Michael Hur Delivers Walk-Off Single to Give AirHogs 4-3 Victory
Entering Wednesday night’s affair, the Texas AirHogs had found themselves losers of seven of nine games against the Wichita Wingnuts this season. They were looking for a little turning of the tide in the second game of the three-game set between the two teams, and got it when Michael Hur plated the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to deliver the walk-off win in the AirHogs 4-3 victory.
This was an exciting pitching duel for much of the contest, as both Wingnuts starter Tim Brown and AirHogs hurler Matt Shepherd pitched quite well. The game was scoreless through the first frame, but Texas jumped out in front in the bottom of the second. A double by Leon Byrd started the inning and Cody Lenahan singled to move Byrd to third. A double-play cleared the bases, but it also allowed Byrd to score to make it 1-0.
The Wingnuts responded right away in the top of the third. Brent Clevlen singled and T.J. Mittelstaedt followed with a walk to put two on with no one out. A base hit by Matt Chavez plated Clevlen and the game was tied. Two batters later Brent Dean ripped a double that brought home Mittelstaedt to give Wichita their first lead.
It would stay 2-1 Wichita until the sixth when the Wingnuts would briefly extend their lead. Dean lead off the inning with a walk and then stole his 13th stolen base of the year. Shepherd retired the next two batters, but Christian Stringer delivered a big two-out hit that scored Dean to make it a two-run lead.
The Texas AirHogs showed a little response of their own, plating two in the bottom of the sixth inning. Devon Rodriguez tripled to start the inning and scored when Leon Byrd followed with a sacrifice fly. Lenahan was the next batter and he crushed his sixth homer of the season to tie the score.
It would stay tied at three through the next two innings as both teams’ bullpens were fabulous. Chad Nading and Seth Harvey kept Texas off the scoreboard in the seventh and eighth innings, and Cody Culp pitched 1.2 scoreless innings of relief for Texas. In the top of the ninth, Alan Oaks retired the side to set up the dramatic bottom half of the inning.
Fabian Roman came on in relief and got the first out of the inning. However, a walk to Cory Morales was followed by a single by Michael Valadez to put runners at the corners with just one out. Hur was next batter and he fell behind 0-2 quickly but, after taking the next pitch for a ball, he drilled the following pitch into left field scoring Morales to give the Texas AirHogs the 4-3 victory.
Oaks (2-3) earned the victory, while Roman (2-1) suffered his first loss of the season. Lenahan was 3-4 with a run and an RBI for Texas. Hur and Valadez each had 2-hits. Stringer and Chavez both had 2-hits and an RBI for Wichita.
The loss snapped the Wingnuts win streak at five. They will look to get a new streak going tomorrow night when Alex Boshers (5-3, 3.32) takes to the hill for Wichita against Cody Hebner (2-6, 5.61). Game time is 7:05.
By Robert Pannier