Wichita, KS- The Wingnuts bullpen struggled in the late innings with a 5-2 lead, fell behind in the 12th, but ultimately came back for a 13-inning win over the St. Paul Saints on Friday night at Lawrence Dumont Stadium.
Trailing 1-0, Wichita scored four runs in the third inning, sending nine men to the plate. Josh Horn, Kelly Hunt, Joe Muich and Stephen Pearson knocked in the runs. Wichita missed a golden chance to blow the game open, failing to score with the bases loaded and no one out in the fourth. St. Paul cut the lead in half before Brenan Herrera homered in the sixth to put Wichita up 5-2.
In the eighth Ronnie Morales faced four batters - all of whom reached base - and ended up allowing three runs. Anthony Norman had the game-tying single with two outs off reliever Tyler Rhoden. In the bottom of the inning Dustan Mohr singled with two outs. Greg Porter, who was on first, tried to score, but in a massive collision at home plate Scott Knazek held on to the ball for the final out.
In the 12th, St. Paul scored two runs on a double by Todd Self and a sacrifice fly by Norman. In the bottom of the 12th Wichita tied the game on an RBI single by Herrera and a two-out single by Nick Blasi. In the 13th Dustan Mohr reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to third on two wild pitches. With two out Pearson ripped a ball off the center field wall to give Wichita an amazing victory. Pearson finished the night 5-7.
Wichita got a tremendous start from Gabe Medina, who allowed just three hits and two runs in seven strong innings of work. Doug Hurn earned the victory in relief. Greg Porter extended his hitting-streak to 16 games.
Wichita, who now has a six-and-a-game half lead over St. Paul with eight games remaining in the first half, hosts the Saints on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Adam Cowart gets the start for the 'Nuts. For tickets call the Wingnuts office at (316) 264-4625.