Banwart, Early Offense Carry Wingnuts Past T-Bones
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Aug. 29, 2018) - Eight fantastic innings from Travis Banwart and five runs in the first four innings boosted the Wichita Wingnuts to an important 6-3 win over the Kansas City T-Bones on Wednesday night at T-Bones Stadium.
The victory pulled Wichita (59-36) to within a half game of the T-Bones (59-35) in the South division standings, with two more games remaining in the series. The Wingnuts guaranteed at least a split of the season series, and now have an opportunity to clinch the series with a win on Thursday night.
Banwart (8-4) delivered in a high-leverage game once again, matching a season high with eight innings. After allowing a leadoff single to Adrian Nieto in the bottom of the fourth, the Wichita righty retired 14 consecutive hitters, finishing the night with six strikeouts while allowing just six hits and three walks. The performance lowered his league-best ERA to 2.24.
The Wingnuts jumped all over Kansas City starter Jared Mortensen (4-6) in the first. Logan Watkins led off the game with a walk, then came in to score when Zach Nehrir hammered a double off the wall in left. Abel Nieves followed with a run-scoring single, providing Wichita with a quick 2-0 advantage.
Kansas City grabbed a run of their own in the second on a ground-rule double from Keith Curcio, but Banwart escaped further trouble in the inning thanks to a spectacular play from Watkins, diving to rob Mason Davis of a potential two-run single.
Three Wichita runs crossed in the fourth to extend the lead to 5-1. With two outs and runners at the corners, Watkins drilled a two-run double into the right field corner, then raced to the plate himself when Nehrir singled up the middle.
A Nick Rotola bases-loaded hit by pitch added Wichita's final run in the top of the seventh.
The T-Bones got two runs back in the bottom of the ninth, courtesy of a two-run home run from Danny Hayes. Daniel Tillman recovered to retire the next two hitters, ending the game on a popup to Chase Simpson.
The Wingnuts continue their series with the T-Bones on Thursday night. Casey Harman (11-4, 3.66) starts for Wichita, while Kansas City will counter with Tommy Collier (11-3, 3.27). First pitch 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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