Matt Sergey Brilliant in Laredo Lemurs 4-1 Victory Over Wichita Wingnuts
Matt Sergey made three starts for the Laredo Lemurs down the stretch, allowing just eight hits in 20 innings pitched, with no runs. If anyone thought that was fluke, they were sadly mistaken, as the right-hander gave up just two hits, and no runs in six innings pitched Thursday night as the Laredo Lemurs defeated the Wichita Wingnuts 4-1. The victory gave the Lemurs a 2-0 series lead heading back to Wichita for Game 3.
The game was delayed for 50 minutes as it appeared that rain would hit the stadium. That would not materialize and so the game simply began late. Sergey was opposed by Jon Link, who had not lost since rejoining the Wingnuts.
Both pitchers retired the side in order in the first, but in the second Laredo would take the lead. Denis Phipps got it started with a single and he moved to second on a base hit by Travis Denker. J.D. Pulfer laid down a perfect sacrifice that moved both runners into scoring position, and Drew Martinez followed with a ground out that scored Phipps and it was 1-0.
It would remain that way until the sixth. Link retired the first two hitters of the inning, but Phipps kept the frame alive with a single and moved to second on an error. That would prove costly as Denker followed with a single that scored Phipps to make it 2-0.
In the bottom of the seventh the Laredo Lemurs added two more runs to virtually put this game away. Martinez singled to get it started, but was cut down on a fielder’s choice by Juan Silverio. Phil Pohl then doubled to move Silverio to third, and he scored on a single by Ty Morrison. A ground out by Abel Nieves scored Pohl to make it 4-0.
In the top of the eighth the Wingnuts finally got on the board against reliever Luis De La Cruz. Harrison Kain singled with one out and moved to second on a single by Leo Vargas. Closer John Brebbia took over and retired the second out of the inning, but former Lemur Nick Van Stratten singled to score Kain to make it 4-1. That was as close as the Wichita Wingnuts would get.
Brebbia issued a one out walk in the ninth, but retired the final two batters for his first save of the post-season. Sergey was absolutely brilliant for the Laredo Lemurs. He went 6 innings, allowing just 2 hits and no walks, while striking out 7. Link took the hard-luck loss, going 7 innings, allowing 9 hits, 4 runs, 3 of which were earned, and walking 1 while striking out 1.
Phipps, Denker and Pohl each had two hits for the Lemurs. Phipps also scored 2 runs. Vargas was 2-3 for Wichita.
The two teams have a day off on Friday, before the series shifts back to Wichita for Game 3. The Lemurs will have a chance for the sweep and to advance on to the championship series.
By Robert Pannier