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Wichita Wingnuts Game Notes - July 11th, 2013

July 11, 2013 - American Association (AA) - Wichita Wingnuts News Release

WINGNUTS WIN SIXTH STRAIGHT: The Wichita Wingnuts won their sixth game in a row on Wednesday, beating the Kansas City T-Bones 10-4 at Lawrence- Dumont Stadium. Wichita overcame an early 1-0 deficit by scoring twice in the bottom of the first and never trailed the rest of the night. Jared McDonald had three hits and three RBI. Wichita broke the game open with a four-run bottom of the seventh, highlighted by an Abel Nieves two-run double. Eight of Wichita's nine players scored at least one run. Chris Smith earned the win, allowing three earned runs on seven hits in 7.0 IP. Smith walked three and struck out five. Andrew Aizenstadt worked a perfect top of the eighth for Wichita. The six-game winning streak is a season-high for the Wingnuts.

ALL-TIME AGAINST THE T-BONES: The Wingnuts are 15-14 all-time against the Kansas City T-Bones, including a 9-9 mark at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. The T-Bones are in their third season in the American Association. Kansas City joined the league in 2011 after spending the previous eight years in the Northern League. Kansas City won the 2008 Northern League championship and reached the Northern League Championship Series in 2010 where they lost to the Fargo- Moorhead RedHawks. Kenny Hook is in his second year as T-Bones' manager. Hook guided the T-Bones to a 51-49 record in 2012. Two-time Northern League Relief Pitcher of the Year Andy Shipman is in his second year as Kansas City's pitching coach. Kansas City Royals' legend and former Wichita Wranglers' manager Frank White is in his second year as Hook's first base coach. Prior to 2003, the T-Bones were known as the Duluth-Superior Dukes-an original independent franchise that started play in 1993.

SERIES MATCHUP: The Wingnuts are 34-18 and lead the Gary SouthShore RailCats by 2.0 games in the Central Division. The Wingnuts just swept a four-game series from the Amarillo Sox. The T-Bones are 19-33 and in fifth place in the Central. The T-Bones trail the Wingnuts by 15.0 games in the Central. Kansas City just split a four-game series at St. Paul. The Wingnuts are first in the American Association in hitting (.303), second in pitching (3.33), and tied for second in fielding (.979). The T-Bones are tied for eighth in batting (.271), 10th in pitching (5.28), and sixth in defense (.975). Wichita took three of four from the T-Bones to open the season. Prior to winning the final two games of their series at St. Paul, the T-Bones had lost 17 of their previous 21 games.

TONIGHT'S STARTERS: The Wingnuts go with left-hander Ryan Hinson who is 7-2 with a 1.53 ERA in 10 starts. Hinson is tied for second in the American Association in wins, first in ERA, and tied for sixth in strikeouts (57). Hinson threw a complete game, six-hit shutout vs. Amarillo last Saturday night. The win was Hinson's 27th in a Wingnuts' uniform, making him the winningest pitcher in team history. Hinson is 5-2 with a 1.09 ERA at home this season in eight starts. Including the postseason, Hinson is 18-7 all-time at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium with a 2.84 ERA (62 ER, 196.1 IP) over 29 starts and two relief appearances. Hinson has allowed two or fewer earned runs in nine of 10 starts and has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of them. Hinson has walked two or fewer batters in nine of 10 starts and has not walked more than three batters in any of them. Hinson has pitched at least 6.0 innings in eight of 10 starts this season and has pitched at least 5.0 innings in nine of them. Hinson earned a win at Kansas City on May 18th, allowing three earned runs in 5.0 IP. Hinson is 1-1 with a 5.92 ERA (16 ER, 24.1 IP) all-time against the T-Bones in four starts. Tonight is Hinson's first career appearance against Kansas City at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Hinson was named the American Association's Pitcher of the Month for June.

Hinson is in his third season with the Wingnuts and is 27-15 with a 3.58 ERA in 51 starts and three relief appearances since first signing with the team in 2011. The 27 wins are the most in franchise history. Hinson is also the Wingnuts' all-time leader in strikeouts (234). Hinson passed Derek Blacksher (2009, 2011-12) for both records this season. During his three seasons in Wichita, Hinson has pitched at least 6.0 innings in 46 of 51 starts and at least 5.0 innings in 50 of them. The lone start in which Hinson did not pitch 5.0 innings came on May 29th of this year vs. Amarillo. Hinson pitched 4.0 innings and did not return following a two-hour and two-minute delay. Hinson has allowed three or fewer earned runs in 34 of 51 starts with the Wingnuts and has walked three or fewer batters in 44 of them.

Hinson was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 10th round out of Clemson University in 2009. Hinson is 28-18 with a 4.15 ERA in five professional seasons over 89 games, 53 of them starts.

