The red hot Wichita Wingnuts continued to sizzle Thursday night, getting six outstanding innings from starter Casey Harman in their 3-2 victory over the Sioux Falls Canaries. Three Wingnuts drove in runs, and Daniel Tillman earned his ninth save of the season.
Each team would get a run in the first inning. Jordan Smith walked to start the game, then stole second base. He moved to third on a ground out and scored when David Bergin lined a two-out hit into left field to make it 1-0.
The Wichita Wingnuts responded right away in the bottom of the first. Zach Nehrir walked with one down and moved to second on a base hit by Abel Nieves. Fernando Perez walked and Tony Thomas delivered a sacrifice fly that brought Nehrir home to tie the score at one.
In the second, Wichita would take the lead. Logan Trowbridge got the inning started when he reached on an error. To ground outs moved him around to third and he scored when Logan Watkins hit a ball into the hole at short for an infield single.
In the sixth, the Wingnuts extended their lead to two. Perez began the inning by reaching on a walk and scored when John Nester double down the line in left two batters later.
After giving up the first inning run, Harman caught fire (4-1). The left-hander gave up a single in the second and in the third, that then retired 11 in a row. Harman left after 6-innings, allowing 4-hits, a walk, and a run. He struck out 2.
Felix Carvallo came on in the seventh and tossed to perfect frame. That was the ninth appearance in a row the left-hander has appeared where he has not been scored upon, a span of 12.1-innings pitched.
John Hayes came on in the eighth and Sioux Falls would rally. Patrick Fiala walked to lead off the inning. Hayes retired the next two batters, but a wild pitch moved Fiala to second and he would score on a base hit by Blake Schmit to make it 3-2.
The Canaries would get no closer. Daniel Tillman came on in the ninth. He found himself in some trouble when Burt Reynolds began the inning with a single and moved to third when Chris Grayson doubled two batters later. The go-ahead run was just two bases away, but Tillman locked them down, striking out Jabari Henry before getting Maxx Garrett to fly out to finish off the game.
Dylan Thompson took the loss despite pitching well for Sioux Falls. He allowed 2-earned run ins 6.0-innings of work.
The victory was the sixth straight by the Wichita Wingnuts and their 10th in their last 11 games. They will look to keep that run alive on Friday night as they send right-hander Charlie Gillies (2-0, 0.69) to face the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in Fargo. First pitch is scheduled for 7:02.
Featured Image by Ed Bailey
By Robert Pannier