Carlo Testa went 3-4 at the plate with three extra-base hits, including a three-run blast in a big fifth inning, to guide the Wichita Wingnuts past the Amarillo Sox 5-1 on Sunday at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. In addition, Justin Klipp continued a stellar season on the mound by limiting the Sox to just one run in seven innings.
The Wingnuts were facing Amarillo starting pitcher Matt Larkins (5-3) for the third time in the last month and were hoping to beat him for the first time on Sunday. They were able to strike first in the third inning against the big right-hander. Ryan Khoury singled with two outs in the inning and came around to score on an RBI single by Jake Kahaulelio, two batters later.
With Amarillo (18-36) struggling to score against Klipp (6-2), a big fifth inning gave the Wingnuts’ hurler all of the cushion he, and the bullpen, would need. Khoury once again was the straw that stirred the drink, starting the inning with a base hit. After Chris McClendon popped out, three consecutive batters reached for the Wingnuts before another out was recorded, beginning with a walk to Kahaulelio. With two one base, Brent Clevlen slapped a ball through the hole on the right side to extend the lead to 2-0. The next hitter, Testa, already had two doubles to his credit in the game and stayed hot with a three-run home run down the right field line to put Wichita (39-17) in front 5-0.
The right-handed Klipp was on his game all afternoon and had shut out the Sox for the first six innings on just four hits. The Sox couldn’t muster multiple hits in an inning until the top of the seventh. With Brandon Pinckney on base due to a fielder’s choice, Kyle Nichols and Kyle Bellows hit back-to-back singles to trim the lead to 5-1. Bellows drove in the run and tallied his 21st RBI of the season. Klipp would call it a day at the conclusion of the inning, having struck out a pair of Sox hitters.
Patrick Mincey and Matt Robertson each worked a scoreless inning in the eighth and ninth respectively. The Wingnuts are 31-2 when leading after six innings have been completed. Aside from Testa’s three-hit outburst, Khoury was the only other Wingnuts’ hitter to finish with multiple base knocks. Chris McClendon’s base hit in the third inning extended his hit streak to a season-high 12 games.
The Wingnuts will take Monday off, before travelling south to Grand Prairie for a three-game series that begins on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. Jason Van Skike (6-2) will toe the rubber for Wichita in game one. For information on season 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