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Wichita Wingnuts News

Wingnuts Drop Their Fourth Straight as Amarillo Hangs on for 7-5 Win

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

AMARILLO, TX (July 25, 2013) – Amarillo Sox entered play on Friday evening at Amarillo National Bank Sox Stadium with the worst record in the American Association and the most games back of any team from their division leader. No matter what the stats say, they have played the Wichita Wingnuts tough this season, winning their fourth game in 10 meetings by a 7-5 score.

Wingnuts’ starter Jason Van Skike (8-3) had his toughest outing of the season his last time pitching in Amarillo and the Sox got to him in the second inning for the first runs of the game tonight. Jason Martin, who has been a one-man wrecking ball against Wichita, hit a double to start the frame. He moved to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Gerardo Valentin to start the scoring. Two batters later, Jeff Farnham reached on a two-base error by Chris McClendon and then came in to score on Travis Weaver’s base hit.

Wichita (44-22) didn’t take long to punch back. Both Jake Luce and David Amberson bunted for base hits to open the top of the third. After Ryan Khoury walked for the second time to load the bases, both Chris McClendon and Jake Kahaulelio brought in runs with fielder’s choice groundouts to second to tie the score at 2-2.

The see-saw affair continued with Amarillo (21-43) scoring a couple more unearned runs in the home third. Joe Weik reached on a bobbled ground ball by Khoury and Kevin Mahoney then lofted a deep fly ball to left field that Carlo Testa had pop in and out of his glove for a second consecutive error. Weik scored on the miscue and put Amarillo back in front 3-2. After two straight outs, Van Skike gave up a single to Gerardo Valentin to bring in Mahoney and make it 4-2.

David Espinosa hit a solo home run off of Clayton Tanner (1-1) in the sixth inning to draw the Wingnuts within one, before the Sox used the power game to extend the advantage further in the seventh. Mahoney began the inning with a double and then moved over to third on a Kyle Nichols base hit. Martin continued his hitting spree with a run-scoring single that pushed the advantage to 5-3. After the Nuts turned a big double play, Kyle Bellows crushed a two-run home run to left that left Wichita trailing by four. After one more batter reached, Kevin Hooper came to the mound to take the ball from Van Skike. The right-hander pitched 6.2 innings and gave up a season-high 14 hits, while allowing seven runs to score, four of them earned.

The Wingnuts were determined to avoid going down without a fight in the ninth inning despite trailing by four runs at the outset. Brent Clevlen got the inning off to a good start by drawing a walk in a full count situation. With one out Testa singled which allowed Clevlen to head to third. The next hitter, Brent Dean, also singled to score a run and cut the deficit to three. The Sox went to the bullpen and called on Randy Hamrick to try to work out of the jam and take home the save. He began his outing by walking Jake Luce to load the bases with one away. With the drama rising, he uncorked a wild pitch that trimmed the lead to two and moved the tying run into scoring position. The right-hander regrouped to strike out both Amberson and Khoury, the latter with a full count, to close the game.

The Sox doubled up the Wingnuts in the hit column by a 14-7 margin. Espinosa and Luce had multiple hits for Wichita, while Amarillo had five different players with more than one hit. Daniel Bennett appeared in his team-leading 30th game out of the bullpen and worked a scoreless third of an inning. Jared Gaynor, making his first appearance since July 9th, retired all three batters he faced in the eighth.

The Wingnuts and Sox will resume the series on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Jon Link (8-2) goes for Wichita against Amarillo RHP Coleman Stephens (1-3). For information on 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.

 

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Nuts Hit Road on Three-Game Skid after 5-4 Loss to Laredo

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (July 24, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts played their final home game for the next 21 days on Thursday night against the Laredo Lemurs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Unfortunately, the Wingnuts will begin their annual NBC World Series road marathon carrying a season-high three game losing streak after the Lemurs held on for a 5-4 victory in the series finale.

Justin Klipp (6-3) was facing the Laredo lineup for a third time this season, and after a one, two, three first inning, the Lemurs took an early lead in the second. Travis Denker and Denis Phipps started the frame with back-to-back base hits. After Klipp was able to get two fly ball outs to left field, Carlos Ramirez earned a walk to load the bases. The nine-hitter Harrison Kain, who would have a huge impact on the game, hit a looping line drive to right that sailed over the head of David Espinosa at first and plated the first two runs of the game.

Laredo (35-28) would also score a pair of runs against Klipp in the fourth inning, but impeccable defense nearly prevented one of them from coming home. Phipps blasted a leadoff solo home run to stretch the lead to 3-0 and was barely back in the dugout when John Alonso, the next hitter, doubled. A fielder’s choice by Byron Wiley moved him to third and brought the Wichita (44-21) defense in. Ramirez grounded a ball to the left side that Ryan Khoury dove for, gloved, and fired to first to not only prevent a run, but also record the second out. Kain stepped to the plate and lined a ball to the gap in left center that Jake Luce, in his first game, made an impressive diving attempt for. The ball bounded in and out of his glove and fell to the turf for an RBI double, Kain’s third RBI in two at bats. The third baseman finished 3-4 with three RBI on the game.

The Wingnuts closed the gap against Josh Strawn (5-7), a pitcher they had fared well against in recent times, in the fifth and sixth innings. Luce was hit by a pitch to reach and quickly stole second base. After both Taylor Oldham and Khoury grounded out, Chris McClendon lined a single up the middle that scored Luce and put the Nuts on the board. Jake Kahaulelio bounced a ball deep into the hole at short that Devin Goodwin fielded and attempted to make a spectacular throw to first on. The ball sailed high and into the crowd, forcing in McClendon and cutting the lead to 4-2. In the sixth, Chris McMurray brought home David Espinosa with an RBI single that pulled Wichita within one.

Klipp handed the ball to Mike Zouzalik for the eighth, finishing his night having allowed four runs on eight hits over six innings. Zouzalik worked a clean frame and then passed the torch to Alex Hinshaw for the eighth. Hinshaw allowed runners to reach the corners with nobody out, before Brent Clevlen dropped a fly ball in center that brought in the runner from third on a fielder’s choice putout at second. The miscue was costly because the next hitter bounced into an inning-ending double play.

Carlo Testa brought his team back to within a lone run on a moon shot blast to right field in the bottom of the eighth against Tyler Pearson. The home run was his sixth of the season. After Matt Nevarez retired the side in order in the top of the ninth, the Wingnuts could not muster a rally against fill-in closer Caleb Graham, who allowed just a two-out single.

Testa paced the Wingnuts attack by going a perfect 4-4 at the dish with the home run and inherent RBI. McClendon wrapped up his day with a trio of base knocks and Khoury added two of his own. The three players accounted for nine of the team’s 12 hits in the game.

The first of 17 straight road games takes place in Amarillo on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP and all-star Jason Van Skike (8-2) will throw in the series opener for the Wingnuts. For information on 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.

 

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Wingnuts Falter for Second Straight Night Against Lemurs

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (July 23, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts fell to their division rival, the Laredo Lemurs, for a second straight night on Wednesday at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Unlike the night before, a high-scoring affair, this match-up featured impressive displays of pitching and defense from both sides. In the end it was the visiting team that emerged from the tussle with a 3-1 victory.

Wichita (44-20) jumped on Laredo’s starter Cesar Carrillo (5-4) in the bottom of the first inning. The leadoff hitter, Ryan Khoury, hit a line drive to left to get things started. Chris McClendon followed by jumping on the first pitch of his at bat and lifting a high fly ball down the left field line. J.P. Ramirez raced over, but could not reach far enough to make the catch and the ball squirted by him to the wall. Khoury easily scored all the way from first and McClendon settled into second with an RBI double. He would eventually be stranded at third when the inning came to an end.

After Tim Brown (7-3) did not allow a run to the vaunted Laredo (34-28) offense in the first two innings, they wrestled away the lead in the third. Nick Van Stratten led off the inning with a single, which was built upon by a base on balls to the next hitter, J.P. Ramirez. Devin Goodwin put down a sacrifice bunt to put them in scoring position for Travis Denker. Denker racked up RBI number 64 with a single that tied the game. Denis Phipps then hit a bouncer to third that brought in Ramirez and gave Laredo the 2-1 advantage.

The Wingnuts had a big chance to tie or take the lead in the fifth when they had two in scoring position with nobody out for the top of the order. Khoury grounded out to third and then McClendon bounced to second. Denker fielded and ran at Trevor Whyte, who was caught in no man’s land between third and home, and after a brief rundown Whyte was tagged out by the third baseman. Jake Kahaulelio grounded out to short to end the threat.

A similar situation arose for the Lemurs in their half of the sixth. They put runners in scoring position with nary an out courtesy of two singles and a wild pitch from Brown. After one out was recorded, and the Wingnuts pitched around Byron Wiley to load the bases, Carlos Ramirez was the batter. With a 2-2 count Brown just missed the outside corner with a fastball that Ramirez let go by and on the next pitch the catcher lifted a sacrifice fly to left field extending the lead to 3-1. Brown allowed no further damage and finished having given up three runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings with six strikeouts.

Carrillo worked through the sixth, handed the ball off to Corey Graham to take care of the seventh and eighth, and then watched as closer Chad Povich entered looking for his second straight save in the ninth. David Amberson and Khoury earned tough walks with one out to put the tying run on base. McClendon struck out looking and Taylor Oldham, who entered when Kahaulelio was ejected following the seventh inning, went down swinging as the Nuts fell just short again.

Daniel Bennett gave Kevin Hooper another scoreless 1.1 inning performance out of the pen. Alex Hinshaw followed Bennett with another shutout inning, his 23rd in 24 appearances, in the top of the ninth. David Espinosa, who made his Wichita debut and was the only Wingnuts with more than one hit, tallied his 1,500th career hit with an infield single in the eighth inning.

Espinosa discusses his first game in Wichita and reaching the milstone.

The Wingnuts will look to earn a split of the four-game set on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Justin Klipp (6-2) will head to the hill to take on Laredo’s RHP Josh Strawn (4-7). The Wingnuts will be hosting T95’s 35th birthday party at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. For information on 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.

 

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Wingnuts Can’t Quite Catch Lemurs in 9-7 Loss

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (July 22, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts tried to pull off an impressive comeback multiple times on Tuesday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, but in the end the Laredo Lemurs were just a tad too much. The 9-7 loss for the Wingnuts was the first time they dropped a game to Laredo in nine contests.

