For a third straight exhibition game the Wichita Wingnuts found themselves trailing entering the middle innings. This time it was against the Kansas City T-Bones and the team used a five-run fourth inning to grab the lead and never looked back on the way to an 8-5 victory. The win pushed the Wingnuts to 2-1 in pre-season play.
The Wingnuts took the initial lead by scoring in their very first opportunity. Ryan Khoury began the bottom of the first with a double and moved to third on a fielder’s choice groundout by Jake Kahaulelio. Brent Clevlen stayed hot with an RBI single to take a 1-0 advantage.
The T-Bones got to Wingnuts’ starter Tim Brown in his third and final inning of work. With one down, Darrell Hudson drew a walk. He then took off for second on a perfectly executed hit and run with Vladimir Frias. After sliding safely into a third, an errant throw to first base allowed Hudson to scamper home with the tying run. David Espinosa followed by driving a double in the left-center gap to give Kansas City a 2-1 lead.
That score held until the fifth inning, when the Wingnuts knocked seven hits and scored five runs against Booby Shore to jump in front 6-2. Ryan Khoury, Brent Clevlen, Chris McMurray, and David Amberson each registered RBI doubles, while Chun-Hsiu Chen, Dillon Hazlett, and Jose Roman also added hits.
Each team scored a pair in the sixth. The T-Bones used three walks and a hit by pitch to score without putting a ball in play. The Wingnuts got their first home run of the exhibition season when Jake Kahaulelio followed a Taylor Oldham double with a 2-run blast to left field. After the wild frame the Wingnuts led 8-3.
The T-Bones managed one more run in the top of the ninth off of Matt Nevarez on a bases loaded fielder’s choice groundout by Danny Richar.
Jason Van Skike earned the win by pitching 2.0 perfect innings and recording a pair of strikeouts. Ryan Khoury was 2-3 with two doubles, an RBI, and two runs scored. Brent Clevlen also finished 2-3 with a double and a couple RBI.
The Wingnuts hit the road for another exhibition game against the River City Rascals on Friday, May 9th at 11:05 a.m.
The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie Airhogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. 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.