SIOUX FALLS, SD- The Wichita Wingnuts won their sixth game in a row on Monday night, defeating the Sioux Falls Canaries 6-4 at Sioux Falls Stadium.
The Wingnuts blasted three home runs, while Derek Blacksher worked six innings without allowing no earned runs. The six-game winning streak ties Wichita's team record set earlier this season.
Trailing 1-0 in the third, Nick Blasi homered over the left field fence, his second of the season, to tie the game. In the fourth, the Wingnuts took their first lead of the game. Kelly Hunt and Greg Porter hit back-to-back singles to open the inning. After Michael Thompson sacrificed both runners into scoring position, Steve Pearson drove in Hunt with an infield base hit past Canaries' starter Ryan Ford.
After cranking three home runs over the weekend, Hunt launched his league-leading eighth home run of the year on the first pitch from Ford in the top of the sixth to extend Wichita's lead to 3-1.
Derek Blacksher allowed no earned runs in six strong innings. The right-hander yielded just four hits while striking out three and walking three en route to his second win of the year.
Richard Salazar took over in the seventh inning for the Wingnuts and retired the side in order. With two out in the top of the eighth, Greg Porter smashed his second home run of the season over the left-center field wall.
Tyler Rhoden worked the eighth inning, allowing a run, but escaped further trouble by getting Patrick Reilly to hit into an inning-ending double play started by second baseman Patrick Brooks.
The Wingnuts extended their lead again in the ninth, beginning with a one-out single by Patrick Brooks that fell just out of the reach of a sliding J.D. Reininger in right field. Nick Blasi dropped a bunt to the left side for a hit on the next pitch from reliever Matthew Reilly.
Brenan Herrera followed with a bunt of his own which Reilly threw wild down the right field line to score Brooks and advance Blasi to third. Dustan Mohr was next and singled on the first pitch, putting the fourth consecutive pitch in play, and driving in Blasi to make it 6-2.
The Canaries rallied for two runs off of Amad Stephens in the bottom of the ninth, but Stephens coaxed Wingnuts' nemesis Beau Torbert to groundout to shortstop to end the game at 6-4.
Greg Porter, who was named American Association Batter of the Week earlier in the afternoon, finished with three hits. Nick Blasi also contributed three base hits.
The Wingnuts play game two of their series with the Canaries tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. All the action can be heard locally on 1410AM KGSO and worldwide at www.kgso.com The Wingnuts return home on Friday, June 12th when they host the St. Paul Saints at 7:05 p.m. For tickets and more information, contact the Wingnuts' office at (316) 264-4625.