4-Homeruns Blast Wichita Wingnuts Past Joplin Blasters, 7-2
The Joplin Blasters may be the ones with the powerful name, but it was the Wichita Wingnuts that sent the ball soaring Friday night, downing the Blasters behind four homeruns. That backed four Wichita Wingnuts pitchers, who combined to allow just seven-hits and two-runs in the victory.
Garrett Gould was making his first start for the Wingnuts and was opposed by Ethan Rosebeck. Both pitchers kept the game scoreless in the first but, in the second inning, the fireworks got started. Wichita got it going when they scored four-runs in the top half of the inning. T.J. Mittelstaedt walked to begin the frame and Matt Chavez followed with his second homerun of the season to make it 2-0. Wichita was just getting started. Richard Prigatano followed with a walk and moved to second on a ground out. Next up was Brent Dean, who also crushed his second homerun of the season. That made it 4-0.
Joplin would get one-run back in the bottom half of the inning, using the long ball themselves. Willie Cabrera started the frame and hit his eighth homer of the year. The RBI was his 43rd, which leads the American Association.
In the fourth, the Wichita Wingnuts extended their lead back to four. The first two hitters of the inning were retired, but Harrison Kain turned on a Rosebeck pitch and drilled it for his first homer of the year.
In the sixth it would be Brent Clevlen’s turn to get in on the homerun fest. He led off the inning with his ninth homer of the year to make it 6-1.
In the eighth Harrison Kain would plate the final run of the game for Wichita. Mittelstaedt drew his third walk of the game to start the inning. Prigatano doubled two batters later to move him to third, and Kain’s sacrifice fly scored Mittelstaedt to make it 2-1.
In the ninth, Joplin grabbed one more run. Geraldo Valentin doubled to begin the inning and scored on a sacrifice fly by Luis Terrero. That made it 7-2 and that is how the game would end.
Jesse Pratt (2-1) earned the victory for the Wichita Wingnuts with three shutout innings of relief. Gould pitched well, but was limited in his pitch count. Rosebeck (0-1) took the loss.
Mittelstaedt finished 1-2 with 2-runs and 3-walks. Kain was 1-3 with a run and 2-RBI. Cabrera was 1-3 with a run and an RBI.
These two teams continue their three-game series tomorrow night at 7:05.
By Robert Pannier