Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography
WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (51-37) defeated the El Paso Diablos (43-43) 16-11 at Cohen Stadium on Tuesday night.
Josh Lowey earned his 14th win of the season to tie an American Association single-season record, while the Wingnuts won their 51st game of 2012 to clinch a winning record for a fourth time in as many years under manager Kevin Hooper.
Trailing 7-3 in the top of the third, the Wingnuts scored four runs to take the lead for the rest of the night. Singles from Jake Kahaulelio and John Rodriguez, and a walk to C.J. Ziegler helped Wichita load the bases with no outs. After Diablos' starter Ramon Garcia struck out Greg Porter, Wilson Batista trimmed the lead to 7-4 with an RBI groundout to first. David Peralta lined a two-run single to center to plate Rodriguez and Ziegler with the tying runs. Peralta stole second, took third on a throwing error by catcher Zane Chavez, and scored the go-ahead run when Jessie Mier lined a single to center.
Kahaulelio and Porter added RBI singles in the top of the fourth to stretch the lead to 10-7.
Rodriguez launched a solo home run to deep right leading off the top of the sixth, and was later hit by a pitch with two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the seventh to make it 12-7. Porter slugged a solo shot to right leading off the eighth to give the Wingnuts a six-run lead.
El Paso rallied for four runs in the bottom of the eighth to pull within 13-11. Maikol Gonzalez, Mitch Einertson, and Fernando Valenzuela Jr. each had RBI singles in the inning. Jermy Acey was then hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to move the tying run to second and the go-ahead run to first with one out. Peralta helped the Wingnuts escape the jam when he picked off a line drive to right by Chavez and threw to first base to double off Acey for the final out of the inning.
A two-run single from Ziegler and a wild pitch in the top of the ninth allowed the Wingnuts to re-extend their lead to 16-11.
Jared Simon closed out the game for Wichita with a scoreless bottom of the ninth.
El Paso scored four runs against Lowey in the bottom of the first. Einertson hit a one-out, RBI double to center and scored two batters later on a single chopped up the middle by Valenzuela. Acey hit a two-run, inside the park home run to center field to cap off the frame.
The Wingnuts answered back in the top of the second. With the bases loaded and no outs, Peralta tripled to left-center to make it a one-run contest. Jared McDonald's sacrifice fly to left scored Peralta with the tying run.
El Paso took a short-lived 7-4 lead in the bottom of the second on consecutive RBI hits with two outs from Reid Fronk, Einertson, and Welington Dotel.
After allowing seven earned runs over the first two innings, Lowey settled down and kept El Paso off the board from the third through the sixth. Lowey walked two and struck out two while allowing 11 hits. Lowey joins Cory Walters (Fort Worth, 2006), Pedro Flores (Fort Worth, 2008), and Josh Rainwater (Grand Prairie, 2011) as American Association pitchers who have won 14 games in one year.
Nick Walters worked a scoreless seventh for Wichita. Peralta finished the game with three hits and five RBI. Khoury and Kahaulelio combined to reach base eight times in 12 trips to the plate with five hits and three walks. The due scored five runs. Rodriguez, Ziegler, Porter, Peralta, and Mier had multi-hit nights as well. The Wingnuts drew nine walks in the win.
Ramon Garcia started and took the loss for El Paso, allowing eight runs, seven earned, on six hits in three innings. Garcia walked three and struck out two.
The series continues Wednesday afternoon at 12:05 p.m. Central Time. Anthony Capra starts for Wichita. Scott Hodsdon goes for El Paso. All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com
The Wingnuts return home on Friday, August 24th when they host the Gary SouthShore RailCats at 7:05 p.m. 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