Back to Basics at Wingnuts U, Wichita Wingnuts Win 7-2
The “Three R’s” may be the basics that kids need to now in school to succeed later on in life, but at Wingnuts University they stress the Three D’s – Defense, Determination and Delivery. That lesson was on full display Tuesday night as the club won 7-2 behind solid defense, a great delivery by Scott Kuminsky on the mound, and the determination to make things happen when it was time to deliver (so a “D” can be used twice).
Kuzminsky was paired against Sioux Falls Canaries starter Jeremy Strawn, and for the first half of the game it was an incredible pitchers’ duel. Neither team could score off of the two starters, as neither had any answers on how to get a rally going.
Defense was on display for the Wichita Wingnuts in the first inning. Chris Grayson singled to begin the game and moved to second on a wild pitch. Two batters later Grayson tried to steal third, but catcher John Nester made a perfect throw to gun him down and bring the threat to an end. Over the next four innings Kuzminsky allowed just two hits, third and a fifth inning singles.
Strawn was pitching equally as well. He allowed two hits through the first four frames, retiring the side in order in the first and third innings. In the fifth, the right-hander gave up a pair of two-out walks, but got the final out of the inning to end the threat.
In the sixth it was time for determination and delivery. In the top half of the inning Jason Repko connected on his third home run of the year to put Sioux Falls out on top. This is one of those situations where the club had struggled to rebound recently, but it was back to basics tonight, and basics means responding right away.
In the bottom of the sixth Alberto Gonzalez tripled with one out. David Espinosa walked and Taylor Oldham, who was re-signed earlier in the day, singled to score Gonzalez. Joash Brodin followed with a lined shot for a double, bringing both runners home to make it 3-1.
In the top of the seventh the Canaries got one back. Richard Stock doubled to begin the frame and came home on a single by RJ Perucki to make it 3-2.
Time for a little determination that no one beats the Wichita Wingnuts at home. It was time for another response. Bryon Minnich took over for Strawn, and immediately found himself in trouble against his old team.
Luis Hernandez led off with a single and scored on a triple by Jayce Ray. Chris Paterson immediately replaced Minnich with Ferrell but it did not help.
A wild pitch scored Ray before TJ Mittelstaedt walked. Two batters later Espinosa singled. That was it for Ferrell.
Cameron McVey came in. Oldham laid down a sacrifice, but the catcher’s throw sailed, allowing both runners to score. That made it 7-2.
From there the bullpen pitched brilliantly. Al Yevoli relieved in the eighth and gave up a lone single before retiring the side. Brad Mincey pitched a perfect ninth to end the game.
Kuzminsky delivered his best outing since being placed in the rotation and moved his record to 2-1. He pitched 7 innings, allowing 8 hits and 2 runs. He also struck out 2. Strawn took the loss to drop to 2-4.
Brodin, Hernandez and Espinosa each had two hits in the game for the Wichita Wingnuts. Espinosa scored twice and Brodin drove in two.
Boxscore Provided by the American Association
By Robert Pannier