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Wichita Wingnuts Game Notes - July 12th, 2013

July 12, 2013 - American Association (AA) Wichita Wingnuts

ROOKIE SCOLES HELPS WINGNUTS WIN SEVENTH STRAIGHT: The Wichita Wingnuts beat the Kansas City T-Bones 1-0 on Thursday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium to win their seventh game in a row. Five Wingnuts' pitchers combined on a two-hit shutout. Rookie right-hander Ryan Scoles threw 5.0+ shutout innings to earn the win in his professional debut. For a third time in four games, the Wingnuts' bullpen combined for 4.0 shutout innings. Daniel Bennett helped Scoles escape a first and second jam with no outs in the top of the sixth. Bennett and Nick Walters combined for a scoreless seventh. After Lincoln Holdzkom pitched a perfect eighth, Josh Dew worked a scoreless ninth to earn his 10th save. John Rodriguez drove in the game's only run with an RBI double in the bottom of the first inning. Rodriguez had four hits.

ALL-TIME AGAINST THE T-BONES: The Wingnuts are 16-14 all-time against the Kansas City T-Bones, including a 6-5 mark at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. The T-Bones are in their third season in the American Association. Kansas City joined the league in 2011 after spending the previous eight years in the Northern League. Kansas City won the 2008 Northern League championship and reached the Northern League Championship Series in 2010 where they lost to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. Kenny Hook is in his second year as T-Bones' manager. Hook guided the T-Bones to a 51-49 record in 2012. Two-time Northern League Relief Pitcher of the Year Andy Shipman is in his second year as Kansas City's pitching coach. Kansas City Royals' legend and former Wichita Wranglers' manager Frank White is in his second year as Hook's first base coach. Prior to 2003, the T-Bones were known as the Duluth-Superior Dukes-an original independent franchise that started play in 1993.

SERIES MATCHUP: The Wingnuts are 35-18 and lead the Gary SouthShore RailCats by 2.0 games in the Central Division. The Wingnuts just swept a four-game series from the Amarillo Sox. The T-Bones are 19-34 and in fifth place in the Central. The T-Bones trail the Wingnuts by 16.0 games in the Central. Kansas City just split a four-game series at St. Paul. The Wingnuts are first in the American Association in hitting (.302), second in pitching (3.27), and tied for second in fielding (.978). The T-Bones are ninth in batting (.268), 10th in pitching (5.20), and tied for fourth in defense (.976). Wichita took three of four from the T-Bones to open the season. Prior to winning the final two games of their series at St. Paul, the T-Bones had lost 17 of their previous 21 games.

TONIGHT'S STARTERS: The Wingnuts go with right-hander Justin Klipp who is 2-1 with a 3.06 ERA in five starts and one relief appearance. Klipp took a no-decision vs. Amarillo on Sunday, allowing three runs, one earned, on seven hits in 7.1 IP. The Wingnuts won the game 6-5. Klipp is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA on the road in two starts and one relief appearance. Klipp has allowed two or fewer earned runs in four of five starts and has not allowed more than four earned runs in any of them. Klipp has walked exactly one batter in all five of his starts. Klipp has pitched at least 7.0 innings in each of his last three starts and has pitched at least 5.0 innings in all five of them. Tonight is Klipp's first career appearance against the T-Bones.

Klipp was purchased from the United League's Edinburg Roadrunners on June 9th where he was 2-1 in three starts with a 1.24 ERA. Klipp had 36 strikeouts in just 21.1 IP while allowing only 18 hits. Klipp had a pair of 14-strikeout games while with Edinburg.

Klipp is a 28-year old true rookie who has recovered from a pair of back injuries. Klipp played college baseball at Cal State Fullerton from 2006-07, going 2-0 with a 2.15 ERA in 37.2 IP as a senior. Klipp was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 22nd round in 2007, and was also selected by the Texas Rangers in the 29th round out of Calabasas High School in Calabasas, CA.

The T-Bones have not yet announced their starter for Friday's game.

