AirHogs Rebound to Down Wichita Wingnuts, 4-1
Maybe the Wichita Wingnuts simply used up all their runs Saturday night when they scored 21, but they had no answers for Grand Prairie AirHogs starter Zachary Dando or the three relievers that followed, falling 4-1. The victory snapped the AirHogs 15-game losing streak, an American Association record.
Both teams would come away with a run in the first inning. Ronnie Richardson led off the game against Wichita Wingnuts starter Jason Van Skike with a single and, after stealing second, scored on a single by Victor Diaz to give the AirHogs the early lead.
In the bottom of the first the Wingnuts got the run right back. Nick Van Stratten doubled to start the frame, and then moved to third on a passed ball. Taylor Oldham plated Van Stratten with a single and the game was tied.
That would be all the runs that the Wingnuts would get. Dando (5-8) allowed just two hits and three walks over the next 4-plus frames. He left after 5-plus innings, allowing 4 hits, 5 walks and 1 unearned run. He also struck out 3.
Dando was in line for the win as his club staked him to a three-run lead in the top of the third inning. Richardson started the rally again by reaching first on a hit by pitch. He then stole second and third to put himself into scoring position, and Justin Byrd followed with a walk. Ridge Hoopii-Haslam singled him home to make it 2-1 with Byrd taking third. A single by Diaz drove in Byrd and Michael Pair’s single into right field scored Hoopii-Haslam to make it 4-1.
That would be all the scoring either club could muster. Van Skike (7-8) took the loss despite pitching quite well. He finished with 6 innings, allowing 9 hits, 2 walks and 4 earned runs. He struck out 6.
In the sixth inning the Wingnuts attempted to rally against Dando, when he walked the first two hitters of the inning, but Jason Jarvis came on and got a double-play grounder and a fly out to end the threat. Jarvis got himself into a little trouble as well in the eighth when he gave up a single and a walk with one out. Dylan Rucker relieved and got a double-play grounder to end threat.
In the ninth Taylor Black came in looking to close it out for Grand Prairie. He gave up a walk with two outs, but retired the final hitter of the inning to gain his first save of the season.
Van Stratten continues to remain hot for the Wichita Wingnuts, going 2-4 with a run and an RBI. He is riding a six-game win streak, (14-25) where he has scored 9 runs and driven in 10. He also has 2 doubles, a triple and 2 home runs during that streak.
Boxscore Provided by the American Association
By Robert Pannier