Eddie Medina Sends Saltdogs Whimpering; Wingnuts Win 3-1
Early this season the Wichita Wingnuts were really struggling to get going, and Eddie Medina was one of a handful of guys that had joined in the woes. Those days are over as Medina continues to impress, outdueling All-Star Lindsey Caughel and the vaunted Lincoln Saltdogs bullpen to lead the Wingnuts to a 3-1 victory. That gave the right-hander his fifth straight win.
This was a contest that looked like Medina was going to be the hard luck loser. The Saltdogs got on board in the bottom of the first when Robby Kuzdale started the inning with a single and moved to second when Luis Alen walked. A wild pitch moved both runners up and Kuzdale scored when Brandon Jacobs grounded out.
From there neither team was able to generate any offense. Both Medina and Caughel were absolutely brilliant. For Medina, he would retire nine straight at one point, and did not allow another hit until the seventh inning.
Caughel was equally as brilliant. The Saltdogs starter allowed just 3-hits in his 5-innings of work.
The right-hander came out after five and the bullpen was not able to hold the lead. In the top of the sixth, Ryan Davis came on in relief and gave up a single to T.J. Mitttelstaedt. Shairon Martis took over and Mittelstaedt stole second and then third. Two batters later, Harrison Kain reached on an error that scored Mittelstaedt and the game was tied.
It was tied at one until the top of the eighth when the Wichita Wingnuts would take the lead. Stephen Shakelford came on in relief and gave up a single to Kain to start the frame. Richard Prigatano walked and Brennen Salgado singled to load the bases. Brent Dean was then hit by a pitch to bring home Kain to make it 2-1. The inning could have blown the game open, but Shackelford got Leo Vargas to line out before getting Christian Stringer to hit into a double-play to end the threat.
In the bottom of the eighth, Alen singled to get it started and Jacobs walked to put two on with no one out against reliever Chase Johnson. Johnson remained cool, however, getting All-Star Curt Smith to fly out, and then striking out Rene Leveret. Frankie Reed then came on to retire the final out of the inning to keep the contest a one-run game.
In the top of the ninth the Wingnuts added an insurance run. Former Wingnut Brad Orosey came on to pitch. He walked Mittelstaedt with one out and Matt Chavez followed with a double that scored Mittelstaedt to make it 3-1.
Reed remained in the game in the ninth and retired the side in order. That earned him his 15th save of the season. Medina (5-3) pitched seven outstanding innings, allowing just 2-hits, 5-walks, 1-earned run, while striking out 5. The right-hander not only has a five-game winning streak, but has not lost in his last 12 outings.
Mittelstaedt was 1-2 with 2-runs and 3-walks for the Wichita Wingnuts. Chavez finished 2-5 with an RBI.
After winning three of four games in Lincoln, the Wichita Wingnuts now move on to face the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks Monday night. The three-game series starts with Garrett Gould (0-0, 0.75) on the hill in Game 1. First pitch is 7:02.
By Robert Pannier