The T-Bones counter with right-hander Lucas Irvine who is 2-3 with a 3.20 ERA in 10 starts. Irvine ranks eighth in the American Association in ERA. Irvine took a no-decision at St. Paul last Saturday, allowing five earned runs on nine hits in 7.1 IP. The T-Bones lost the game 6-5. Irvine is 2-0 with a 2.35 ERA on the road this season in five starts. Irvine has allowed three or fewer earned runs in seven of 10 starts and has allowed more than four earned runs in just one of them. Irvine has pitched at least 6.0 innings in nine of 10 starts and has pitched at least 5.0 innings in all of them. Irvine has walked two or fewer batters in eight of 10 starts and has walked more than three batters in just one of them. Irvine has pitched two nine-inning complete games this season, including a four-hit shutout at Fargo-Moorhead on June 30th . Irvine took a loss vs. Wichita on May 18th, matching up against Ryan Hinson and allowed four earned runs on seven hits in 6.0 IP. Irvine is 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA (9 ER, 11.0 IP) all-time against the Wingnuts in one start and five relief appearances. Irvine faced the Wingnuts on three consecutive days last season from June 15th -17th .

Irvine is in his third professional season and is 6-8 with a 3.17 ERA in 56 games, 23 of them starts. Irvine has averaged 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings and just 0.5 home runs over his first three professional seasons. Irvine was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 27th round in 2011 out of Northwestern State University in Louisiana.

'J-ROD' REACHES MAJOR MILESTONE: Wingnuts' DH John Rodriguez hit a two-out, three-run home run in the bottom of the second inning on July 8th vs. Amarillo for the 1,500th base hit of his 17-year professional career. The home run also have Rodriguez 902 career RBI. Rodriguez trails Josh Horn (2009-11) by three RBI for the Wingnuts' franchise record (125).

WINGNUTS RE-SIGN HOLDZKOM: The Wingnuts re-signed RHP Lincoln Holdzkom on Monday. Holdzkom made 15 appearances earlier in the season. Wichita released RHP Ben Graham.

HINSON SETS FRANCHISE WINS RECORD: Ryan Hinson set a Wingnuts' franchise record with his 27th win on July 6th vs. Amarillo. Hinson threw the first complete game shutout of his career, allowing six hits and no walks with five strikeouts. Derek Blacksher (2009, 2011-12) held the previous record with 26 wins. Hinson surpassed Blacksher for the Wingnuts' career strikeouts record when he fanned five in a win vs. Gary SouthShore on June 19th .

KHOURY BREAKS TEAM STEALS RECORD: Wingnuts' shortstop Ryan Khoury set a franchise record with his 47th stolen base on July 6th vs. Amarillo. Josh Horn (2009-11) held the previous record with 46. Last year, Khoury established a Wingnuts' single-season record with 37 stolen bases, surpassing current manager Kevin Hooper's mark of 34 set in 2008.

NIEVES STAYING HOT: Wingnuts' third baseman Abel Nieves leads the American Association in batting average (.387) and is 65 for 145 (.448) in his last 39 games with 32 runs scored, 13 doubles, and 20 walks. Nieves had a 19-game hitting streak from June 8th -26th (38 for 76, .500) which ranks tied for the second- longest in team history (Greg Porter 2009 and Jorge Delgado 2010). The team record is held by Josh Horn, who hit safely in 20 consecutive games from August 29th, 2009 through June 5th, 2010. Nieves finished second in the Frontier League in batting average last year, hitting .320 for the Joliet Slammers. On May 27th vs. Amarillo, Nieves picked up the 500th hit of his eight-year professional career. Nieves reached the Triple-A level three times with the Los Angeles Angels' organization.

KHOURY SETTING THE TABLE: Wingnuts' shortstop Ryan Khoury has reached base in 46 of 51 games this season with a hit, walk, or hit by pitch. Khoury reached base in 87 of 100 games in 2012, and was named the American Association's Defensive Player of the Year. Khoury also ranked in the top-four in the league in runs scored, walks, and stolen bases. On June 26th vs. Laredo, Khoury missed his first game since joining the Wingnuts last year. Including the postseason, Khoury had started 145 consecutive games both at shortstop and in the leadoff spot, and missed just five total innings in the field during that stretch. Prior to June 26th, the last time a Wingnuts' player other than Khoury started at shortstop was September 4th, 2011 when Josh Horn started Game Four of the Division Series vs. Grand Prairie. Jimmy Mojica was the last Wingnuts' player to bat leadoff, which was also on September 4th, 2011.

ZIEGLER CLEANING THE TABLE: Wingnuts' first baseman CJ Ziegler ranks first in the American Association in both home runs (17) and RBI (55). Ziegler tied a Wingnuts' single-game record with seven RBI on June 24th vs. Laredo. Last season, Ziegler ranked tied for third in the American Association with 18 home runs in just 58 games played. Ziegler has helped his team reach the playoffs in each of his first five professional seasons.

