In a battle of intra-organizational rivals, Monarchs Blue and Gold faced off against one another Monday night at 5/3 Field in Toledo. The highly anticipated game featured Gold and Blue team who sit first and second atop the league standings respectively. With high octane scoring and some late inning drama, the contest didn’t disappoint with Monarchs Gold outlasting a late rally from Monarchs Blue to win 8-5.
Gold played visitor in this one and got the scoring started right away. Corey Lehman hit a leadoff single followed by a bunt from Adam Yunker. Starting pitcher Dan Parsons for Monarchs Blue sailed the throw over the first baseman’s glove allowing Lehman to advance to third and Yunker to second. Drew Kuns immediately brought home Lehman with an RBI double. One batter later, Casey Winckowski brought home Yunker with an RBI ground out to put Gold on the board with two runs in the first.
Blue answered in the bottom half of the inning with a run of their own. Nick Broyles singled to lead off, and after consecutive walks to Ben Hammer and Tad Margolies, Blue had the bases loaded with one out. Matt Vannet brought home Broyles with an RBI fielder’s choice, but pitcher Kirk Stambough for Gold ended the inning with a strikeout to limit the damage done to one run and preserving a one run lead.
Gold continued to tack on in the second. After a single and a pair of walks to start the inning, Gold had the bases loaded with no outs against Parsons. Yunker skied a sac fly to bring home brother Eric Yunker and slide the runners into scoring position. Kuns and Brett Howard hit consecutive RBI singles to score two more runs and knock Parsons out after one and a third innings. Kelly Barnes came in for relief and recorded a couple quick outs to end the inning.
In the bottom half of the inning Stambough settled in and Blue’s bats went silent. Stambough combined with pitchers Cory Hornyak, Josh Stidham, and Brett Kuebler to shut down the Blue offense over the next seven innings.
Gold however wasn’t finished. Gold struck again in the fifth off Barnes with Colin Meinzer’s Sac Fly to bring home Ricky Lizcano and again in the sixth when Adam Yunker came home on a passed ball to score and Howard brought home Kuns with an RBI double.
Jordan Kruse relieved Barnes and partnered with Corey Cannon and Kyle Pilbeam to silence Gold through the ninth, though still trailed Gold 8-1 going into the bottom of the ninth.
Derrick Garcia came in to shut the door on Blue, but Blue would go out swinging, literally. Michael Fahle was hit by a pitch to lead off and Alex Timofeev singled, and following an error allowed him to advance to second and Fahle to score. Josh White singled and stole second to give Blue two runners in scoring position and Margolies did his part with a 2RBI double to plate both Timofeev and White. Margolies later scored on a passed ball for Blue’s fourth run of the inning, but the rally stopped there.
Garcia was able to close out the game and seal an 8-5 victory in which the Monarchs increased their first place lead over the Monarchs Blue.