Brian McAfee Continues Wingnuts Woes in 10-1 Saltdogs Victory
The American Association All-Star Break is approaching and it couldn’t come any sooner for the Wichita Wingnuts, as the team is limping toward the break after falling for the sixth straight outing, this time to the Lincoln Saltdogs 10-1. Brian McAfee dominated the Wingnuts through 8-innings, allowing just a run on 4-hits, and Christian Ibarra drove in four as the red-hot Saltdogs won their ninth straight game at home.
After a scoreless first, the Wingnuts would get their lone run of the game in the top of the second. Brian McAfee retired the first batter of the inning, then Zac Fisher hit his fifth homer of the year to put Wichita on top 1-0.
Ryan Kussmaul started for Wichita and he retired the first six batters of the game, but things turned on him quickly in the third. Randolph Oduber doubled to start the frame and moved to third on a single by Joe Robbins. Former Wingnuts catcher Brent Dean followed with a single up the middle to score Oduber and tie the score. Christian Ibarra hit a sacrifice fly that scored Robbins to give Lincoln the lead, 2-1. After Matty Johnson reached on an error, Kussmaul struck out Cesar Valera for the second out of the inning. However, he could not close out the frame before Curt Smith doubled, scoring both Johnson and Dean to give Lincoln the 4-1 lead.
In the fourth, the long ball would help to extend the Lincoln Saltdogs lead to five. Nathaniel Maggio led off the inning by working the count full, then hitting his second homer of the year. Oduber was the next batter, and he worked the count full before hitting his 10th home run of the year. The back-to-back bombs made the score 6-1.
An inning later, the Saltdogs were back on the scoreboard again. Tyler Kane came on to pitch for Wichita and hit Johnson to start the inning. An error allowed Valera to reach and Johnson scored on a sacrifice fly by Smith, his third RBI of the game.
The Lincoln offense could not be stopped as they would put up two more runs in the sixth. Dean singled with one out and Ibarra followed with his fifth homer of the year to extend the lead to 9-1.
The Saltdogs added one more run in the eighth. Back-to-back errors by the Wingnuts third baseman allowed Oduber and Robbins to reach to start the inning. Wichita made five errors in all on the day. Dean walked to load the bases and Ibarra hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Oduber to make it 10-1. That would be the final.
Brian McAfee (4-1) earned the victory with eight outstanding innings. He allowed 4-hits and a run, while striking out 5. The outing lowered his ERA to 1.54.
Randolph Oduber was 2-4 with 3-runs scored and an RBI. Brent Dean was 2-3 with 2-runs and an RBI. Christian Ibarra drove in 4 and Curt Smith plated 3 for Wichita. Leo Vargas was 2-2 for Wichita.
The final game of this three-game set is Sunday as the Lincoln Saltdogs go for the sweep. Jordan Cooper (4-0, 3.20) will get the ball for Wichita, while Lincoln will send fellow righty Derek Gordon (5-2, 2.85). First pitch is scheduled for 2:05.
By Robert Pannier