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Monarchs hook Blackfins, clinch spot in NBC World Series bracket play

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By Brad Hallier

After earning one of the most dramatic victories in franchise history Friday, the Hutchinson Monarchs were in no mood for a repeat on Sunday at Wichita State’s Eck Stadium.

Max Buettenbeck hit a first-inning three-run home run and later added a two-run triple, pacing a 17-hit attack – including seven extra-base hits – as the Monarchs clinched a spot in the NBC World Series’ bracket play by smashing the Seattle Blackfins 12-1 on Sunday.

The Monarchs improved to 2-0 and have wrapped up first place in Pool D. Even if the Monarchs lose Tuesday to the 0-2 GPS Legends out of Texas, the Monarchs have beaten the Blackfins (1-1) and Hays Larks (1-1), who play each other Tuesday.

The Monarchs stormed back late to force extra innings against Hays, before winning 6-4. They kept the offensive showcase going against the Blackfins.

With one out in the top of the first inning and nobody on base, Drew Bugner worked a 13-pitch walk after he fouled off eight straight pitches. Will Edmunson then reached on an error on a ground ball that could have resulted in an inning-ending double play. Buettenbeck punished the Blackfins by tattooing a 2-2 pitch far over the right-field wall.

The Monarchs led 4-1 after three innings before they went back to work offensively with a four-run fourth. Caleb Cotton led off with a double and stole third base. With one out, Edmunson doubled, scoring Cotton. Cooper Harris’ two-out double scored two more runs, and Harris scored on Sam Wiese’s double.

The Monarchs added one run in the sixth and three in the seventh, earning the mercy-rule win after seven innings.

Edmunson and Jaden Gustafson had three hits apiece. Every Monarch in the lineup had at least one hit.

Brady Pacha pitched six strong innings in earning the win. He gave up one run on five hits while striking out eight.

Tuesday’s schedule will be set after all of Sunday’s games are complete and the pool standings are updated.