Casey Harman, Wichita Wingnuts Complete Sweep of AirHogs, 6-1
They say that there are two things that you can count on: death and taxes. Well another thing would be the Wichita Wingnuts defeating the Texas AirHogs which, with Saturday night’s victory, not only gave Wichita a sweep of their three-game series, but a season sweep as the Wingnuts won all 13 games against Texas this season. Left-hander Casey Harmon won his 11th game of the year and Logan Watkins was a perfect 4-4 on the evening.
The Wichita Wingnuts looked like they would jump out in front when Logan Watkins led off the game with a triple. He was forced to hold when Zach Nehrir beat out an infield single, but there were runners at the corners with no one out. Sean Stutzman was unfazed however, striking out the next two batters before getting a fly out to keep Wichita off the scoreboard.
That only lasted an inning, however. In the second, Chase Simpson led off with a walk and moved to second on a base hit by Logan Trowbridge a sacrificed move both runners into scoring position and a two out walk to Logan Watkins loaded the bases. That brought Nehrir back to the plate, who singled up the middle, scoring both Simpson and Trowbridge to give Wichita a 2-0 lead.
In the third, Tony Thomas led off with a base hit and Simpson followed with his 13th homer of the year. That extended the lead to four. Trowbridge then reached on an error and advanced to second on a base hit by Nick Rotola. With one down and runners at the corners, Watkins hit a sacrifice fly that brought home Trowbridge to give the Wichita Wingnuts a 5-0 lead.
Texas would get one of those runs back in the bottom of the third. Casio Grider singled with one out, then stole second. He scored on a Correlle Prime double to cut the Wingnuts lead to four. However, the AirHogs would get no closer.
Casey Harman (11-4) continued to dazzle, going 6-innings, allowing 6-hits and a run. He walked one and struck out 10. The lefty had six strikeouts through the first three frames, including striking out the side in the second. He struck out two in the fourth, none in the fifth, and then two more in the sixth. The 10 strikeouts was a season-high for Harman.
In the seventh, the Wingnuts would give their starter one more insurance run. Leo Vargas walked with one down and advanced to third on a Watkins base hit. A sacrifice fly by Nehrir brought home Vargas to extend the lead back to five. It was also the third run driven in by Nehrir.
Seth Harvey, Scott Kuzminsky, and Austin Boyle each pitched a scoreless frame to finish off the contest. Chase Simpson scored two runs and drove in two. Logan Trowbridge also scored two runs. Logan Watkins finished 4-4 with an RBI and Nick Rotola added 3-hits. Both Casio Grider and Corelle Prime had 3-hits for Texas.
The Wichita Wingnuts are off on Sunday before welcoming the Gary Southshore RailCats on Monday night to begin a two-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
By Robert Pannier