Casey Harman Shuts Down AirHogs, Wingnuts Win 4-1
The Wichita Wingnuts continued their trek through Texas, taking on the AirHogs on Friday night. Thanks to eight outstanding innings by Casey Harman, Wichita rolled to a 4-1 victory. That came courtesy of a three runs seventh-inning as Logan Watkins scored both a run and had an RBI in the contest.
The Wichita Wingnuts would take the lead in the top of the first-inning. Logan Watkins led off with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice by Zach Nehrir. Texas starter Meng Weiqiang looked like he would get out of the inning after getting Abel Nieves to line out, but a walk to Fernando Perez kept the inning alive. That brought Tony Thomas to the plate, who grounded a single into left field, scoring Watkins to make it 1-0.
Casey Harman was in complete control for the first four innings. He allowed a double to lead off the top of the first, then retired seven in a row. Through four innings the left-hander allowed just two hits.
In the fifth, Texas would finally get on the board against the left-hander. Du Xiaolei started the inning with a ball that bounced off the turf and over the wall for a double. He moved to third on a ground out and scored when Lu Ning delivered a clutch two out single to tie the score at one.
It remained a tie game until the seventh when Wichita would score three to take the lead for good. John Nester started the inning with a single and moved to second on a walk by Ryne Willard. Leo Vargas drew a walk two batters later to load the bases before Watkins grounded to second. The ball was misplayed, allowing Watkins to reach and Nester to score. A single by Nehrir moved everyone up 90 feet, scoring Willard. Two batters later, a walk to Perez brought in Vargas to make it a three run lead for the Wingnuts.
After giving up the run, Harman (3-1) rolled. He would go 8-innings, allowing 6-hits and a run. He walked no one while striking out 6.
James Campbell came on in the ninth, and hit the opening batter of the inning. He would give up a two out walk to put the tying run at the plate, but got a ground out to end the game for his second save of the season.
Logan Watkins finished 2-4 with a run and an RBI. Zach Nehrir and John Nester each had 2-hits as well. Lu Ning was 3-3 for the AirHogs.
The second game of this series is scheduled for tomorrow. Charlie Gillies (1-0, 0.00) will face Tyler Matzek (0-2, 7.12). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
By Robert Pannier