Alberto Gonzalez Leads Wichita Wingnuts Battering of Lemurs, 14-7
After watching their lineup shutdown by former Wichita Wingnuts starter Omar Bencomo the previous night, the home team got a little offended, or should we say offensive in a 14-7 victory over the visiting Laredo Lemurs. The 14 runs scored was the second time in the last three days that the Wingnuts have scored at least that many runs, following a 15-run night on Sunday.
The Wichita Wingnuts got on the board right away, with two runs in the bottom of the first. Jayce Ray reached on an error and scored when Alberto Gonzalez blasted his first home run of the season to make it 2-0.
The score remained that way until the bottom of the third when Laredo Lemurs starter Sam Martin found himself struggling to keep the Wingnuts off the base paths. Ray led off with a walk and moved to third when Gonzalez doubled into the gap. Espinosa followed with a base hit that moved both runners up 90-feet, scoring Ray. That brought Matt Padgett to the plate who got to have a little revenge of his own, blasting a three-run homer to make the score 6-0. That was Padgett’s first home run of the season and came against the team whose jersey he was wearing just a few days earlier.
The first four batters of the inning had reached base and, unfortunately for Martin, the next three would as well. Three straight singles by Joash Brodin, TJ Mittelstaedt and Brent Dean scored two runs. Dean’s base hit plated both Mittelstaedt and Brodin, making it an eight-run lead. An error allowed Dean to move to third and he scored on a sacrifice fly by Dustin Geiger.
To save his pitching staff, manager Pete Incaviglia was forced to stick with Martin, and the Lemurs starter continued to struggle. In the bottom of the fourth the Wichita Wingnuts plated a 1oth run. Gonzalez delivered his third extra base hit and second double to begin the inning, and came around to score three batters later when Brodin singled with two outs.
The Wichita Wingnuts extended their lead by three in the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out Geiger hit is his third home run of the season. Luis Hernandez followed with a single and Ray doubled to put runners at second and third with one out. A wild pitch scored Hernandez and a sacrifice fly by Gonzalez scored Ray to make it 13-0.
For six innings, Wingnuts starter Tim Brown watched his team put runs on the board. While they were scoring, he was keeping the Laredo Lemurs from getting runs of their own. Brown allowed just four hits through the first six innings and three double-plays ended any chance of Laredo getting any kind of a rally going.
The Lemurs were stymied by Brown’s stuff, but in the seventh they finally were able to get their offense going. Back-to-back doubles by Juan Silverio and Denis Phipps plated Laredo’s first run. Dvontrey Richardson singled to score Phipps and a base hit by Tony Delmonico put runners on first and second with no one out.
Two runs were in and the inning was beginning to look a lot like the Wingnuts third inning barrage. Kevin Taylor hit into a fielder’s choice and Tyler Forney singled to score Richardson. Another fielder’s choice put runners at first and third, but now with two outs. Jimmy Mojica delivered a clutch single to score Taylor for the fourth run of the inning. Two batters later Silverio beat out an infield single, scoring Byron Wiley to make it 13-5.
Even up by eight, the Wichita Wingnuts followed a traditional plan that fans have become accustomed to – they responded. While only scoring one-run in the bottom of the seventh, it served notice that no one was going to make a dramatic comeback on this night. Geiger singled to begin the inning. Two batters later he was cut down on a fielder’s choice that put Ray at first with two outs. Gonzalez singled to keep the inning alive and Espinosa doubled to bring home Ray to make in 14-5.
In the eighth the Lemurs added two more runs to the scoreboard. With one out Delmonico hit is his league leading fifth home run of the year. Three straight singles by Taylor, Forney and Wiley brought home the other run.
Brown (3-0) kept his record undefeated while Martin (1-1) evened his record.
The Wichita Wingnuts had 17-hits in the game. Gonzalez was a perfect 4-4 with 3 runs and 3 RBI, including the home run. In just his second game with the Wingnuts, Brodin was 3-5 with a run and an RBI. Espinoza, Mittelstaedt and Geiger each had two hits.
The Laredo Lemurs pounded out 16-hits. Seven players had two hits for the visitors, including Taylor, who was 2-4 with 2 runs scored.
By Robert Pannier