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Blasters Bolt Past Wingnuts in Series Opener

August 9, 2015 - American Association (AA) - Joplin Blasters News Release

Wichita, KS-The Blasters gained a game on first-place Wichita with a 12-8 come-from-behind victory Sunday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

Joplin (40-31) opened the two-game series with its sixth win in ten meetings with the Wingnuts this season. The Blasters also jumped over Kansas City for the lead in the wild-card race after the T-Bones fell at home to Fargo.

Joplin and Wichita (43-30) both opened the game full of energy. In the top of the first, Maikol Gonzalez coaxed a two-out walk. Gonzalez then scored on a Jairo Perez double to the wall in left-center. The Wingnuts opened their first at-bat with a walk of David Espinosa. With one out, Matt Padgett reached on a fielder's choice and moved to second on an error. John Nester singled home Espinosa. T.J. Mittelstaedt gave Wichita a 2-1 lead with a bloop base hit up the left field line. Joash Brodin kept the line moving with a walk. A fielder's choice by Brent Dean brought another run home and a throwing error on a double play attempt made it 4-1. Espinosa reached again on a fielder's choice that made it 5-1 Wingnuts.

The Blasters chipped away at the lead with a two-run third. Jesus Solorzano led off the inning with a solo home run to deep left. It was Solorzano's eighth homer of the season. The next batter, Oscar Mesa, walked and later scored on a Steven Tinoco double into the right field corner. In the fifth, Joplin cut the lead to 5-4 on a Joe Coyne RBI ground out that scored Mesa.

Joplin used a massive rally in the sixth to take control of the game. Jake Taylor led off with a walk. Omar Luna doubled on a liner into the right field corner. Mitch Glasser walked to load the bases. Taylor scored the tying run on a wild pitch. Jesus Solorzano then reached on a ball hit to right-center that scored Luna for a 6-5 lead. Oscar Mesa drove in Glasser with a ground out to first. Steven Tinoco's second double of the night brought in Solorzano for an 8-5 advantage. With two outs, Joe Coyne reached on catcher's interference. Carlos Ramirez capped the inning with a two-run scoring double to right-center that gave Joplin a 10-5 cushion. Wichita scored twice in the bottom of the sixth for a 10-7 score.

The Blasters plated two additional tallies in the eighth. Maikol Gonzalez led off with a double and Joe Coyne followed with a single. Carlos Ramirez drove in Gonzalez from third with a sacrifice fly in foul ground up the right side. Mitch Glasser's infield single brought in Coyne. The Wingnuts scored a meaningless ninth-inning run.

On the mound, newly acquired reliever Jeff Lyons posted the win for Joplin. Lyons (1-0) worked one-and-a-third and gave up two earned runs on one hit with three walks. Scott Kuzminsky suffered the loss for Wichita. Kuzminsky (2-4) pitched in the sixth but did not record an out and gave up four runs (three earned) on one hit with two walks.

At the plate, Joplin set a single-game season high with 16 hits. Jesus Solorzano led the attack with three hits, two RBIs, and two runs. Steven Tinoco also had three hits with two RBIs and a run. Maikol Gonzalez, Joe Coyne, and Omar Luna all had two-hit games. Carlos Ramirez collected three RBIs. For Wichita, Jayce Ray led the way with three hits and an RBI. John Nester, T.J. Mittelstaedt, and Brent Dean all had two hits. Nester and Mittelstaedt both had two RBIs.

Joplin concludes its series at Wichita with game two Monday night at 7:05. The Blasters return home for a six-game stand against Rockland and St. Paul starting Tuesday night. For 2015 ticket information and promotion specials at Joe Becker Stadium, call 417-622-4838 or visit the Blasters website at www.joplinblasters.com.

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