Martin Medina Delivers Big Blow in 6-Run 8th to Give Wingnuts Wild 13-10 Win
The Sioux Falls Canaries entered Friday’s game on a five-game winning streak, making them one of the hottest teams in the American Association. It looked like win number six was coming their way when the Canaries jumped out to a 3-0 lead against Wichita Wingnuts starter Tyler Kane, but the home team continually battled back, as the Canaries took the lead on three separate instances, only to see Wichita battle back and eventually win, 13-10, when they scored six runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Martin Medina had the big blow, a two-run blast, and Brent Clevlen also drove in 2 in the critical inning.
In the top of the first, Sioux Falls took the lead With one down, Jabari Henry came to the plate. He had been a one-man wrecking crew last weekend when these two teams played, hitting four home runs in the three-game series. That proved to be the case again Friday night, as he took a 2-1 offering from Kane and drilled it for his 13th homer of the year.
In the second, the Canaries extended their lead to three. With one down, Blake Schmit singled. Trey Vavra followed with a base hit, with an error allowing both runners to move into scoring position. A fielder’s choice put Michael Falsetti on the base paths, and he and Vavra scored when Dan Motl drilled a triple down the line to make it 3-0.
Wichita got two of those runs back in the bottom half of the inning. Grady Wood started for Sioux Falls. He had been absolutely brilliant in stymieing the Wingnuts last Sunday, but he was having trouble Friday night. T.J. Mittelstaedt started off the second with a base hit and he moved to second on a passed ball, and he scored on an error by the shortstop on a ball hit by Martin Medina. Two batters later, the Canaries defense would let Wood down again, as Richard Prigatano grounded a ball down to third base. He was going to beat the throw to first, but the throw was wild, allowing Medina to score and Prigatano to move into second. That made this a one-run game.
In the bottom of the third, the Wingnuts took the lead. Wood retired the first two batters of the inning, but another error by the third baseman allowed Clevlen to reach. A base hit by Mittelstaedt kept the inning alive, and both runners scored when Matt Chavez doubled into center to make it 4-3.
The lead did not last long, as the Canaries tied it tided in the top of the fourth. Schmit walked to start the inning, and moved to second on stolen base. A base hit by Falsetti would put runners at the corners with one out, and Schmit scored on a fielder’s choice by Motl. That tied the game at four.
The Wingnuts responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning to retake the lead. Brennen Salgado singled to start the inning and moved to second on the ground out. With two down, Harrison Kain grounded a single up the middle that scored Salgado to give Wichita a one-run lead once again.
The Sioux Falls Canaries responded with a huge inning in the top of the fifth, scoring four runs. Garrett Gould came on in relief and gave up back-to-back singles to Ty Morrison and Chris Jacobs. A walk to Burt Reynolds loaded the bases, before Schmit doubled to score both Morrison and Jacobs. Reynolds came home on a sacrifice fly by Vavra, and Schmit came home when Falsetti delivered a sacrifice fly. That put Sioux Falls up 8-5.
The Wichita Wingnuts would get one of those runs back in the bottom half of the inning. With one down, Mittelstaedt doubled down the right-field line. Two batters later, Medina delivered a double of his own, bringing Mittelstaedt around to score and make this a two-run advantage for the Canaries.
This became a one-run game in the bottom of the sixth, when Wichita would score one more run. A single by Leo Vargas put one on with one out. Two batters later, Stringer went the other way, doubling into left field to plate Vargas to make the score 8-7.
It was stay that way until the top of the eighth, when Sioux Falls extended their lead back to three. With one down, Henry drilled his second home run of the game to put the Canaries back up by two. Morrison and Jacobs followed with back-to-back singles, and Morrison came home on a ground out by Schmit.
Sioux Falls looked like they had a fairly commanding lead, but things unraveled for them in the bottom of the eighth inning. Prigatano drew a walk to start the inning, stole second, and moved to third on a base hit by Vargas. Fisher followed with a single that brought home Prigatano and Stringer singled to bring home Vargas to make this a one-run game again. Next up was Clevlen, who drilled a double into center that brought Fisher in to give Wichita the lead.
That all came against reliever Dylan Thompson, who entered the game the game allowing just one run in 26.2-innings. He allowed five on this evening, which gave Wichita the lead.
Thompson came out after the Clevlen double and was replaced by Andrew Woeck. The new Canaries reliever retired the first two batters he faced, but Medina was not to be denied. He hit his fifth homerun of the season, driving in two and extending the Wichita lead to 13-10.
Seth Harvey came on in the bottom of the ninth for the Wingnuts, and retired Sioux Falls in order for his 11th save the season. James Campbell (2-1) earned the victory. Every player who batted for Wichita had at least one hit in the game. Martin Medina was 3-5 with 2-runs and 3-RBI. T.J. Mittelstaedt was 3-5 with 3-runs scored. Brent Clevlen and Christian Stringer each drove in 2. The Canaries offense was led by Jabari Henry, who was 2-4 with 2-runs and 2-RBI, and Blake Schmit, who was 2-4 with 2-runs and 3-RBI.
Game 2 of this three-games series is tomorrow. Alex Boshers (7-2, 4.01) starts for Wichita. Troy Marks (3-4, 4.31) goes to the hill for Sioux Falls. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
Featured Image by Ed Bailey
By Robert Pannier