Lemurs Sweeps Double-Header Over Wingnuts; Drop Wichita to Second
The Wichita Wingnuts entered the last day of the American Association season with the league’s best record. However, after the St. Paul Saints downed Lincoln, the Wingnuts were swept in a double-header by the Laredo Lemurs. That moved Wichita to second overall.
Game 1 saw the return of LHP Charlie Leesman and he pitched well in his two innings of work. The left-hander retired all six batters he faced and actually left with the lead.
That lead came in the top of the first when the Wingnuts plated three. Christian Stringer walked to start the game and moved to third on a base hit by Zack Cox. Brent Clevlen was the next batter and he ripped his 17th homer of the year to make it 3-0.
Eddie Medina relieved in the third and the Lemurs got to him right away. Jesus Posso reached on an error to start the inning and a wild pitch moved him to second. Abel Nieves followed with a base hit to put runners at the corners with one out. Next up was Drew Martinez, who singled the other way, scoring Posso. A double by Denis Phipps brought home Nieves, and Martinez scored on an RBI groundout by Zane Chavez. That tied the game at three.
In the fourth Laredo took the lead. Brennan Metzger reached on an error with one out and moved to second on a single by Posso. Jimmy Norris then grounded to second, but an error by Stringer allowed Norris to reach and Metzger to score as Laredo took the lead.
One inning later they extended that lead to two. Denis Phipps led off with a single and Chavez followed with a single of his own to put runners at the corners with no one out. J.D. Pulfer then grounded into a double-play that scored Phipps to make it 5-3.
Wichita would get one of those runs back in the top of the seventh. Matt Chavez was the second batter of the inning and he drilled his 16th homer of the season to make it 5-4. Nick Van Stratten followed with a single, however, Jeff Inman retired the final two batters for his 17th save of the season. Manny Martinez (3-2) earned the win. Medina (6-6) took the loss, despite giving up only two earned runs.
Clevlen finished 2-4 with a run and 3-RBI. Stringer was 3-3 with a run scored for the Wingnuts. Nieves and Phipps were both 2-3 with a run scored. Phipps drove in a run.
In the second game, Tyler Kane and Troy Marks kept the game scoreless through the first three-innings. In the bottom of the fourth, the Lemurs grabbed the lead. Phipps was the first batter of the inning and he drilled his league leading 24th homer of the year to make it 1-0.
It would stay that way until the bottom of the sixth when Laredo extended their lead. Chavez singled to start the inning and Pulfer followed with his ninth homer of the year. That made it 3-0 which would be the final.
Marks (8-4) pitched an outstanding game for the Lemurs, allowing no runs and no walks. He allowed 6-hits in 5-innings of work and struck out 6. Luis Pollorena saved his third game of the season.
Despite the double-header sweep, the Lemurs were ousted from the playoffs when Winnipeg won the first game of their double-header. That made the Goldeyes the Wild Card team. The Wichita Wingnuts will begin the playoffs Wednesday night in Sioux City. The Minor League Sports Report will have a preview of the series on Wednesday.
By Robert Pannier