Four-Run Fourth Supports Harman, Wingnuts
WICHITA, Kan. - A pair of big RBI doubles in a four-run fourth inning proved to be enough run support for Casey Harman, as the Wichita Wingnuts opened a critical series with a 5-3 win over the Winnipeg Goldeyes on Monday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
After Harman (10-4) and Winnipeg starter Kevin McGovern (4-11) traded zeroes through the first three innings, both offenses came to life in the fourth. The Goldeyes got a pair of runs in the top half of the inning on sacrifice flies from Josh Mazzola and Gavin Stupienski, but Wichita (52-35) had an emphatic answer in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Tony Thomas singled and Chase Simpson drew a walk. John Nester ripped an RBI single to cut Winnipeg's lead in half, then Logan Trowbridge tied the game with a run-scoring double high off the left field wall. Leo Vargas delivered the game's biggest hit, slicing a two-run double to right for a 4-2 Wichita lead.
Harman tossed a solid start to earn his tenth victory, striking out eight over six innings while allowing just hits and two walks. He struck out the side in the third, then delivered important shutdown innings in the fifth and sixth.
The Wingnuts added a run to their advantage in the fifth. With two outs, Simpson's flare to center glanced off the glove of Winnipeg second baseman Jordan Ebert for an RBI single. It scored Zach Nehrir, who finished 3-for-4 with two stolen bases to give him a league-high 34 steals on the season.
Winnipeg (36-51) made things interesting in the eighth, pulling to within 5-3 on a pinch-hit RBI double from Grant Heyman. Scott Kuzminsky ended the rally with a strikeout, then Daniel Tillman worked around a leadoff double in the ninth with a pair of strikeouts to record his 25th save. Tillman is now just two saves away from matching the Wingnuts record for saves in a season, trailing only the 27 posted by Josh Dew in 2013.
The Wingnuts and Goldeyes continue their series on Tuesday night. Jordan Cooper (9-6, 4.91) gets the start for Wichita, while Winnipeg will counter with lefty PJ Browne (0-0, 3.62). 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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