Jon Link gets hurt and goes down. Omar Bencomo is picked up by the Minnesota Twins organization. The Wichita Wingnuts are out on the East Coast and need someone to come in and give them a couple of starts while they are 1300 miles away from home. Manager Kevin Hooper calls on a guy in Eddie Medina who was nearly out of the game, and all he does for the second straight start is dominate in leading his new club to victory. It is truly a remarkable story that is turning the cast-off into a savior.
That is the story that is Eddie Medina. After allowing one unearned run in 5.2 innings against Ottawa in his first start, the Wingnuts starter yielded just one run again in 6.2 to lead his team to a 3-1 victory over the Quebec Capitales. The win moved his record to 2-0.
The matchup was a classic tit-for-tat, as neither team had the lead at the end of any of the first six innings. Medina allowed no runs through the first five innings, as did Karl Gelinas. Both starters seemed in total control. The Capitales starter retired the first 10 men he faced, and retired the minimum through four. A one out double by T.J. Mittelstaedt broke up the no-hitter, but he advanced no further.
Medina allowed a single runner in each of the first three innings, then retired the side in order in the fourth. An error allowed one runner in the fifth, but the Wingnuts right-hander did not allow a single runner into scoring position through the first five frames.
In the sixth both teams would score a run. Jayce Ray began the top half of the inning with a single and moved to second on a Jerry Gonzalez sacrifice. David Espinosa plated Ray when he singled to break the scoreless tie.
In the bottom half of the inning Quebec would knot it back up. Alexei Bell doubled with one out, and two batters later Will Walsh’s single brought Bell home to tie the score.
It was a tight contest for sure, but the Wichita Wingnuts gained a little breathing room in the top half of the seventh. Gelinas struck out the first two hitters of the inning, but Brent Dean kept it alive with a single and Ray followed with a single of his own. Jerry Gonzalez was the next hitter, and on the first pitch he saw he lined a double into the alley that scored both runners to make it 3-1.
From there the Wingnuts bullpen came up big. Medina retired the first two hitters of the seventh, but issued a walk and Hooper turned to Iden Nazario. He issued a walk before recording a fly out to keep the team’s two-run lead.
In the eighth Luis Pardo found himself in some trouble thanks to a couple of defensive lapses. He retired the first two hitters, but back-to-back two out errors and a walk loaded the bases. Quebec had their chance for sure, but Pardo struck out Jean-Luc Blaquiere to end the threat.
In the ninth the Wingnuts manager turned to Daniel Bennett to close it out. Bennett is the new closer with Dakota Watts signing with Texas, and he came up big. The right-hander retired the side in order, striking out the first and last hitters of the inning to end the game. It was Bennett’s second save.
Both Ray and Dean had two hits. Ray scored two of the Wingnuts three runs and Dean scored the other.
By Robert Pannier