Grady Wood Finally Silences Wingnuts Bats; Canaries Win 2-1
Through the first two games of their series with the Sioux Falls Canaries, the Wichita Wingnuts had battered their opponents for 21 total runs, led by first baseman Matt Chavez. Sioux Falls was looking for something to try to hold those bats in check, and Grady Wood delivered an outing that was just what the doctor ordered, allowing just four hits and a run over eight innings of work as the Canaries where the victors, 2-1. Jabari Henry was the big offensive of hero in the game, homering for the fourth straight contest to provide all of the runs that Sioux Falls needed.
Garrett Gould made the start for the Wingnuts, and he and Wood battled in one of the best pitchers’ duels of the season. Wichita would stake their starter to a lead in the top of the first. Wood retired the first batter of the game, but Christian Stringer gave his team the lead when he took an 0-1 offering and drilled it for his third home run of the season.
Gould was cruising through the first two innings of the game, but in the third the long ball would come back to haunt him as well. After retiring the first batter of the inning, Brett Marr reached on a double, bringing Jabari Henry to the plate. He had already homered three times in the series, and launched his fourth, a two-run shot that gave Sioux Falls the 2-1 lead.
Normally, two runs would do little to defeat the Wichita Wingnuts, but Wood made it hold. After giving up the run in the first, he would only allow three hits over the next seven innings. That included a span where he retired 10 straight. Grady Wood (5-1) finished with 8-innings pitched, allowing 4-hits and a run. He did not walk a batter and struck out 7.
In the ninth, Jose Ortega came on looking to close out the game. He found himself in trouble when T.J. Mittelstaedt and Matt Chavez delivered back-to-back singles with one out. However, Zac Fisher hit into a double-play to end the game, and the Sioux Falls Canaries were the 2-1 winners. That was Ortega’s sixth save of the season.
Jabari Henry finished the day 1-3 with a run and 2-RBI. The Canaries outfielder was 6-10 in the three-game series, with 4-runs, 4-homers, and 8-RBI. Matt Chavez remained red-hot as well, going 2-4. He finished the three-game series 9-15 with 4-runs, 3-homers and 8-RBI, raising his average to .387.
The Wichita Wingnuts are off tomorrow before welcoming the Gary Southshore RailCats to town for a three-game series. Game 1 of this series is Tuesday night.
By Robert Pannier