Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ninth-inning collapse leads to heartbreaking loss

By BRIAN BRUCE, tbonesbaseball.com

FARGO, N.D.-  Kansas City gave up four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, and then lost 10-9 on a walk-off single by Fargo-Moorhead rookie Buddy Sosnoskie in the bottom of the 10th in a heartbreaker at Newman Outdoor Field on Monday night.

Trailing 5-2 heading into the seventh, the T-Bones received a lift from rookie Spiker Helms, who yanked a line drive three-run homer down the left field line off of lefty Tony Davis, tying the game at 5-5.

The home run, hit right-handed, came after Helms hit his first pro homer from the left side yesterday.

Then, in the eighth, Helms again was at the center of the action. He coaxed a bases-loaded walk out of right-hander Mike Zenko, giving the T-Bones a 6-5 lead.

Later in the inning, with two outs and the bases loaded, T-Bones leadoff man Justin Bass hit a ground ball to short, and RedHawks shortstop Zach Penprase threw the ball away at second while attempting a force out. Three runs scored on the play, giving KC a 9-5 lead.

In the bottom of the ninth, the T-Bones allowed four runs to score on three hits and two errors as Fargo-Moorhead tied the game in shocking fashion.

With two outs and Kansas City leading 9-6, Nic Jackson popped up to third for the would-be final out of the game. KC third baseman Enrique Cruz dropped the ball, allowing one run to score.

With the score 9-7, Eric Campbell walked. And then, Jon Gaston swung and missed at a third strike, but a wild pitch went through the legs of T-Bones catcher Bubby Williams.

While one run was scoring, Williams attempted to throw out Gaston at first base and threw wildly, allowing the tying run to score.

After the T-Bones were retired one-two-three in the top of the 10th by former KC closer Kyle Dahman, Sosnoskie came up with his heroics in the bottom half, sealing the walk-off win for Fargo-Moorhead.

Right-hander Jake Wiley (1-5), who pitched in the 10th, took the loss. He pitched one-third of an inning and allowed one run. Dahman (2-0) earned the win, throwing two and 1/3 innings of scoreless ball.

Helms finished two-for-two for KC with a three-run homer, an RBI single, two walks, two stolen bases, three runs scored, and five RBIs.

The loss drops Kansas City to 27-24 overall. The T-Bones will attempt to salvage the finale of the four-game set on Tuesday night with the first pitch slated for 7:02.

Right-hander Luke Irvine (1-0; 3.26 ERA) pitches for Kansas City in his fourth start. Right-hander Paul Burnside (5-3; 2.72) starts for Fargo-Moorhead.

Catch the play-by-play on the KMBZ Business Channel (1660 AM) or online at www.tbonesbaseball.com.