Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography
WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (34-25) lost 7-4 to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (37-22) at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Friday night.
The RedHawks went ahead for good in the top of the fourth when Jon Gaston scored on a straight steal of home plate with two outs to break a 3-3 tie.
Wingnuts' starter Ryan Hinson kept Wichita within one run through six innings before Fargo plated two more in the top of the seventh. Back-to-back singles from Zach Penprase and Ryan Stovall opened the frame. Nick Walters relieved Andrew Aizenstadt to face Nic Jackson. Walters struck out Jackson for the first out. On the swinging third strike, Penprase and Stovall executed a double steal, with Penprase ruled safe at third on a close play. After Walters retired Eric Campbell on a groundout to third, Ryan Delgado poked a single to right that scored Penprase and Stovall to make it 6-3.
Wichita loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the seventh before relievers Daniel Morari and Kyle Dahman escaped without allowing a run to score.
The Wingnuts had first and second with no outs in the bottom of the eighth, and scratched out an unearned run on a throwing error by Penprase at shortstop that brought in Jared McDonald from second base. Tom Boleska recorded the final out in the inning to keep the score at 6-4 in favor of Fargo.
With two outs and no one on base in the top of the ninth, Campbell tripled to right and scored on a wild pitch to extend the RedHawks' lead to three runs.
Boleska worked around a leadoff single from Gerardo Avila in the bottom of the ninth to convert the four-out save.
Wichita took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Jairo Perez singled up the middle leading off and stole second base. David Peralta reached first on an infield single at second base. On the same play, Perez came around to score when Carlo Cota threw the ball into foul territory.
The RedHawks answered back with three unearned runs against Hinson in the top of the third. Marcos Rodriguez opened the inning with a line drive single to center and advanced to second two batters later when Cota reached on an error charged to Mark Wagner at third base. Penprase tied the game on a line drive single to center. Stovall then reached on an error by Wagner that brought in Cota with the lead run. A double steal by Penprase and Stovall allowed Jackson to plate a third run with a groundball to second base.
Hinson took the loss, allowing four runs, one earned, on six hits in six innings. Hinson walked two and struck out five.
Alex Caldera started and earned the win for Fargo, allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits in six-plus innings. Caldera walked four and struck out five.
Walters and James Baker each threw a scoreless inning of relief. Perez has hit safely in all eight games since signing with the Wingnuts.
The Wingnuts and RedHawks continue their series on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. Josh Lowey takes on right-hander Paul Burnside. 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