot by Wren and a solo home run by Samson gave the Explorers a three run lead, 4-1.
Sioux City starting pitcher Eric Karch (0-3) settled down after allowing an earned run in the first inning, and he went on to pitch four scoreless innings before the T-Bones got to him for a second time.
It started with a one-out walk to Gillaspie, followed soon by a ground-rule double to center by Taylor Sparks, and after Shawn O’Malley walked to load the bases, the T-Bones offense was back in business. Forresst Allday stepped up to the plated with the bases juiced and two outs and responded to the pressure by knocking a double into the gap in center field that cleared the bases and tied that game at four runs apiece.
The game remained tied until the top of the ninth inning, when Kansas City sent reliever Nathan Foriest (0-1) to the mound. The inning started out harmless, with a leadoff single by Jose Sermo off of the first pitch that he saw. Then a series of back-to-back-to-back walks allowed the Explorers to score the go-ahead run, while still having the bases loaded and nobody out.
Robert Calvano (0-2) came in to relive Foriest and forced a double play that allowed another run to cross the plate and Sioux City padded their lead on an RBI-double by Dylan Kelly that put them up 7-4.
The T-Bones found themselves down three runs with only three outs remaining and the bottom of the order due to bat. Kansas City was unable to get a man on base in the bottom of the ninth, and they fell to Sioux City in the series finale.
The Kansas City T-Bones will host the Cleburne Railroaders in a three-game series starting Friday, June 21, at 7:05 p.m.