It may be a few days before the American Association playoffs begin, but Eddie Medina looked in playoff ready form Saturday night, allowing just two hits in six innings of work and combining with two relievers to help the Wichita Wingnuts blank the Salina Stockade, 13-0. Brent Clevlen and T.J. Mittelstaedt both had huge nights as the plate, as Clevlen scored 4-runs and drove in 3, while Mittelstaedt scored two runs and drove in 5 others.
After Eddie Medina kept Salina off the scoreboard in the top of the first, his teammates staked him to a lead in the bottom half of the frame. Jacob Morris led off with a base hit and moved to third on a single by Christian Stringer. Brent Clevlen grounded into a fielder’s choice that brought home Morris and the Wingnuts were on top 1-0.
An inning later Wichita would put six on the board to take a commanding lead. With one down, Wesley Phillips reached first on an error by the second baseman. Leo Vargas followed by drilling a ball to the wall that he legged out for a triple to extend the lead to two. A base hit by Morris brought Vargas home before Stringer singled to put two runners on with one out. Clevlen followed with a lined single into left field that brought Morris around from second, and Mittelstaedt cleared the bases with a triple into right-center that extended the lead to 6-0. Martin Medina then reached on an error that brought Mittelstaedt home to extend the lead to seven.
Two innings later the lead became nine. Stringer started the frame by lining a single into right field and he scored when Clevlen hit his 33rd double of the season, tying him for the franchise record for doubles in a season. A single by Medina would bring home Clevlen to make it 9-0.
That was far more than enough support for Eddie Medina (9-3) on this night. The right-hander allowed a had in each of the first two innings, including a single to lead off the top of the second, then retired the next 15 batters before his night was over. He allowed just 2-hits while striking out five in winning his third straight game.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Wichita Wingnuts extended their lead to 11. Stringer walked to start the frame and moved to second on a base hit by Clevlen. Mittelstaedt followed with a single that brought Stringer home, and Clevlen would later score in the inning on a base hit by Brennen Salgado.
Alex Boshers then came on and pitched two shutout innings for Wichita. The Wingnuts would add two more runs in the seventh to extend the cushion for their pitching staff. Clevlen singled with two outs and scored when Mittelstaedt drilled his ninth home run of the season to make it 13-0.
Ryan Kussmaul came on in the night to finish it off. He struck out a batter in his perfect frame of work to finish off the game.
The Wichita Wingnuts wrapped out 18-hits in the game, led by Brent Clevlen who was 4-5 with 4-runs and 3-RBI. T.J. Mittelstaedt was 3-5 with 2-runs and 5-RBI, and Christian Stringer also had 3-hits, and he scored 3-runs. Jacob Morris, Brennen Salgado, and Wesley Phillips each had 2-hits apiece. Logan Trowbridge had 2-hits for Salina.
The victory moves Wichita into sole possession of the second best record in the American Association. They will play the third game of this four-game series Sunday afternoon. Tim Brown (3-5, 6.39) will go for Wichita against David Gates (1-1, 4.20).
By Robert Pannier