Eddie Medina Helps Bring Wingnuts Skid to a Halt; Wichita Wins 10-3
After dropping their last nine games, the Wichita Wingnuts finally found themselves in the more familiar win column, downing the Cleburne Railroaders 10-3 Friday night, their first victory since beginning their 18-game road trip. Eddie Medina helped to snap the losing streak, tossing seven outstanding innings, and Tyler Sullivan made his debut for the team with three hits and a run scored.
Wichita got off on the right foot against former Wingnuts pitcher Patrick Mincey. Tyler Sullivan led off the game with a base hit and moved to second when Christian Stringer followed with a single of his own. The inning looked like it was going to be a big one, but an odd double-play left Brent Clevlen as the only runner left on base. He grounded down to the shortstop who fired over to the second baseman for the first out. Maikol Gonzalez then threw to third ahead of Sullivan reaching the bag, forcing him to start heading back toward second where he was tagged out for the double-play. That could have been a crushing start for a team struggling to win games, but T.J. Mittelstaedt delivered a clutch triple that scored Clevlen to put the Wingnuts ahead 1-0. Matt Chavez followed with a base hit, driving home Mittelstaedt to extend the lead to two.
In the top of the fourth, Wichita would blow this game open. Chavez led off with a base hit, and Martin Medina followed by drawing a walk. Richard Prigatano followed with a single and the bases overloaded with nobody out. That brought Wesley Phillips to the plate, appearing in his first game for the Wingnuts. A wild pitch scored Chavez, and Phillips followed with a base hit that brought home Medina. Up 4-0, Leo Vargas brought Prigatano home with a sacrifice fly before Mincey was taken out of the game.
Bryce Beeler came on in relief and was greeted by a double by Sullivan that brought Phillips around to score. Next up was Stringer, who cleared the wall in right field with his fourth home run of the season. That extended the lead to eight.
Medina had not allowed a hit through the first three innings of the ballgame, but Cleburne would use the long ball to get back into this game in the bottom of the fourth. The red-hot Derrick Pyles led off the inning with his second home run since joining the Railroaders. Pichi Balet walked and, two batters later, Nick Van Stratten, who returned to Cleburne two days ago, hit his first home run of the season to make the score 8-3.
In the seventh, Wichita would add an insurance run. After Mittelstaedt walked to start the frame, he then stole second and scored on a Martin Medina base hit to make it 9-3.
The Wingnuts added one more run in the ninth-inning. With one, Chavez blasted his 15th home run of the season to extend the lead to seven. That snapped a 15-game homeless drought for the All-Star first baseman.
Eddie Medina (7-3) came out after seven innings. He allowed 6-hits, walked 2, and gave up 3-earned runs. He struck out six. That snapped a two-game losing streak for the right-hander and gave him his fifth quality start of the season.
Tyler Sullivan, who was acquired from Gary Southshore during the All-Star break, made an impressive debut, going 3-4 with a run and an RBI. Matt Chavez was 3-5 with 2-runs and 2-RBI. Martin Medina finished 2-3 with a run, an RBI, and 2-walks. Nick Van Stratten was 2-4 with a run and 3-RBI.
The final game of this four-game set is set for tomorrow. Jordan Cooper (4-1, 3.93) will go to the hill for Wichita. He will be opposed by Onas Fartan (3-2, 6.25). First pitch is scheduled for 7:06.
By Robert Pannier