Late Thomas Homer Lifts Wingnuts to Win
WICHITA, Kan. - Despite blowing leads of 6-0 and 8-2, a leadoff home run from Tony Thomas in the seventh inning gave the Wichita Wingnuts a 9-8 win over the Lincoln Saltdogs on Thursday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
Wichita (51-32) surged to an early lead against Lincoln starter Joe Bircher, scoring a run in the first on an RBI double from Angel Reyes and another in the second on a Logan Trowbridge sacrifice fly. The Wingnuts exploded for four tallies in the third, as John Nester singled home a run with two outs and Logan Trowbridge grounded a three-run triple into the right field corner for a 6-0 Wichita lead.
The Saltdogs (40-42) got two runs back against Wichita starter Charlie Gillies in the third, courtesy of RBI singles from Cesar Valera and Daniel Herrera that trimmed the lead to 6-2.
John Nester lined a 2-0 offering from Bircher over the fence in left to reestablish Wichita's six-run cushion in the bottom of the fifth, increasing the lead out to 8-2. But Lincoln pushed across six runs in the next half inning, scoring two on bases-loaded free passes and then tying the game on a grand slam off the bat of Brandon Jacobs.
The Wingnuts recovered, however, as Austin Boyle (2-0) worked a scoreless top of the seventh before Thomas lifted the first offering from Lincoln reliever Jake Hohensee (0-3) over the fence in left for his league-leading 20th home run of the season and a 9-8 lead.
James Campbell got the first two outs in the eighth in his return from injury, but after a two-out walk the Wingnuts called upon closer Daniel Tillman. He struck out Curt Smith to end the inning, then worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 24th save of the season, the second-most in Wingnuts single-season history.
The Wingnuts welcome the Chicago Dogs to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium for the first time in franchise history on Friday at 7:05. Righty Tyler Kane (5-2, 5.33) starts for Wichita in the opener, while Chicago will counter with lefty Scott Barnes (2-4, 4.44). The game 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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