Pair of 5-Run Innings Give Laredo Lemurs Game 1 Victory, 12-3
For half of Wednesday night’s game the Wichita Wingnuts were tied or leading, but a five-run sixth gave the Laredo Lemurs the lead, and another five-run inning in the eighth locked it up as the Lemurs took Game 1, 12-3. Denis Phipps and Travis Denker were a combined 6-9 with 6 runs and 7 RBI to back the quality start of Henry Garcia,
The Wingnuts sent Scott Richmond to the hill as their starter and neither team was able to score in the first inning. In the second both starters gave up a pair of runs. In the top of the second T.J. Mittelstaedt was hit by a Garcia pitch to put one on with one out. John Nester followed with a double into left field that hoped the fence for a ground rule double that put runners at second and third. Next up came Harrison Kain, who lined a double of his own into left, scoring both runners and making it 2-0.
The lead did not last long however, as Phipps led off the bottom of the second with a single into left field, and Denker followed with a blast over the left field wall to make it 2-2. It was just the spark that got the crowd right back into it.
In the top of the fourth, Andy LaRoche led off the inning with his first home run of the playoffs to give Wichita back the lead. At 3-2 and with Scott Richmond on the hill, the Wingnuts had to be feeling pretty good. The euphoria would be shattered in the sixth.
Richmond had allowed a lone hit in each of the next three innings following the two runs in the second inning, however, in the sixth it came apart for him. Phipps delivered a one-out single to center and moved to second on a wild pitch. Denker was walked as was J.D. Pulfer to load the bases with one out. A pop out to short was the second out, but Juan Silverio drew a walk that scored Phipps to tie the game.
Alex Sogard relieved for Wichita, but he was not able to stop the Laredo momentum. Phil Pohl was the next hitter, and he cleared the bases with a grand slam that made it 7-3. Sogard would then load the bases again before Alex Boshers relieved and recorded the final out.
The score remained 7-3 until the bottom of the eighth. Pohl was hit by a pitch to get it started and two batters later Abel Nieves delivered a single that made it first and second with two outs. Kevin Taylor then drew a walk, and Phipps brought two runs home with a base hit. With runners at the corners Denker came back to the plate again and promptly delivered his second home run of the game, a three-run shot that made it 12-3.
Garcia (1-0) went 6 innings for the victory. He allowed 5 hits and 3 runs while striking out 3. Ryan Beckman pitched two scoreless innings, and Joe Brebbia pitched the final inning to finish it off.
Phipps was 3-5 with 3 runs and 2 RBI. Denker was 3-4 with 3 runs and 5 RBI. Ty Morrison, Nieves, and Pohl each had two hits. Pohl drove in four and scored twice. LaRoche, Nester and Kain each had two hits in a losing effort.
By Robert Pannier