It was a cold and drizzly afternoon in Wichita, but the Kansas City T-Bones left their in-state rival feeling quite elated after Angel Rosa doubled in two runs in the top of the ninth inning, giving the T-Bones a 3-1 victory over the Wingnuts. Four Kansas City relievers provided six innings of shutout relief and Cal Towey had 2-hits and scored two of the T-Bones’ three runs.
The contest was delayed for about an hour due to rainy weather, which seemed to have put both teams’ bats into a bit of a doldrums. Neither team was able to score through the first two innings, but Wichita would finally get on the board in the bottom of the third against Kansas City starter Cody Dickson. With one down, Leo Vargas lined a single the opposite way into right field. He then stole second base before scoring on an opposite field single by Logan Watkins to make it 1-0.
It stayed a one run Wingnuts lead into the fifth when the Kansas City T-Bones would tie it up. Cal Towey led off the inning with a base hit and scored when Jordan Edgerton doubled down the line in right field.
From there, this became a great battle of bullpens. Dickson came out after three, giving way to Julio Eusebio who tossed to hitless innings. Sam Street came on in the sixth and tossed two more scoreless innings before Francisco Gracesqui pitched a scoreless eighth.
Jordan Cooper came out after 6-innings for the Wingnuts. The right-hander allowed 3-hits and a run while striking out 3. Seth Harvey then tossed a perfect seventh before Brady Bowen came on in the eighth to toss a scoreless frame.
In the ninth, Wichita sent out closer Daniel Tillman looking to keep the score tied heading to the bottom of the ninth. He struck out the first batter of the frame before Towey grounded a ball into left field for a single. The big right-hander then fanned Edgerton, but Tucker Pennell was able to beat out a tapper to the right side of Tillman to keep the inning alive. That brought Angel Rosa to the plate, who lined a double into the gap in left field. Both runners came around to score and the Kansas City T-Bones had a 3-1 lead.
In the bottom of the ninth, Kansas City sent closer Cody Winiarski in looking to close out the game. He retired the first batter before loading the bases on a hit by pitch, a single, and a walk. However, the closer remained calm, striking out Logan Trowbridge and Isaiah Aluko to end the game for his first save of the season.
Gracesqui (1-0) earned the victory, while Tillman (0-1) suffered the loss. The Kansas City bullpen allowed just three hits over the final six innings of the game, while striking out six.
Cal Towey was 2-4 for the T-Bones, with 2-runs scored. Dylan Tice also had 2-hits. Zach Nehrir was 2-3 for Wichita, raising his average to .500.
The Wichita Wingnuts (2-1) are off on Monday, and will travel to take on the Lincoln Saltdogs (1-3) on Tuesday to start a three-game set. Austin Boyle will go for Wichita. First pitch is scheduled for 6:45.
Featured Image by Ed Bailey
By Robert Pannier