Kain and Kane Lead Wichita Wingnuts to 7-1 Victory
They may have homonyms for names and have completely different roles on the field, but Friday night Tyler Kane was brilliant on the mound and Harrison Kain delivered a huge two-run homer to lead the Wichita Wingnuts to the 7-1 victory over the Texas AirHogs. It was an amazing firsts of sorts as Kane was making his first start of the season for his new team, and Kain was appearing in his first game since coming off the disabled list.
Kane had been with the Miami Marlins organization the last three-years, and was looking to make a big start for the Wingnuts, who are looking for someone to step up behind Alex Boshers and Tim Brown. Kane looked like the guy who could do that. The right-hander retired the side in order in the first, then watched his team stake him to a big lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, Christian Stringer got it started when he lined a single to center. Zack Cox followed with a single to left ,and two batters later T. J. Mittelstaedt doubled to center to score Stringer to make it 1-0. Matt Chavez followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Cox, and Martin Medina’s single to center brought in Mittelstaedt. With his team leading 3-0, Harrison Kain stepped to the plate for the first time since an injury put him on the disabled list a little less than two weeks ago. Kain fell behind 0-2 then worked the count to 2-2. He then drilled his third homer of the year to make it a 5-0 game.
It would remain that way until the third when both teams would get on the board. Michael Valdez reached on an error to start the inning and moved to third on a base hit by Kenny Peoples-Walls. Two batters later Cory Morales hit a sacrifice fly that scored Valdez to make it 5-1.
The Wingnuts responded right away in the bottom half of the inning. Medina singled to get it started and moved to second when Brennen Salgado walked. Leo Vargas then flew out and Stringer reached on a two-out walk to load the bases. Cox then drilled a ball to right-center for a double that scored Medina and Salgado to make it 7-1.
There had been a lot of runs scored in the first three frames, but if any fans showed up late they had missed all the scoring. Both pitching staffs settled down following the third, throwing up goose eggs the rest of the way.
Kane (1-0) allowed a single in the fourth and two in the first, but he ensured that the AirHogs would not get on the board again. He was actually quite masterful in the fifth, as both singles came to start the frame, but he induced a double-play before getting a fly ball out to end the inning.
From there the Wichita bullpen took over. Mike Devine pitched a perfect sixth, and Luis Pardo came on in the seventh to pitch two scoreless innings. Gage Smith finished off the game with a scoreless ninth, and the Wingnuts won 7-1.
Kain finished 1-4 with a run and 2-RBI in his return. Cox was 3-5 with a run and 2-RBI, and Medina was 2-4 with 2-runs and an RBI. Peoples-Walls had 2-hits for Texas.
These two teams will face off again tomorrow night. Game time is 7:05. Tim Brown (8-3, 4.47) is scheduled to go for the Wichita Wingnuts against Griffin Russell (2-9, 6.13).
By Robert Pannier