Laredo (33-28) got off to a quick start against left-handed starting pitcher Frank Del Valle (0-1) in the first inning. Nick Van Stratten started the game with a groundball down the left field line that resulted in a double. Devin Goodwin then reached on an error that put two on with one away for Travis Denker. The league’s RBI leader added two more to his total with a booming double that gave Laredo a 2-0 lead. After a walk to Denis Phipps and a strikeout of John Alonso, Del Valle got Byron Wiley to ground a ball toward first. The bouncer hopped under Trevor Whyte’s glove and into left field, bringing in two more runs and making it 4-0 by the time the Wingnuts grabbed their bats. Just one of the runs was earned.

The Wingnuts chipped away at the lead immediately in the bottom half of the first inning. Laredo starter Jeremy Strawn (3-0) gave up a booming double to Ryan Khoury to begin the inning. The ball appeared to hit close to the the yellow padding at the top of the wall, which would have given Khoury a leadoff home run for the second consecutive day. Instead, the shortstop moved to third on a fielder’s choice and scored when Jake Kahaulelio beat out an infield single to cut the deficit to 4-1.

A solo home run by John Alonso closed the book on Del Valle, who went five innings and allowed three runs, two earned, on three hits. He also struck out five with just a lone walk. Alan Williams relieved him in the sixth and retired the first two hitters without a problem. However, Williams walked the next four batters in the order to force in a run and push the lead to 6-1. Daniel Bennett entered with the bases still loaded and two down. He allowed a two-RBI single up the middle to J.P Ramirez which extended the margin to 8-1, before striking out the next batter to end the frame. Bennett ended up giving the Nuts a quality 1.1 innings, striking out three of the five batters he dealt with.

Bennett talked about the game and situation he entered into following the contest

The Wingnuts (44-19) never hung their heads, instead punching right back with a five-run bottom half. Carlo Testa launched his fifth home run of the season, a three-run shot to right center, that closed the gap to 8-4. Three batters later, Taylor Oldham followed suit, pummeling a home run to left that brought in Whyte and suddenly it was 8-6.

Each team scored a run in the eighth inning to enter the final frame with the score 9-7 in Laredo’s favor. Pete Incaviglia called on the closer, Chad Povich who was looking for his 11th save. He retired the first two batters, before Kahaulelio and Brent Clevlen reached with time running out. Carlo Testa strode to the plate hoping to re-capture his sixth inning magic, but instead bounced back to Povich to end the game.

Wichita’s offense was led by Jake Kahaulelio’s three-hit game and the three RBI performance of Carlo Testa, who along with Taylor Oldham, finished with two knocks.

The series will continue with another chapter being written on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. The Wingnuts will look to RHP Tim Brown (7-2), while the Lemurs go with RHP Cesar Carrillo (4-4). The Wingnuts will be hosting another Way-Back Wednesdy and this time the focus has turned to the 80’s! For information on 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

 

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Wingnuts Put the Lockdown on Lemurs in 5-2 Victory

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (July 21, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts knocked off the Laredo Lemurs in a well-pitched and defended game, that featured a few timely hits for the home team on Monday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.   With the win, two positive numbers were expanded upon.  The Wingnuts’ winning streak moved to four games and the team took its’ biggest lead of the year in the South Division race, advancing their cushion to 11 games. 

The Wingnuts (44-18) jumped on top 2-0 in their first at bat against Mike Shreves, who they were facing for the fourth time this season.   Ryan Khoury took the right-hander deep to left center to start the bottom of the first inning with a bang.  The long ball was the shortstop’s eighth of the year, putting him just three home runs behind his career-high which came back in 2007.  After Shreves (3-2) retired the next hitter, Wichita reeled off four consecutive singles to score another run.  With Jake Kahaulelio, Brent Clevlen, and Carlo Testa on base already, Chris McMurray lined a base knock to right that scored Kahaulelio easily.  Clevlen also tried to score, but was gunned down a nice throw from right fielder Denis Phipps.

The Nuts added another against Shreves in the very next inning.  Taylor Oldham was drilled by a pitch, David Amberson reached on an infield single, and Khoury was put on via a base on balls to load the bases for Chris McClendon.  The third baseman lined a ball to right field that was deep enough to score Oldham and make the score 3-0. 

The Lemurs (32-28) would score their initial run against starting pitcher, Jon Link, in the third frame.  Harrison Kain singled and moved into scoring position on a groundout by Nick Van Stratten.  J.P. Ramirez came through with an RBI double down the left field line to cut the lead to 3-1.

After missing out on a bases loaded opportunity in the third, the Wingnuts used a sacrifice fly to regain a three-run lead in the fourth.  With Khoury starting the inning with a double and moving to third on another deep fly out by McClendon, he was in perfect position to score when Clevlen also skied a ball to center.  The run, which made the score 4-1, also was Clevlen’s 47th driven in this year.

Carlos Ramirez, the Lemurs catcher, hit a solo home run beneath the scoreboard in left field to momentarily pull the Lemurs to within 4-2 in the fifth.  Another solo home run, this time by a Wingnut, stretched the lead to three once again after six.  The shot came courtesy of David Amberson, who drilled a pitch from former teammate, Jack Wagoner, over the wall in left for his first home run of the season and a 5-2 advantage.

That was enough for the league-leading pitching staff.  Link (8-2) worked into the seventh, allowing just two runs on nine hits, while striking out seven and walking one.  It was the right-hander’s 12th quality start in 14 chances.  Alex Hinshaw worked the final out of theseventh and the entire eighth inning, allowing just a single to Denker, that was immediately erased when the left fielder, Testa, threw him out trying to stretch it to extra-bases.  The lefty has allowed a run in just one of his 23 appearances.  Matt Nevarez took the ball in the ninth and quickly brushed off a leadoff walk to Phipps to retire the next three in order and earn his 18th save of the year. 

The Wingnuts improved to 8-0 against Laredo this season with the win and they have now outscored the Lemurs 54-22.  Khoury and Amberson were the only Wingnuts with multiple hits, while Kahaulelio and Clevlen each extended hitting streaks to nine games. 

Kevin Hooper and Link discuss the Wingnuts' success against Laredo this year including Monday's match-up

The same two clubs will face-off again on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m.  LHP Frank Del Valle will match-up with RHP Jeremy Strawn (2-0) of Laredo.  The game begins at 7:05 p.m. with the pre-game show starting at 6:50 on 92.7 KWME or by choosing the “Listen Live” option on wichitawingnuts.com.   For information on 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

 

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Wichita Navigates Past Explorers 8-5 to Close Out Season Sweep

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (July 20, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts and Sioux City Explorers met on the diamond six times in 2014. Three were in Iowa and three were in Kansas. Most were played at night, one during the day. There were high-scoring and low-scoring battles, but in the end one thing held true. At the conclusion of every ballgame it was the Wingnuts who were on top in the runs column. They completed a sweep of the season-series with an 8-5 victory on Sunday afternoon.

Right-hander Jason Van Skike (8-2) was on the hill for the Wingnuts and doing battle with recently acquired lefty Lars Ligouri of Sioux City (25-37). Both pitchers got off to a good start, holding the opposing offense scoreless through three. Ligouri (0-1) was impressive, holding the potent Wichita offense hitless one time through the lineup. His team would give him a lead by scoring a pair of runs in the fourth. Van Skike walked Michael Lang to begin the frame and then gave up an opposite-field single by Rene Tosoni. Lang went first to third on the play with a throw from David Amberson sailing high above him and into the seats along the left field line. The errant toss handed Lang home plate and moved to Tosoni to third. He would also score on a single by Andres Perez to go in front 2-0.

It didn’t take long for the Wingnuts (43-18) to answer back. In the bottom of the inning, Ligouri retired the first two batters before Jake Kahaulelio doubled. The following hitter, Brent Clevlen, singled him home for his 43rd RBI of the year. Clevlen then stole second and moved to third when shortstop Chris Escobar committed an error on the play. Carlo Testa then grounded a ball that hopped off the first base bag and into right field to score his outfield partner and tie the game at 2-2.

The Wingnuts brought the lumber in the fifth inning, which helped them pull away. Trevor Whyte ripped a ground rule double to right and then moved to third on a single by David Amberson. Ryan Khoury broke the tie with a fielder’s choice bouncer to short that brought Whyte home. Chris McClendon walked to put two on with one out, before the two speedy runners completed a double steal to move into scoring position. Kahaulelio scored one of them with a double and then with runners on the corners, Clevlen hooked a breaking ball inside the foul pole in left for a three-run home run that put Wichita in command 7-2. The long ball was the eighth of the season for the center fielder who went 3-4 with four RBI on the day.

The Nuts added their final run in the sixth. Brent Dean began the inning by singling up the middle. He moved to third on a fielder’s choice and then came around to score on a line drive single up the middle by Khoury.

The Explorers scored a run in Van Skike’s final inning on the bump. Amos Ramon led off the seventh with a double, tagged up on a fly ball to right by Tommy Mendonca, and then scored on an RBI groundout by Dillon Usiak to make it 8-3. The starter completed the quality start having allowed three runs on seven hits in seven innings and striking out four. Wingnuts’ starters have earned quality starts in 37 of the 61 games this season.

Matt Robertson gave up two runs in the eighth, which made it a save situation for Matt Nevarez in the top of the ninth. With one out Mendonca doubled and Usiak drew a base on balls to bring the tying run to the plate. That is where Nevarez stopped the comeback attempt by striking out Chris Escobar and Oscar Mesa back-to-back to end the game and earn his 17th save of the year.

The Wingnuts tied the franchise record for stolen bases in a game with seven. Amberson had two and McClendon, Kahaulelio, Clevlen, Testa, and Dean each had one. Amberson and Kahaulelio joined Clevlen with multiple base hits in the matinee.

Clevlen, Van Skike, and Kevin Hooper discuss the win that completed the season sweep of the Explorers

The Wingnuts open a four-game series with the second-place Laredo Lemurs on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. inside Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. RHP Jon Link (7-3) will face a Laredo pitcher to be named. It is a Kwik Shop Dollar Day so make sure to swing by your local Kwik Shop and pick up a $1 general admission ticket to the game. For information on 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.

