Jordan Cooper Stymies AirHogs in Wingnuts 4-1 Victory
The Wichita Wingnuts returned home after being swept by the Lincoln Saltdogs, looking to snap their four-game losing streak. Thanks to another outstanding outing by Jordan Cooper, Wichita earned the 4-1 victory over the Texas AirHogs, moving the team to 3-4. Abel Nieves was one of three Winguts players with 2-hits on the night, helping to lead the offense.
The Wichita Wingnuts would take a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Logan Watkins led off the frame by drawing a walk against Texas AirHogs starter Meng Qeiquiang. He moved to second when Logan Trowbridge reached on an error. Watkins reached third on flyball and scored on a sacrifice fly by Tony Thomas to make it 1-0. There were two down when Trowbridge stole second base, and he scored on a two-out single by Zach Nehrir to extend lead to two.
Jordan Cooper had loaded the bases in the first inning without allowing hit, making an error, walking a batter, and hitting another, but came out of the frame unscathed. He breezed through the second, but would allow a two-out rally of his own in the third. Dillon Thomas got it started with a double and scored on a base hit by Greg Golson to cut the deficit to one.
The Wingnuts extended their lead back to two in the bottom of the fourth. Isaiah Aluko reached on an error and scored when Leo Vargas followed with a sacrifice fly. That made it 3-1.
After giving up the run in the third, Cooper (1-0) was in complete control. He would yield just one more single over the next four frames, leaving after 7-innings. The right-hander allowed 3-hits and a run, walked 2 and struck out 4.
Brady Bowen came on and tossed a scoreless eighth inning. In the bottom half of the inning, the Wingnuts added an insurance run when Abel Nieves hit his first home run of the season to lead off the inning.
In the ninth, Daniel Tillman came on looking to rebound after two rough outings to start the season. He gunned down the side to earn his first save, as the Wichita Wingnuts went on to victory, 4-1.
Abel Nieves finished 2-4 with a run and an RBI. Zach Nehrir was 2-4 with an RBI. No player on Texas had more than one hit.
These two teams will continue their three-game set tomorrow. Tyler Matzek will go for Texas. Wichita has not named their starter yet. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
Featured Image by Ed Bailey
By Robert Pannier