Monarchs Blue opened up the World Series Thursday morning with some drama against Tri-State League rival Canton Terriers. Unfortunately for Blue, they found themselves on the losing end of a 15 inning contest.

Monarchs Blue, the visiting team, got it going early getting the bases loaded with one out in the first. Michael Dushane scored the first run of the tournament for the Monarchs on a sacrifice fly from Alex Timofeev. Kelly Barnes started the game for Blue. He struggled with his command early, walking the leadoff batter in the first two innings, and it cost him a run in the second, leaving the score at 1-1 after two.

Barnes settled in though and cruised through the third and fourth innings, while the Monarch bats were quiet, but they ran into some good fortune in the fifth. After Michael Fahle walked, Josh White dropped down the bunt to move the runner over, but the pitcher sailed the ball past first moving the runners to second and third with no outs. The very next batter, Paul Zalar slapped a grounder to third, but the 3rd baseman also made an errant throw to first allowing both Fahle and White to score.

Barnes gave up an earned run in the bottom of the fifth and an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth. His finishing line was 6 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 K. Jordan Kruse came on in the top of the seventh protecting a 4-3 lead. He breezed through the seventh, but gave up the tying run in the bottom of the eighth, making it 4-4 going into the 9th.

With the temperature and the stakes rising, Matt Vannett knocked an RBI single to bring home Dushane from second. The Terriers made another costly error on Timofeev’s infield grounder that allowed Nick Broyles and Vannett to score, while also giving the Monarchs what seemed to be a comfortable 7-4 lead with a half inning to play. However after a hit and two free passes, the Monarchs found Terriers surrounding the diamond and nobody out. Jake Rightnowar came on in relief, but gave up two hits and a sac fly allowing three to score and sending the game into extras.
Both teams’ bats were nowhere to be found in starting in the 10th. Rightnowar got it going in the 10th and held the opponent scoreless over the next five innings. While the Monarchs only had two hits after the 9th inning, Rightnowar ran into trouble in the bottom of the 15th. After loading the bases with one out on two hits and a walk, the final blow was dealt on a sacrifice fly to deep left field making it an 8-7 loss for the Monarchs.

Thursday morning’s game was the only game for Blue. They will resume play Friday morning with a double header starting at 9:00 am and 12:30 pm at Sylvania Southview High School. The Monarchs will play the Michigan Bulls and Dix Hills Dodgers respectively, and will need to win both games to assure themselves a spot in bracket play on Saturday.

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