Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography
WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (29-9) defeated the St. Paul Saints (17-19) 6-5 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Wednesday night.
Trailing 5-0 in the bottom of the ninth, the Wingnuts staged an amazing rally, sending 11 men to the plate to score six runs and win the game.
C.J. Ziegler led off the inning with a double down the left field line and took third when David Peralta legged out an infield single on a chopper up the middle. Justin Tellam doubled to the center field fence to drive in Zeigler and cut St. Paul's lead to 5-1. Jared McDonald smacked a three-run home run to left-center that pulled the Wingnuts within one. After Saints' reliever Anthony Claggett retired Mike Conroy on a groundout to first, Ryan Khoury lined a home run to left to tie the score.
Jake Kahaulelio singled through the left side to put the winning run on base. Claggett was then relieved by Reid Mahon. John Rodriguez chased Kahaulelio to third with a line drive double to left-center. Juan Richardson was intentionally walked to load the bases. Mahon retired Ziegler on a foul popup, before walking Peralta on four pitches to force home Kahaulelio.
James Hoyt threw a scoreless top of the ninth for the Wingnuts to earn the win in relief.
It marked the Wingnuts' largest deficit overcome to win a game when entering the ninth inning. The previous high had been three runs on July 20th, 2010 versus Grand Prairie.
St. Paul gradually built a 5-0 lead, scoring a single run in five different innings. Ronnie Bourquin hit a solo home run to center field with two outs in the top of the second against Wingnuts' starter Derek Blacksher. Jim Rappaport used an RBI groundout in the third to drive in Alex Garabedian from third base to make it 2-0.
In the top of the fifth, Jon Townsend led off with a ground rule double, took third on Garabedian's sacrifice bunt, and scored on Adam Frost's line drive single to left.
Tanner Townsend and Bourquin hit back-to-back doubles in the sixth to produce the Saints' fourth run. Frost scored on a sacrifice fly from Rapoport in the top of the seventh.
Blacksher took a no-decision, allowing four earned runs on eight hits in six innings. Blacksher struck out one and did not allow a walk.
Chris Odegaard started for the Saints and also took a no-decision. Odegaard scattered three hits over six shutout innings, walking four and striking out three.
Claggett was charged with the loss.
Nick Walters threw a scoreless top of the eighth for the Wingnuts.
The series concludes on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. Ryan Hinson faced Saints' right-hander Alberto Rolon. 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