Wingnuts Swept by Saltdogs Late Rally
LINCOLN, Neb. - The Wichita Wingnuts squandered an early lead and a scoreless start from Casey Harman as they were swept in a 6-5 loss to the Lincoln Saltdogs Thursday night at Haymarket Park.
The Wingnuts (2-4) opened up the scoring in the top of the second when Tony Thomas reached on an error. Thomas advanced to second on a groundout before stealing third as Logan Trowbridge walked. Trowbridge found himself in scoring position after Isaiah Aluko walked to load the bases. Leo Vargas delivered the only hit of the inning, a two-out single that cashed in Thomas and Trowbridge to give the Wingnuts a 2-0 lead.
Wichita added another run in the third as Zach Nehrir led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a Thomas groundout. John Nester came through with the game's second two-out RBI single to bring in Nehrir.
Harman provided an important scoreless third inning but not without some drama. After recording the first two outs of the inning, Ivan Marin roped a double to left and advanced to third after two consecutive walks. But Harman escaped the threat, despite having to toss forty pitches in the inning, striking out Chad Hinshaw to leave the bags full of Saltdogs.
In all, Harman completed five scoreless innings while striking out nine. Harman worked around three hits and two walks to leave the game in line for the win.
The Saltdogs (4-3) cut into the Wingnuts lead in the seventh. Brandon Jacobs started the inning with a single before Angel Reyes belted a two-run homer, pulling the Saltdogs within one run.
Lincoln put two more baserunners on in the seventh inning before Wingnuts reliever Seth Harvey came on to shut down the rally and preserve the Wichita lead.
The Wingnuts added to that lead in the eighth by taking advantage of four walks, including a bases-loaded free pass to Logan Watkins that forced home Trowbridge. Aluko quickly followed him home on a sacrifice fly by Nehrir.
Lincoln answered in the bottom of the inning, utilizing a pair of walks that set up a Reyes two-run double. Brant Whiting delivered a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 5-5.
The Saltdogs completed their second comeback of the series in the ninth by using two walks and an error to load the bases, before the winning run came home on a wild pitch from Daniel Tillman (0-2).
JR Bunda (1-0) picked up the victory for Lincoln with a scoreless top of the ninth.
The Wingnuts will open up a seven-game homestead Friday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium against the Texas AirHogs. Friday night's game begins at 7:05 PM and will conclude with fireworks, Presented by 7 Clans Casino.
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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