Wichita Wingnuts Associate Dean Carlo Testa Teaches the Art of a Perfect Night: Wingnuts Wire
In the first game of the Wichita Wingnuts’ double-header with the Grand Prairie AirHogs, Dean Brent Clevlen and Associate Dean Abel Nieves were given the game off. The two have been a powerful 1-2 punch in the middle of the order for the Wingnuts, so it would be understandable if the Wingnuts struggled a bit. Not on this night. Not with Carlo Testa still in the lineup.
Testa, playing DH for the Wingnuts in game 1, showed what a powerful force he is when he returned to the No. 5 spot in the order. He went 4-4, added two RBI and scored two others for the team, in their 10-2 victory over the AirHogs.
Victor Diaz put the Wingnuts on the board when he drove home Ryan Khoury with a sacrifice fly in the in first inning. That was Diaz’s third RBI since joining the team five days ago, and he would add another later in the game.
Wingnuts starter Anthony Capra began a little shaky before finally putting it all together. He left two men stranded in the bottom of the first, and in the second he gave up a lead-off home run to Brian Peterson that tied the score. It looked like it might be a long night for Capra, but he showed incredible poise and turned his night around.
After the home run, Professor Capra showed his mastery of the game, retiring the next seven batters in order, three on strikeouts. He worked the plate, keeping hitters off balance and taking command of the plate. The last two batters of the third struck out swinging and looked completely over-matched.
While Capra was cruising along, so was AirHogs starter Jason Jarvis for the most part. Jarvis gave up a run in the third when Carlo Testa singled home David Espinosa to give the Wingnuts a 2-1 lead. He looked good through the fourth, but in the fifth he opened the door for Wichita to rally, and that is what they did.
Jared McDonald doubled with one out and David Espinosa reached on an error by the shortstop. Diaz then singled scoring McDonald and Testa followed with a single of his own that scored Espinosa. It was 4-1 at that point and about to get worse for Jarvis. Chris McMurray followed Testa with a ground out that plated Diaz and Chris McClendon followed with a single that brought Testa home. While three of the runs that Jarvis allowed were unearned, the fact of the matter was that he was trailing 6-1.
In the sixth inning both teams scored a run. Jake Luce hit a one out home run, his second of the year. In the bottom half of the inning Capra got into trouble when he walked Jason Botts and gave up a single to Brian Myrow. Matthew Burns then hit a double into the gap to score Botts and make it 6-2, but there were runners at second and third and just one out. That is when Professor Capra was ready to do some real instruction. Brian Peterson struck out on five pitches and then on an 0-1 pitch, the lefty got Frazier Hall to fly to shallow left, and the inning was over.
That was Capra’s last inning of the game. He finished with six innings pitched, allowing four hits and three walks, while striking out five. With the win he moved to 6-2 and lowered his ERA to 3.29 on the year.
While Capra had a great start for the Wingnuts, the night belonged to Testa. The “Associate Dean” doubled to lead-off the seventh and scored when McClendon singled to left field. Taylor Oldham followed McClendon with a single of his own, and one out later Ryan Khoury drove the two runners home for the 10-2 advantage. For Khoury it increased his RBI total to 58, an amazing number for the Wingnuts leadoff hitter.
With Clevlen and Nieves taking the game off, someone needed to step up and that is exactly what Testa did. He had a huge game for the team, and aided the Wingnuts in winning their 66th game of the year.
By Robert Pannier
Senior Baseball Editor
Member of the IBWAA