Wichita Wingnuts Bolt Down Goldeyes Bats in 2-0 Victory
You will have to excuse the Winnipeg Goldeyes if they permanently ban the number zero from any of their discussions or media releases for a while. After watching the Wichita Wingnuts shut them out for the second game in a row, all that they have seen on their score line is a whole lot of goose eggs. Wednesday night they got to see nine more, as Wingnuts starter Omar Bencomo and three relievers combined on a 1-hit shutout in the 2-0 win.
Last night it took the Wingnuts 10 innings before they finally walked away with the 1-0 win. On this night it would take just five batters for the home team to take the lead. The Wichita Wingnuts had three straight singles with one out in the bottom of the first. Alberto Gonzalez and T.J. Mittelstaedt recorded the first two to put runners at first and second. Dustin Geiger then grounded to short. The shortstop threw to second, but not in time to catch Mittelstaedt. Unfortunately for Mittelstaedt, he overslid the bag and was tagged out for the second out. David Espinosa followed with a hit on a 1-1 pitch from Matt Jackson to make it 1-0.
In the fourth, Wichita would add to their lead. Geiger led off the inning and on a 1-1 pitch from Jackson, he turned on the ball, lining it down the left field line for a home run to make it 2-o. It was Geiger’s first home run of the season.
The two-run lead was plenty enough for Bencomo, who was absolutely dominating on this night. The right-hander retired the minimum through his six innings of work, allowing just a fourth inning single as one of the only two Winnipeg batters to reach base on the night. Both runners reached base in the top of the fourth, and it was at this point that we learned something else about Bencomo – he has an amazing pickoff move.
Adam Heisler led off the fourth by striking out, but the third strike got away and he reach first. Four pitches later the Wingnuts starter fired over to first to pickoff Heisler and empty the bases. Josh Mazzola followed with the only hit that the righty would allow. On an 0-2 count, Benecomo fired over to first again, picking off Mazzola. The Winnipeg third baseman was not happy with the call, arguing profusely before being tossed, but he was still out.
Benecomo (1-0) finished with a very impressive line, allowing just one hit while striking out seven. Of the 76 pitches that the right-hander threw, 56 were strikes and he only faced 18 batters, the minimum he could face.
From there the Wingnuts bullpen did what they do best – hold leads. Brad Mincey pitched a perfect seventh inning, and Daniel Carela struck out the side in the eighth to keep the game 2-0. Matt Nevarez came in for the ninth inning and the good Doctor struck out the side in order for his first save of the season. That puts him 24 away from the franchise record for career saves. As a staff, the Wingnuts struck out 13 Goldeyes hitters
Jackson was the hard luck loser for the Goldeyes. He allowed 6 hits, 2 walks and 2 earned runs in 6 innings of work. He added 5 strikeouts.
Geiger continues his hot start to the season, going 2-4 with 2 RBI and a run. That moved his average to .350.
By Robert Pannier