August 8, 2017 - American Association (AA) - Wichita Wingnuts
SIOUX CITY, Iowa. - The Sioux City Explorers scored in four of the first five innings and rallied past the Wichita Wingnuts for a 6-4 victory at Lewis & Clark Park on Sunday evening.
Wichita (44-28) wasted no time sprinting out to an early lead against Explorers starter Justin Vernia (1-0), who was making his first professional appearance. A pair of first inning walks sandwiched around a Brent Clevlen double loaded the bases for Matt Chavez, who launched a grand slam to left for a 4-0 Wingnuts lead. It was the first grand slam for Wichita since June of 2015, when TJ Mittelstaedt connected against Lincoln.
Sioux City (36-37) began to chip away in the second, courtesy of a solo homer from LeVon Washington that made it 4-1. Michael Lang cut further into the deficit with an RBI triple in the third, but was gunned down at the plate trying for an inside-the-park home run. Jonathan Gonzalez made it three straight innings with a run when he lined a two-out, run-scoring double in the fourth, trimming the Wingnuts lead to 4-3.
The Explorers grabbed the lead for good with three in the bottom of the fifth, as an error and Tyler Ogle's third home run of the series pushed Sioux City in front, 6-4. Meanwhile, the Wingnuts bats went cold after the first, managing just five hits over the final eight frames. Vernia held them off the board through the sixth, then the Explorers got two scoreless frames from Ryan Flores before PJ Francescon locked down the save in the ninth
Wingnuts starter Tim Brown (2-2) took the loss for Wichita, despite allowing just two earned runs over five innings of work. Josh Goossen-Brown, Seth Harvey, and Mike Devine each tossed a scoreless inning in relief to keep the Wingnuts within striking distance.
The Wingnuts will be back at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium beginning on Monday for a three-game series with the Lincoln Saltdogs. Right-hander Tyler Kane (7-1, 3.93) will make the start for Wichita in the opener. First pitch against the Saltdogs is scheduled for 7:05 pm. All the action will be broadcast on 1410 AM/93.9 FM, and at americanassociationbaseball.tv.