Bottom of Order Leads Texas AirHogs Onslaught in 11-3 Victory
The suddenly red-hot Texas AirHogs were looking for their fourth straight victory Saturday evening, and thanks to the bottom of the order, they would put up double digits on the Salina Stockade in the 11-3 victory. The five through nine hitters were a combined 8-14 with 8-runs scored and 6-RBI, and Jared Mortensen earned his second victory of the season as the AirHogs have now won seven of their last eight games.
Texas jumped out in front in the bottom of the first against Salina starter Jordan Cummings. Trever Sealey doubled with one out and moved to third on a wild pitch. He then scored on an error to put the AirHogs on top 1-0.
They extended their lead to three in the second. Ryan Wagner and Beamer Weems were both hit by a pitch to start the inning. Two batters later, Ryne Willard drilled a ball to the wall that he legged out for a triple. Both runners came around to score to make it 3-0.
After a scoreless third, Texas extended their lead to five in the fourth. Like they had in the third, Wagner and Weems started out the frame by reaching base to start the inning, as both drew base on balls. Charley Thurber followed with a double that brought both runners home and it was 5-0.
The Stockade got three of those runs back in the top of the fifth to make this a two-run game. Roche Woodard singled to get the inning started and he moved to second on a base hit by Jonathan Moroney two batters later. Aaron Olivas followed with a double that brought home Woodard and Moroney scored on a ground out by Troy Paris. Kewby Meyer then doubled into center, one of his three hits on the day, to scored Olivas to make it 5-3.
Salina was back in this game but, in the sixth, the Texas AirHogs would take a commanding lead. Brian Ragira singled to start the inning and Wagner walked to put two on. After Weems struck out, Salina turned to Tom Fazzini. He walked Thurber to load the bases and a wild pitch brought home Wagner. Willard then doubled, driving home Wagner to extend the lead to four. Alvaro Rondon grounded a ball deep into the hole at short that he beat out for a single, scoring Thurber on the play. That led to TJ Looney entering the game for Salina.
After Rondon stole second, Sealey was hit by a pitch. Levi Scott was then hit by a pitch, bringing home Willard. Ragira brought home the final two runs of the inning with a base hit that scored both Rondon and Sealey. The AirHogs sent 12 men to the plate, scoring six runs to extend their lead to 11-3, which would be the final.
Jared Mortensen (2-1) earned the victory with 6-innings where he allowed 6-hits and 3-runs, while striking out 5. Brian Ragira was 3-5 with a run and an RBI. Ryne Willard drove in 3 and was 3-4. Ryan Wagner scored 3-runs. Kewby Meyer continues to hit well for Salina, going 3-4 with an RBI.
By Robert Pannier