HINSON PURCHASED BY BRAVES: Wingnuts' left-hander Ryan Hinson was purchased by the Atlanta Braves' organization on July 11th . Hinson was 7-2 in 10 starts with a league-best 1.53 ERA. Hinson also ranked seventh in the American Association in strikeouts (57) at the time of his purchase. Hinson allowed two or fewer earned runs in nine of 10 starts this season, and did not allow more than three earned runs in any of them. Hinson was named the American Association's Pitcher of the Month for June.

Hinson was 27-15 with a 3.58 ERA during his three seasons with the Wingnuts over 51 starts and three relief outings. Hinson ranks first all-time in Wingnuts' history in wins (27) and strikeouts (234). Hinson was also 2-1 with a 4.19 ERA in three postseason starts from 2011-12. During his time with the Wingnuts, Hinson was especially tough at home. Including the postseason, Hinson was 18-7 with a 2.84 ERA at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium over 29 starts and two relief appearances.

'J-ROD' REACHES MAJOR MILESTONES, APPROACHES TEAM RECORD: Wingnuts' DH John Rodriguez hit a two-out, three-run home run in the bottom of the second inning on July 8th vs. Amarillo for the 1,500th base hit of his 17-year professional career. The home run also have Rodriguez 902 career RBI. Rodriguez trails Josh Horn (2009-11) by two RBI for the Wingnuts' franchise record (125).

WINGNUTS RE-SIGN HOLDZKOM: The Wingnuts re-signed RHP Lincoln Holdzkom on Monday. Holdzkom made 15 appearances earlier in the season. Wichita released RHP Ben Graham.

KHOURY BREAKS TEAM STEALS RECORD: Wingnuts' shortstop Ryan Khoury set a franchise record with his 47th stolen base on July 6th vs. Amarillo. Josh Horn (2009-11) held the previous record with 46. Last year, Khoury established a Wingnuts' single-season record with 37 stolen bases, surpassing current manager Kevin Hooper's mark of 34 set in 2008.

NIEVES STAYING HOT: Wingnuts' third baseman Abel Nieves leads the American Association in batting average (.387) and is 66 for 148 (.446) in his last 40 games with 32 runs scored, 13 doubles, and 20 walks. Nieves had a 19-game hitting streak from June 8th -26th (38 for 76, .500) which ranks tied for the second-longest in team history (Greg Porter 2009 and Jorge Delgado 2010). The team record is held by Josh Horn, who hit safely in 20 consecutive games from August 29th, 2009 through June 5th, 2010. Nieves finished second in the Frontier League in batting average last year, hitting .320 for the Joliet Slammers. On May 27th vs. Amarillo, Nieves picked up the 500th hit of his eight-year professional career. Nieves reached the Triple-A level three times with the Los Angeles Angels' organization.

KHOURY SETTING THE TABLE: Wingnuts' shortstop Ryan Khoury has reached base in 47 of 52 games this season with a hit, walk, or hit by pitch. Khoury reached base in 87 of 100 games in 2012, and was named the American Association's Defensive Player of the Year. Khoury also ranked in the top-four in the league in runs scored, walks, and stolen bases. On June 26th vs. Laredo, Khoury missed his first game since joining the Wingnuts last year. Including the postseason, Khoury had started 145 consecutive games both at shortstop and in the leadoff spot, and missed just five total innings in the field during that stretch. Prior to June 26th, the last time a Wingnuts' player other than Khoury started at shortstop was September 4th, 2011 when Josh Horn started Game Four of the Division Series vs. Grand Prairie. Jimmy Mojica was the last Wingnuts' player to bat leadoff, which was also on September 4th, 2011.

ZIEGLER CLEANING THE TABLE: Wingnuts' first baseman CJ Ziegler ranks first in the American Association in both home runs (17) and RBI (55). Ziegler tied a Wingnuts' single-game record with seven RBI on June 24th vs. Laredo. Last season, Ziegler ranked tied for third in the American Association with 18 home runs in just 58 games played. Ziegler has helped his team reach the playoffs in each of his first five professional seasons.

