Back-To-Back Bombs Boost Wingnuts
WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Two swings in the top of the fourth inning would prove to be all the offense the Wichita Wingnuts would need on Monday night at Shaw Park. Tony Thomas and Fernando Perez launched back-to-back solo homers to support an excellent start from Jordan Cooper, and the Wingnuts claimed the series opener over the Winnipeg Goldeyes by the final score of 6-1.
It was a pitcher's duel through the first three innings, as Cooper (4-3) and Winnipeg starter Kevin McGovern (2-4) traded zeroes and only allowed a combined two hits. The Wingnuts (23-13) dented the scoreboard first in the top of the fourth, with Thomas and Perez both driving baseballs over the left field fence to put Wichita in front 2-0. Two more runs crossed the plate in the seventh, courtesy of a Zach Nehrir RBI double and a throwing error by Winnipeg shortstop Andrew Sohn.
With Wichita now in front 4-0, things got interesting in the bottom of the seventh. Cooper ran into trouble with consecutive singles to start the frame, then after two were out issued a four-pitch walk to nine-hole hitter Kevin Garcia. Manager Brent Clevlen went to his bullpen to summon right-hander Austin Boyle, who lost an 11-pitch battle with Jordan Ebert on a bases-loaded walk that cut the lead to 4-1. On the next pitch, Goldeyes leftfielder Dave Sappelt smashed a hard grounder down to third that Abel Nieves speared behind the bag, outracing Garcia to complete the force-out and end the inning.
Cooper finished with six and two-thirds excellent innings, allowing just the one run on five hits while striking out four. He threw 112 pitches, and ended three of his six complete innings with punch-outs.
The Wingnuts tacked on two more insurance runs in the eighth, stretching the lead on a Ryne Willard sacrifice fly and a Logan Watkins RBI infield single for the game's final margin. Boyle worked a scoreless eighth, then John Hayes sealed the win by keeping the Goldeyes (19-17) off the board in the ninth.
The Wingnuts continue their series with the Goldeyes on Tuesday night. Wichita will start left-hander Casey Harman (4-1, 2.30), while Winnipeg will counter with former Wingnuts righty Alex Boshers (2-3, 4.09). First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 PM, and will be broadcast on 1410 AM/93.9 FM KGSO, TuneIn and americanassociationbaseball.tv.
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.
• Discuss this story on the American Association message board...
American Association Stories from June 25, 2018
- Wingnuts Top Goldeyes to Begin Series - Winnipeg Goldeyes
- Back-To-Back Bombs Boost Wingnuts - Wichita Wingnuts
- Dogs Outslug Cats, 7-6, in Inaugural Regular-Season Game at Impact Field - Gary SouthShore Railcats
- Daniel Minor Named American Association Poinstreak Pitcher of the Week - Gary SouthShore Railcats
- Brady Shoemaker's Monster Week Propels Him to American Association Pointstreak Player of the Week - St. Paul Saints
- Dogs and 'Cats Square off in Home-And-Home - Chicago Dogs
- Cats Wash Away X's in Rain Shortened Series Finale - Sioux City Explorers
- American Association Game Recaps - AA
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.