by G.M.W. Vaughan, Monarchs
Winnipeg, Manitoba – The Monarchs (50-31) crossed the Canadian border for the first time since 2019.
While the Goldeyes (46-35) got on board first, the fourth inning proved explosive for the Monarchs on a Casey Gillaspie grand slam home run.
The Monarchs start the series with a statement win in game one with a score of 7-4.
In the first inning, the Goldeyes showed they fully intended to keep the Monarchs from another reign as the first batter got grazed by a Nick Belzer pitch, followed by an Ian Sagdal base hit and an error that moved runners up.
A Max Murphy base hit scored the first two runs, ending the first inning with an early 2-0 lead for the Goldeyes.
In the second and third innings, the Goldeyes maintained their lead, but in the fourth inning, the Monarchs stepped on their toes, answering with a Mallex Smith early home run, cutting the lead in half, 2-1.
Then after a base hit by Robson and walks for Adams and Escarra, Gillaspie crushed a grand slam to end the inning with a solid 5-2 lead for the Monarchs.
The Goldeyes fought back in the sixth with a triple by Murphy that scored Sagdal and ended the inning with a 5-3 score.
The Goldeye bats continued to work in the seventh as Jacob Rhinesmith hit a double, but the Goldeyes couldn’t bring him home. At the end of the seventh, the score remained 5-3.
Travis Seabrook took the mound for the Goldeyes in the top of the eighth and walked both Matt Adams and Jan Hernandez, but the Monarchs failed to bring them home.
In the bottom of the eighth, Brian Glowicki relieved Belzer. Sagdal advanced to first on a base hit, followed by a pop fly by Murphy that was caught, then dropped, allowing Sagdal to score. The inning ended with a nail-biting 5-4 score.
Tasker Strobel took the mound for Winnipeg in the ninth. After a base hit for Gillaspie, Ryan Grotjohn hit a no-doubter two-run home run to right field, answering the questionable call with good karma for the Monarchs, 7-4.
Brandon Koch came to the rubber for the Monarchs in the bottom of the ninth, earning the save. The Monarchs won their first game in Manitoba since 2019, 7-4. The winning pitcher was Nick Belzer, and Landon Bourassa got the loss.
The Kansas City Monarchs and Winnipeg Goldeyes will play game two of the three-game series at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, in Winnipeg. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 6 p.m. and the video stream airing on aabaseball.tv.
Tickets to Monarchs games can be purchased by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting monarchsbaseball.com.