Lawson Stymies Wind Surge in Missions Victory
WICHITA, KS – They don’t call them the Wind Surge for nothing. With twenty mile per hour plus winds throughout the game in Wichita on Friday June 24, 2022 the Wind Surge were defeated in a mostly one sided matchup.
Casey Legumina started on the mound for the Wichita Wind Surge on Friday evening for their matchup against the San Antonio Missions. The top half of the first inning saw Legumina pitch against the likes of Connor Hollis and Korry Howell who went on to ground out and go down swinging respectfully. Up to the plate next for the Missions was Domingo Leyba. After seven pitches Leyba got a good connection with the ball and drove it to center field to put himself on first base. The final out of the first half of the inning was a pop fly ball from Yorman Rodriguez that was caught by Kevin Merrell.
The starting pitcher for San Antonio was Reggie Lawson. Unfortunately, no one could get on base for Wichita during the first inning. Matt Wallner and Austin Martin both hit ground balls that stayed in the infield for the first two outs. Merrell up to the plate next hit a pop fly to right field that nearly dropped. Thomas Milone was able to make the catch, despite the sun being directly in his eyes, for the third out.
After an unsuccessful first inning for both teams San Antonio was ready to make some progress, and that they did. Legumina couldn’t find the right combination to set these guys down with the whole batting order getting through before the top half of the second inning was over. Tirso Ornelas started off by getting a line drive to shallow left field to put himself on first base. Jorge Ona hit a solid ground ball up the right side to advance Ornelas to second base and get himself on as well. The right fielder Milone came up next and with no outs yet took the opportunity for a sacrifice bunt to advance Ornelas and Ona to third and second base. Connor Kaiser wasn’t waiting for his chance as after just three pitches took the ball to left-center field to drive in Ornelas and Ona and get himself a single too. With the score being 2-0 now Chandler Seagle was looking to continue their success at the plate, but he went down swinging. Now back to the top of the batting order Hollis didn’t need to work too hard at the plate to get on base as he was hit by a pitch, putting him on first and Kaiser on second. Howell, with six home runs during the year, extended that to seven. The big home run to left field scored himself but also drove in Kaiser and Hollis putting the score up 5-0. Leyba was looking to right his wrong from the first inning, and he almost didn’t. Leyba hit a big pop fly over the infield, however with four men there to make the play none of them were able to reel the ball in for an out allowing Leyba to get on first. Finally, Rodriguez hit a ball to third baseman Andrew Bechtold who threw the ball to first base for the final out of the inning.
Lawson was back on the mound for San Antonio. Lawson got out of the inning again without allowing a run. Cole Sturgeon would fly out to left, Kyle Schmidt couldn’t quite get to first base in time, and DeShawn Keirsey Jr. got the unfortunate luck of a check swing being called a strike by the first base umpire.
Legumina had a much better time pitching this time around. Ornelas, after a couple balls and a foul strike, hit a ground ball to second base who threw it to first in time for the out. Ona went down looking for the second out. Milone was able to drive the ball off of the center field wall for a double. Kaiser, though, couldn’t follow the example that was set before him as he hit a ground ball up the middle of the infield for out number three.
The Wind Surge, who had been struggling at the plate thus far, found an opportunity to get a lead off single. Anthony Prato was able to sneak a ground ball up the third base line to put a man on base at last for Wichita. Andrew Bechtold couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity, though, as he hit a ground ball to the shortstop for a double play. Up to the plate for Wichita was Leobaldo Cabrera. Cabrera went down swinging in a five pitch at bat.
For the first time in the game, San Antonio would have no success at the plate. With Legumina still pitching for Wichita, Seagle looked to get on base. However, a ground ball to second base would prevent that from happening. Hollis was looking to continue his success at the plate, but he would go down swinging. Howell suffered from the same outcome as Hollis as he went down swinging as well for the third out.
With Lawson back to deal them out for the Missions, Wichita was ready for some hits. Wallner hit a strong line drive to deep center field for a double. Things were looking up for the ‘Surge as Martin hit the ball to shallow right field for a base hit and advanced Wallner to third. Ground out double plays seemed to be something Wichita couldn’t overcome during Friday’s game as Merrell hit a ground ball to second base for the double play. With the ball being in play between first and second, though, it did allow time for Wallner to score, taking the deficit to just four runs. Sturgeon was unable to keep the inning alive for Wichita as a pop fly ball to shallow left field got the third out.
