The T-Bones (51-31) went into Thursday’s match-up against Fargo-Moorhead (45-37) trying to end a three-game losing streak and avoid the brooms of the RedHawks in the final game of the three-game series.
It was a back-and-forth ball game all night long. The T-Bones led, trailed, led, trailed, then tied to take it into extra innings.
Noah Perio Jr. was the hero of the evening with two home runs, one of which allowed for a walk-off win in the bottom of the 10th with a final score of 9-8 Kansas City.
In the T-Bones half of the first, lead-off batter Ryan Brett hit a center-field single off RedHawks starter Brandon Barker (2-4, 4.43). Colin Walsh, for his 20th RBI since being signed July 13, dropped a well-hit ball into right field to score Brett and put the T-Bones up 1-0.
KC held the modest lead until the top of the third when Devan Ahart slapped a ground ball down the middle that brought home Yhoxian Medina, who had doubled to left field.
Then the go-ahead run came home when Chris Jacobs hit a ground ball sharply to third to score Brennan Metzger. That would be the last play before the game was delayed roughly 40 minutes because of rain.
The RedHawks added to their lead in the fourth, but barely. With runners at the corners and one out, Tim Colwell hit the ball to first for the second out, but Charlie Valerio scored from third while the T-Bones chased down the runner between first and second for the third out. With that run that squeaked in, the RedHawks went up 3-1.
Despite five strikeouts to this point of the game, Tommy Collier (9-3, 3.15) sent back-to-back batters to the bases with walks to Devan Ahart and Chris Jacobs in the fifth.
A double to left field by Leobaldo Pina then brought home Ahart to make it 4-1 Fargo. Collier stayed off any more damage, striking out the last batter of the inning for strikeout number six of the night.
Colin Walsh, for his second RBI of the night, hit the ball into center in the bottom of the sixth. Both the shortstop and center fielder raced for the ball, but it dropped between them and allowed Mason Davis, who had singled and advanced on a passed ball, to score and make it 4-2.
With bases loaded, the RedHawks changed pitchers, but Keith Curcio lined the ball into right, allowing Colin Walsh and Todd Cunningham to score and tie up the game 4-4.
Another pitching change for the RedHawks meant another run for the T-Bones. Alay Lago hit an RBI sacrifice fly to left field, bringing home Adrian Nieto, who had singled earlier. The T-Bones grabbed the lead 5-4.
As quickly as the lead happened, it went away. In the top of the seventh, a three-run home run to right field by Kerry De La Cruz also scored Devan Ahart and Derrick Fox. It was 7-5 RedHawks.
Fargo tacked on another run in the eighth to make it 8-5 RedHawks. Tim Colwell, who had walked and stole a base, scored on an RBI double by Brennan Metzger.
But then the seesaw went back in favor of the T-Bones with another big inning. In the eighth, Noah Perio Jr. slammed a home run over the right field wall to cut into Fargo’s lead 8-6.
Adrian Nieto and Keith Curcio continued the T-Bones rally in the eighth, hitting back-to-back singles. Alay Lago once again came up to bat after a pitching change.
This time, he hit a double to right field to bring home Nieto and Curcio for his second and third RBIs of the night – and to once again tie the game – now 8-8.
That sent the game into extra innings. The stakes were high, with Kansas City battling to retain their second place standing in the league, which they’ve kept for 79 consecutive days going into the game.
A one-two-three top of the 10th quickly sent the T-Bones to the plate. Noah Perio Jr. took a ball for the first pitch, then connected with the second pitch, launching it over the fence for his second home run of the game, and the walk-off run.
The spectacular hitting by Perio Jr. gave Kansas City the walk-off win 9-8 over Fargo. Tommy Collier, the starter, got six strikeouts, and leads the American Association at 112 for the season.
Cody Winiarski (2-1, 1.84), who worked the ninth and 10th innings, got the win for Kansas City, and reliever Reese Gregory (3-3, 3.43) is charged with the loss for Fargo.
Kansas City begins a three-game series against the Cleburne Railroaders (28-55) Friday night at T-Bones Stadium.
Season, group tickets, mini-plans and nightly party suites are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting the box office at T-Bones Stadium. Call the box office at 913-328-5618 or purchase and print at 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.
– Story from T-Bones