Alex Boshers Silences Saints Bats; Wingnuts Win 11-1
Without meaning to sound like a broken record, Alex Boshers has been nothing short of brilliant since joining the rotation, proving to be the Wichita Wingnuts ace. Tuesday afternoon the team was in need of their ace to step up and help snap a four-game losing streak and he came through, shutting down the St. Paul Saints offense for seven-innings in the team’s 11-1 victory.
Corey Williams started for the St. Paul Saints, but he did not get off to a great start. The left-hander retired the first batter of the inning, but then gave up a walk to Zack Cox and back-to-back singles to Brent Clevlen and T.J. Mittelstaedt. Matt Chavez followed and worked the count full before drawing a walk that scored Cox. Two batters later Richard Prigatano walked to score another run and it was quickly 2-0 Wichita.
It would stay that way until the third when the Wingnuts would double their lead. An error by the first baseman allowed Mittelstaedt to reach first to begin the inning. Two batters later Nick Van Stratten replaced him on the base paths when he hit into a fielder’s choice. Prigatano followed by drawing a walk and Brent Dean and Leo Vargas each delivered RBI-singles that extended the lead to 4-0.
In the top of the fourth, the Wichita Wingnuts blew the game open. Cox started the inning off by reaching on an error. Clevlen followed with a double that moved Cox to third and Mittelstaedt walked to load the bases. Chavez followed, lining a single to center that scored Cox and Clevlen to make it 6-0. That would be it for Williams.
Kody Knaus came on but he could not stop the momentum. Van Stratten was the first batter the lefty faced, and he fouled off three two-strike pitches to stay alive before lining a single to center that scored Mittelstaedt. Two batters later Dean was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Vargas drew a walk that scored Chavez. A sacrifice fly by Christian Stringer brought home Van Stratten and it was now 9-0.
In the seventh, the Wingnuts would make it a double-digit lead. Stringer walked to start the inning and moved to third on a double by Cox. A walk to Clevlen loaded the bases and Mittelstaedt drove home Stringer with a sacrifice fly to center.
While his offense was putting up big numbers, Boshers was giving the St. Pau Saints nothing to work with. He allowed lone hits in each of the first five innings of the game, but only in the first was any of those hits for extra bases. He did not allow a walk through the first six innings, making sure he did not hurt himself in any way.
In the seventh, St. Paul finally was able to get on the board. Trever Adams was the first batter of the inning and he drilled his eighth homer of the season over the left field wall to make it 10-1. The Wingnuts starter allowed a two-out walk, but that would be all the offense the Saints would generate against him.
Boshers (11-3) moved to 11-1 as a starter, going 7-innings, allowing 6-hits, 1-walk, and 1-earned run. He struck out 2. Gage Smith and Luis Pardo each pitched a perfect inning of relief to complete the contest.
In the ninth, the Wingnuts would add one more run to extend the lead back to 10. Clevlen doubled down the line in left to get it started and scored on a two-out single by Van Stratten. That gave the final score of 11-1.
Clevlen had a huge day at the plate, going 3-5 with 3-runs scored. Van Stratten was 2-5 with 2-runs and 2-RBI, and Stringer was 2-4 with a run and an RBI. Breland Aladova had two-hits for the Saints.
The final contest of this three-game series will be tomorrow. Kramer Sneed returns from the Mexican League and is scheduled to start for the St. Paul Saints. Eddie Medina (5-5, 5.40) will go for the Wichita Wingnuts. Game time is 7:05.
By Robert Pannier