With the Wichita Wingnuts crossing the border to play a little international baseball with the Quebec Capitales, it was only fitting that the game should take on even more of an international flavor with an 11-inning contest that required the new extra inning rule to decide it. Unfortunately for the Wingnuts, the Quebec Capitales were able to take advantage of the rule, winning 3-2.
This was an amazing pitching duel from the start. Both Wingnuts starter Scott Richmond and Capitales hurler Sheldon McDonald were dazzling through their seven innings of work. Richmond allowed just two solo runs, one in the second and one in the sixth. In the second Josue Peley hit his second home run of the season to make it 1-0 Quebec. In the sixth a wild pitch by Richmond allowed Will Walsh to score. Walsh had reached on a one-out double, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on another wild pitch.
Despite those two runs, Richmond showed incredible moxie. He yielded just 5 hits and a walk, while striking out 7. The right-hander threw 108 pitches, 74 of which were strikes. It was just a great outing.
As well as Richmond was pitching, McDonald was looking even better for most of the contest. He gave up two first inning singles, then retired 15 of the next 16 batters he faced, only allowing a lead-off single to Joash Brodin in the fifth. Brodin was erased on a double-play.
By the way that the left-hander was pitching this game was looking like it was over, but the Wichita Wingnuts rallied in the top of the seventh to tie the score. Matt Padgett led off with a single, and came around to score when T.J. Mittelstaedt doubled two batters later. Brent Dean’s double brought Mittelstaedt across the plate and the game was tied.
Now it was time for the bullpens to take over. Wichita had their chance to end the game early, when Leo Vargas and Padgett had back-to-back singles with two outs in the eighth, but reliever Jon Fitzsimmons got John Nester to ground back to the mound to end the threat. Jay Johnson allowed a two-out double in ninth to Dean, but struck out Jayce Ray to strand the runner and keep it tied. In the 1oth Deryk Hooker took over and retired the Wingnuts in order over the next two innings.
The Wingnuts brought Alex Boshers into relieve in the eighth and he was incredibly sharp. Boshers allowed just a single hit in his three innings of work, while striking out three. It was the perfect outing by their reliever to give the club a chance to stay in the game.
In the bottom of the 11th closer Daniel Bennett came in. Under the international rule a runner is placed at second to begin the inning. With Kalian Sams in scoring position, Walsh laid down a perfect sacrifice. Jean-Luc Blaquiere then delivered a fly ball to center field that was deep enough to score Sams and just like that the game was over. The Quebec Capitales gained the victory 3-2.
It was a tough way to end such an amazing game.
Dean finished 2-4 with an RBI and two doubles. Padgett was 2-5 with a run scored.
By Robert Pannier