Wichita Wingnuts Proving to Be Cardiac Kids, Win Late: Wingnuts Wire
For the fourth time in the last five games the Wingnuts used a rally in the eighth or ninth inning to win a road game. What was different about this night is that Kansas’ finest team used a rally in both innings to gain the victory. One in the eighth to tie it up, and one in the ninth to win. The victory gave the Wingnuts there 54th win of the season, and they now have a .701 winning percentage, nearly 100 points better than the next best team.
For most of the game the South Division leaders were behind. In the bottom of the first Brock Bond doubled for Winnipeg to lead off the inning, and scored when Donnie Webb singled to right field. One out later Casey Haerther drove home Webb, and the score was 2-0 just like that.
In the top of the fourth the Wingnuts would get one back as Danny Espinosa homered to lead off the inning, his fourth of the season. This cut the lead in half, but it did not stay that way for long.
Jake Blackwood doubled to lead off the bottom of the fourth, and advanced to third on a sacrifice by Sam Kimmel. On an 0-1 pitch, Ryan Pineda hit his third home run of the season off Wichita starter Justin Klipp, and the lead was increased to two runs.
In the top of the sixth, Wichita responded in true Wingnuts fashion, by scoring again. This time they would plate three to tie the score. With one out David Amberson singled, and one out later Ryan Khoury singled, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Red-hot Jake Kahaulelio came to the plate and singled the opposite way to drive home Amberson and make the score 4-2. Kahaulelio finished 2-5 on the day, making him 11 for his last 23 at-bats with six runs and five RBI.
The Kahaulelio hit was not the last against Goldeyes starter Matthew Jackson. Espinosa singled to centerfield, scoring Khoury, and when centerfielder Reggie Abercrombie misplayed the ball for an error, Kahaulelio scored as well. The game was now tied at 4, and it looked like Wichita had that winning feeling once again.
The Goldeyes had other plans however. Tyler Kuhn led off with a single, and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Klipp and to third on a flyball to right field. Abercrombie, looking to make up for his error from the previous inning, hitting a sacrifice fly to left field that brought Kuhn home, and the Goldeyes were back on top.
The score remained 5-4 through the sixth and the seventh frames, but in the top of the eighth inning, Brent Clevlen showed why he is the leading MVP candidate with his 14th home run of the year, tying the game at 5. The home run was just another example of how clutch this young man is, who is in the top ten in virtually every offensive category in the American Association.
In the ninth Winnipeg sent in closer Chris Kissock desperately needing a win. Amberson greeted him with a double, and after he was sacrificed to third, Ryan Khoury singled to left to score Amberson, and give the Wingnuts the lead. It was a lead they would not relinquish.
Matt Nevarez came in to close out the game. He gave up a hit and a walk, but struck out two on the way to his 21st save of the season. Daniel Bennett got the win in relief to move to 5-0. Amazingly it is Bennett’s third win in the last four Wingnuts’ games.
The victory extended the team’s win streak to six games, and made them 9-1 in their last ten. The win, coupled with a Lemurs suspended game also moved the Wingnuts 11 games ahead of Laredo.
By Robert Pannier
Senior Baseball Editor
Member of the IBWAA