(Wingnuts) The Wichita Wingnuts hammered out 15 hits, posted multiple runs in three different frames, and clinched a spot in the American Association Championship Series with an 11-3 victory over the Gary SouthShore RailCats on Saturday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
After Gary starter Daniel Minor (0-1) and Wingnuts starter Eddie Medina (1-0) fired up zeroes in each of the first two frames, Wichita exploded for six runs in the bottom of the third. Martin Medina got the scoring started with an RBI single, then TJ Mittelstaedt followed with a run-scoring knock of his own to double the lead to 2-0. A Matt Chavez groundout plated another, and Richard Prigatano punched an RBI triple to make it 4-0. Brennen Salgado singled home Prigatano, before Leo Vargas capped the inning with a run-scoring single of his own for a 6-0 advantage.
Prigatano was the driving force behind another Wingnuts rally in the bottom of the fourth, slapping a line drive just inside the first base bag for a two-run triple that ballooned the Wichita lead to 8-0. Prigatano finished the evening 3-for-4 with four runs driven in.
The RailCats tried to mount a rally in the middle innings against Medina, scratching out two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth to trim the lead to 8-3, but Wichita responded immediately with three tallies of their own in the home half. Prigatano was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and Salgado snuck a ground ball through the right side for a two-run single and an 11-3 lead.
Medina picked up the victory with six innings of work, allowing six hits and only two earned runs. The righty struck out two and walked one. Minor absorbed the loss for Gary, tagged for seven runs in 3.1 innings.
The Wingnuts bullpen slammed the door with three scoreless innings, as Josh Goossen-Brown tossed a scoreless seventh and eighth, then Seth Harvey closed it out with a 1-2-3 ninth to complete the sweep.
The win ensures the Wingnuts will appear in the Championship Series for the second consecutive season, and fifth time in the last six years.
The Wingnuts now await the outcome of the second Division Series to determine their opponent in the American Association Championship Series. The Winnipeg Goldeyes currently lead the Lincoln Saltdogs 2-1 in the best-of-five set. Wichita will open up the Championship Series on Wednesday, September 13, at a time and place to be determined. All the action will be broadcast on 1410 AM/93.9 FM, and at americanassociationbaseball.tv.
For information on tickets, group outings, and party packages, call the Wingnuts main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com.