Six-Run Fourth Backs Kibby, Leads Wingnuts to 9-3 Victory
Monday night’s contest between the Sioux Falls Canaries and the Wichita Wingnuts started out as a slugfest, as both team’s scored three-runs in the first inning. This was a great chance for the Canaries to get at least one victory out this four-game series, but a six-run fourth-inning ended any hopes for Sioux Falls, as the Wingnuts pulled out the 9-3 victory.
Todd Kibby was making his second start since joining the Wichita Wingnuts, and he found himself in some trouble right off. He struck out the first batter of the game, but then gave up a single to Darwin Perez, a walk to David Bergin, and a single to Jake Taylor. Taylor’s single scored Perez and it was 1-0 Sioux Falls. Two batters later Ozney Guillen delivered a two-run double to left field that hit off the wall, scoring both runs to make it 3-0.
It was a great start, but Canaries starter Shawn Blackwell could not hold the lead. He retired the first two hitters of the inning, but Brent Clevlen kept the inning alive with a single and T.J. Mittelstaedt worked the count full before drawing a walk. Next up was Matt Chavez. On a 1-1 pitch from Blackwell, he drilled a three-run homer over the left-center fence to tie the score. It was Chavez’s sixth homer of the year.
After the first inning Kibby was brilliant. He allowed just two-hits over the next five-innings, completely keeping the Canaries off balance.
That was good, because the game was a nail-biter until the bottom of the sixth when Wichita would blow it open. Richard Prigatano started out the inning with a shot down the right field line that he legged into a triple. Brent Dean was the next hitter, and he lined a shot over the left-center field wall for his third homerun of the year. That made it 5-3. The Wingnuts had their first lead of the game but they were not done. Brennen Salgado worked the count full before drawing a walk and Leo Vargas followed with a single. Christian Stringer then singled to load the bases for Zack Cox.
Cox had hit for the cycled the previous afternoon, and has been on fire of late, hitting .386 over hit last 10-games with 4-homeruns and 13-RBI. He continued his hot streak here, singling up the middle to score two runs to extend the lead to four. Clevlen followed with an RBI single and Prigatano delivered an RBI on a sacrifice fly to make the score 9-3.
That would be all the runs of the contest. Kibby (1-0) earned his first win, going 6-innnings, allowing 5-hits, 3-walks, and 3-earned runs. He struck out 7. Three Wichita relievers pitched scoreless innings to close out the game.
Cox finished 3-5 with a run and 2-RBI. That makes him 7-10 over the last two games. Chavez drove in three, and Clevlen and Vargas had 2-hits each for Wichita. Guillen was 2-4 with 2-RBI for the Canaries.
Sioux Falls heads home to open a three-game series against Fargo-Moorhead looking to end their nine-game losing streak. The Wichita Wingnuts head to Texas to begin a three-game series against the AirHogs. Eddie Medina (1-3, 5.73) will get the start in Game 1.
By Robert Pannier