Nicolas Leads Pheasants Charge over Wichita
SIOUX FALLS -- Rain stopped the game late Friday night, but nothing stopped the Sioux Falls Pheasants from defeating the Wichita Wingnuts 7-5 on Saturday afternoon.
Severe thunderstorms paused the game in the bottom of the seventh inning after a lightning strike shut the power off at Sioux Falls Stadium. The game resumed on Saturday afternoon ahead of a regularly scheduled nine-inning contest.
After the Winguts plated one unearned run in the top of the first inning, the Pheasants' bats erupted and took the lead. Three straight singles loaded the bases for Cesar Nicolas, who hit a bases-clearing double for a 3-1 lead.
The Pheasants lead extended to 6-1 when Reggie Abercrombie smacked a three-run home run out of center field. Abercrombie is 12-for-24 with two home runs and six RBI since his return to Sioux Falls last Monday.
Pheasants starter Mitchell Clegg (6-5) cruised through the first four inning, but ran into trouble in the fifth inning. Wichita plated four runs, highlighted by Jared McDonald's two-run triple that closed the gap to 6-5.
Nicolas responded with a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth for a 7-5 lead, his third extra-base hit of the game.
Clegg regained his command and worked to 1-2-3 innings in the sixth and seventh. Overall he allowed five runs, four earned, on five hits in seven innings. He struck out two and walked one and picked up the win.
Wingnut starter Derek Blacksher (6-4) exited after the sixth inning, giving up seven runs on ten hits. He also walked two and struck out three in the loss.
Each offense stalled after the fifth inning. The only man to reach base from either side was Joe Anthonsen, who was walked in the sixth.
When the game resumed on Saturday, Jack Van Leur retired all five men he faced in the eighth and ninth. Alan DeRatt then earned his second save. He struck out the only man he faced.
Game two of the three-game series with Wichita is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. on Saturday August 4 at Sioux Falls Stadium. Saturday night is Country Western night! Fans dressed in western wear can purchase a ticket for $5 at the gate.
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