Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography
WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (35-27) lost 9-5 to the Amarillo Sox (34-29) at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Monday night.
Amarillo took its third and final lead of the game in the top of the seventh when Adam Buschini hit a two-run home run to deep left field to break a 5-5 tie. Harrison Kain walked to lead off the inning and was erased on a force play at second before Buschini came to the plate.
The Sox added a single run in the top of the eighth on a two-out, RBI double down the right field line from Kain. Chuck Lofgren's RBI groundout in the top of the ninth made it 9-5.
Sox' relievers Trent Lare, Wes Littleton, and Chase Johnson combined to keep the Wingnuts off the board over the final four innings.
Mitch Abeita led off the top of the second with a home run to left-center field to drive in the game's first run.
The Wingnuts answered in the bottom half on three consecutive singles after there were two outs and no one on base. A John Rodriguez single to right and a Jairo Perez single to through the left side of the infield led to David Peralta's groundball single to right that drove in Rodriguez with the tying run.
The Sox scored three times in the top of the third to take a 4-1 lead. Buschini reached on an infield single before Tim Alberts and Alberto Espinosa both walked to load the bases with no outs. Lofgren made it 2-1 on a groundout to second. Abeita followed with a two-run double down the left field line.
Steve Carrillo doubled with one out in the bottom of the fourth and scored on Mason Morioka's RBI double to left-center.
The Sox extended their lead again in the top of the fifth when Buschini scored on a two-out wild pitch.
Perez was hit by a pitch leading off the bottom of the fifth and took third on a double to left-center by Peralta. Mark Wagner singled up the middle to score Perez and pull the Wingnuts within two runs. Jared McDonald lifted a sacrifice fly to center field that made it 5-4 in favor of Amarillo. Two batters later, Morioka lined a single to left to tie the game.
James Baker took the loss for Wichita in relief, allowing the two-run homer to Buschini in the seventh.
Lare earned the win for the Sox with one and one-third scoreless relief innings.
Anthony Capra started for Wichita and took a no-decision, allowing five runs, four earned, on five hits in five innings. Capra walked three and struck out nine. The nine strikeouts are the most by a Wingnuts' starting pitcher this season.
Philip Bartleski started for the Sox and also took a no-decision. Bartleski allowed five earned runs on 11 hits in five innings. Bartleski walked one and struck out one.
Morioka finished the night with three hits and two RBI. Jared Simon worked a scoreless relief inning for the Wingnuts. Wichita's pitching staff combined for 13 strikeouts.
The series continues Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. Derek Blacksher takes the mound against right-hander Ryan Mitchell. 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