Simpson Hits for Cycle as Wingnuts Blast RailCats
GARY, Ind. - Chase Simpson hit for the Wichita Wingnuts first cycle since the 2016 season, blasting one of three Wichita homers as the Wingnuts routed the Gary SouthShore RailCats 11-1 on Saturday night at U.S. Steel Yard.
Simpson grounded out in his first at-bat, then singled in the fourth and hit a three-run homer with two outs in the fifth. He added a double in the seventh and then completed the feat with an RBI triple down the right field line in the ninth. It was the Wingnuts first triple since T.J. Mittelstaedt completed the accomplishment on July 23, 2016 against the Joplin Blasters. Simpson's cycle was the second in franchise history at U.S. Steel Yard, following C.J. Ziegler who did it against Gary SouthShore on August 21, 2013.
Simpson finished the night 4-for-5, scoring two runs and driving home four.
It only took two hitters for the Wingnuts (44-28) to seize the early advantage, as Logan Watkins led off the game with a triple to right and came in to score on a Zach Nehrir sacrifice fly. Gary SouthShore (41-29) tied the game at 1-1 on Reggie Wilson's two-out RBI single, but that would prove to be the only blip on the radar for Wichita starter Jordan Cooper. Cooper (8-5) tossed six strong innings, striking out five and walking two while allowing seven hits and just the one run.
Meanwhile, the Wichita offense came to life against RailCats southpaw Alex Gunn (7-4). It started in the top of the fourth, when Angel Reyes drilled a two-run home run for his third home run in five games since joining the Wingnuts. Now working with a 3-1 lead, Wichita exploded for four more runs in the fifth, coming on a Tony Thomas RBI single and Simpson's three-run homer.
Watkins singled home Nick Rotola in the sixth to make it 8-1, marking the most hits and runs that Gunn had allowed in a start this season. The Wingnuts finished with 17 hits on the evening, adding four more in the ninth to score three runs. Thomas cranked his 18th long ball of the season to tie a career high, then after Simpson's RBI triple, Logan Trowbridge drove home a run on a groundout to complete the scoring. The Wingnuts hit three triples to tie a season high.
Brady Bowen and Scott Kuzminsky worked three combined scoreless innings in relief to close out the victory.
The Wingnuts conclude their series with the RailCats on Sunday afternoon. Charlie Gillies (6-3, 3.46) starts for Wichita, while Gary SouthShore will counter with fellow righty Keaton Steele (3-2, 2.36). First pitch from U.S. Steel Yard is scheduled for 2:10 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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