Swing beat heat, Wizards
The Swing started sluggishly on the hottest day of the summer, but scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning as they rallied to an 8-6 victory over the Fort Wayne Wizards on Sunday afternoon at John O'Donnell Stadium. With the win, the Swing earned a split of the four-game series with the Wizards to remain tied atop the MWL-West with 40 games remaining in the second half.
With on-field temperatures eclipsing 100 degrees, the Wizards (50-50, 12-18) scored three times in the top of the fourth to take a 5-1 lead. But the Swing (55-44, 18-11) steadily chipped away, starting the comeback in the next half-inning.
Chris Patrick led off the fourth with a solo home run to slice the Wizards' lead to 5-2, and then Wes Swackhamer reached on an error and later came around to score on a wild throw from shortstop Matt Bush, the first-overall selection in the 2004 draft.
After the Wizards responded with a run to extend their lead back to 6-3, the Swing struck right back. Matt Shepherd led off the fifth with a single, moved up on an error, sprinted to third on a flyout, then came in to score on a wild pitch from Fabian Jimenez.
Quad Cities manufactured another run in the bottom of the sixth, slicing the Wizards lead to 6-5. Spencer Wyman snapped a personal 0-for-22 streak when he launched a double to the left field corner to start the inning. Calvin Hayes bunted him to third, and Matt Lemanczyk scored him with a sacrifice fly to bring the deficit to one run.
The Swing then took their first - and only - lead of the game in the bottom of the eighth inning. Wyman dropped a single into center to open the inning, and then Hayes lined a base hit to left to put the tying run on base. Lemanczyk followed with a game-tying double on a line-drive to left center, scoring Wyman to even it up, 6-6. Shepherd wasted no time in giving the Swing the lead, as his flare single to center plated Hayes for the decisive run. Lemanczyk scored to cap the rally when Wizards catcher Jose Lobaton stepped into the Swing dugout after making a catch on a foul pop.
Jason Cairns closed the door in the ninth inning for his fifth save. After a leadoff walk, he drew three straight groundballs from the Wizards. Juan Lucena mishandled what could have been the final out of the inning, putting the potential tying run at first base for Fort Wayne. But Baudilio Figueroa popped lazily to Lemanczyk in center, and the Swing held on to split the series.
Bo Dickerson got his second win for the Swing, working a scoreless eighth inning. In his second outing for Quad Cities, Cory Meacham worked two scoreless innings. He struck out Lobaton with the bases loaded to end the sixth inning, then worked a 1-2-3 seventh.
The Wizards jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Tom Vincent's second-inning home run, but the Swing struck back to score once in the bottom of the second, as Patrick doubled home Nick Stavinoha.
Righty Phillip Andersen struggled for Quad Cities, but got no decision. He allowed a season-worst six runs on ten hits, striking out three while walking one. Jimenez, the 18-year-old lefty, allowed four runs (two earned) in five innings, and did not figure in the decision.
UP NEXT: The Swing begin a four-game series with the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays on Monday night, as Quad Cities sends Michael Cooper (0-0, 2.79) to the mound in his John O'Donnell Stadium debut against lefty Brandon Mann (5-9, 4.30). First pitch is scheduled for 7:00, and pre-game coverage on WKBF AM-1270 will begin at 6:45.
PROMOTION: Monday is another Dollar Monday at John O'Donnell Stadium, featuring one-dollar hot dogs and soft drinks. Tickets are available for all Swing games by calling (563) 328-2000.
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Midwest League Stories from July 24, 2005
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