Brennen Salgado Delivers Walk-Off Victory for Wichita Wingnuts, 4-3
There is nothing like delivering a walk-off hit that turns a loss into a victory. That is even sweeter when you enter the game as a late replacement due to an injury, and turn a sad moment where the team is dealing with the loss of one of their key players and turn it into a dramatic win. That was the pathway of Wichita Wingnuts Brennen Salgado.
Salgado entered the game in the seventh inning after CF Harrison Kain was hurt when he hit a run-scoring triple. Salgado delivered a two-run single in the ninth inning that gave the Wichita Wingnuts a 4-3 victory over the Sioux Falls Canaries, moving the Wingnuts to 34-19, the second best record in the American Association.
Tim Brown started for the Wingnuts and he pitched brilliantly. He was touched for a run in the top of the first when Blake Schmit started the inning with a single and moved to second when David Bergin singled two batters later. Michael Pair’s two-out single to right scored Schmit and it was 1-0 Sioux Falls.
It would stay that way until the fourth when both teams would plate a run. Jake Taylor led off the top of the fourth with a single and moved to second when Pair followed with a base hit. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position and Taylor scored on a ground out by Ozney Guillen.
The Wingnuts responded with a run in the bottom of the fourth. T.J. Mittelstaedt singled with one out and Matt Chavez followed a single to left field. Mittelstaedt made a heads up play when he noticed that the left fielder was going to throw into second and headed for third, putting runners at the corners with one out. Martin Medina then hit a sacrifice fly to score Mittelstaedt and it was 2-1.
In the sixth, the Canaries extended their lead back to two. Jake Taylor was the second batter of the inning and he drilled his seventh homerun of the season over the left field wall to make it 3-1.
That would be the final run that Brown would allow. He would be done after 8-innings, and he had pitched a gem, allowing 9-hits and 3-runs. He did not walk a batter while striking out 4.
As well as Brown was pitching, Sioux Falls Canaries starter Stephen Bougher was pitching even better. The right-hander allowed just the 2-runs in 6.1-innings of work as the Wingnuts seemed to have no answer for him on this night. It would be Kain’s big hit that chased the Canaries starter.
In the bottom of the seventh, Richard Prigatano grounded down to third and beat the throw to first. The throw was over the head of the first baseman, allowing Prigatano to reach second on the error. The next hitter was Kain, who drilled a ball to the wall in left-center field. Prigatano easily scored and Kain slid into third with a triple. He reinjured his elbow on the slide and was replaced by Salgado.
Dylan Thompson came on looking to try to stop the rally. Leo Vargas followed with a fly ball to center. Salgado tagged, but the throw by Ethan Chapman nailed Salgado at the plate for a double-play that ended the inning.
In the ninth inning, Madison Boer entered the contest looking to close out the 3-2 contest. He retired the first hitter of the inning, but Matt Chavez singled to right to get the rally started. Medina then singled to left putting runners at first and second with just one out. Brent Dean pinch-ran for Chavez, and Prigatano followed with a hard single to center. Dean was waved home, but opted to hold to make the bases loaded with one out. That brought Salgado to the plate. On a 1-1 pitch, he ripped a single to right field. Dean easily scored. The throw to the plate was not in time to get Medina and the Wingnuts pulled out the dramatic 4-3 win.
Seth Harvey (2-0) earned the victory for Wichita. Boer (0-4) took the loss. Both Chavez and Prigatano had 2-hits for the Wingnuts. Taylor and Pair had 2-hits for Sioux Falls.
These two teams continue their four-game series Saturday night. Alex Boshers (4-3, 3.71) goes for the Wingnuts. Game time is 7:05.
Look for a feature on Boshers in the Minor League Sports Report before tomorrow night’s game.
By Robert Pannier