Big Seventh Inning Helps Wingnuts Slip by AirHogs
GRAND PRAIRIE, Tex. - A three-run seventh inning backed a fantastic start from Casey Harman, as the Wichita Wingnuts pulled out a series-opening 4-1 win over the Texas AirHogs on Friday night at AirHogs Stadium.
The game was deadlocked at 1-1 entering the seventh, when the Wingnuts (15-12) scratched out three runs against Texas starter Meng Weiqiang (2-3) and two relievers. Logan Watkins broke the tie with a bases-loaded grounder to second that was bobbled by the AirHogs Casio Grider. With the score now 2-1, Zach Nehrir shot a solid single to right that doubled the Wichita advantage, then Fernando Perez drew a walk with the bases full to push across the game's final run.
That three-run inning provided the support for Harman (3-1), who tossed the longest outing by any Wingnuts pitcher this season with eight fantastic innings. The southpaw allowed just six hits and one run, striking out six while not issuing a walk. Texas (5-21) got their lone run against Harman in the fifth when Li Ning rapped a two-out infield single to plate Du Xiaolei.
For the third consecutive ballgame, the Wingnuts jumped on the board in the first. After Watkins started the game with a walk, he moved to second on a Nehrir sacrifice bunt and came around to score on a two-out RBI single from Tony Thomas. The walk from Watkins extended his on-base streak to 27 games, and his third inning bunt single moved his hitting streak to a season-high 11 games. Nehrir and John Nester both finished the ballgame 2-for-4.
James Campbell tossed a scoreless ninth to nail down his second save, getting Song Yunqi to ground out with two AirHogs on base.
The Wingnuts continue their series with Texas on Saturday night, as right-hander Charlie Gillies (1-0, 0.00) while face AirHogs lefty Tyler Matzek (0-2, 7.12). First pitch is scheduled 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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