Highway Robbery Defense and Ace Performance Doom T-Bones
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - On an overcast Warrior Wednesday, the Kansas City T-Bones couldn't get out from under the clouds as the Wichita Wingnuts stormed into T-Bones Stadium. While The T-Bones were awarded the designation of a Purple Heart Sports Team for their laudable long-time support of our veterans, their hearts couldn't muster up a win against the Wingnuts, dropping game one of the series 6-3.
A lead-off walk plagued the T-Bones right away, and then a bases-clearing triple by Zach Nehrir made the score 1-0 Wingnuts after the first two batters of the game. An infield single by Abel Nieves followed, making the score a quick 2-0.
In the second inning, Noah Perio Jr. hit a double off Wichita starter Travis Banwart into right field. A walk for Danny Hayes brought some life back into the T-Bones. Keeping the dream alive, Keith Curcio hit a ground-rule double that brought Perio Jr. home, earning him his 55th RBI for the season and making the score 2-1.
Great defense by the Wingnuts' Logan Watkins at the end of the second inning robbing Mason Davis of what would have been a two RBI single saved Wichita's lead. In the next inning it was Abel Nieves, who had the criminal defense with his glove. Colin Walsh hit a bullet to first, but Nieves made the play on the hard bounce from his knees and threw to second from that position with short stop Leo Vargas getting it back to Nieves for a double play. That play came in the third inning kept the game 2-1 in favor of Wichita at the end of the third.
The wind was with Wichita in the fourth inning as another lead-off walk by Mortenson put Chase Simpson on base. Rotola then reached first on a base hit, but it was the bases-clearing double by Logan Watkins that gave Wichita a 4-1 lead. The Wingnuts weren't finished yet, however. Another base hit and a stolen base by Nehrir quickly increased the Wingnut lead to 5-1.
Kansas City struggled offensively in the fifth and sixth innings, but Jared Mortenson left the game after some gutsy pitching in those innings for the T-Bones, keeping the Wichita lead at 5-1. Banwart meanwhile retired 14 in a row for Wichita.
Jackson Lowery came on to the mound for the T-Bones, relieving Mortenson, but he walked bases loaded right away. Rotola then was hit by a pitch, bringing in Reyes, which earned another run for Wichita and made the score 6-1.
As the breeze died down in the evening, so too did the bats for Kansas City. With no answer for Banwart, the T-Bones continued to trail 6-1 going into the ninth inning. As Daniel Tillman took the mound for Wichita, the T-Bones bats awakened. A base hit for Nieto started off the bottom of the ninth. Danny Hayes hit his first home run for KC, hitting a two-run blast to right. Though the T-Bones rallied, it wasn't enough as they drop game one 6-3.
Banwart (8-4) gets the win, and Mortenson (4-6) is credited with the loss. And with this loss, the T-Bones (59-35) narrow their lead in the wild card race to only half a game over Wichita (59-36).
The T-Bones return looking for a comeback in game two of the three game series tomorrow night at 7:05pm at T-Bones Stadium. LHP Casey Harman (11-4, 3.66) for Wichita while RHP Tommy Collier (11-3, 3.27) will get the nod for Kansas City. The game can be heard online on the T-Bones Broadcast Network.
Season, group tickets, mini-plans and nightly party suites are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting the Box Office at T-Bones Stadium. Call the Box Office at 913-328-5618 or purchase and print at www.tbonesbaseball.com. Box office hours are 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday - Friday and 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Saturday.
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