Starting pitcher Tommy Collier (5-3) led the Kansas City T-Bones (34-20) past the St. Paul Saints (31-24) to avoid a four-game sweep in Kansas City on Sunday afternoon at T-Bones Stadium.
Collier pitched eight innings giving up two runs on five hits and striking out a season-high 10 batters. The T-Bones tallied up five runs on eight hits to outlast the often-resilient Saints with a final score of 5-2.
The T-Bones wasted no time, jumping out to an early 1-0 lead on the Saints after a two-out solo home run by Colin Walsh.
Kansas City kept its foot on the gas in the third inning, starting with a lead-off walk by Tucker Pennell. After Dylan Tice hit into a fielder’s choice Pennell was out at second, leaving Tice at first.
Walsh forced a walk to put runners on first and second for Nick Torres, who hit a ground-rule double, scoring Tice. Noah Perio Jr. continues to have an impact on this ball club, hitting an RBI double that allowed Walsh and Torres to score. The T-Bones took a 4-0 lead into the fourth inning.
The T-Bones’ four-run lead took a hit in the sixth inning, stemming from a one-out single down the third base line by Max Murphy.
The next at bat, Kyle Barrett struck a well-hit ball to right field that sent Murphy to third to put runners at the corners. Burt Reynolds quickly struck out for out number two, putting the pressure on Brady Shoemaker to deliver for St. Paul. On the third pitch of the at bat, Shoemaker crushed a double to left field, scoring Murphy from third and a hustling Barrett from first. The Saints cut into the T-Bones lead 4-2.
In the bottom of the sixth, Perio Jr. started off the inning with a single to left field. One batter later, Keith Curcio mimicked Perio Jr. hitting another single to left field to put runners on first and third.
The T-Bones tacked on another run thanks to a Dexter Kjerstad fielder’s choice that allowed Perio Jr. to score. Kansas City extended its lead to 5-2 over St. Paul.
Collier and Kevin Hill secured the win for the T-Bones pitching scoreless seventh, eighth, and ninth frames. Kansas City went on to win by a final score of 5-2. Collier was credited as the winning pitcher. Kevin Hill was credited with the save.
The T-Bones broke a three-game slide against the Saints. Kansas City improves to 34-20 on the season and regains sole possession of second place in the South Division with a half-game lead over the Wichita Wingnuts.
St. Paul drops to 31-24 on the season, hanging on to a half -game lead for first place in the North Division over the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks.
The T-Bones hit the road for a three-game series against the Cleburne RailRoaders starting Monday, July 16, at 7:05 p.m.
Individual tickets, season, group, mini-plans and nightly party suites are on sale and can be purchased by visiting the box office at T-Bones Stadium or www.tbonesbaseball.com. Box office hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
The T-Bones’ games are airing on the T-Bones Broadcast Network, http://mixlr.com/t-bones-baseball/.
– Story from T-Bones