Wingnuts hold on to win late
The Wichita Wingnuts jumped out to a four-run lead in the early innings and then hung on late to claim their sixth straight series victory, knocking off the Sioux City Explorers 5-4 Saturday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
The Explorers (16-19) grabbed an opening-inning lead for the second straight night, as Nate Samson picked up an RBI single with two down in the first, the first of his four knocks on the night.
Wichita (20-15) answered in the home half. With two outs, the Wingnuts put two on for Dustin Geiger, who ripped a double off the left field wall to give the home team a 2-1 lead.
Two innings later, the Wingnuts added to their lead, as Brent Clevlen hit a two-run homer and T.J. Mittelstaedt followed with a solo shot off James Walsh (0-1). The two blasts made it 5-1, and were the first time this season that the Wingnuts have hit back-to-back home runs.
The four-run margin was enough for Jon Link (6-2), who collected his sixth straight quality start, yielding two runs over six innings to earn his sixth straight win.
Sioux City pulled one back against the Wingnuts starter in the sixth, as Tim Colwell picked up the first of his two RBIs to cut the lead to three.
After a scoreless seventh from Fabian Roman, the Explorers closed the gap to one with a two-run eighth frame. Tommy Mendonca doubled in a run, then came around to score on a Colwell triple. Seth Harvey, in his first game back after spending nearly a month on the disabled list, recovered to strand Colwell there to keep Wichita’s lead in tact.
Chad Nading then came on for the ninth, and stranded a two-out single to collect his first save as a member of the Wingnuts.
After an off day on Sunday, the Wingnuts will continue their seven-game homestand with the opener of a four-game set against the Texas AirHogs Monday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Right-hander Alex Boshers (3-2, 3.37) will get the starting nod for Wichita, while Texas has yet to announce their starting pitcher. First pitch is set for 7:05, and the game can be heard on 1410 AM KGSO, as well as on TuneIn.