ZIEGLER NEW HOME RUN LEADER: Wingnuts' first baseman CJ Ziegler hit a solo home run on June 14th vs. St. Paul in the opener of a double header. It was Ziegler's ninth home run of 2013, and his 27th in a Wingnuts' uniform over the last two years, setting a new franchise record. Ryan Patterson (2010-11) held the previous record with 26 home runs.

TOUGH LOSSES: Of the Wingnuts' 18 losses this season, 11 have been by one run, two by two runs, and three by three runs. Wichita has held a lead at some point in 11 of their 18 losses.

BACK-TO-BACK: John Rodriguez and CJ Ziegler hit back-to-back home runs on consecutive pitches in the bottom of the third inning in game one of a double header on Friday, June 14th vs. St. Paul. It was the first time the Wingnuts hit back-to-back home runs since July 26th, 2011 when Josh Horn and Brent Clevlen did it vs. Fargo-Moorhead. Ziegler and Clevlen homered on back-to-back pitches on Monday, June 24th vs. Laredo.

GRAND SLAM TIME: On Tuesday, June 11th at Winnipeg, Abel Nieves hit the Wingnuts' first grand slam home run since August 27th, 2011 when Juan Richardson hit a bases loaded 'big fly' in a 19-2 rout at El Paso. Wichita hit .309 as a team with the bases loaded last year, and was hitting .400 with the sacks full going into June 11th of this season, but had gone 126 consecutive games without a grand slam. CJ Ziegler hit the Wingnuts' second grand slam of 2013 on June 28th vs. Sioux City.

PITCHING STRONG: The Wingnuts rank first in the American Association with a 3.27 team ERA. The Wingnuts ranked first in ERA in 2009 and 2010 while finishing third in 2011.

SWINGING STRONG: The Wingnuts rank first in the American Association with a .302 team batting average. Over the last two seasons, the Wingnuts have finished first and second respectively in the league batting race.

GLOVE WORK: The Wingnuts are tied for second in the American Association with a .978 fielding percentage. Wichita has led the league in defense in three of their first five years of existence (2008, 2009, 2012), and finished second in 2011. The Wingnuts hold the American Association record for team fielding percentage at .980, which they accomplished in both 2009 and 2012.

HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: The Wingnuts are 176-100 (.638) all-time at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. It is the highest home winning percentage for any American Association team since the Wingnuts began play in 2008.

GUERRA PROTECTING THE HOME FRONT: Wingnuts' right-hander Junior Guerra has excelled when pitching at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Guerra is 10-2 with a 3.05 ERA (39 ER, 115.0 IP) all-time in Wichita over 17 starts.

ALL HE DOES IS WIN: Wingnuts' fifth-year manager Kevin Hooper is 257-188 (.578) since taking over in 2009. Hooper has guided the Wingnuts to four consecutive winning seasons, as well as three playoff berths. Hooper's .578 winning percentage is the highest among American Association managers over the last five years. His 257 wins also rank first during that stretch. Hooper was a member of a team that made the playoffs in eight different seasons over his 10-year playing career. Hooper was also a member of Wichita State University's College World Series team in 1996. The Shockers reached the NCAA tournament in all four of Hooper's collegiate seasons, and posted a composite .815 winning percentage.

ALUMNI REPORT: RHP Matt Nevarez (2011-12) has a 2.31 ERA for the Double-A Southern League's Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay) with 13 strikeouts in 11.2 IP. RHP James Hoyt (2012) was recently promoted to the Double-A Southern League's Mississippi Braves (Atlanta) and has a 1.54 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 11.2 IP. Hoyt posted a 4.89 ERA with 72 strikeouts in just 49.2 IP earlier this year for the High-A Carolina League's Lynchburg Hillcats. LHP and Wingnuts' co-owner Nate Robertson (2012) has a 2.97 ERA in 36.1 IP for the Triple-A Pacific Coast League's Round Rock Express (Texas). RHP Jon Link was purchased by the Detroit Tigers in June 19th and is 2-1 with a 1.47 ERA in four starts for the Double-A Eastern League's Erie SeaWolves. LHP Ryan Hinson was purchased by the Atlanta Braves on July 11th and has been assigned to the High-A Carolina League's Lynchburg Hillcats.

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