For eight innings, the contest between the Kansas City T-Bones and the Wichita Wingnuts was a real nail-biter, as Wichita had tied the score at two with a run in the bottom of the eighth, however, a nine run ninth where 14 batters came to the plate gave Kansas City a commanding lead in their 11-3 victory. Adrian Nieto was 4-4 with 3-RBI for the T-Bones and Sam Street earned his first win of the season.
The score was tied through the first, but Wichita would take the lead in the bottom of the second against Kansas City starter Tommy Collier. Fernando Perez led off the inning by launching his first home run of the season to give the Wingnuts the lead, 1-0.
Travis Banwart started for Wichita and allowed just one hit through the first three innings, but the T-Bones would have some success their second time through the order. Nick Torres and Zach Walters led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Two batters later, Dexter Kjerstad hit a sacrifice fly that scored Torres to tie the game. One batter later, Adrian Nieto singled into right field, bringing home Walters and giving Kansas City the lead.
The one run lead looked like it would hold, as Collier went six innings, allowing 5-hits and a run while striking out 9. Sam Street cruised through the seventh-inning, but in the eighth Wichita would tie the score. Street retired the first two batters of the inning, but Zach Nehrir kept it alive with a double down the line in right field. That brought Abel Nieves to the plate, who singled into right field, scoring Nehrir to tie the game.
In the top of the ninth, the Wingnuts turned to James Campbell and things would go terribly wrong for him from the start. Back-to-back singles by Cal Towey and Kjerstad got the rally started. Nieto followed with a double down the line in right that scored both runners to make it a two run lead. Nieto moved to third on a sacrifice before Keith Curcio reached on an error. With runners at first and third and one down, Dylan Tice doubled into left field to score Nieto before Todd Cunningham walked to load the bases. A fielder’s choice by Torres cut down the lead runner at the plate and Walters followed with a line drive base hit into right that brought home two more runners to extend the lead to five. Towey doubled for his second hit of the inning, driving home both runners and he would score on a single by Kjerstad. Angel Rosa would drive in the final run of the inning when he reached on an error and the score was 11-2.
The Wingnuts were able to get one of those runs back in the bottom of the ninth. Logan Trowbridge singled with one out and John Nester followed with a single into left field. An error by the left fielder allowed Trowbridge to come around to score but Wichita would get no closer.
Adrian Nieto finished 4-4 with a run and 3-RBI. Zach Walters, Cal Towey, and Dexter Kjerstad each had 2-hits, 2-runs scored, and 2-RBI. Zach Nehrir was 2-4 with a run scored for Wichita.
These two teams will take to the field again tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
By Robert Pannier