If you asked Wichita Wingnuts starter Alex Boshers he would be the first to tell you that he hadn’t pitched very well to start the 2017 American Association season. However, he has been on a roll of late, winning his third straight Saturday night, and fifth out of his last six contests, to lead his team to their fourth straight victory, a 7-1 win over the Cleburne Railroaders. The Wingnuts rapped out 15-hits, as every player in the Wichita lineup had at least one hit, and Brent Clevlen and T.J. Mittelstaedt each had 2-RBI in the victory.
Both teams scored a run in the first-inning. In the top of the first, Christian Stringer singled with one out against Patrick Mincey, who followed the base hit by striking out Brent Clevlen, his second strike out in the first three batters he faced. However, he was unable to retire the side without giving up a run, throwing a wild pitch that allowed Stringer to move to second before giving up a base hit to T.J. Mittelstaedt that gave Wichita a 1-0 lead.
The Railroaders got that run right back in the bottom of the first-inning. Maikol Gonzalez single to start the inning and moved to second on a ground out. That brought Shawn Zarraga to the plate, who singled to score Gonzalez and the game was tied at one.
The Wingnuts retook the lead in the top of the second. With one down, Martin Medina doubled into left-center and he scored on a double by the resurgent Brennen Salgado. A flyball moved him to third, and he scored on a double by Richard Prigatano, the third Wingnuts double of the inning. That made it 3-1.
In the top of the fourth, Wichita extended the lead to four. Medina started the inning with a base hit, and moved to second two batters later when Leo Vargas singled. Prigatano delivered a base hit into left field that brought home Medina, and Clevlen brought home Vargas with a base hit. That made it 5-1.
It would stay that way until the eighth inning, when the Wichita Wingnuts extended their lead to six. Vargas started the inning with a base hit, then stole second before Prigatano walked. A base hit by Stringer brought Vargas home, and Prigatano came home on a ground out by Mittelstaedt.
That was plenty enough support for Alex Boshers (6-2) on this evening, who rebounded from the run in the first by going seven solid innings in this contest. Boshers allowed two singles in the second, then allowed only two more hits over the next five innings. He gave up 6-hits and an earned run. He walked no one while striking out 5. Austin Boyle came on in the eighth and tossed two scoreless innings to finish out the game.
Six players in the Wichita lineup had 2-hits in the contest. Martin Medina and Leo Vargas each scored 2-runs, and Brent Clevlen and T.J. Mittelstaedt drove in 2-runs apiece. The Cleburne offense was led by Shawn Zarraga, who had 2-hits and an RBI.
After winning the first two games of the three-game set, the Wichita Wingnuts will go for the sweep Sunday. Ryan Kussmaul (4-2, 3.47) gets the start for Wichita. He will be opposed by Jorge Martinez (1-3, 5.49). First pitch is scheduled for 6:05.
By Robert Pannier