Archive for T-Bones

T-Bones walk off winners to close the curtain on 2017

With a buzz of an appearance by actor Bill Murray, maybe it was fitting that the Kansas City T-Bones (57-43) took their playoff hopes down to the final out and the final minutes on the final day of the season Monday afternoon.

In a script that would make Hollywood proud, the T-Bone blew a ninth inning save only to come back and walk off winners 9-8 over the St. Paul Saints (48-52).

While scoreboard-watching most of the afternoon and trailing a good portion of a must-win day, Kansas City got an RBI single from Chantz Mack to walk off winners in the bottom of the ninth.

As the inning unfolded the Gary SouthShore RailCats walked off winners in Indiana, meaning no matter what the T-Bones did they would not advance. Instead a three-way tie occurred once Fargo-Moorhead lost to Winnipeg in Canada a half-hour later.

The T-Bones needed three things to happen Monday and got two of them, which in the end meant the club came up one game short on making their first playoff appearance since 2010 and their first as members of the American Association.

In a valiant run reaching the second most wins in franchise history – 57 – and overcoming the loss of three front-line players to affiliated ball and three other starters’ late-season injuries, the team was left with the bittersweet feeling that comes with the final game of the season.

The script looked like it was over early as St. Paul built a lead of 5-0 and 6-1 through three and a half innings. Going into the bottom of the fourth Kansas City trailed 6-1 but chipped away with an RBI single from Cedric Hunter to cut the lead to 6-2.

The T-Bones scored one more on a Tucker Pennell single and it was a 6-3 ball game. An inning later it was Jordan Edgerton who had an RBI double and the Saints’ lead was trimmed to 6-4.

In the sixth Hunter was at it again with a two-run home run off Brandon Peterson to tie the game at six. Kansas City grabbed the lead in the eighth inning with one out on a solo homer from Pennell off Ken Frosch and with both other scores in the T-Bones favor the club went to the ninth with the lead.

Cody Winiarski gave up a two-out bases-loaded single to Mitch Delfino to give St. Paul the lead back at 8-7. But Kansas City battled back in the home half of the ninth against Vinny Nittoli.

Kevin Keyes, who was named the teams Player of the Year before the game, got a leadoff walk. Jordan Edgerton moved him to second on a sacrifice bunt. With one out Niko Vasquez doubled Keyes home to tie it just as Gary’s win over Lincoln went final. That set up the walk-off win for Kansas City with the Mack single to notch win number 57.

In the end Kansas City, Gary and Fargo-Moorhead were tied with 57-43 records. Kansas City and Gary both owned the tie breaker over Fargo but the T-Bones finished 6-7 against Gary including only going 1-5 at home against the RailCats despite a 5-2 record on the road.

Cody Winiarski (5-1) got the relief win while Vinny Nittoli (2-3) was charged with the loss.

– Story from T-Bones


T-Bones keep playoff hopes alive with 11-8 win

T-Bones shortstop Niko Vasquez hit a three-run home run in the third inning. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

by Brian Turrel

The Kansas City T-Bones shook off an early four-run deficit to win Sunday evening’s game over the St. Paul Saints 11 – 8. The win kept alive the T-Bones playoff chances going into the regular season’s final game.

The T-Bones play the Saints at 1 p.m. Monday at Community America Ballpark in Kansas City, Kansas. The T-Bones are celebrating Fan Appreciation Day with a “Kids Eat Free” promotion and $1 general admission tickets.

The T-Bones earned the win for reliever Grant Sides with three runs in the 7th inning, after the Saints had scored four in the top of the inning. Designated hitter Tucker Pennell struck a two-run double, and center fielder Cedric Hunter hit an RBI single to take the 10 – 8 lead.

The T-Bones added a run in the eighth to complete the scoring, helped by two wild pitches from Saints reliever Ivan Vieitez, who took the loss. American Association Relief Pitcher of the Year winner Cody Winiarski pitched the ninth inning for the T-Bones to get the save.

The beginning of the game did not look promising, with T-Bones starter Jared Mortensen giving up two runs in each of the first two innings, assisted by some leaky defense. The T-Bones hit the ball solidly in the first two innings, but weren’t able to score.

