Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography
SIOUX FALLS, SD- The Wichita Wingnuts (44-30) defeated the Sioux Falls Pheasants (34-40) 3-2 at Sioux Falls Stadium on Sunday evening.
Wingnuts' starter Josh Lowey was electric for a second consecutive outing, and set a franchise single-season record with his 12th win of the season.
Wichita broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth. Mike Conroy led off with a bunt single and then went first to third on a hit-and-run groundball to third base by John Rodriguez. Conroy scored the game's first run on Mark Wagner's groundout to second.
Lowey held the Pheasants scoreless until the bottom of the seventh when Trevor Lawhorn tied the game with a two-out, solo home run to left-center field.
Wichita regained the lead however, scoring two runs in the top of the eighth. With two outs and no one on base, Wilberto Ortiz lined a solo home run to left-center that made it 2-1 Wichita. Ryan Khoury then rallied from an 0-2 count to draw a walk. After Khoury stole second base, Mike Conroy singled on a sharp groundball to center field to give the Wingnuts an insurance run.
Lowey allowed just the one run on three hits in seven innings. Lowey walked one and struck out a season-high nine batters. It marks a second consecutive start in which Lowey has yielded just three hits in seven full innings. The 12 wins this season are also a personal-best for Lowey who won 11 for the Frontier League's River City Rascals in 2011.
Jared Simon threw a perfect bottom of the eighth inning to keep Wichita in front by two.
Reggie Abercrombie hit a solo home run against Josh Dew with one out in the bottom of the ninth to bring the Pheasants within one run. After Cesar Nicolas walked, Dew retired Cristian Guerrero on a flyball to left field and Trevor Lawhorn on a strikeout to end the game.
With the win, the Wingnuts won their second series all-time at Sioux Falls Stadium and their first since August of 2009. The teams have played 11 total series in Sioux Falls since Wichita began play in 2008.
Peter Gehle started for the Pheasants and took the loss, allowing three earned runs on seven hits in seven and two-thirds innings. Gehle walked three and struck out one.
The Wingnuts continue their 15-game road trip on Monday night when they begin a three-game series against the Lincoln Saltdogs. First pitch at Haymarket Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Anthony Capra will be on the mound against Lincoln right-hander Wade Mackey. All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com following the completion of the feature broadcast of the 78th annual NBC World Series.
The Wingnuts return home on Monday, August 13th when they host the El Paso Diablos. 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