ST. PAUL, MN- The Wichita Wingnuts lost 4-3 to the St. Paul Saints at Midway Stadium on Friday night.
Adam Frost drove in the winning run with a two-out single to left field in the bottom of the ninth that scored Jonathan Van Every from second base. Van Every nearly won the game himself one batter earlier, doubling to the fence in left field. Alex Garabedian was waved home representing the winning run, but Josh Horn took Brent Clevlen's throw from the warning track and nailed Garabedian at the plate to keep the Wingnuts alive.
Wichita took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second. With first and third and one out, Jose Duran hit a tapper back to the mound that glanced off of Saints' starter Donald Brandt and resulted in an infield RBI single.
The Saints moved in front with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Justin Snyder led off with a double and avanced to third on Shane Costa's groundout to shortstop. After Ole Sheldon walked, Jason Cooper singled on a line drive to center field to score Snyder with the tying run. Brandon Tripp poked a single to shallow left to load the bases, and then Ronnie Bourquin drew a bases loaded walk against Wingnuts' starter Chad Sherman to force home the lead run.
Sheldon singled home St. Paul's third run in the fifth inning. On the same play, Horn threw out Costa at the plate for the final out to keep the Wingnuts within two.
Wichita scored two unearned runs in the sixth to re-tie the contest. Clevlen reached on the first of two throwing errors in the inning by Frost at shortstop. Two batters later, Jorge Delgado doubled down the right field line. Costa then made a sliding catch to take a base hit away from Josh Workman. Clevlen tagged from third on the play and scored, cutting the lead to 3-2. Edwin Bellorin was next and hit a slow roller towards short that Frost grabbed and threw wildly into foul territory, allowing Delgado to score the tying run.
Sherman took a no-decision, allowing three earned runs on three hits in five innings. Sherman struck out one and walked seven.
Brandt also took a no-decision, allowing three runs, one earned, in five and two-thirds. Brandt allowed seven hits, two walks, and struck out three.
Jared Simon took the loss for the Wingnuts. Robert Manuel earned the win in relief for the Saints, working a scoreless top of the ninth.
Duran finished the game with three hits. Eric Gilliland struck out five batters over two shutout relief innings. Brandon Mathes also worked a scoreless inning of relief. The Wingnuts left 10 runners on base in the loss.
The series continues Saturday at 7:05 p.m. with right-hander Steve MacFarland making his Wingnuts' debut. All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 93.5 KWME and worldwide at www.kleyam.com
The Wingnuts return home on Monday, June 27th when they host the El Paso Diablos at 7:05 p. m. For tickets, call the Wingnuts' office at (316) 264-NUTS or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com