Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography
WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (33-19) lost 6-3 in 12 innings to the Kansas City T-Bones (28-26) at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Thursday night.
Enrique Cruz broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the 12th inning with a two-run single through the left side with the bases loaded. Hunter Mense made it 6-3 with a sacrifice fly in foul territory down the left field line. Devin Goodwin opened the frame with a high chopper to the left side of the mound. Wingnuts' reliever Jared Simon fielded the ball before an errant throw to first allowed Goodwin to take second base. Brandon Jones pulled a single to right that gave Kansas City first and third with no outs. Simon retired Ray Sadler on a comebacker to the mound for the first out of the inning. With runners on second and third, Trevor Coleman was intentionally walked, bringing Cruz to the plate.
Mike Mehlich retired the Wingnuts in order in the bottom of the 12th to earn the save.
Wichita took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Jairo Perez doubled down the left field line with one out. Perez scored two batters later on Jared McDonald's RBI single to left.
In the bottom of the fourth, Perez led off with a double to left-center. Three batters later, Mason Morioka singled to right to drive in Perez. It was Morioka's first hit and RBI of his professional career.
Kansas City rallied for three runs in the top of the fifth inning against Wingnuts' starter Anthony Capra. With two outs and no one on base, Goodwin tripled to right-center and scored on Jones' RBI double down the right field line. Ray Sadler followed Jones with an RBI double to right-center that tied the game. Coleman chopped a single up the middle to drive in Sadler with the go-ahead run.
Capra took a no-decision, allowing three earned runs on six hits in four and two-thirds innings. Capra walked two and struck out three.
John Rodriguez hit a two-out, solo home run to left field in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game. Following the home run, Kansas City pitching retired the final 22 batters to face them.
Simon took the loss for Wichita. Steve Kent earned the win in relief for Kansas City.
Brian Grening started for the T-Bones and took a no-decision, allowing three earned runs on six hits in eight and one-third innings. Grening walked two and struck out five.
Jeff Nadeau, James Baker, Edgar Martinez, Matt Nevarez, and Simon tossed six and one-third shutout relief innings from the fifth through the 11th. The group combined for 11 strikeouts during that stretch.
Capra was signed before Thursday night's game. The left-hander is in his fifth season of professional baseball, and has averaged 8.6 strikeouts in over 450.0 career innings with a lifetime 4.18 ERA. The 25-year-old Capra has made at least 22 starts and pitched at least 100.0 innings in each of the last three seasons.
Capra pitched three seasons at Wichita State University from 2006-2008 before getting drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the fourth round. The Wheat Ridge, CO native was 18-4 during his time with the Shockers, and posted ERAs of 1.76, 1.76, and 3.54 respectively. The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Capra reached Triple-A Sacramento in 2011 and struck out 170 batters at two levels of the Athletics' system in 2009.
"I've known 'Cap' for quite a while now with him being a Wichita State guy," said Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper. "Anytime I can add some local flavor, I like to do so. As a former Shocker, I know how he is going to carry himself on and off the field. He is a true professional with great experience, and he is going to help our rotation."
The Wingnuts head to Kansas City to complete the final two games of their four-game series against the T-Bones. First pitch on Friday night is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Derek Blacksher takes the mound against right-hander Shaun Garceau. All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.kleyam.com
The Wingnuts return home for an eight-game homestand beginning Thursday, July 19th against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com
For 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