ZIEGLER NEW HOME RUN LEADER: Wingnuts' first baseman CJ Ziegler hit a solo home run on June 14th vs. St. Paul in the opener of a double header. It was Ziegler's ninth home run of 2013, and his 27th in a Wingnuts' uniform over the last two years, setting a new franchise record. Ryan Patterson (2010-11) held the previous record with 26 home runs.

TOUGH LOSSES: Of the Wingnuts' 18 losses this season, 11 have been by one run, two by two runs, and three by three runs. Wichita has held a lead at some point in 11 of their 18 losses.

BACK-TO-BACK: John Rodriguez and CJ Ziegler hit back-to-back home runs on consecutive pitches in the bottom of the third inning in game one of a double header on Friday, June 14th vs. St. Paul. It was the first time the Wingnuts hit back-to-back home runs since July 26th, 2011 when Josh Horn and Brent Clevlen did it vs. Fargo-Moorhead. Ziegler and Clevlen homered on back-to-back pitches on Monday, June 24th vs. Laredo.

GRAND SLAM TIME: On Tuesday, June 11th at Winnipeg, Abel Nieves hit the Wingnuts' first grand slam home run since August 27th, 2011 when Juan Richardson hit a bases loaded 'big fly' in a 19-2 rout at El Paso. Wichita hit .309 as a team with the bases loaded last year, and was hitting .400 with the sacks full going into June 11th of this season, but had gone 126 consecutive games without a grand slam. CJ Ziegler hit the Wingnuts' second grand slam of 2013 on June 28th vs. Sioux City.

PITCHING STRONG: The Wingnuts rank second in the American Association with a 3.33 team ERA. The Wingnuts ranked first in ERA in 2009 and 2010 while finishing third in 2011.

SWINGING STRONG: The Wingnuts rank first in the American Association with a .303 team batting average. Over the last two seasons, the Wingnuts have finished first and second respectively in the league batting race.

GLOVE WORK: The Wingnuts are tied for second in the American Association with a .979 fielding percentage. Wichita has led the league in defense in three of their first five years of existence (2008, 2009, 2012), and finished second in 2011. The Wingnuts hold the American Association record for team fielding percentage at .980, which they accomplished in both 2009 and 2012.

HINSON NAMED PITCHER OF THE MONTH: Wingnuts' left-hander Ryan Hinson has been named the American Association's Pitcher of the Month for June. Hinson was 5-1 with a 1.41 ERA in six starts last month. Hinson allowed two or fewer earned runs in all six of his outings, and logged at least 7.0 IP in five of them. One June 19th vs. Gary SouthShore, Hinson struck out five batters to become the Wingnuts' all-time leader in that category. In his following start on June 24th vs. Laredo, Hinson pitched 6.0 shutout innings to tie Derek Blacksher (2009, 2011-12) for the most wins in franchise history (26). Hinson becomes the first pitcher in team history to earn Pitcher of the Month honors. CJ Ziegler (June 2012) and Greg Porter (June 2009) have won Batter of the Month since the Wingnuts started play in 2008.

HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: The Wingnuts are 175-100 (.636) all-time at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. It is the highest home winning percentage for any American Association team since the Wingnuts began play in 2008.

FRONT LINERS PROTECTING THE HOME FRONT: Third-year Wingnuts' starter Ryan Hinson has excelled when pitching at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Including the postseason, Hinson is 18-7 with a 2.84 ERA (62 ER, 196.1 IP) over 29 starts and two relief appearances. Junior Guerra-who is in his second overall season with the Wingnuts-is 10-2 with a 3.05 ERA (39 ER, 115.0 IP) all-time at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in 17 starts.

ALL HE DOES IS WIN: Wingnuts' fifth-year manager Kevin Hooper is 256-188 (.577) since taking over in 2009. Hooper has guided the Wingnuts to four consecutive winning seasons, as well as three playoff berths. Hooper's .577 winning percentage is the highest among American Association managers over the last five years. His 256 wins also rank first during that stretch. Hooper was a member of a team that made the playoffs in eight different seasons over his 10-year playing career. Hooper was also a member of Wichita State University's College World Series team in 1996. The Shockers reached the NCAA tournament in all four of Hooper's collegiate seasons, and posted a composite .815 winning percentage.

ALUMNI REPORT: RHP Matt Nevarez (2011-12) has a 2.31 ERA for the Double-A Southern League's Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay) with 13 strikeouts in 11.2 IP. RHP James Hoyt (2012) was recently promoted to the Double-A Southern League's Mississippi Braves (Atlanta) and has a 1.74 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 10.1 IP. Hoyt posted a 4.89 ERA with 72 strikeouts in just 49.2 IP earlier this year for the High-A Carolina League's Lynchburg Hillcats. LHP and Wingnuts' co- owner Nate Robertson (2012) has a 2.97 ERA in 36.1 IP for the Triple-A Pacific Coast League's Round Rock Express (Texas). RHP Jon Link was purchased by the Detroit Tigers in June 19th and is 2-1 with a 1.47 ERA in four starts for the Double-A Eastern League's Erie SeaWolves.

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