 

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Déjà Vu Against the City of Sioux: Wingnuts Walk-Off 4-3 for Second Straight Night vs. Explorers

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (July 19, 2014) – For those fans that attended both of the Wichita Wingnuts’ Friday and Saturday night contests with the Sioux City Explorers at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, there must have been an overwhelming sense of been there done that. Despite a few major differences, the second game seemed to unfold according to a very similar script as the first. After earning a ninth inning come-from-behind victory on Friday, the Wingnuts closed out a game that entered the ninth inning tied at one with a booming RBI double by Chris McMurray that allowed the Wingnuts to stream onto the field and celebrate around their catcher.

Unlike the night before, the Wingnuts (42-18) jumped ahead in the first inning on Saturday. After Sioux City starter John Straka retired the first two batters he faced, Jake Kahaulelio ripped a two-out double. The right-hander proceeded to walk three straight batters to force in a run and give Wichita a 1-0 advantage.

In the very next inning, Peter Barrows followed a walk to Andres Perez with a booming home run that caromed off of the top of the scoreboard in left center to claim a 2-1 lead.

Both pitchers settled in over the next few innings despite seeing their pitch counts continue to escalate. In the fifth, the Wingnuts got consecutive one out singles by Chris McClendon and Jake Kahaulelio to put multiple runners aboard for the clean-up hitter, Brent Clevlen. The center fielder slapped a single on the ground through the right side which tied the game at 2-2.

After a leadoff walk of Rene Tosoni by Klipp began the sixth, the Explorers’ first baseman stole second and headed to third on a throwing error by McMurray. Andres Perez, the next batter, lifted a fly ball to right field that scored Tosoni and put Sioux City (25-36) in front 3-2. Klipp exited after that inning, having given up three runs on just four hits with two strikeouts. He issued a season-high five walks during the outing.

Jimmer Kennedy came on to pitch in the eighth inning for the Explorers and gave up the tying run in the frame. Trevor Whyte drew a walk as the first batter of the inning and was quickly bunted to second by Taylor Oldham. Friday night’s hero David Amberson came through again, on this occasion shooting a sharp groundball down the left field line and pulling his team even at 3-3.

Chris Bodishbaugh (1-3), who was handed a blown save and took the loss in Friday’s match-up, finished the eighth and stayed in for the final inning. With the score still tied, Clevlen roped a single to center to start the attack. Carlo Testa tried to move Clevlen into scoring position, but his bunt was too hard and allowed Tommy Mendonca, the third baseman, to cut down the lead runner at second. With a full count on the next batter McMurray, Testa took off from first with the pitch. The catcher crushed a line drive directly over the head of center fielder, and defensive replacement, Tim Colwell to plate Testa easily and win in the last at bat for the second straight evening.

Kevin Hooper chats about the walk-off win for a second straight

The win was the fourth walk-off victory of the season for the Wingnuts and third in the last six games. Kahalelio and Barrows paced all players with three hits, while Clevlen and Amberson joined the multiple hits club. The Wingnuts’ pitching staff of Klipp, Frank Del Valle, Mike Zouzalik and Matt Nevarez combined to hold Sioux City to just five total hits. Nevarez (4-0) worked a perfect top of the ninth to earn the win.

The finale of the series will take place on Sunday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. All-star RHP Jason Van Skike (7-2) will be on the mound for Wichita. A limited number of Wingnuts’ trading card sets will be given away at the front gate. For information on 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.

 

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Amberson Ambushes Explorers with Walk-Off in Ninth

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (July 18, 2014) – David Amberson was standing at home plate the last time the Wichita Wingnuts earned a walk-off win this season, July 12. The same man was standing in the batter’s box with one out and two men on base in the bottom of the ninth on Friday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium with the Wingnuts trailing the Sioux City Explorers 3-2. Last time, the right fielder was hit by a pitch to win the game; this time he laced a two-run single into left that sparked a wild celebration in front of second base. The clutch single gave Wichita a 4-3 win and improved their league-best record to 41-18.

Wingnuts’ starter Tim Brown allowed multiple hits in each of the first three innings of the contest, but wasn’t hurt until the third. In that inning, Oscar Mesa and Tim Colwell each singled to begin the threat. Brown then issued his eighth walk of the season to Rene Tosoni to load the bases with nobody out. Brown came back to sit down both Andres Perez and Peter Barrows on strikeouts to give himself a chance to escape. However, Amos Ramon came through with a sharp groundball single up the middle that scored a pair and made it 2-0 Explorers. Brown ended up going six innings and allowed those two runs on nine hits in another stellar outing for the right-hander. He would not factor in the decision.

At the plate, the Wingnuts were scuffling against a couple of pitchers through five innings. Geoff Broussard had to make an emergency start when the regular member of the rotation, Patrick Johnson, was deemed unavailable shortly before first pitch. Broussard worked two hitless frames and struck out three Wingnuts’ hitters before handing the ball to Alex Burnett. Burnett, who was in the Major League’s just last season, retired the Nuts in order in three straight innings before calling it a night. Rob Wort relieved him and allowed the first two hits of the game for Wichita, groundball singles for Jake Kahaulelio and Brent Clevlen in the sixth. They would not score, but were a preview for what happened in the seventh.

With Wort still on the hill, Taylor Oldham singled on a bunt and David Amberson hit a ground rule double to put runners in scoring position for Ryan Khoury.   The shortstop bounced a ball to third that Tommy Mendonca fielded, but threw off target to first. The throw pulled Perez off of first base and up the line, which encouraged Amberson to try and score from second on the play. The throw glanced off the catcher, Dillon Usiak’s, mitt and to the backstop, which allowed Amberson to slide in with the tying run.

Daniel Bennett came on to pitch in the eighth, after a scoreless seventh inning from Alan Williams. The side-arming right-hander gave up a leadoff single to Perez, who was immediately sacrificed over to second by Barrows. After striking out Ramon, Kevin Hooper, the Wingnuts manager, made the call for left-hander Alex Hinshaw to face Mendonca. The lefty squirted a shallow single into center on a tough pitch that pushed in Perez and gave the Explorers (25-35) a 3-2 advantage.

The Wingnuts couldn’t tally in the eighth, but after scoreless inning by Patrick Mincey (2-3) in the top of the ninth, they made an urgent comeback. Chris McMurray led off the inning with a single to left and moved to third when Trevor Whyte put down a bunt that the closer, Chris Bodishbaugh (1-2), fielded and threw off target to second. The ball rolled into left field giving Whyte second base and putting the winning run in scoring position. With a base open, Taylor Oldham filed out to shallow right for the first out of the inning. Amberson then jumped on a 2-1 pitch from Bodishbaugh and ripped it into left to score both McMurray and Whyte, whipping the crowd of 4,196 fans into a frenzy.

Post-Game reaction from Amberson and Hooper

Despite being outhit by the Explorers 11-5, the Wingnuts managed to earn their sixth win of the season when finishing with less hits than their opponent. Amberson was the only Wingnut with multiple hits. Amos Ramon went 3-4 for Sioux City. The Wingnuts 41-18 record matches the 2013 team’s after 59 games. Last year’s squad broke the American Association record for wins in a season with 68.

Game two between the former Central Division foes is Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Justin Klipp (6-2) throws for Wichita against RHP John Straka (5-4) of Sioux City. It will be K12 Force Out Bullying Night along with a visit from the always entertaining Myron Noodleman. For information on 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.

 

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Mother Nature Cans Series Finale in Grand Prairie

 

GRAND PRAIRIE, TX (July 17, 2014) - Thursday night's game between the Wichita Wingnuts and Grand Prairie AirHogs has been postponed due to inclement weather.

The game will be made up during one of the two remaining series between the two clubs, both in August. This is the second time this season that the Wingnuts have had a contest postponed because of rain, with the first coming at home, also against the AirHogs.

The Wingnuts return home to begin a three-game series with the Sioux City Explorers on Friday, July 18th. There will be a limited number of duck calls handed out at the front gate courtesy of Midwest Huntfest.

For information on 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.

 

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Streak Snapped in 5-4 Walk-Off Win by AirHogs

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

GRAND PRAIRIE, TX (July 16, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a one run lead and just three outs away from advancing their season-best win streak by another game at QuikTrip Park on Wednesday. However the Grand Prairie AirHogs had different ideas, scoring a pair of runs against their former closer Patrick Mincey to end the night celebrating on the field.

The Wingnuts (40-18) struck first in the game’s initial inning against season-long nemesis and American Association strikeout leader Aaron Wilkerson. Jake Kahaulelio singled with two down and then was driven in on a booming double down the left field line by Brent Clevlen. The RBI was the 40th of the season for the all-star outfielder.

The AirHogs (24-33), the only team that Wingnuts’ starter Jon Link has not completed six innings against this season, evened the score immediately in their first trip to the plate. Sparkplug Jimmy Mojica led off with a double into the left field corner. Alex Nunez moved him to third with a sacrifice bunt and then Abel Nieves tied the game with a sharp single on the ground. After a walk to Jason Botts, Link got Brian Myrow to bounce into a 3-6-1 double play to end the frame.

Both pitchers put it in cruise control during the second and third innings before Grand Prairie broke through once again in the fourth inning. Nieves crushed a ground rule double to right center, which allowed Jason Botts to plate him with a single in the next at bat. Following another double by Brian Myrow, which put runners on second and third with one out, Madison Carter rolled a groundball deep in the hole to short that brought Botts home and gave the AirHogs a 3-1 advantage.

After a scoreless fifth inning concluded, the skies opened up and heavy rain began to fall, forcing the umpires to halt the game prior to the start of the sixth. The rain delay lasted one hour and 10 minutes before play resumed. Wilkerson somehow stayed in the game and retired the Wingnuts in order in both the sixth and seventh innings, prior to calling it a night. The right-hander went seven innings, allowing just one run on three hits and struck out eight hitters.

In the first inning that Wilkerson was not on the hill, the Wingnuts came up with a crooked number and snatched away the lead. Brett Wallach was the victim of the Nuts’ outburst that began with back-to-back singles by Ryan Khoury and Chris McClendon. Kahaulelio then beat out an attempted double play on a grounder to short to leave runners on the corners with one out. Clevlen came through again, with a big knock through the right side that cut the deficit to 3-2. Wallach was removed in favor of Ty’Relle Harris (2-2) after that at bat.

