Immediate Response Gives Laredo Lemurs 10-4 Win
The Laredo Lemurs entered Friday night’s action just one-half game behind the Winnipeg Goldeyes for the Wild Card spot in the American Association. They had a tough test, facing Wichita Wingnuts ace Alex Boshers, and the challenge looked even more daunting when a 4-0 lead quickly evaporated when the Wingnuts scored four-runs in the top of the sixth to tie the score. However, the Lemurs responded with three-runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning on their way to the 10-4 victory, keeping the team a half game out.
Neither team scored in the first, but Laredo would jump out on top in the bottom of the second. J.D. Pulfer doubled to begin the inning and two batters later Burt Reynolds was hit by a pitch. Pulfer then moved to third on a wild pitch. With runners at the corners and one out, the Lemurs pulled off a delayed steal. Reynolds took second and Pulfer came home on the throw to second to make it 1-0.
In the bottom of the third they extended their lead. Drew Martinez singled with one out and scored when Denis Phipps blasted his 22nd homer or the year to make it 3-0.
In the fourth, Reynolds singled with one out and moved to second on a ground out. That brought Alvaro Rondon to the plate, who lined a single up the middle to score Reynolds and increase the lead to four.
The lead looked insurmountable as the Wingnuts were doing nothing against Gabe Perez. The Lemurs starter had a no-hitter through the first four-innings of the game, seeing it come to an end when Nick Van Stratten led off the fifth with a double. He was totally dominating Wichita, but in the sixth they would finally get through agsainst the Laredo starter.
Christian Stringer started out the inning with a walk and moved to third on a double by Zack Cox. Brent Clevlen was then hit by a pitch, and the bases were loaded with no one out. Danny Reynolds came on for Perez, but he could not stop the rally. T.J. Mittelstaedt was the next batter, and he drew a walk that brought in Stringer. Two batters later Nick Van Stratten singled into right fielder. The Laredo outfielder misplayed the ball and all hree runners came into score to tie the game.
This would have been a crushing turn of events for most teams, but the Lemurs handled it coolly, responding right away in the bottom half of the inning. Chase Johnson came on for Boshers and Ty Morrison greeted him with a single. Reynolds followed by drawing a walk before Posso struck out. Jimmy Norris then pinch hit and drew a walk to load the bases. Abel Nieves followed with a sharp single that scored Morrison to give Laredo back the lead and, with Martinez at the plate, a wild pitch brought home another run. Martinez would then ground into a fielder’s choice that plated one more and it was 7-4 Laredo.
In the eighth the Lemurs would ensure that this game would be in hand. Nieves led off the inning against Gage Smith with a single and he then moved to second when Martinez reached on an error. Phipps followed with an RBI single that scored Nieves. A walk to Zane Chavez loaded the bases, and Martinez then scored on a ground out. The final run of the game would come when Morrison grounded out to score Phipps. That made it 10-4.
Reynolds (2-0) earned the victory for the Laredo Lemurs. Johnson (4-2) took the loss. Martinez finished 3-5 with 2-runs scored and an RBI. Phipps was 2-4 with 2-runs and 3-RBI. Van Stratten had 2-hits for Wichita.
Game 2 of this four-game set sees Jesse Pratt (5-2, 3.52) take to the hill for Wichita. He will be opposed by Ryan Beckman (8-7, 2.67). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
By Robert Pannier