The fifth inning was reminiscent of the first as neither team was able to find much success at the plate. A couple of hits from each side was all she wrote as pop fly balls ended both side’s trips to the plate.
A pitching change from Wichita saw Melvi Acosta step up to try and take San Antonio down. Unfortunately, the Missions were on a mission to not let anyone stop them. Milone started of the sixth inning with a deep ball to right field, putting their lead back to five runs. After the home run not much success was seen from San Antonio. Kaiser was able to get on base however Seagle, Hollis, and Howell couldn’t make anything of it as they were the three outs needed for Wichita to come back to the plate.
Lawson’s pitches were the law of the land in Friday’s game as Wallner, Martin, and Merrell couldn’t come up with any hits for the Wind Surge.
The seventh inning was a productive one for the Missions. The first out was a pop fly ball caught by Bechtold. Rodriguez hit the ball to Bechtold, but the throw couldn’t be made in time allowing a base hit. Ornelas got a hold of the ball and pushed it to deep left-center field for a double and advanced Rodriguez to third base. Ona hit a line drive to center field for a single that scored Rodriguez, and advanced Ornelas to third base. Milone hit a fly ball that went far enough to allow Ornelas to tag and run home. The score now 8-1. Kaiser was able to hit a fly ball to right field that just barely stayed fair thanks to the heavy winds. Seagle had the same luck as a fly to right stayed fair that allowed Ona and Kaiser to score, now leading Wichita 10-1. Before the final at bat Steven Cruz replaced Acosta on the mound. Cruz was able to wrap the long inning up as Hollis hit a line drive to short for the third out.
Lawson started the inning again for the Missions. Sturgeon was able to get a hold of the ball and get on first. Next up to the plate, Schmidt had a good eye and took four balls for a walk. Keirsey Jr. came up to the plate next looking to drive in a run, but instead hit a ground ball into another double play. Before Prato could step up to the plate, Brandon Komar relieved Lawson. Prato had the same eye as Schmidt as he took four balls for a walk, putting him on first and Sturgeon on third. Bechtold also took four balls for a walk, that’s three during the inning. That walk also loaded up the bases. Cabrera must’ve been feeling the nerves as got caught looking for the third out.
Steven Cruz remained on the mound to start this inning. Howell hit a single to center field to start things off for San Antonio. Leyba hit a pop fly right to Cruz who tossed it to first for the only out so far. Rodriguez hit a well placed ball to center field for a single and advanced Howell to third. Ornelas hit a line drive to center field for an RBI single taking the score up 11-1. Ona looked to follow up the success, but hit a ball to right field for the second out. Milone also couldn’t find any success this inning as a pop fly led to the third out of the inning.
Komar stayed on the mound for San Antonio for the rest of the game. His first opponent this inning was Wallner. After two strikes Wallner wasn’t waiting any longer as he took the ball to left field for a home run and brought the score to 11-2. After that, though, there was no success from the ‘Surge. Martin, Merrell, and Sturgeon went down for all three outs.
The ninth inning saw a pitching change from Wichita. Osiris German took over on the mound for the final inning. Only three batters faced off against German. Kaiser got on base, but a hit to third base from Seagle resulted in a double play. The final out of the game for San Antonio came from Hollis who hit a ground ball to third base for out three.
Komar allowed only one hit during the ninth inning. Schmidt hit a ground ball to second base to get on. After that no success came from Wichita at the plate. Keirsey Jr., Prato, and Bechtold were the final three outs of the ball game.
Friday’s game was a tough one for Wichita. Not a lot of hits from the Wind Surge and great pitching from the Missions kept the runs on the board for Wichita to a minimum. On the other side of things, pitching from Wichita’s bullpen was a struggle and the bats were on fire for San Antonio. The six game series is now tied up at 2-2 after last night’s game. The game featured three home runs with a final score of 11-2.
By Kaden Warner