Carlo Testa hit a hard groundball up the middle that glanced off of Jimmy Mojica’s glove and into center field, tying the game at 3-3. After Chris McMurray popped out on the infield, Taylor Oldham lifted a shallow fly ball along the first base line. Botts went back from his first base position to try and make an over-the-shoulder basket catch, only to see the ball hit the pocket of his glove and bounce right back out. The shallow single gave the Wingnuts a 4-3 lead.

With closer Matt Nevarez unavailable to pitch, the save opportunity was put in the hands of Mincey (1-3) after Alex Hinshaw struck out a pair in a scoreless eighth. The former AirHog gave up a base hit to pinch-hitter Frazier Hall to start the ninth inning. Hall, recently activated after an injury, was immediately relieved by Matthew Burns on the base paths. Mojica drew a patient walk, taking two very close pitches to put two aboard with no outs. Nunez put down another sacrifice bunt to move the tying run to third and the winning run to second. Mincey intentionally walked Nieves to load the bases, but then could not find the zone against Botts either and walked him to force in a run. With the game tied, Myrow lifted a fly ball deep enough to center field that Mojica easily tagged up and scored ahead of Clevlen’s throw. The AirHogs flooded the field to celebrate their 5-4 comeback victory over the top team in the South.

Daniel Bennett, Mike Zouzalik, and Alex Hinshaw each allowed at least a base runner in their innings of relief, but managed to wiggle off the hook for scoreless frames. Clevlen drove in a pair of runs on two hits, while Khoury and McClendon each added a pair of hits in the contest. The 10-game win streak fell three victories shy of the franchise record of 13, which was set last season.

The South Division adversaries will wrap up the three-game series on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Tim Brown (7-2) will go for Wichita, while RHP Danny Gutierrez (2-3) takes the hill for Grand Prairie. The game can be heard on 92.7 KWME or by heading to wichitawingnuts.com and clicking the “Listen Live” link. For information on 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.

 

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Quite the Catch: Wingnuts Extend Winning Streak to 10

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

GRAND PRAIRIE, TX (July 15, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts were one out away from extending their winning streak to 10 games on Tuesday night at QuikTrip Park. The Grand Prairie AirHogs had a runner in scoring position and former Wingnut, Abel Nieves, at the plate trailing by a run. Nieves roped a line drive towards the right field corner, but a running catch by David Amberson with his arm fully extended ended the game at 4-3 and allowed his teammates to breathe a big sigh of relief.

The Wingnuts (40-17) fell behind early, even with all-star pitcher Jason Van Skike (7-2) on the hill. After Wichita left a combined five runners on base in the game’s first two innings, Grand Prairie scored first in the third inning. Jimmy Mojica drew a walk with one out, moved to second on a chopper to the right side by Alex Nunez, and scored when Abel Nieves skied a ground-rule double to right center. The run was the first allowed to the AirHogs by the right-hander in 15.2 innings this season.

In the very next frame, Madison Carter hit a sinking line drive to center that Brent Clevlen made a sliding attempt at. The ball landed short and bounced over his head, rolling to the wall for a triple. Matthew Burns, the very next hitter, lined a sharp single to right and it was 2-0 AirHogs.

After threatening in each of the early innings, the Wingnuts finally cashed in, tying the game in the fifth. Ryan Khoury reached on a base on balls to start the inning. He quickly stole second and moved to third on a fielder’s choice groundball by Chris McClendon. Jake Kahaulelio plated his fellow middle-infielder by beating out an infield single for his team-leading 43rd RBI. Brent Clevlen followed by ripping a groundball through the right side that scooted along the turf all the way to the wall to score Kahaulelio from first and tie the game at two.

The deadlock didn’t last very long with Grand Prairie (23-33) re-taking an advantage in the bottom half of the same frame. Mojica cruised into second with a one-out double and moved to second once again on a Nunez grounder. Abel Nieves earned a free pass prior to an RBI single by the clean-up hitter, Jason Botts.

The lead shifted hands one more time in the top half of inning six which was the last inning for Ryan Searle (3-5). Taylor Oldham and Trevor Whyte reached base to start the inning on a walk and base hit respectively. David Amberson then put down a perfect sacrifice bunt up the third base line, which advanced both runners into scoring position. Khoury then ripped a ground ball right to the third baseman Matthew Burns, who threw to the plate. The throw arrived in time, but was off target and up the first base line, glancing off of the catcher DiFazio’s mitt and to the backstop, allowing Oldham to score. McClendon lofted a fly ball to center field that was deep enough to score Whyte and give Wichita a 4-3 lead.

With Van Skike departing after six innings, in line for the victory, the Wingnuts turned it over to their dominant late-inning relievers. Alex Hinshaw allowed a pair of hits in the seventh, but got Brian Myrow to line sharply to second to end the inning with runners on the corners. Patrick Mincey came on for the eighth inning to face his former team. Mincey made quick work of his ex-mates, retiring the side in order and striking out the final two batters.

Matt Nevarez entered to pitch in what turned out to be an eventful ninth inning. He allowed a leadoff single to the nine-hitter, Eric Baker, who was immediately gunned down trying to steal second base by Chris McMurray. With two outs, Nunez lifted a shallow fly ball to left that ended up bouncing over the head of Carlo Testa in left and allowed the runner to advance to second. That brought Nieves to the dish to face his former team with the game on the line. Last year’s batting champion ripped a line drive that was headed to the right field corner, but Amberson shifted into another gear and made the game-saving grab to end the battle in dramatic fashion. The save was the 16th of the year for Nevarez.

Van Skike pitched six innings and allowed three runs on seven hits for the victory. Clevlen matched Botts with three hits in four at-bats to lead all hitters. Khoury and Kahaulelio each knocked two base hits, while Taylor Oldham was never retired in a 2-2 with two walks performance.

In game two, on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m., the Wingnuts will call on RHP Jon Link (7-2) to match pitches with fellow RHP Aaron Wilkerson (3-1). The game can be heard on 92.7 KWME or by heading to wichitawingnuts.com and clicking the “Listen Live” link. For information on 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.

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Testa and Klipp Ambush Amarillo for Series Sweep

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (July 13, 2013) – Carlo Testa went 3-4 at the plate with three extra-base hits, including a three-run blast in a big fifth inning, to guide the Wichita Wingnuts past the Amarillo Sox 5-1 on Sunday at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. In addition, Justin Klipp continued a stellar season on the mound by limiting the Sox to just one run in seven innings.

The Wingnuts were facing Amarillo starting pitcher Matt Larkins (5-3) for the third time in the last month and were hoping to beat him for the first time on Sunday. They were able to strike first in the third inning against the big right-hander. Ryan Khoury singled with two outs in the inning and came around to score on an RBI single by Jake Kahaulelio, two batters later.

With Amarillo (18-36) struggling to score against Klipp (6-2), a big fifth inning gave the Wingnuts’ hurler all of the cushion he, and the bullpen, would need. Khoury once again was the straw that stirred the drink, starting the inning with a base hit. After Chris McClendon popped out, three consecutive batters reached for the Wingnuts before another out was recorded, beginning with a walk to Kahaulelio. With two one base, Brent Clevlen slapped a ball through the hole on the right side to extend the lead to 2-0. The next hitter, Testa, already had two doubles to his credit in the game and stayed hot with a three-run home run down the right field line to put Wichita (39-17) in front 5-0.

The right-handed Klipp was on his game all afternoon and had shut out the Sox for the first six innings on just four hits. The Sox couldn’t muster multiple hits in an inning until the top of the seventh. With Brandon Pinckney on base due to a fielder’s choice, Kyle Nichols and Kyle Bellows hit back-to-back singles to trim the lead to 5-1. Bellows drove in the run and tallied his 21st RBI of the season. Klipp would call it a day at the conclusion of the inning, having struck out a pair of Sox hitters.

Patrick Mincey and Matt Robertson each worked a scoreless inning in the eighth and ninth respectively. The Wingnuts are 31-2 when leading after six innings have been completed. Aside from Testa’s three-hit outburst, Khoury was the only other Wingnuts’ hitter to finish with multiple base knocks. Chris McClendon’s base hit in the third inning extended his hit streak to a season-high 12 games.

The Wingnuts will take Monday off, before travelling south to Grand Prairie for a three-game series that begins on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. Jason Van Skike (6-2) will toe the rubber for Wichita in game one. For information on 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

 

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Six Wingnuts Selected to All-Star Team; Testa Named League’s Player of the Week

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (July 14, 2014) – The American Association will be hosting a mid-season All-Star Game for the first time since 2010 on July 29th in Winnipeg. The Wichita Wingnuts, who currently own the best record in the league, will have six representatives in the event, four of them as starters.

Carlo Testa, who was also named the American Association Pointstreak Player of the Week for the past seven days, will be a starter in the outfield.   In the week beginning on July 7th, Testa went 9-19 (.474) with six runs scored, two triples, and three RBI. He is currently fourth in the league in batting average (.349), tied for third in runs (52), and fourth in hits (80). He is also among the top five league-wide in total bases, triples, and extra-base hits. This is Testa’s first season in the American Association.

He will be joined in the outfield grass at Shaw Park by center fielder Brent Clevlen. The former Detroit Tiger and Atlanta Brave is in his third season with the Wingnuts. He was also named a Post-Season All-Star in the outfield following the 2013 season. Clevlen is hitting .335, good for seventh in the league. He is tied for the lead in both extra-base hits and doubles, while tied for fourth in total bases.

Catcher Chris McMurray will be calling pitches as the starter behind home plate. He was named the top catcher in the American Association back in 2012, spending time with both the Lincoln Saltdogs and Grand Prairie AirHogs that season. In his first year with the Wingnuts he has been a stalwart defensively, throwing out 12 of 29 attempted base stealers and having yet to allow a passed ball. The Mission Viejo, California native has been effective at the plate as well, with a .266 average and 33 RBI in 50 games played.

The designated hitter for the South squad will be Wingnuts’ shortstop Ryan Khoury. This is his third season in Wichita and his first all-star selection, although he was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2012. Khoury is the Wingnuts’ franchise record holder in runs scored, walks, and stolen bases. This year he is tied atop the leaderboard with 22 stolen bases and is second in bases on balls. He is hitting .332 and is second-best with an on-base percentage of .466.

