Wichita Wingnuts Manager Pete Rose, Jr. espouses a commitment to playing hard and being on-time. He also expects his team to be smart on the diamond and do things to make up for miscues. That is exactly what he got out of his team on Sunday, as the team got 2-runs and 4-RBI from the three players who made errors to win 7-3 over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.
The RedHawks got two-runs in the second against Wichita starter Charlie Leesman, but two errors contributed to that. Ryan Wagner led off with a ground rule double to start the inning, but Leesman then struck out the next two batters. That brought Bryan Johns to the plate, who grounded down to Leo Vargas. The Wingnuts’ shortstop misplayed the ball, allowing Johns to reach first and keep the inning going. Next up was Kes Carter, who singled into right field. Both Wagner and Johns were able to come into score on an error by Richard Prigatano. That gave Fargo-Moorhead the 2-0 lead.
The Wingnuts would get one of those runs back in the bottom half of the inning. Dustin Geiger walked with one out and Harrison Kain followed with a single that moved Geiger to second. Next up was Brent Dean, who singled into center to score Geiger. With Vargas at the plate both runners moved up on a stolen base, putting two runners in scoring position with just one out, but RedHawks starter Will Mathis struck out Vargas before getting a ground out to end the inning.
In the top of the third, Fargo-Moorhead would extend their lead back to two. Josh Mazzola was hit by a pitch and then stole second base, his first stolen base of the year. The throw from Brent Dean went into center and Mazzola would move to third. He scored the third unearned run against Leesman on a fielder’s choice and the RedHawks were ahead 3-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Wichita Wingnuts used an error to get their own rally going. Kain got the rally started when he drilled a Mathis offering to the wall in right and legged it out for a triple. Dean reached on a fielder’s choice to put runners at the corners and Vargas reached on an error to score Kain. Both Dean and Vargas moved up on stolen bases and Dean scored when Tyler Urps grounded out. That should have ended the inning but, instead, it tied the score. Prigatano then made up for his error by giving Wichita their first lead of the game, singling to center to score Vargas.
In the fifth, the Wingnuts put the game away. Brent Clevlen was the first hitter of the inning, and he made it 5-3 with his seventh homerun of the season. T.J. Mittelstaedt followed with a double and he scored when Kain doubled to right field. Kain then stole third and scored when Dean drove home his second run of the game. That made it 7-3.
Leesman (2-2) was finished after five innings. The bullpen then took over and they did an amazing job. Both Chase Johnson and Chad Nading pitched a scoreless inning. Jesse Pratt pitched the final two innings of the game, allowing no base runners and striking out two as the Wichita Wingnuts won 7-3.
Kain finished the game 3-4 with 2-runs and an RBI. Vargas was 2-4 with a run and an RBI and Dean scored a run and drove in 2.
The Wichita Wingnuts head back to Laredo Monday night. The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks are off on Monday.
By Robert Pannier