Missed Chances Haunt Wingnuts in Extra-Innings Loss
LINCOLN, Neb. - TJ Bennett drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Lincoln Saltdogs a 3-2 win over the Wichita Wingnuts on Monday night at Haymarket Park.
The inning started with an infield single from Brandon Jacobs, who moved to second on a walk to Randolph Oduber. John Hayes (0-1) then struck out Dashenko Ricardo for the first out, but Christian Ibarra singled to load the bases and Bennett walked on a 3-1 offering to end it.
It was a game littered with scoring opportunities for both sides, beginning in the top of the fourth inning for Wichita. Lincoln (28-26) had seized a 1-0 lead in the second on Jacobs's RBI double, but the Wingnuts responded with a pair of runs on Hunter Clanin's RBI single and a bases-loaded walk to Nick Rotola. The bases were still loaded with one out for Leo Vargas, but his hard ground ball was right at Lincoln shortstop Cesar Valera who started an inning-ending double play.
Lincoln tied the game in the fifth against Wingnuts starter Travis Banwart. Curt Smith's broken-bat fly ball found centerfield to drive home Ibarra with two outs, evening the score at 2-2. Banwart had to settle for a no-decision, tossing five innings while allowing five hits and two runs.
Both bullpens buckled down after the fifth, as Seth Harvey, Austin Boyle, and Brady Bowen delivered clutch performances to keep the Saltdogs off the board. The Wingnuts offense had chances to take the lead, most notably in the seventh when they got runners to second and third with one out, but failed to score. In the ninth, Wichita got runners to the corners with one out, but Abel Nieves rolled into another inning-ending double play.
Cortland Cox (1-0) picked up the win for Lincoln with a scoreless top of the 11th.
The Wingnuts continue their series with the Saltdogs on Tuesday. Lefty Casey Harman (6-2, 3.01) makes the start for Wichita, while Lincoln will counter with fellow southpaw Joe Bircher (3-4, 5.56) First pitch is scheduled for 6:45 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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