Wichita Ninth Inning Comeback Stuns Explorers
SIOUX CITY, Iowa - One night after coming up short with a ninth inning rally, the Wichita Wingnuts took advantage of three errors from the Sioux City Explorers to score five times in the ninth and steal a 9-5 win on Saturday night at Lewis and Clark Park.
The win snapped Sioux City's season-long ten-game winning streak.
With Wichita trailing 5-4, the inning started on an infield single from Zach Nehrir off Explorers closer Eric Karch (2-1). Abel Nieves followed with a popup down the right field line that landed in fair territory, but Nehrir had retreated to first expecting the ball to be caught. Sioux City right fielder Michael Lang picked up the ball and tossed it to second base, but it skipped by Nate Samson allowing Nehrir to reach second safely on the first error of the inning.
Tony Thomas then laid down a sacrifice bunt, which Karch fielded cleanly but fired down the right field line for a two-base error that scored Nehrir to tie the game at 5-5. John Nester came through by delivering a two-run single to put Wichita in front 7-5. Sioux City (36-11) committed another error on Graylin Derke's infield single, allowing Nester to advance to third. He and Derke came in to score when Nick Rotola drilled a two-out, two-run single to left to complete the scoring.
The Explorers got a solo home run in the second inning from Jose Sermo and in the third from Jay Austin to take a 2-0 lead, but Abel Nieves brought the Wingnuts even with a two-run blast over the left field wall in the sixth. Sioux City answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning, as Sermo singled home a pair and Dylan Kelly smacked a sacrifice fly for a 5-2 lead.
The Wingnuts (28-18) hit two sacrifice flies of their own to pull within 5-4, as Nehrir and Hunter Clanin drove home runs in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively.
Austin Boyle (1-0) picked up the win for Wichita by striking out the only batter he faced in the bottom of the eighth. Starter Casey Harman settled for a no-decision, allowing six hits and five runs over 5.2 innings.
The Wingnuts and Explorers conclude their series on Sunday night. Righty Jordan Cooper (4-4, 5.92) gets the ball for Wichita, while Sioux City will counter with righty Keith Picht (3-2, 3.51). First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 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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