09/10/2008 10:36 PM -
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Craig Hurba (pictured) and Bo Hart each hit grand slams for the T-Bones tonight as Kansas City took the final game at CommunityAmerica Ballpark this season, 12-7, over the Gary SouthShore RailCats to even the Northern League Championship Series at 1-1. Their victory came on the same day that owner John Ehlert collected his first hole-in-one on the golf course earlier in the afternoon.
Steve Haake scored the first run of the game on a double play by Anthony Esquer in the second inning to give the RailCats a 1-0 lead against Chris Rhoads. Jim Fasano answered off Tony Cogan in the bottom of the frame with a solo home run, his second in as many nights, to even the score at one.
Gary chased Rhoads from the game in the third, scoring six times on six hits as they took a 7-1 lead. Tanner Townsend drove in the first run of the inning with a single before Kansas City’s rookie hurler struck out Christian Guerrero for the second out. The RailCats then saw seven straight batters reach with RBI singles from Mike Rohde and Eric Blakeley and a three-run triple by Eric McNamee finishing Rhoads’ night.
Rhoads allowed seven runs on seven hits over two and two-thirds innings but would not factor into the decision.
Kansas City picked up a run in the bottom of the inning on a sacrifice fly by Aharon Eggleston to push the score to 7-2. Cogan got a quick flyout to begin the fourth before surrendering three straight singles. After a lineout by Neb Brown, Hurba lined a ball down the left-field line for Kansas City’s first grand slam of the contest to pull the T-Bones within one.
Cogan allowed a single and a walk before a dropped flyball by Haake loaded the bases with nobody out to begin the fifth. After a strikeout by Ken Harvey, Fasano tied the game when he forced in a run when he was hit by a pitch from Gary’s veteran left-hander. The next batter, Hart, put the T-Bones up 11-7 with their second grand slam of the night.
Cogan left after the blast having surrendered 11 runs, 10 earned, on eight hits over four and one-thirds innings. He would suffer the loss after having allowed five times as many runs as he surrendered in his four previous starts against the T-Bones this season.
The T-Bones added their final tally in the bottom of the eighth against Brandon Higelin on a sacrifice fly by Greg Jacobs.
Andy Shipman allowed a single to the first batter he faced in relief of Rhoads before retiring nine in-a-row. He earned the victory after surrendering just two hits over three and one-thirds innings of work.
Todd Moser (one and two-thirds) and Brady Martinez (one-third) combined to throw two scoreless innings before giving way to David Trahan in the ninth. Trahan sandwiched a single between two strikeouts before inducing a groundout to end the contest.
The two teams now head to Gary, Ind. for game three their best-of-five championship series Friday night. Kansas City looks to Kenny Durost as the RailCats counter with Brian Forystek. First pitch of game three is set for 7:05.