The pitching staff will include closer Matt Nevarez, who is second in the American Association with 15 saves. His earned run average is currently at a miniscule 1.21. He has allowed a run in just two of his 23 appearances and has racked up 30 strikeouts in 22.1 innings. This is the right-hander’s third season with the Nuts and first all-star selection.

Finally, Jason Van Skike, another right-handed hurler, will be participating in the showcase. The Gig Harbor, Washington native, in his first American Association campaign, began the year in the bullpen before earning a starting role. He has posted a 6-2 record and has an ERA of 2.36, which places him behind just one pitcher that has tossed enough innings to qualify. In 53.1 innings he has given up only 50 hits, struck out 29, and walked 13.

The Wichita Wingnuts’ staff of manager Kevin Hooper, pitching coach Luke Robertson, and hitting coach Jose Amado will direct the South Division squad. Greg Tagert of Gary SouthShore will be at the helm for the North.

For information on 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

 

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By an Elbow: Wingnuts Walk-Off in Ninth to Extend Streak to Eight

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (July 12, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts had already won a game in walk-off fashion the traditional way, with a base hit, and on a wild pitch during an attempted intentional walk this season. With those methods already spoken for, they found a new way to spark a celebration in the bottom of the ninth inning at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. David Amberson was drilled in the elbow on the first pitch of an at-bat with the bases loaded and two outs against Adam Maxon, to force in the winning run in a 5-4 come-from-behind victory.

The Wingnuts (38-17) got off to an encouraging start against Sox pitcher Coleman Stephens. The right-hander allowed a leadoff single to Ryan Khoury, who would later score on a double down the left field line by Jake Kahaulelio to put Wichita ahead 1-0.

Khoury was also involved in a productive third inning for the home team. He began the inning by ripping a double and then easily stole third for his 22nd stolen bag of the year. Chris McClendon bounced to first base for the first out of the inning, but on the play Khoury once again crossed home plate to take a 2-0 lead.

Tim Brown, the Wichita starter, was dominant early on. He retired the first 12 batters of the game, before Cory Patton singled off of him to begin the fifth. A double play and three consecutive hits for the Sox (18-35) meant that the bases were loaded with two outs. Brown got Kyle Bellows to fly out to center to escape, but the inning was a sign of trouble in the near future for the right-hander.

In Brown’s final frame on the hill, Amarillo would tie the game on the strength of four consecutive two-out hits. The big knocks were an RBI double by Patton and a run-scoring single by Kyle Nichols. After Mike Zouzalik escaped a bases loaded jam in the seventh, Alex Hinshaw worked a quick eighth and then turned the ball over to closer Matt Nevarez in the top of the ninth.

Nevarez (3-0) allowed a one out double to Kevin Mahoney and then back-to-back singles to Jeff Farnham and Derek Perren, the second of which gave Amarillo a 3-2 lead. After a strikeout of Jason Martin, Brandon Pinckney also lined a run-scoring single to extend the lead to 4-2 in the visiting squad’s favor.

Former Wingnut, Cephas Howard (1-1), entered in the bottom of the ninth looking for his first save of the season. He allowed a leadoff single to McClendon and then caught a monster break when Perren made a head-first, leaping, grab deep in the right center field gap to rob Kahaulelio of extra bases. The next man up, Clevlen, laced a single of his own through the left side and the Wingnuts were in business. Carlo Testa came through with a two-strike single to score McClendon and allow Clevlen to race to third. Amarillo manager, Bobby Brown, went to his bullpen and Adam Maxon to try and stop the bleeding.

Maxon gave up a game-tying, two-strike double to Chris McMurray that also advanced runners to second and third with one down. Maxon collected himself enough to strike out Taylor Oldham, which led to an intentional walk of Trevor Whyte that loaded the bases. With a hitless Amberson digging in, Maxon came too far inside with the first offering and drilled the right fielder on the elbow. The hit by pitch forced in Testa, who touched home plate with the game’s winning run.

Ryan Khoury was the only Wichita player to finish with more than one hit, as he finished 2-4 with a pair of runs scored. McClendon’s single in the final inning extended his hit streak to 11 games, which matches the longest streak for a Wingnuts’ player this year. The walk-off win was the third of the 2014 season.

The Wingnuts look for the sweep and a nine-game winning streak at 2:05 p.m. tomorrow night against the Sox. RHP Justin Klipp (5-2) will go for Wichita, with RHP Matt Larkins (5-2) on the hill for Amarillo. This will be the third time that Larkins faces the Wingnuts in the last month. There will be alimited amount of Wingnuts’ fans given away at the front gate. For information on 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

 

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Nuts Use 20 Hits to Fold Sox 10-4

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (July 11, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts put a season-high 20 hits, and another quality start by Jon Link, to good use in a 10-4 decision over the Amarillo Sox at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Friday night.   The Wingnuts are currently in the midst of their longest winning streak of the season, seven games.

For the third time in the last four games, the Wingnuts (37-17) found themselves trailing after the first trip to the plate by the opponent. Link (7-2) allowed a one-out double to Jason Martin and then a two-out RBI single to Brandon Pinckney to give the Sox a 1-0 lead.

The bottom of the Wingnuts’ lineup had a large say in a five-run turnaround that put the home team on top 5-1 after three. With runners on second and third and nobody out in the second, Taylor Oldham tied the game with a sacrifice fly to deep center. The next man up, Trevor Whyte, beat out an infield single to score Chris McMurray and grab a 2-1 lead. The duo struck again in the next frame. Once again hitting with two aboard, Oldham whistled a double down the line to clear the bases and make it 4-1. Whyte followed by scoring the designated hitter on a sharp single up the middle.

First baseman Joe Weik was responsible for each of the next two runs the Sox (18-34) would score. He hit solo home runs in both the fourth and sixth innings. The long balls were his second and third of the season. Link had allowed just three home runs this year prior to Weik’s big day. Link allowed nothing else to pick up quality start number 10 on the season and pull into a tie with teammate Tim Brown and Winnipeg’s Matthew Jackson for the league lead in wins with seven. His final line included three runs allowed on nine hits over seven innings of work.

Wichita got to Sox starter Jake Feckley (0-1), who was making his Amarillo debut, for another crooked number in the bottom half of the fourth inning. With runners on the corners and one out, Carlo Testa split the right center gap for a two-RBI triple to push the lead to 7-2. Testa ended the night 3-4 with four runs scored and two runs batted in. The following hitter, McMurray, scored him with a single to extend the advantage to 8-2.

Brent Clevlen hit his seventh home run of the season with two outs in the sixth inning, a solo blast that started a string of five straight hitters who reached base safely. With the bases eventually loaded against former Wingnut Kristhiam Linares, Whyte took a pitch between his shoulders to force in Wichita’s final run. Linares has given up at least one run in three of four appearances against his former team this season. He has allowed a run as a member of Kansas City, Laredo, and now Amarillo.

The Sox scored the final run of the night in a three-hit eighth inning against reliever Daniel Bennett. Kyle Nichols singled to lead off the frame, moved to second on a fielder’s choice groundball, went to third on a balk, and scored on Kevin Mahoney’s single.

17 of the 21 players to appear and 16 of the 18 starters mustered a hit in a contest in which the opponents combined for 32 base knocks. Every Wingnut that batted finished with at least one hit. Chris McClendon, Testa, McMurray, and Whyte each had three hits, while Oldham and Whyte both drove in three.

Game two of the series features Tim Brown (7-2) throwing for the Wingnuts against a starter to be assigned by the Sox. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. on Girl Scout Night, which will also feature a visit from Nutty Super Fan. For information on 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

 

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Van Skike and Friends Cage Canaries to Complete Sweep

 

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (July 9, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts matched their longest winning streak of the season at six games, with a 1-0 shutout victory over the Sioux Falls Canaries on Wednesday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Jason Van Skike’s pitching, the back-end of the bullpen, and an opportunistic infield single by Trevor Whyte, were the deciding factors as the Wingnuts swept their second consecutive series and fourth of the year. 

Van Skike (6-2) retired the first eight batters he faced, until the Canaries (20-32) registered two hits against him with two outs in the third inning.  Sioux Falls had their best opportunity to score in that frame, but could not, as Whyte made a fantastic diving grab on a line drive that appeared destined for right field with runners on the corners.

Kyle Vasquez (4-4), the starting pitcher opposite Van Skike, was equal to the gauntlet thrown down by the Wingnuts’ hurler.  Through six innings, he had allowed only one runner to reach third base and got out of that jam without any damage. 

In the seventh inning, the Wingnuts’ offense finally broke through against the right-hander.  Brent Clevlen led off with a walk and quickly stole second base to move into scoring position.  After a strikeout by Carlo Testa, Chris McMurray popped a shallow single into right field that advanced Clevlen over to third.  With runners on the corners, Taylor Oldham struck out, bringing Whyte to the dish in a big moment.  The first baseman pounded a high bouncer to the right of the second base bag.  Sam Lind was camped under the high hopper and fielded it while the shortstop Stephen Branca came charging across his face.  As Lin stepped to throw the pair became entangled and the throw to first was soft and low, which allowed Whyte to beat it by a hair.  The play brought Clevlen home and gave Wichita (36-17) a 1-0 lead. 

That run allowed Van Skike to exit the game in line for the win.  He went 7.0 shutout innings and gave up only two hits with four strikeouts.  He departed having retired the final 13 batters he faced.  Vasquez left after the seventh inning as well, having allowed just the one run on five hits and seven strikeouts. 

Alex Hinshaw and Matt Nevarez combined to continue the dominating pitching performance that was put in motion by their starter.   Hinshaw, the left-hander, worked a one, two, three, eighth inning with two strikeouts.  Nevarez retired the first two batters in the ninth, prior to a single by Brandon Jones that ended a streak of 18 consecutive Canaries being put out.  The closer rebounded to strike out A.J. Kirby-Jones for his 15th save of the season. 

Wichita will take Thursday off before welcoming the Amarillo Sox to town for a weekend series.  RHP Jon Link (6-2) will take the bump for the Wingnuts in game one which begins Friday at 7:05 p.m.   As is the case with every Friday home game, there will be a post-game fireworks show.  For information on 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

 

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Wingnuts Extend Streak to Five with Wild 8-7 Walk-Off Win

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (July 8, 2013) – The Wichita Wingnuts battled back from a deficit three different times, including one in the ninth inning, on their way to their first walk-off win of the season on Tuesday at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Center fielder Brent Clevlen finished the day 4-5 with two RBI, the final one ending the game in dramatic fashion with the Wingnuts on top 8-7.

