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Rojas big night keys T-Bones win

(Credit Laurel Hoseth Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks)
07/12/2017 1:02 AM -

FARGO, ND –Leo Rojas drove in five runs, and Zach Morgenstern worked three shut-down innings as the Kansas City T-Bones (29-20) won the opening game of a three-game series over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (24-26), 6-5, in 11 innings.

The outcome was in doubt into the bottom of the 11th, even after the T-Bones took a 6-5 lead in the top of the inning. Myles Smith worked around a one-out triple by Chris Grayson and a walk to Devan Ahart by getting Keury De La Cruz to pop out just beyond first base and getting Josh Mazzolla to strike out, looking for the final out of the game.

The T-Bones took the lead in the top of the inning when Jerome Pena reached base on a one out infield single off Jose Almarante. The RedHawk reliever had retired 14 straight Kansas City batters up until that point. Leo Rojas drove a ball into the right center field power alley to score Pena easily from first and to break a 5-5 tie.

The T-Bones got off to a shaky start that included two bases loaded walks with the RedHawks, scoring their first three runs on no hits in the first two innings. De La Cruz gave Fargo a 1-0 lead in the first off Chris Peterson on a sac fly RBI. 

Kansas City would answer with a pair of runs in the second on a solo home run from Tyler Horan and an RBI single from Rojas to make it 2-1 off rookie Zach Prendergast. But Fargo-Moorhead immediately took the lead back in the bottom of the second on back-to-back walks with the bases loaded.

The RedHawks added to their lead in the third on their first hit of the game, a triple from KD Kang. Left fielder Tyler Horan’s throw rolled into the photo well next to the RedHawks dugout, which allowed Kang to come home to make the score 4-2. Kyle Petty then was charged with an error to allow Trever Adams to reach base with Charlie Valerio driving in the fifth run. Kansas City would make a season high four errors and still grab the series opening win. 

The key at bat came from Rojas in the top of the sixth. After the first three batters reached on base with hits, Rojas launched another bases-clearing double to right center, scoring all three runs and tying the game 5-5 in the sixth off reliever Tyler Thompson. 

Chris Perry would only last three innings, surrendering five runs and four earned runs before giving way to Morgenstern. The true rookie gave up just one hit in the three scoreless innings he worked with a strike out. Luis Paula and Grant Sides worked a scoreless inning each while the winner was Winiarski (2-1), working a pair of scoreless innings. Smith earned his first save for Kansas City while Almarante (2-5) was charged with the loss. 

The win kept the T-Bones a game ahead of Lincoln and two games ahead of Gary SouthShore in the American Association Central Division and returned Kansas City to a season high nine games above .500 where the club reached on July 6. 

Game two of the series is set for Wednesday night at 7:02 with RHP Scott Carroll (4-2, 2.89) getting the nod for Kansas City against RHP Tyler Herron (3-1, 2.45) for Fargo-Moorhead. The game can be heard online on the T-Bones Broadcast Network on the T-Bones' MixLR page on the MixLR app on your phone or device, or head to tbonesbaseball.com and click “listen live”. New this trip--if you are used to following the games at home on AmericanAssociation.TV, you can listen in live there as well to the audio call of the game. 

The T-Bones return home Tuesday July 18 to open up a six-game home stand. For additional information or interview requests, members of the media may contact the T-Bones Media Relations Department at 913-328-5639. Tickets are available online, by calling (913) 328-5618 or by visiting in person the Providence Medical Center Box Office.

Box Score

-- T-Bones --