Cooper, Bullpen Combine to Blank Cleburne in Wingnuts 4-0 Victory
A night after ending their nine-game losing streak, the Wichita Wingnuts reminded the Cleburne Railroaders why they are 12-games ahead in the South Division as Jordan Cooper combined with two relievers to 4-hit the Railroaders in the 4-0 victory. The shutout was the fourth by the Wingnuts this season, and the first since Ryan Kussmaul combined with three relievers to blank Cleburne back on July 3. Leo Vargas drove in two-runs and Martin Medina had 3-hits and 2-runs scored to pace the offense.
After a scoreless first inning, the Wichita Wingnuts would put a run up in the second to take the lead. Martin Medina led off the inning with a base hit and Richard Prigatano drew a walk to put two-on with no one out. Brennen Salgado followed with a base hit that loaded the bases, and it looked like Wichita would blow this game open early, but Cleburne starter Onas Farlan got Leo Vargas to pop out before striking out Tyler Sullivan as he looked like he was going to get out of the jam unscathed. However, that was not to be as Christian Stringer walked to bring home Medina and it was 1-0 Wichita.
In the third, T.J. Mittelstaedt led off with a walk and moved to second on a ground out by Matt Chavez. Medina followed by lining a base hit into left-center that brought Mittelstaedt around to score and it was 2-0 Wingnuts.
Leading by two, Wichita added two more runs in the fifth. Layton Galbreath was on the hill for Cleburne and retired the first two batters of the inning, but Medina singled to keep the inning alive and Prigatano doubled to moved Medina to third. Salgado walked to load the bases, and Carlos Miseli came on to relieve. Leo Vargas greeted him with a single into left that brought home both Medina and Prigatano and the lead was four.
That was more than enough support for Jordan Cooper on this evening. The right-hander was in complete control of this game, retiring the minimum through the four 3.2-innings. His only trouble came in the sixth when he hit Blake Grant-Parks to start the frame and Alex Polston followed with a base hit that put two on with no one out. However, after striking out Mitch Glasser, he got consecutive fly outs to end the threat. The Wingnuts starter then retired the side in order in the seventh.
Jordan Cooper (5-1) would go 7-innings, allowing just 3-hits and no walks, while striking out 4. He would retire the side in order in five of his seven innings of work. James Campbell and Mike Devine each pitched a scoreless inning of work to complete the shutout.
Martin Medina finished 3-5 with 2-runs scored and an RBI. Richard Prigatano was 1-1 with a run scored and 2-walks. Leo Vargas drove in 2.
The Wichita Wingnuts travel to Salina on Sunday to take on the Stockade. Alex Boshers (8-2, 3.60) will go for Wichita. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00.
By Robert Pannier