For a second straight night, the Sioux Falls Canaries (20-32) took advantage of a leadoff walk to score a run in the very first inning. Starting pitcher, Justin Klipp, walked the first batter of the game, Steve Tinoco. Tinoco moved to second on a single by A.J. Kirby-Jones and then scored when clean-up hitter Chris Duffy singled him home.

Kyle Ruwe smothered the Wingnuts’ bats through three hitless innings, before finally cracking in the fourth. Chris McClendon hit a sharp bouncer through the middle to break the ice and lead off the frame. The next batter, Jake Kahaulelio, grounded into a double play to erase the runner, but the Nuts weren’t done. Back-to-back singles by Brent Clevlen and Carlo Testa made it possible for Chris McMurray to line a controversial two-RBI double to left that put the Wingnuts ahead 2-1. Sioux Falls believed the ball clearly landed foul, but lost a prolonged argument and the ruling was upheld.

The Canaries would re-take control in the fifth, before extending their lead to three in the sixth. Matt Hitt, the nine-hitter and catcher, singled one home in the fifth with one out and then Tinoco drove in another with a fielder’s choice groundout to third. In the sixth, the first two batters reached against Klipp and he was brought out of the game for Daniel Bennett. Klipp went 5.0 innings and gave up five earned runs on seven hits.   Carlos Mendez moved both runners with a sacrifice bunt, and then Chris Valencia scored the pair with a single. After the dust settled, the score was 5-2 in Sioux Falls’ favor.

Trevor Whyte sparked Wichita (35-17) in the seventh inning with a two-out single off of Ruwe and then came home to score when David Amberson put down a bunt towards third for a single. The catcher, Hitt, fielded the ball, but in his rush, stumbled and threw wild to first. Whyte touched the plate and the speedy Amberson went to second. After Ryan Khoury walked to continue the frame, Chris McClendon lined a game-tying two-RBI single through the left side off of reliever Joe Testa to even the score at five. Ruwe worked 6.2 innings, and allowed five runs, three earned, on eight hits with five strikeouts.

The Wingnuts responded by throwing their set-up man, Patrick Mincey, in the eighth inning. Mincey gave up a single to Valencia and then walked Sam Lind to put two runners on base with two down. Hitt lined a ball to left that Testa couldn’t handle as it glanced off of his glove and rolled to the wall for a two-run error. In the top of the ninth, the Canaries put runners on second and third with nobody out against Matt Nevarez (2-0), as they attempted to stretch their lead. However, the big right-hander had other plans, lowering his ERA to 0.44 as he retired the next three hitters without allowing a run to score.

That became a huge development in the ninth, when the Nuts rallied, even after the bases were empty, with the team down to their final out. McClendon singled and promptly stole second against Alan DeRatt (0-4), the Sioux Falls closer. With a full count, Kahaulelio fouled off two straight pitches before muscling a shallow single to left that tied the game. On the throw to the plate he headed to second and into scoring position. The Canaries opted to face Clevlen, even with a base open, and the former Major Leaguer made that decision hurt. He ripped a line drive over the head of Tinoco in right, that easily allowed Kahaulelio to score and sparked a wild celebration on the field in between first and second base.

McClendon, Clevlen, and McMurray all finished with a pair of runs batted in. The game represented the first walk-off win in 2014 for the Wingnuts and also the first time this season that Wichita won after trailing entering the ninth.

The Wingnuts will look for the sweep and a six-game winning streak in the series finale on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Jason Van Skike (5-2) will throw for Wichita against RHP Kyle Vasquez (4-3) of Sioux Falls. It will be another edition of Way-Back Wednesday, as bell-bottoms and big hair will be the norm when the team pays tribute to the 70’s. For information on 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.

 

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Bombs Away and the Double Play Propel Wingnuts to 14-4 Win

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (July 7, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts came back from an early deficit to pull away with an impressive 14-4 victory over the Sioux Falls Canaries on Monday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. What made the win impressive was the combination of a powerful offense that kept launching home runs and a determined pitching staff that helped an opportunistic defense turn an American Association record six double plays.

Tim Brown (7-2), the Wingnuts starting pitcher, got off to a very slow start before turning things around. The Canaries (20-30) came out swinging red-hot bats from the words “play ball” in the top of the first. Steve Tinoco walked to start the game, just the seventh of the year issued by the right-hander, and then Brandon Jones grounded a single through the right side. A.J. Kirby-Jones ripped a double to center field and off the wall to score Tinoco and give Sioux Falls an early 1-0 edge. The next batter, Chris Duffy, bounced into a fielder’s choice to score another run, before two more singles by Carlos Mendez and Chris Valencia plated one more to make it 3-0.

In the bottom of the first the Wingnuts (34-17) trimmed that lead with a couple runs of their own. Ryan Khoury began the inning with a single and stole second, which allowed him to score on Jake Kahaulelio’s base hit to right. Tinoco had the ball roll between his legs, so Kahaulelio raced all the way to third as a result of the error. That was big because the next batter, Brent Clevlen, lifted a fly ball to deep enough center field that Kahaulelio easily scored.

After Sioux Falls added a lone run in the second, the Nuts really went to work against Canaries’ starter Matt Wickswat (2-3). With one runner on base and one out Khoury drew a walk and Chris McClendon laced a run-scoring single up the middle to cut the deficit to 4-3. After Kahaulelio walked to load the bases, Clevlen crushed a high fastball to left for Wichita’s second grand slam of the year and a 7-4 lead. The clean-up hitter ended the game 3-4 with a double, home run, five RBI and two runs scored.

The long ball was the method of choice once again in the third inning versus Wickswat. Cody Robinson, who was making his professional debut after being signed earlier in the day, blasted a solo home run to lead off the inning. After a one out David Amberson single, Khoury got all of a pitch and whacked it out to deep left for his sixth home run of the season, making it 9-4.

Trevor Whyte was responsible for the next four runs the Wingnuts would score on two different deep flies to right center. The first was of the solo variety off of Wickswat in the fourth and the second a three-run long ball against Chase Boruff in the sixth. After the pair of blasts, the Wingnuts had jumped ahead 14-4. Wickswat left the game battered and bruised after 5.0 innings in which he allowed 11 runs on 12 hits with four walks.

Meanwhile, Brown settled in nicely on the hill, at one point retiring 10 straight Canaries that stepped to the plate. He used the help of double plays in the first, second, and sixth innings to ease some pressure from the Sioux Falls offense. The right-hander’s line featured 6.0 innings, four runs, nine hits, a walk, and a strikeout. Matt Robertson, Jared Gaynor, and Alex Hinshaw each held the Canaries down with scoreless innings out of the pen. Each of their innings also featured a double play at some point. The six double plays the Wingnuts completed is a new American Association record.

Wichita received multiple RBI from Clevlen (5), Whyte (4), and Khoury (2) and multiple runs scored by Khoury (3), Kahaulelio (2), Clevlen (2), Robinson (2), and Whyte (2). Eight of the nine hitters registered a hit in the barrage. The five home runs tied a Wingnuts record for most in a single game.

Tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. the same two clubs will lock horns in game two of the three-game series. Nuts’ RHP Justin Klipp (4-2) will match-up against RHP Kyle Ruwe (4-4) of Sioux Falls. The game can be heard on 92.7 KWME or by heading to wichitawingnuts.com and clicking the “Listen Live” link. For information on 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.

 

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3rd Annual Wingnuts Baseball Camp

We have two more baseball camps for your little baseball player! The next camp is July 9th starting at 10am and the final camp will be on July 23rd starting at 10 am  also. Campers receive lunch, a camp t-shirt, 4 upper box seats to any remaining 2014 Wingnuts game and professional instruction from Kevin Hooper, Jose Amado and Luke Robertson. Sign up now because we only have a limited amount of spots left. GO NUTS!

 

 

3rd Annual Wingnuts Baseball Camp

Nuts Break Out Brooms and Sweep Sioux City with 2-0 Shutout

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

Sioux City, IA (July 5,2014) – One swing of the bat in the first inning was all it took for the Wichita Wingnuts to knock off the Sioux City Explorers on Saturday night at Lewis and Clark Park. Jake Kahaulelio hit a two-run home run with one out in the first inning to put the Nuts in front 2-0 and then Jon Link made the number hold up as Wichita completed a three-game sweep of their former central division foe.

In the first inning, Carlo Testa drew a one out walk before the second baseman, Kahaulelio, took advantage of a high fastball from Wade Morrison and knocked it out of the park to left. The two-run home run was Kahaulelio’s fourth of the season.

Wichita (33-17) had a big opportunity to add to the lead when they loaded the bases in the third, while also chasing the starter, Morrison (0-3). He departed after 2.2 innings having allowed two runs on two hits with four strikeouts and three walks. Steve Montgomery summoned righty Geoff Broussard from the bullpen and he got red-hot Chris McClendon to fly out to center field.

Link (6-2) was dominant on this weekend outing. He never allowed a member of the Explorers (20-30) to reach third base as he worked 7.0 shutout innings, allowing just four hits and striking out seven. He has now gone at least 6.0 innings in nine of his eleven starts, all nine qualifying as quality starts. By working through the seventh, he was able to hand the ball to the back-end of the bullpen with a lead, a recipe for success this season.

Before set-up man Patrick Mincey came on in the eighth, the Wingnuts would take another crack at adding to the lead. Brent Clevlen led off the top of the inning with a triple off of Jimmer Kennedy, putting him just 90 feet away from adding a big insurance run. The next batter, Chris McMurray struck out and then Sioux City opted to intentionally walk Chris McClendon and put runners on the corners. The move paid off as Kennedy struck out both Taylor Oldham and Trevor Whyte to escape the inning unscathed.

Mincey struck out one in a one, two, three bottom of the inning to pass the ball to closer Matt Nevarez for the ninth. Facing the top of the order, Nevarez issued a one out walk to Tim Colwell before striking out each of the next two hitters to end the contest. The save was the fourteenth of the season, matching the league-leading total, previously occupied by Lincoln’s Marshall Schuler.

The win was the third shutout of the season for the pitching staff of the Wingnuts. Wichita is currently tied for the league-lead in wins with Winnipeg at 33.