The T-Bones turned up the power in the bottom of the third, with a three-run home run by Niko Vazquez, followed two batters later by Kyle Petty with a two-run homer.

The T-Bones extended their lead to 7 – 4 in the sixth inning, scoring on a sacrifice bunt from second baseman Marcus Lemon and a sacrifice fly from first baseman Kevin Keyes.

The T-Bones are still in contention for the second wild card spot in the American Association playoffs. To take advantage, they will need a win today, along with losses by the Gary Southshore Railcats and Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks.

Photos copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel

T-Bones left fielder Kyle Petty hit a two-run home run in the third inning. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

T-Bones mascot Sizzle came face to face with the winner of the cutest baby contest. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

Starting pitcher Jared Mortensen pitched six innings, giving up six earned runs. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

Catcher Zane Chavez tagged out the Saints’ Maxx Garrett on a collision at home plate. Kyle Petty made the throw from left field for the assist. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

Pitcher Grant Sides celebrated after applying the final tag in a six-throw rundown play that involved holding runners on second and third base. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

Right fielder Chantz Mack’s shattered bat sailed into the infield. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

Catcher Zane Chavez hit an RBI single in the eighth inning to give the T-Bones a three-run lead. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

Catcher Zane Chavez hit an RBI single in the eighth inning to give the T-Bones a three-run lead. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

Reliever Cody Winiarski pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn the save. Winiarski was named the American Association’s Relief Pitcher of the Year and was named to the league’s post-season all-star team. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)


T-Bones’ rally falls short

The Kansas City T-Bones entered Saturday night’s contest knowing if they kept winning they would control their own destiny for a post-season berth in the American Association Wild Card race.

The Saint Paul Saints behind right-hander Jason Hoppe played the role of spoiler in a 4-3 win in front of an energetic crowd of 5,104 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City, Kansas.

The T-Bones took a 1-0 lead in the home half of the third inning off Hoppe. Tucker Pennell singled, then appeared to be doubled off first on a line drive out to second by Cedric Hunter, but St. Paul second baseman Mitch Delfino threw the ball away at first and Pennell raced for second.

Catcher Maxx Garrett, backing up the play, threw the ball away at second for the second error on the play, and Pennell moved on to third. Marcus Lemon then drove Pennell home on an infield single for the first run of the game.

From there the Saints starter Hoppe held the T-Bones offense in check, tossing four scoreless innings for St. Paul, scattering five hits with two walks and two strike outs, and giving up the one unearned run.

St. Paul took the lead in the top of the fourth on a Mitch Delfino single that scored two off T-Bones starter Alex Blackford. The Saints added another in the fifth on an RBI single from Dan Johnson, and it was 3-1.

The game stayed 3-1 until the top of the eighth when St. Paul got a huge insurance run.

Myles Smith walked the leadoff batter Brady Shoemaker then Dan Johnson followed with a single. Smith struck out Nate Hanson then hit Kes Carter with a pitch to load the bases.

Rich Mascheri came in for Smith and got the second out of the inning on a sacrifice fly from Mitch Delfino to give the Saints a 4-1 lead. That run proved to be big in the game as the T-Bones batted in the eighth.

With runners at second and third and two outs, Chantz Mack delivered an RBI single to cut the lead to 4-3, but that was as close as Kansas City got. In the ninth Ken Frosch worked around a two-out walk by striking out Marcus Lemon to end the game.

It was a hard luck quality start loss for Blackford (1-3) who went seven innings with 10 strike outs while Hoppe (1-3) got the win. The save was the first for Frosch.

The loss was again a tough one for Kansas City, with both Fargo-Moorhead and Gary winning their games, dropping Kansas City a game behind Fargo-Moorhead and tied with Gary with two games remaining in the season. The T-Bones won the tie breaker with Fargo but not with Gary.

The T-Bones and Saints will play game three of their four-game series Sunday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark at 7:05 p.m. Right-handed pitcher Jared Mortensen (8-1, 2.84) will take the hill for the T-Bones to face right-handed pitcher Ryan Zimmerman (7-7, 5.18) for St. Paul.

Tickets are available online, by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting in person the Providence Medical Center Box Office.

– Story from T-Bones