Harrison Kain Gives Wichita Wingnuts Extra-Innings Victory; 5-4
It was an unusual night between the Wichita Wingnuts and Gary Southshore RailCats. For the two division leaders it was a battle of thirds. The Wingnuts grabbed a 3-0 lead, only to see the RailCats come back to take the lead 4-3. In the ninth, Wichita tied the score and won on a single in the 10th that gave the Wingnuts the 5-4 victory. They have won the first three-games of this series.
Starters Richard Castillo and Tim Brown kept it a scoreless tie through the first two innings. In the third, the Wichita Wingnuts would take the lead. Christian Stringer singled to start the inning. An error allowed Zack Cox to reach and moved Stringer to second. He was then caught stealing for the first out of the inning. A walk to T.J. Mittelstaedt made it first and second with two outs, and Martin Medina gave his team the lead with a clutch two-out hit that scored Cox.
In the top of the fourth, Wichita extended their lead to three. Richard Prigatano walked to start the inning and scored on a double by Leo Vargas. Brent Clevlen reached on an error that scored Vargas to make it 3-0.
The RailCats came right back with a run in the bottom half of the inning. Alex Crosby reached on an error and moved to third on a single by Frank Martinez. A sacrifice fly by Jose Gonzalez brought Crosby home and it was 3-1.
In the bottom of the fifth Gary Southshore pulled within one. Elbert Devarie ripped a single to right field with one out, and moved to second when Matt Petrone beat out an infield ground out for a single. A base hit by Crosby brought Devarie home to make it 3-2.
In the bottom of the sixth the Gary Southshore RailCats grabbed their first lead of the season. Jeremy Hamilton and Gonzalez led off with back-to-back singles against Brown. A sacrifice moved both runners into scoring position and Jarred Mederos tied the game with a ground out that scored Hamilton. Devarie then singled to score Gonzalez and it was a 4-3 RailCats lead.
That is the way it would stay until the ninth. Taylor Black came on to close out the game, but he got himself into trouble when he walked Stringer to start the frame. Two batters later Clevlen singled to move Stringer to third. A fielder’s choice by T.J. Mittelstaedt scored Stringer and the game was tied.
In the bottom of the ninth the RailCats had the chance to get the walk-off victory. Petrone walked and Brennan Metzger singled to put two on with no one out. Reed struck out Crosby, but walked Martinez to load the bases. This was getting real dicey, but Reed then struck out Hamilton and got Gonzalez to fly out to end the threat.
In the top of the 10th his team rewarded him for his Houdini routine. Prigatano singled with one out and advanced to second on a pickoff attempt that went awry. Harrison Kain then singled to right field. Prigatano raced home, beating the throw to make the score 5-4.
In the bottom of the inning Reed allowed a one-out hit, but retired the side for the victory. That moved him to 4-2. The Wingnuts closer struck out five in his two-innings of work.
Six Wichita Wingnuts hitters had two-hits in the game. Prigatano scored two-runs. Gonzalez and Devarie each had three-hits for the RailCats.
The final game of the four-game series concludes on Sunday as the Wingnuts go for the sweep. Game time is 2:10.
By Robert Pannier