A grand slam by Aaron Samaniego in the seventh inning helped the Junction City Brigade erase a two-run deficit en route to an 11-7 victory over the Kansas City Monarchs, a non-league opponent, Sunday at Rathert Field.
Samaniego’s grand slam was set up by some patient hitters and fortunate bounces. Trae McDaniel and Tim Bell walked to open the inning, and Joseph Winkler was hit by a pitch. McDaniel and Bell scored when third baseman Danny Holmes threw a ground ball high and wide of second base. After Tanner Griffin walked, Samaniego stepped to the plate as a pinch hitter and cranked a grand slam to center field. Another run scored when Parker Dunn grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Grant Goldston.
The Brigade added two in the seventh when Grant Goldston homered to center, scoring Samaniego, who had walked. Those two runs proved important, as Kansas City scored three in the top of the eighth, but Cameron Kay shut down the Monarchs in the ninth to preserve the victory.
Junction City fell behind in the first, when Johann Morgan walked and later scored on Daryl Graham’s home run over the left field scoreboard. But starter Josh Mapel settled down after that, pitching 3-2/3 scoreless innings after that point, allowing only three baserunners after the home run – two of which reached on errors. Mapel finished pitching four innings, allowing two runs on two hits, walking one and striking out two.
Junction City scored its first two runs thanks to Jordan’s timely hitting. In the second, he drove in a run on a groundout to the third baseman, and in the fourth, he singled home McDaniel with two outs.
Junction City plays a home-and-home series Monday and Tuesday against Baldwin City. Monday’s game is at Rathert Stadium and begins at 7 p.m.