Explorers Claim Slugfest to Open Series
WICHITA, Kan. - 13 combined runs over the first two innings set the tone for an offensive outburst on a windy Friday afternoon in Wichita, as the Sioux City Explorers downed the Wichita Wingnuts 13-9 in the series opener.
It didn't take long for Sioux City (30-10) to strike in the top of the first, plating a run on Nate Samson's RBI single and then adding two more on a double from Jose Sermo for a 3-0 advantage. Wichita (25-14) got back to within 3-2 in the home half of the inning when Fernando Perez rifled a two-run triple into the right field corner, but that would prove to be as close as the Wingnuts would get for the remainder of the ballgame.
The Explorers pounded out five runs on four hits in the second against Wingnuts starter Tyler Kane (0-1), highlighted by home runs from Michael Lang and Samson that stretched the lead to 8-2. A trio of RBI singles helped the Wingnust pull within 8-5 in the second, as Logan Watkins, Zach Nehrir, and Abel Nieves each drove home a run to trim the deficit.
Both starters settled in through the middle frames, trading zeroes until Jay Baum's solo homer in the fifth made it 9-5 Sioux City. The Explorers put the game out of reach with four more runs in the eighth, notching five hits to extend the edge to 13-5. Wichita would not go quietly, scratching across four runs of their own in the bottom of the eighth, highlighted by a two-run single from Hunter Clanin and a two-run double from Watkins that made it 13-9. But the combination of Parker Markel and Patrick Schuster kept the Wingnuts off the board in the ninth to secure the win.
Luis Mateo (6-2) picked up the victory with six innings of work, striking out nine while allowing five runs, four earned.
The Wingnuts continue their series with the Explorers on Saturday, as right-hander Travis Banwart (4-1, 1.87) will face fellow righty James Dykstra (5-2, 3.26). 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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