KC Royals Derek Gordon Evens Pioneer League Playoffs
By Bryce Jones
The Midland Rockhounds, the AA team for the Oakland A’s, bested the Northwest Arkansas Naturals 5-2 in Midland in Game One of their best of five series for the Texas League Championship.
It was Jonathan Dziedzic vs. the former KC Royals prospect Sean Manaea. Manaea got the win, despite giving up 2 runs early. NWA got 7 hits against him.
In the third, Ramon Torres reached on an error. Raul Mondesi had an RBI double and Jorge Bonifacio walked. Mondesi took third on a wild pitch. Alex Liddi grounded into a force with Mondesi scoring. That was it for the Naturals’ scoring.
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Dziedzic gave up 5 runs on 4 hits in 3.1 IP. He gave up a solo home run in the third, and began the fourth by giving up a double, a walk, a wild pitch, and another walk. Malcolm Culver came in to relieve Dziedzic and gave up another walk and a single occurred, plating two more runs.
Both teams were scoreless over the final innings.
The two teams play the second game on Wednesday. Paul Clemens starts for the Naturals as they look to even the series.
The Idaho Fall Chukars beat the Missoula Osprey, the Arizona Diamondbacks entry in the Pioneer League, 5-3 on Tuesday.
The big hit of the night came off the bat of Amalani Fukofuka, who had a three run home run in the fifth as part of the Chukars four run inning to take the lead after idaho Falls fell behind 3-0 after the second inning. Brandon Dulin and D.J. Burt also had an RBI each for Idaho Falls.
Derek Gordon got the win despite his early struggles. He pitched 6.2 IP, with 3 runs, 2 earned, on 3 hits and a walk. He continued his impressive strikeout totals, putting away ten Missoula batters with the K.
The series is tied at one apeice, with the deciding match occurring tomorrow.