The Wichita Wingnuts completed their sweep of the Texas AirHogs on Sunday, thanks to two home runs and nine RBI combined by Tony Thomas and John Nester in the Wingnuts 9-2 victory. The two backed the third straight victory by Tyler Kane, who allowed two runs on six innings, giving Wichita their fourth victory in their last five games.
This was a scoreless contest through the first three innings, as Kane and Texas starter Tyler Matzek were both pitching well. In the fourth, the AirHogs would finally break the drought. Kane retired the first batter of the inning, but Corelle Prime would put Texas on top with his fourth home run of the season.
The Wichita Wingnuts responded right away in the bottom half of the inning. Zach Nehrir doubled to start the inning and moved to third on a base hit by Abel Nieves. After Tony Thomas walked to load the bases, John Nester worked the count full before crushing his third home run of the season, a grand slam, putting Wichita on top, 4-1.
Texas would get a run back in the top of the fifth. Luan Chenchen singled to start the inning and moved to third on a base hit by countryman Yang Jin. Stewart Ijames followed with the third consecutive hit off of the Wichita starter, driving Luan home to cut the deficit to two.
As they had in the previous inning, Wichita responded in their half of the inning to extend their lead. Logan Watkins singled into right field to start the inning and moved to second on a single into left by Nehrir. Nieves then drew a walk to load the bases, bringing Thomas to the plate. He doubled into left, scoring two to extend the lead to four. A sacrifice fly by Nester brought in Nieves making it 7-2.
In the seventh, Wichita would add two more runs. Nieves beat out a grounder to short to start the inning and Thomas followed with his American Association leading 15th home run of the season to extend the lead to seven.
Tyler Kane (3-1) came out after six innings. The right-hander allowed 7-hits, 2-walks, and 2-runs, while striking out one. Felix Carvallo tossed two scoreless innings and John Hayes tossed a perfect ninth to complete the victory.
Tony Thomas finished the afternoon a perfect 3-3 with 2-runs and 4-RBI. John Nester was 1-3 with a run and 5-RBI and Abel Nieves was 2-3 with 3-runs scored. Correlle Prime led the AirHogs with his home run and 2-walks.
The win was the 1oth straight by the Wichita Wingnuts over the Texas AirHogs and maintained the Wingnuts second-place tie with the Kansas City T-Bones in the South Division. The Wingnuts now head to Lincoln to begin a three-game series with the Saltdogs starting on Monday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:45.
By Robert Pannier