Wednesday, the Winnipeg Goldeyes absolutely crushed the Salina Stockade 16-0. Thursday night, they got to get a taste of what it feels like to be on the opposite end of such a score, as the Wichita Wingnuts jumped out to a 13-0 lead before finishing off Winnipeg 19-4. Every player in the Wichita lineup had at least one-hit and a run scored, and all but one drove in a run as the Wingnuts pounded out 18-hits, led by Matt Chavez, who went 3-5 with a run scored and 5-runs driven in.
Eddie Medina started for the Wichita Wingnuts, and he was absolutely brilliant. The righty retired the side in order in the first, striking out the final two batters of the inning.
In the bottom of the first, his team plated two. Harrison Kain was hit by a pitch to start the frame before Christian Stringer walked. Two batters later T.J. Mittelstaedt walked to load the bases and Matt Chavez followed with a base hit up the middle that scored Kain and Stringer to make it 2-0. Zach Nudding would limit the damage in the inning, however, but it would continue to get worse in the next inning.
In the bottom of the second, Leo Vargas singled with one out and moved to second on a walk to Kain. Stringer then ripped a ball to the wall in right-center, scoring Vargas to make it 3-0. Next up was Brent Clevlen, who singled up the middle to score both runners to make it 5-0.
In the third, the Wingnuts blew this game open. Nuding retired the first two batters of the inning, but it fell apart for him after that. Richard Prigatano doubled to keep the inning alive and Leo Vargas ripped a double down the line in left to score Prigatano. Kain drilled a triple to the wall to score Vargas and he scored on a wild pitch. Stringer, Clevlen, and T.J. MIttelstaedt each walked to load the bases, and Chavez then singled to score Stringer and Clevlen. Mittelstaedt scored on a wild pitch and it was 11-0.
With a huge lead, the Wichita Wingnuts were not done. In the fourth, Martin Medina singled to start the inning and Prigatano followed with a base hit before Vargas singled to load the bases. Kain, batting for the fourth time already, singled to center to score Medina and Prigatano. That increased the lead to 13.
While the Wingnuts were keeping the scorekeeper busy, Eddie Medina (1-0) was stymying the Winnipeg hitters. The righty was keeping the Goldeyes off balance, allowing two runners to reach base in only one inning, the fourth. He finished after 5-innings, allowing 4-hits and no walks while striking out 4.
From there, Manager Pete Rose, Jr. turned to his bullpen. Josh Goosen-Brown pitched a scoreless sixth, but the Goldeyes broke the scoreless run in the seventh.
With Jared Wilson on the mound, Alixon Suarez walked to start the frame before Andrew Sohn walked to put two on with no one out. Next up was Wes Darvill, who doubled to right to score both runners, and he came home on an error when the relay throw to the plate to try to nail Sohn short-hoped the plate and bounced out of play. Later, David Bergin would hit a sacrifice fly to score David Rohm to make it 13-4.
The Wingnuts responded in the bottom half of the inning. With one down, Mittelstaedt singled and Chavez followed with his third hit of the game, a double that scored Mittelstaedt all the way from first. Chavez scored when Medina grounded out and Vargas drove home Salgado with the 16th run of the game.
Unfortunately for the Goldeyes, the Wingnuts had one more big inning in them. In the eighth, Wichita added three more runs. Stringer walked before Clevlen doubled to start the frame. Mittelstaedt’s single scored Stringer and a sacrifice fly by Salgado scored Clevlen. Mittelstaedt scored on a ground out by Medina to make it 19-4.
Matt Chavez was 3-5 with a run and 5-RBI. Leo Vargas was a perfect 4-4 with 2-runs, a walk, and 2-RBI. Stringer scored 4-runs and Kain drove in 3 and scored 3. The Goldeyes were led by Wes Darvill, who went 2-4 with a run and 2-RBI.
Game 2 of this four-game series is tomorrow night. Jordan Cooper (1-0, 0.00) will face Edwin Carl (0-0, 3.00). Game time is 7:05.
By Robert Pannier