09/16/2008 7:35 PM -
GARY, Ind. – For the first time in team history, the Kansas City T-Bones can now say they are the best team in the Northern League after their 5-3 victory tonight over the defending champion Gary SouthShore RailCats. With the win, the T-Bones secured their first Northern League title since moving to Kansas City in 2003 after taking the championship series 3-1 to finish the playoffs 6-1. Kansas City swept the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, 3-0, in the first round.
Anthony Boughner (pictured) set the tone for Kansas City in the contest, throwing six and one-thirds scoreless innings while allowing just four hits in the victory. He struck out just one batter on the night but allowed only one runner to reach third base when he walked Christian Guerrero to load the bases in the fourth. He induced a groundout by the next batter, Steve Haake, to end the threat.
Gary threatened again in the sixth, putting runners on first and second with two outs before Haake again grounded out to end the inning. Brady Martinez entered for Boughner with one out in the seventh and retired both batters he faced to finish off a perfect inning.
The T-Bones took their only lead against Northern League Pitcher of the Year Jeremy Plexico in the fourth inning when Greg Jacobs led off the frame with a solo home run, his second in as many games. Following a perfect fifth, Plexico surrendered another blast in the sixth, this time a three-run shot to Jim Fasano as Kansas City gained a 4-0 advantage.
Craig Hurba added another solo shot in the seventh to push the T-Bones ahead by five. Plexico allowed five runs on seven hits in his seven innings of work as he suffered the loss for Gary.
Andy Shipman struck out two of the three RailCats he faced in a perfect eighth inning. David Trahan entered in the ninth and surrendered three straight hits as Gary plated two quick runs, both on a single by the third batter, Haake. Following a walk to Mike Rohde, Trahan struck out pinch-hitter John McCarthy and induced an infield popout from Eric McNamee for the first two outs of the inning. Rob Marconi then singled home Haake to pull Gary within two, 5-3. Eric Blakeley then struck out with the tying run on first to end the contest.