Richard Prigatano Begins, Completes Six-Run Sixth, Wingnuts Win 9-5
A night after driving in the winning run in the eighth inning to give the Wichita Wingnuts a 3-2 victory over the Texas AirHogs. Richard Prigatano would be the catalyst once again, leading off the sixth with a base hit, later scoring to give the Wingnuts the lead for good, and later driving in two runs in the frame to clinch the 9-5 victory. Tyler Kane earned his ninth win in a row, and Brennen Salgado drove in 2 in the victory.
T.J. Bozeman started for Texas, and the Wingnuts grabbed a run against him in the bottom of the first. Bozeman retired the Christian Stringer to start the frame, but Martin Medina followed with his sixth homer of the year, a shot that hit off the scoreboard in left-center to make it 1-0 Wichita.
The AirHogs got the run right back in the second. Denis Phipps led off the inning by taking a 1-1 pitch from Kane and drilling it for his 10th homer of the year.
In the fourth, Texas took the lead. Casio Grider walked to start the frame. He then stole second. Kane retired the next two batters, but Charley Thurber delivered a clutch two-out hit, doubling into center to score Grider to make it 2-1.
The Wichita Wingnuts responded by scoring two runs in the bottom half of the inning to take the lead. Bozeman struck out the first two batters of the inning, but Richard Prigatano kept the inning alive by beating out a ground ball for a base hit. A wild pitch moved him to second before Zac Fisher walked. Next up was Brennen Salgado, who lined a ball to the wall in right-center that he legged out for a triple. Both runners scored to make it 3-2.
In the top of the sixth, the Texas AirHogs tied the score. Grider led off the inning by drilling his fifth home run of the season to tie the score at three.
The Wingnuts responded right away in the bottom half of the inning to take the lead for good. First up was Prigatano, who lined a single into center to get the rally going. He stole second and came home when Fisher followed with a base hit to make it 4-3. Bozeman came out and was replaced by Chris Cotton, but he had no answers to stop the Wichita offense.
Salgado was hit by the first pitch that the Texas reliever threw and Leo Vargas followed with a single that loaded the bases. Tyler Sullivan then singled to center to score Fisher and Salgado to extend the lead to three. Cotton retired the next two batters, but walked Brent Clevlen to keep the frame alive. T.J. Mittelstaedt was then hit by a pitch, driving home Vargas, and Prigatano added the final two runs for Wichita when he singled into left to score both Sullivan and Clevlen to make it 9-3.
Tyler Kane (10-1) came out after 6-innings. He allowed 6-hits, 2-walks, and 3-runs. The victory was his ninth straight, the longest winning streak in the American Association this season.
Josh Goosen-Brown and Austin Boyle each tossed a scoreless frame for Wichita. In the ninth, Seth Harvey came on and Texas scored two-runs. Ryan Wagner singled to get the inning started. Two batters later, Beamer Weems doubled into right-center, bringing Wagner all the way around to score. Two batters later, Alvaro Rondon singled to score Weems making it 9-5. Casio Grider followed with a base hit that put two on with two down, but Harvey ended the AirHogs hopes when he struck out Levi Scott to end the game.
Richard Prigatano led the Wichita offense, going 3-5 with 2-runs and 2-RBI. Zac Fisher had 2-runs scored and an RBI, and Brennen Salgado scored a run and drove in 2. Casio Grider led the Texas offense, going 2-4 with 2-runs and an RBI.
The Wichita Wingnuts head north to begin a four-game series with the St. Paul Saints starting Monday night. Jordan Cooper (6-1, 3.75) will go for Wichita in Game 1. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
By Robert Pannier