Watkins, Kane Take Wingnuts to Series Win
WICHITA, Kan. - Logan Watkins finished 3-for-4 with two doubles and a triple, supporting Tyler Kane's six strong innings as the Wichita Wingnuts bested the Lincoln Saltdogs 5-3 on Thursday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. With the victory, the Wingnuts clinched a series win by taking two of three from the Saltdogs.
Kane (1-1) held the Saltdogs to just two hits, striking out seven while walking only two. He ended each of his six frames with a strikeout, including a punch out of Brandon Jacobs with the bases loaded to end his outing. Lincoln (25-20) got on the board against Kane with a two-run homer from Randolph Oduber in the top of the third, but otherwise failed to record a hit in the fourth through sixth innings.
Leo Vargas got the scoring started for Wichita in the bottom of the second, beating out a fielder's choice grounder to second that scored John Nester for a 1-0 lead. Vargas was cut down at the plate to end the inning on Nick Rotola's first professional base hit.
Oduber's homer put the Saltdogs in front 2-1, but Wichita (27-17) had the answer in the bottom of the third. Logan Watkins led off the inning with a hustling double, then came in to score when Abel Nieves chopped an RBI single up the middle. The Wingnuts grabbed the lead for good with a pair of runs in the fifth against Saltdogs starter Eric Wooten (1-3). Watkins sliced a triple to the left-center gap and scored on Zach Nehrir's RBI single, who then stole second and third before Nester slapped a run-scoring single to extend the lead to 4-2.
Watkins continued his outstanding night with an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth, scoring Rotola from first for a 5-2 advantage. It marked the first time in the 2018 season that a Wingnuts player recorded three extra-base hits in a single game.
Lincoln made things interesting with a run in the seventh on Oduber's RBI single, but Daniel Tillman came on to record the game's final five outs and notch his 12th save.
The Wingnuts now take to the road for a three-game series against the league-leading Sioux City Explorers at Mercy Field. Travis Banwart (4-1, 2.00) gets the ball in game one for the Wingnuts on Friday, while the Explorers have not yet named a starter. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 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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