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Monarchs strike quickly to defeat RedHawks, take 2-0 series lead

Kansas City heads home needing to beat Fargo-Moorhead just once in the final three games to win the American Association championship.

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F-M RedHawks' John Silviano rounds second base after hitting a home run against Kansas City during their American Association baseball championship series baseball game Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, at Newman Outdoor Field, Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

FARGO — Fargo-Moorhead didn't go down easily but the RedHawks' chances for an American Association championship are growing increasingly slim.

Kansas City scored five runs before the RedHawks could record an out in a six-run first inning and the Monarchs held on for a 7-5 win on Saturday in Game 2 of the best-of-five championship series in the final game of the season at Newman Outdoor Field.

Kansas City leads the series 2-0 and the RedHawks will need to win all three remaining games at the Monarchs' Legends Field.

In the first, K.C.'s Gabriel Guerrero and Ibandel Isabel both had two-run singles and Colin Willis and Alexis Olmeda both had RBI singles.

Isabel singled in another run in the second. The RedHawks got on the board in the bottom of the second inning when John Silviano singled and scored on Sam Dexter's two-run home run, and Alex Boxwell doubled, moved to third on Nick Novak's single and scored on Correlle Prime's sacrifice fly.

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Pitchers on both sides settled in after the initial burst of scoring. RedHawks starter Bret Helton, roughed up the first two innings, worked a scoreless third and Austin Ver Steeg took over in the fourth. He allowed three hits and struck out two in two scoreless innings. Luke Lind came on in the sixth and went two scoreless, allowing a walk and striking out three. Joe Jones set the Monarchs down in order in the eighth and Alex DuBord worked the ninth.

Kansas City starter Justin Schafer went three innings, allowing three runs on seven hits. Reliever Carson LaRue took over in the third and pitched two scoreless innings, but the RedHawks knocked him out with one out in the sixth.

Silviano hit a one-out solo homer, Dexter and Boxwell hit back-to-back singles and Novak's double scored Dexter to make it 7-5 Monarchs. Manny Boscan walked to load the bases with two outs but Monarchs' reliever Carlos Diaz struck out Jordan George to end the threat.

Diaz settled things down for the Monarchs, allowing a hit and a walk in 1-2/3 innings and striking out four. Jeremy Rhoades entered in the eighth and allowed Dexter's leadoff single. Dexter stole second with one out but Rhoades stranded him, striking out Novak and getting Prime to fly out to right.

That was the RedHawks' last chance to rally. Monarch's reliever Jameson McGrane took over in the ninth, got Manny Boscan to fly out to center, struck out George, and got Leo Pina to ground out to second to end the game.

Dexter was 3-for-4 and drove in two runs and Silviano, Boxwell and Novak all had two hits.

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