SIOUX CITY, IA- The Wichita Wingnuts defeated the Sioux City Explorers 19-10 at Lewis and Clark Park on Thursday night.
Wichita has won six games in a row.
The Wingnuts had 24 hits in the win. The 19 runs scored tied a franchise single-game record. Eight Wingnuts had at least two hits, while John Rodriguez went 5 for 7 with a double, home run, and four RBI.
Ryan Khoury led off the game with a full count double down the right field line. After Jake Kahaulelio was hit by a pitch, Rodriguez ripped a double to right-center to drive in the game's first run. Juan Richardson made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly to center that scored Kahaulelio.
Wichita scored five more runs in the second. With second and third and one out, Kahaulelio ripped a single down the left field line to drive in both runners, took third base on a throwing error, and scored on Rodriguez's single up the middle. Richardson doubled down the left field line to send Rodriguez to third base. C.J. Ziegler and David Peralta then followed with RBI singles.
Ziegler added a two-out, two-run double to right-center in the third that made it 9-0.
A wild pitch and a two-out single to right from Adrian Martinez in the bottom of the third cut the lead to 9-2, but the Wingnuts exploded for eight runs in the fourth to put the game away. With the bases loaded and no outs, Rodriguez singled home Wichita's 10th run on a groundball to right field. A bases loaded walk to Richardson and an RBI single from Ziegler made it 12-2. David Peralta stretched the lead to 12 runs with an opposite field double to left-center that scored Rodriguez and Richardson. Jared McDonald capped off the inning with a three-run homer down the right field line.
A Kris Sanchez RBI double and a Mike Murphy two-run single accounted for three Explorers' runs in the bottom of the fifth. Mike Conroy's infield single in the top of the sixth led to the Wingnuts' 18th run. Conroy finished the game four hits.
After Sioux City scored three more runs in the bottom of the sxith, Rodriguez homered to right in the top of the seventh for Wichita.
Sioux City's final three runs came in the bottom of the eighth against Wingnuts' Pitching Coach Luke Robertson who was activated earlier in the week due to a short bullpen. During the inning, Robertson struck out Michael Lang who entered the game hitting .415. It was Robertson's first appearance in a professional game since July 19th, 2004.
Josh Lowey earned the win for the Wingnuts, allowing five runs, two earned, on seven hits in five innings. Lowey walked three and struck out a season-high seven batters. Lowey is now 6-0 and has won 17 consecutive decisions dating back to last year.
Ty Marotz started for Sioux City and took the loss. Marotz allowed nine earned runs on 14 hits in two and two-thirds innings. Marotz walked three and struck out one.
Kahaulelio scored four runs. Ziegler had four hits and four RBI. James Hoyt worked a scoreless bottom of the seventh in his Wingnuts' debut. Jared Simon closed the game with a perfect one and one-third innings.
The series continues Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Derek Blacksher takes the ball for Wichita against right-hander Andrew Snowdon. All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxbproductionsradio.com
The Wingnuts return home on Tuesday, June 26th when they host the St. Paul Saints. 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