WICHITA, Kan. (Wingnuts) -- The Wichita Wingnuts scored five runs in the first, and never looked back as they knocked off the Winnipeg Goldeyes 7-5 to take a 2-1 lead in the American Association Championship Series Saturday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
With the bases loaded and one out in the opening frame, Matt Chavez brought home the first run of the night for Wichita (5-2), bringing home Zack Cox with a sacrifice fly. Nick Van Stratten followed with an RBI single, and Harrison Kain then took Mikey O’Brien (1-2) deep for a three-run homer to cap the frame.
Winnipeg (4-4) responded right away in their half of the second. A Wingnuts error allowed the first two Goldeye runs to score, and two more Wichita miscues opened the door for back-to-back RBI singles by Maikol Gonzalez and Willie Cabrera to cut the lead to one.
The lead stayed 5-4 until the fifth. Christian Stringer started the inning with a single, Wichita’s first knock since the first inning. Stringer eventually scored on a wild pitch, and Van Stratten then grounded into a fielder’s choice later in the frame to grab his second RBI of the night and push the lead to three.
The Goldeyes got one back in the eighth, as Chad Nading struggled with his command, issuing four walks to make it a 7-5 contest. Frankie Reed came on to get the final out of the eighth, and then pitched around a two-out walk to seal the victory.
Missed opportunities were the theme of the night for Winnipeg. In their four-run second, the Goldeyes left the bases loaded, one of two times they left the bases full on the night. In all, they left 15 runners on base, including 10 in scoring position.
With starter Jesse Pratt struggling, Eddie Medina (1-0) came on in the third for Wichita and pitched very well, dealing three scoreless frames in his first appearance of the postseason to earn the victory in relief.
Behind Medina, Chase Johnson struck out a pair to escape a jam in the sixth, and Mike Devine worked a scoreless seventh to keep the lead in tact.
The Wingnuts look to close out the Goldeyes Sunday evening in game four of the American Association Championship Series at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Wichita will send right-hander Tyler Kane (0-0, 6.23) to the mound, while Winnipeg will counter with fellow righty Edwin Carl (2-0, 2.18). First pitch is slated for 5:05, and the game can be heard on 1480 KQAM as well as on TuneIn.