by G.M. Vaughan
The T-Bones broke a three-way tie for first place on Saturday evening with a 3-2 win in 10 innings in Kansas City, Kansas.
Stewart Ijames got the winning single in the 10th inning for the T-Bones, scoring Dylan Tice for the win.
At a time when every game feels like a playoff game because the stakes are so high for each team, Saturday’s game between Eric Karch, pitching for Sioux City Explorers, and Akeem Bostick, pitching for the Kansas City T-Bones, felt like everything was on the line.
After seven strike-outs in a row, Akeem Bostick left the ballgame, apparently injured, bringing Henry Owens to the mound in the top of the third. And after a walk to Dylan Kelley, and a bunt by Kyle Wren that advanced him to second, the Explorers threatened early, but the T-Bones defense kept them from scoring.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Stewart Ijames hit a single to the shortstop and advanced to first. A base hit by Nava sent Ijames to third. And with T-Bones on the corners, Casey Gillaspie got on base and drove in Ijames for a 1-0 T-Bones lead.
A walk for Sebastian Zawada and a single to left field by Dylan Kelly helped the Exes charge back in the top of the fifth. Kyle Wren got a double, bringing Zawada home, tying the game 1-1. After a 3-1 groundout fielder’s choice, Drew Stankiewicz got Kelly home, and the Exes took the lead 2-1.
The T-Bones responded quickly, with a single by Omar Carrizales and another by Ramsey Romano. With T-Bones on the corners again, a Dylan Tice base hit brought home Carrizales, tying the game 2-2.
After several innings of great defensive playing, the T-Bones and Exes were tied at the end of nine innings. But things turned around quickly in the tenth inning. Tice advanced to first when hit by a pitch by Jose Velez and then stole second base.
And finally, Ijames got the game-winning RBI as he hit a single that brought Tice home, and the T-Bones walked it off, winning 3-2, and securing first place—all alone—in the South.
The winning pitcher for the T-Bones was Hunter Smith (1-0), and the losing pitcher was Jose Velez (2-1) for the Explorers.
The T-Bones and Exes still have two more games to play to finish out the season, with the third game of the four-game series starting at 7:05 p.m. Sunday in Kansas City, Kansas. On Monday, Labor Day, they will play at 1:05 p.m. at T-Bones Stadium. The games will be on the T-Bones Broadcast Network, http://mixlr.com/t-bones-baseball/.
Tickets to all T-Bones home games are on sale online or by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting the Saint Luke’s Box Office between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Group ticket sales are also on sale. For more information, see www.tbonesbaseball.com.