Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Helms' heroics and Coleman's bat lead T-Bones

By BRIAN BRUCE, Tbonesbaseball.com

LINCOLN, Neb.-  Rookie Spiker Helms reached well above the left field wall and robbed a would-be game-tying two-run homer off the bat of John Alonso in the bottom of the 10th as the T-Bones took the series finale against the Saltdogs, 3-1, at Haymarket Park on Monday night.

In the dramatic extra-inning affair, KC surged in front in the top of the 10th as Trevor Coleman drove a Pete Parise pitch into the left-center field gap to score Gus Milner who had led off the inning with a single.

Coleman later scored in the frame on a wild pitch, giving the T-Bones a 3-1 lead.

Then, with two outs and a runner on first in the bottom of the 10th, the Saltdogs cleanup hitter, Alonso, launched a deep drive to left field but was robbed by Helms.

Brian Grening started for the T-Bones and pitched well, coming away with a no decision. Grening (5-2) went seven, allowing one run on six hits, while striking out seven. Lefty Steve Kent (2-2) earned the win with two innings of scoreless baseball in the eighth and ninth innings, including four strikeouts.

Righty Mike Mehlich picked up his second save by shutting down the Saltdogs – with Helms’ help – in the 10th. Coleman finished three for five including the game-winning double, and tallied two RBIs.

Milner finished two for four with two singles and a stolen base. The dramatic victory earned KC a split in the four-game set and improves their overall record to 24-20.

The T-Bones now return home for a four-game series versus the Sioux Falls Fighting Pheasants (24-18) July 3rd through the 6th as the top two Wildcard contenders battle it out. KC sends righty Shaun Garceau (4-0; 1.67 ERA) to the mound on Tuesday night.

 Tickets to the game at CommunityAmerica Ballpark are available by calling 913.328.5618.