Since joining the rotation, right-hander Alex Boshers has been like manna from heaven for the Wichita Wingnuts. At 4-1 as a starter, he has been one of the team’s most consistent starters and that continued Saturday night as Boshers held the Canaries to 8-hits in the 10-2 victory over the Sioux Falls Canaries, giving his team victories in the first two games of this series.
Boshers came out firing, holding Sioux Falls to just three-hits through the first five-innings of the contest. Lone singles in the second, third, and fourth innings were all that Boshers allowed, and the only inning he found himself in any trouble in was in the fourth when he allowed a hit and a walk with two outs, but got a ground ball to end the threat. It was a dominating performance that gave his team a lot of breathing room to focus on the offense, which is what they did.
The Wichita Wingnuts plated seven-runs through the first three-innings of the game, taking advantage of walks and misplays by the Sioux Falls defense to jump out to the early lead. In the top of the first, Zack Cox got the rally started when he drew a one out walk against Ray Hanson. Hanson got a ground out for the second out of the inning, bringing T.J. Mittelstaedt to the plate. The Wingnuts center fielder jumped ahead in the count 3-1, then roped a two-run homer over the left field fence for his seventh homer of the year.
In the bottom of the second Wichita added two more runs. Back-to-back walks by Martin Medina and Richard Prigatano started the frame. Brennen Salgado followed with a single that would have loaded the bases, but the Sioux Falls center fielder’s throw to the infield bounced away and into foul territory, that allowed Medina to score to make it 3-0. A ground out by Cox scored Prigatano to extend the lead to four.
In the third, more miscues aided another big Wingnuts inning. T. J. Mittelstaedt walked to start the frame and then stole second. Medina was hit by a pitch and Prigatano followed with a shot that hit off the third baseman’s glove for a single. Mittelstaedt scored on the play and the lead was five. Brennen Salgado followed with a single to center that scored Medina. The center fielder threw to third but no one was covering and Prigatano came into score on the error.
The Wichita Wingnuts had seven-runs in the game and only four-hits. Miscues were costing Sioux Falls and their starter, who was pitching a fine game.
In the fifth, Wichita extended the lead to 10, with all three-runs coming with two outs. Matt Chavez walked to start the inning but was erased on a double-play. Prigatano was then hit by a pitch and Salgado followed with a single. A double by Leo Vargas brought both runners home and he scored on an error by the second baseman to make it 10-0.
In the top of the sixth the Canaries finally got on the board and it would be an error on the Wingnuts that led to the runs. Back-to-back singles by Blake Schmit and Ethan Chapman put two on with no one out. Boshers retired the next two hitters, but Michael Pair blooped a single to left field. The ball bounced over the left fielder’s head for an error scoring both runs to make it 10-2.
That would be all the offense that Sioux Falls would generate against Boshers (5-3). The right-hander tossed his second complete game of the season, allowing 8-hits, 1-walk, and 1-earned run. He struck out 6.
Salgado finished 3-4 with a run and an RBI. Mittelstaedt scored twice and drove in two. Sioux Falls got two hits from Jake Taylor.
Game 3 of this four-game set is tomorrow afternoon at 1:05. Jon Link (6-3, 3.91) goes for the Wichita Wingnuts against Kris Regas (3-3, 6.12) for the Sioux Falls Canaries.
By Robert Pannier