The Wingnuts return home to battle the Sioux Falls Canaries on Monday in the opener of a three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. as Wichita will turn to RHP Tim Brown (6-2) to take on a pitcher that is to be decided for Sioux Falls.  For information on 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.

 

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McClendon Matches Record for RBI in 12-2 Win Over Explorers

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

SIOUX CITY, IA (July 4, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts reached double-digits in the hits column for a fourth time in the last five games and Chris McClendon tied the franchise record for most RBI in a game, with seven, as the Nuts rolled to a 12-2 victory over the Sioux City Explorers on Friday night.

Sioux City scored first in the contest by getting to Wingnuts’ starter, Jason Van Skike (5-2), in the very first inning. With two outs, Rene Tosoni and Andres Perez each lined a ball into the gap for back-to-back doubles, putting the Explorers (20-29) ahead 1-0.

In the top of the second is when McClendon decided to begin his takeover of the ballgame. After the first two hitters in the inning were retired by Greg Holt (2-7), Trevor Whyte and David Amberson each singled. The third baseman came to the plate and skied a three-run home run to left to give the Wingnuts their first lead, which they would never relinquish.

Wichita (32-17) followed that three-run frame by one-upping themselves and scoring four in the third. After a Carlo Testa double began the surge, Jake Kahaulelio scored him with a single. Brent Clevlen reached on an infield single and then J.T. Wise was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Chris McMurray came through with a sacrifice fly to right to advance the margin to 5-1. Following a walk and strikeout of the next two hitters, McClendon punched another two-out hit, this time a two-RBI single that made it 7-1.

The Explorers scored for the last time in the third inning. Tim Colwell reached with a bunt single to start the inning and then advanced to second on a fielder’s choice groundout by Michael Lang. Tosoni came through with a sharp single to score him and cut the lead to 7-2 for a moment.

McClendon continued his hot day at the plate with a single to start the sixth and eventually came around to score on a two-out double by Kahaulelio, who finished the night 3-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. In the next frame it was abou the nine-hitter, McClendon, once again. He came to the plate for another two out at-bat and dropped a double into shallow left field that evaded the grasp of Oscar Mesa and scored Amberson to push the lead out to 9-2.

Van Skike continued to work through the seventh inning, scattering 10 hits and never allowing another Sioux City runner to get past second base. He did not record a strikeout and walked just one batter in the outing, registering his first quality start of the season in his longest outing to date.

The Wingnuts and McClendon capped everything off with a bang in the ninth. Chris McMurray reached on an error by the third baseman Tommy Mendonca, the Explorers seventh in the series, to set the stage for what was to follow. Whyte connected for a single and then runners were left on the corners after a fielder’s choice groundout by Amberson. McClendon hit a slow roller up the middle that scored McMurray and made it 10-2. The run batted in was the seventh of the game for the left-handed hitter and tied him with C.J. Ziegler for the Wingnuts’ record. Ziegler accomplished the feat last June against Laredo. Ryan Khoury then hit long ball number six of the season to score two more and really put an exclamation point on the night as the Nuts shutout the Explorers in the ninth to seal the 12-2 win.

Seven Wingnuts tallied a hit in the game with six of them collecting multiple knocks as the team finished with 16 as a whole. McClendon’s magical evening concluded with him going 4-5 with three runs scored, seven driven in, and a triple shy of the cycle. Matt Robertson and Alan Williams each worked hitless innings in relief of Van Skike.

The series will wrap up on Saturday night as the Wingnuts send RHP Jon Link (5-2) to the mound against a pitcher that has yet to be determined for Sioux City. The game will get underway at 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard on 92.7 KWME or by heading to wichitawingnuts.com and clicking the “Listen Live” link. For information on 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.

 

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Nuts Explore All Avenues to Knock off Sioux City 5-3

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

SIOUX CITY, IOWA (July 3, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts smacked 13 hits and took full advantage of five Sioux City errors to emerge victorious by a 5-3 margin on Thursday night at Lewis and Clark Park.

The game featured a battle between two pitchers that entered play in the top ten of the American Association in ERA. Right-handed pitcher John Straka (5-3) fell victim to the speed of Ryan Khoury and some questionable defense to fall behind after the very first inning. Khoury singled to start things off and then advanced to second on an errant pick-off attempt by the pitcher. The shortstop then stole third easily, but the throw from the catcher Todd Jennings sailed high and allowed him to stand up and race home to give the Nuts a 1-0 lead.

The Winguts (31-17) held on to that same lead until the fourth, when they added on. Brent Clevlen led off the inning with a double and scored when the following batter, J.T. Wise, traded places with him on a two-bagger of his own. With runners on the corners and one out, Taylor Oldham hit a groundball up the middle with a drawn in infield. The shortstop, Chris Escobar, made a nice pick, but threw wide of first and to the fence which allowed Wise to come home and push the lead to 3-0.

The Explorers (20-28) would manage their first run against Wingnuts’ right-hander Justin Klipp (5-2) in the bottom half of the same inning. Peter Barrows led off with a double and appeared to be stuck there when Todd Jennings singled him home with a clutch, two-out single to cut the lead to 3-1. They didn’t take long to attack one again, scoring more in the next inning. Three straight batters reached to start the inning. Oscar Mesa doubled, Tim Colwell bunted for a hit, and then Rene Tosoni drew a walk, to load the bases with nobody out. After Andres Perez lined out to third, Barrows singled to left to score a pair and tie the game. After Carlo Testa’s throw to the plate sailed wide, two runners advanced into scoring position. Klipp made sure they wouldn’t score by getting a strikeout and foul pop out to end the inning all squared at three.

Wichita came right back to re-gain the lead in the top of the sixth on three straight singles, including one of the run-scoring variety by Chris McClendon. Up 4-3 in the seventh, the Wingnuts were not satisfied. Khoury led off the inning with double into the left-center gap and went to third on a Testa single. The right fielder, Barrows, had the ball roll between his legs, allowing Khoury to score. That miscue gave the Nuts a 5-3 advantage.

After Klipp went 6.0 innings, allowing three runs on six hits while both walking and striking out three, the bullpen took over. Alex Hinshaw, Mike Zouzalik, and Matt Nevarez each worked a scoreless inning in order to finish off Sioux City. Matt Nevarez earned his 13th save of the year, which has him one below the league leader Marshal Schuler of Lincoln.

The Wingnuts’ tallied 13 hits in the game, the third time in four games they have been in double digits. Khoury, Testa, and Clevlen each finished the game with two hits, while Wise accumulated three.

The series resumes on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. with RHP Jason Van Skike (4-2) on the hill for Wichita against RHP Greg Holt (2-6) of the Explorers. For information on 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.

 

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Wingnuts Leave Bases Full in 9th and Fall to Sox 5-3

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (July 2, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts scored in just one inning on Wednesday night in their battle with the Amarillo Sox and it wasn’t enough to hold off a late surge by the visitor, who escaped town with a 5-3 win and avoided the sweep. With the Lawrence-Dumont Stadium crowd rocking in the final inning, the Wingnuts loaded the bases with one out for the middle of their lineup, but could not cash in as the Sox ended the night slapping hands on the infield.

In the early innings, the game shaped up as a pitcher’s duel between Tim Brown of the Wingnuts and Matt Larkins of the Sox. Each of them breezed through the first three innings, before Wichita (30-17) made the first mark on the scoreboard. When Brent Clevlen and J.T. Wise led off the fourth inning with back-to-back singles the, Wingnuts put themselves in position to inflict some damage. Chris McMurray took advantage, bouncing into a fielder’s choice groundout back to Larkins to put the Nuts on top 1-0. Trevor Whyte followed with his second home run of the series, a two-run drive to right center, which made it 3-0.

Tim Brown continued to roll into the seventh, but fell victim to a flurry by Amarillo (17-28) in that inning. Jason Martin and Joe Weik singled to start the frame and then Cory Patton continued the string with a run-scoring base knock to put the Sox on the board. After the next hitter, Kyle Nichols, also singled to load the bases, Brown was removed. Kevin Hooper turned to Daniel Bennett, who was making his team-leading 23rd appearance. The first batter he faced, Kyle Bellows, hit a sacrifice fly to left field that cut the Nuts’ lead to one at 3-2. Bennett worked through the jam without further damage. Both runs were charged to Brown, who went 6.0 innings and gave up just six hits, while striking out four.

The Wingnuts entered the eighth inning with a one-run lead, having gone 27-1 when leading after the seventh inning up to that point. Patrick Mincey (1-2), a huge part of that statistic, came on and got off to a decent start. He walked Derek Perren with one out, but then battled back to retire Martin for the second out of the inning. At that point, Amarillo flipped it into another gear. Weik ripped a single to put runners on the corners, prior to Patton muscling a bloop single into shallow right field to tie the game and leave runners on the corners. Patton took off towards second on a pitch with Kyle Nichols at the plate and forced a high throw from the Wingnuts’ catcher, McMurray, that bounced off of Jake Kahaulelio’s glove and into the outfield, allowing the go-ahead run, Weik, to scurry to the plate. After Nichols eventually walked, Mincey gave up a single to Kyle Bellows that pushed in another run and gave the Sox a 5-3 advantage.

After a scoreless inning by set-up man Cephas Howard in the eighth, the Wingnuts were left to try and come back against Sox closer Erik Draxton in the ninth. Trevor Whyte walked to start the inning and then an infield single by David Amberson put two on with nobody out. Chris McClendon put down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the tying run to second base. Ryan Khoury drew his second walk of the game moments later, to fill up the bases with Wingnuts. The two-hitter, Carlo Testa, struck out swinging and then Kahaulelio popped out in foul territory to end the game and give Draxton his sixth save of the year.

Adam Maxon (1-0) earned the first win of his professional career by working a scoreless seventh inning in which he stranded a couple of runners. Brent Clevlen was the only Wichita hitter with multiple knocks, finishing 2-4 with a double and a run scored. Daniel Bennett and Alan Williams each worked a scoreless inning in relief roles.

The Wingnuts will open a short three-game road series in Sioux City this weekend with a 7:05 p.m. start time on Thursday night. The Wingnuts will go with RHP Justin Klipp (4-2), while the Explorers will turn to RHP Michael Straka (4-3) in a match-up of two top ten pitchers in the American Association in ERA. the game can be heard on 92.7 KWME. For information on 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.

