Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography
WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (52-38) beat the Gary SouthShore RailCats (45-46) 6-4 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Friday night.
Tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh, the Wingnuts rallied for three runs to take the lead. Ryan Khoury was hit by a pitch leading off and stole second base. RailCats' reliever Andrew Johnston retired Jake Kahaulelio and John Rodriguez, with a wild pitch during Rodriguez's at bat moving Khoury to third base. With two outs, C.J. Ziegler lined a two-run homer to left on a full count to make it 5-3. Greg Porter followed with an infield single. After Dexter Carter relieved Johnston, Wilson Batista crushed an RBI double off the right-center field fence to score Porter with the Wingnuts' sixth run.
Nick Walters and Jared Simon combined for a scoreless top of the eighth, while Josh Dew worked the ninth to earn his eighth save. Walters was the winning pitcher in relief with one and one-third scoreless innings. Johnston took the loss for Gary SouthShore.
In the top of the first, Mike Massaro singled to center with one out, took second on Brian Kolb's groundout to short, and scored the game's first run on a single to right field by Ryan Babineau.
Gary SouthShore made it 2-0 in the top of the sixth when Babineau doubled to left-center and scored on Zac Mitchell's two-out single to center.
Khoury doubled down the left field line leading off the bottom of the sixth. Kahaulelio singled to left to put the tying runs on base. Rodriguez followed with an opposite field, three-run home run that cleared the scoreboard in left-center.
Adam Klein tripled home the tying run with one out in the top of the seventh against Wingnuts' starter Derek Blacksher. Walters relieved Blacksher and recorded the final two outs of the inning to prevent the RailCats from re-taking the lead.
Blacksher took a no-decision, allowing three earned runs on nine hits in six and one-third innings. Blacksher walked one and struck out three.
Will Krout started for the RailCats and also took a no-decision, allowing three earned runs in six innings. Krout walked two and struck out three.
Simon's appearance was his 53rd of the season which is now one shy of the American Association's single-season record held by former Wingnuts' left-hander Dustin Pease (2010). Both Khoury and Rodriguez have hit safely in eight games in a row.
The series continues Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. Ryan Hinson faces right-hander Stephen Hiscock. 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