Banwart Carves up Explorers to Secure Series Win
SIOUX CITY, Iowa - For the second time in his last three starts, Travis Banwart fired eight shutout innings while giving up just three hits, boosting the Wichita Wingnuts to a 3-0 victory over the Sioux City Explorers on Tuesday night at Mercy Field.
Banwart (6-3) did not allow a runner to third base, striking out seven while only walking one. All three hits allowed were singles, as the Wingnuts ace matched his performance from earlier on the road trip against Sioux Falls on July 28. He picked up his first win against Sioux City in three starts this season.
The Wingnuts (46-29) scored an unearned run in the top of the third to take a 1-0 lead. Leo Vargas reached on a fielder's choice, moved to second on a walk, and came around to score on another fielder's choice. Zach Nehrir hit a grounder up the middle that Nate Samson gloved on a dive, flipping to Jay Baum for an out. Baum tried a quick throw to first for the double play, but threw it over the head of Dexture McCall to score Vargas.
Vargas was in the middle of another Wichita rally in the fifth, smacking a one-out double and coming around to score on an RBI single from Logan Watkins. The Wingnuts got their final run in the seventh against Sioux City starter Luis Mateo (9-4); Nehrir hit a two-out single and raced all the way around to score when Abel Nieves drove a single to deep right-center.
Watkins finished 3-for-4 for the Wingnuts, improving to 21-for-38 against Sioux City during the 2018 season.
Sioux City (56-19) never put more than one runner on base in an inning, getting a one-out walk from Jose Sermo in the ninth before Daniel Tillman slammed the door for his 21st save of the season. Tillman is now tied for third in Wingnuts single-season saves, matching Frankie Reed, who also notched 21 during the 2016 season.
The Wingnuts conclude their series with the Explorers on Wednesday night. Casey Harman (8-3, 3.47) starts for Wichita, while Sioux City will counter with righty Taylor Jordan (10-2, 3.29). First pitch from Mercy Field is scheduled for 7:05 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.
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