 

 

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Nuts Capitalize on Amarillo Miscues to Cruise to 10-5 Win

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (July 1, 2014) – The Amarillo Sox committed four errors, two each in two different frames, on Tuesday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium and the Wichita Wingnuts seemed poised to capitalize on each and every mistake on their way to a 10-5 win. The Wingnuts scored nine unearned runs against Amarillo starter Kellen Moen, three in the first inning and six in the sixth, to put distance between themselves and the South division rival Sox.

The Wingnuts (30-16) threw rookie pitcher Jared Gaynor into the fire right away as he made his professional debut on the bump after being signed earlier in the day. The George Mason product assimilated himself nicely by striking out a pair in a one, two, three first inning. The next time he took the mound he would have a lead thanks to his offense’s bats and poor defense by the Sox.

Ryan Khoury led off the game by squeezing a groundball double down the left field line and moved to third on an infield single by Jake Kahaulelio two batters later. J.T. Wise singled home Khoury to score the first run and then Chris McMurray hit a groundball that was mishandled by the third baseman, Kevin Mahoney, causing Kahaulelio to race home. Chris McClendon followed with a base knock of his own and when right fielder Cory Patton bobbled the ball, Wise crossed home plate to push the lead to 3-0. Taylor Oldham, the next hitter, grounded out to short, bringing in one more run and making it 4-0. Three of the runs were unearned.

The Sox (16-28) figured out the rookie in their second time through the order. Kyle Bellows started the inning with a double and scored when Jason Martin traded places with him on a two-bagger of his own. The next man up, Mahoney, drove a ball over the wall to right center to plate a pair and make it just a 4-3 lead for the Nuts. Gaynor would last through 5.0 innings, allowing those three runs on five hits with three strikeouts.

Daniel Bennett (1-0) replaced him in the sixth for his team-leading 22nd appearance of the year. He gave up a one out infield single to Bellows, before hitting Martin with a pitch that put two on base. Mahoney came up big again, lining a two-RBI double to center that cleared the bases and put the Sox on top 5-4. The Amarillo third baseman was 3-4 with two extra base hits and four RBI.

In the bottom of the inning the Wingnuts pounced on Moen (2-2) and the right-hander’s defense did him no favors. After McClendon and Oldham reached to start the inning, Trevor Whyte attempted to put down a sacrifice bunt on the third base line. When he did so Moen tried to turn quickly and cut down the lead runner at third, but threw it up the left field line and allowed both runners to come in to score. With Whyte at second, Moen rebounded to retire the next two batters, before another error would cause the game to blow wide open. A slow bouncer hit to second by Carlo Testa was bobbled by the second baseman, Michael Broad, allowing Testa to beat the throw to first. Although it appeared harmless at the time, that error was followed by back-to-back home runs from Jake Kahaulelio (3) and J.T. Wise (12) that extended the advantage to 10-5. Kahaulelio’s was a three-run blast , improving his RBI total to 34 for the season. After those two long balls, Moen was pulled by Bobby Brown, the Sox manager, with an unusual line score to his name. He allowed 12 hits and 10 runs in 5.2 innings, but only one of them was earned and his ERA raised only a miniscule amount to 1.64.

Handed the lead, the bullpen trio of Alex Hinshaw, Mike Zouzalik, and Matt Nevarez combined to limit the Sox to just one hit in three shutout innings. Although five batters tallied multiple base hits, Wise paced the group by going 3-5 with two runs scored and two driven in.

The Wingnuts and Sox close out the three-game set on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Tim Brown (6-2) will go for Wichita against RHP Matt Larkins (5-2) of Amarillo. The Wingnuts will be hosting their “Salute to America’s Heroes” with a post-game fireworks show to follow that is sponsored by KAKEland and Kansas One Call. For information on 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

 

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Nuts Blow Open Close Game to Stuff Sox 13-3

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (June 30, 2014) - The Wichita Wingnuts were able to score nine runs in the span of three innings on Monday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium to turn what was a closely contested 4-3 game into a 13-3 triumph over the Amarillo Sox. Jon Link turned in another quality start, his eighth in 2014, and Brent Clevlen teamed with Chris McMurray to drive in six runs between the pair.

The Sox (16-27) actually led for a brief moment at the outset of the game, when they jumped on Link (5-2) immediately. Former Wingnut, Derek Perren, hit a line drive double to begin the game and, two batters later, scored on another double by Joe Weik.

The Wingnuts (29-16) scored in each of the first three frames against the franchise’s all-time leader in starts made, Derek Blacksher (1-5). After Carlo Testa doubled with one out in the bottom of the first, Brent Clevlen lined a two-out single through the middle to tie the game at one. Trevor Whyte would notch both his first home run and RBI with Wichita in the second, when he blasted a pitch over the wall in the right-center field power alley to put the Nuts in front. In the third inning, Blacksher walked the bases full of teammates for McMurray. The catcher responded with a two-RBI single to push the lead out to 4-1.

Amarillo bounced back to pull closer in the top of the fourth inning. Kyle Nichols and Kyle Bellows hit back-to-back two-baggers to make it 4-2, but that wasn’t all. Jason Martin singled, and then with runners on the corners, Jeff Farnham bounced into a 6-4-3 double play that brought in a run and inched the Sox closer at 4-3. After that inning, Link put it in cruise control through 6.0 innings, giving up the three previous runs on nine hits and struck out five. He has eight quality starts (6.0 innings or over and three or less earned runs) in ten chances.

Blacksher would battle into the sixth, with his club hanging around and behind by one. That inning would end up being his demise. He allowed a couple of singles to Trevor Whyte and Chris McClendon prior to a run-scoring hit by Ryan Khoury that ended the right-hander’s evening. With the Nuts now on top 5-3, Testa hit a slow roller to second against relief pitcher Kristhiam Linares, another former Wingnut, which he beat out. The late throw from Michael Broad was wide of the mark and allowed McClendon to race home as well, making it 6-3 by the conclusion of the inning.

A solo home run by Brent Clevlen, the slugger’s fourth of the season, extended that lead in the seventh inning, prior to the dam bursting wide open in the eighth. In an inning that wound up with designated hitter, Corey Patton, on the mound for Amarillo, the Wingnuts amassed six runs on seven hits and two bases on balls. Jake Kahaulelio, Clevlen, J.T. Wise, McMurray, Amberson, and McClendon each earned a single RBI in the stanza that ended with the Nuts out in front 13-3.

As Alex Hinshaw and Matt Robertson had done before him, Mike Zouzalik worked a scoreless inning to put the finishing touches on the win. Testa was the only member of the lineup that did not register a run batted in. Clevlen finished 3-4 with a home run, three RBI, a walk, and two runs scored. McMurray went 2-5 with three RBI.

On Tuesday night the two teams will meet again at 7:05 p.m. The Wingnuts are currently undecided, while the Sox will turn to RHP Kellen Moen (2-1). The game can be heard on 92.7 KWME or by heading to wichitawingnuts.com and clicking the “Listen Live” link. For information on 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.

 

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Saltdogs Use Joynt Effort to Knock Off Nuts 2-0

 

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

LINCOLN, NE (June 29, 2014) – Lincoln Saltdogs’ starting pitcher Marquis Fleming no-hit the Wichita Winnguts through the first 5.2 innings of his start on Sunday evening at Haymarket Park, while his teammate Brian Joynt drove in two runs to provide the only offense necessary in a 2-0 Saltdogs’ victory.

 

The Saltdogs (20-22) didn’t wait long to score the first run of the game, as they got to Jason Van Skike (4-2) in the very first inning. Matt Forgatch started the game with a double and moved to third on a single by Jeremy Hamilton immediately afterward. Joynt did enough to score the first run of the game by lifting a fly ball to deep center field that was plenty long to bring in Forgatch and make it 1-0.

 

Van Skike settled in for the next three innings and was cruising until he allowed three hits in the Lincoln fifth. Tyler Smith started the inning with a one out single. Forgatch followed with an infield single deep into the hole at short before Van Skike walked Jeremy Hamilton to load the bases. Unfortunately the next man to step in was the Saltdogs’ right fielder and Joynt came through again. This time he found a hole in the left side and lined a ball right through it to push the lead to 2-0. Van Skike rebounded to strand the bases loaded and hold the deficit at two.

 

Fleming (4-3), who entered the game with a .500 record, but an ERA under three, was tough on the Wingnuts’ lineup throughout his 6.0 inning outing. He did not allow a hit and had struck out five Wichita batters before the sixth inning began. In that frame, Jake Kahaulelio managed the first hit against him, a two-out single up the middle before Brent Clevlen followed with one of his own. Chris McMurray hit a fly ball to left field that ended the inning with no further damage done and brought an end to Fleming’s day. The right-hander threw 6.0 shutout innings and gave up just the two hits, while adding six strikeouts.

 

Reliever Jhonny Montoya came on in relief of Fleming to work both the seventh and eighth innings. After retiring the side in order in the first of his innings, he struggled a bit more in the latter. Chris McClendon reached with a leadoff single, before being retired on a fielder’s choice groundout by Ryan Khoury. Carlo Testa bounced a single through the left side to put two on base with just one out for the middle of the order. However, Montoya rebounded to strike out Kahaulelio and then get Clevlen to pop out in foul territory to escape the inning with the score still 2-0.

 

The American Association’s saves leader, Marshall Schuler, came on to try and close the game out and did so in one, two, three fashion to seal the win.

 

Matt Forgatch of the Saltdogs was the only player in the game to record more than one hit as he finished 3-4 with double and a run scored. Daniel Bennett and Patrick Mincey each worked a scoreless inning after Van Skike departed. The starter tossed 6.0 innings and allowed seven hits and two runs, while fanning four.

 

The Wingnuts (28-16) will return home to face the Amarillo Sox for the first of a three-game series on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Jon Link (4-2) will start for Wichita and the Sox pitcher is to be announced. The game can be heard on 92.7 KWME or by heading to wichitawingnuts.com and clicking the “Listen Live” link. For information on 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.

 

 

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Saltdogs Hound Nuts’ All Night in 8-6 Victory

Photo Credit - Meryl Loop

LINCOLN, NE (June 28, 2014) – The Lincoln Saltdogs outhit the Wichita Wingnuts by a 14-9 margin and scored in four different innings to knock off the league-leading Wingnuts 8-6 Saturday at Haymarket Park. Every time the Wingnuts tried to start a comeback, it seemed like the nine for Lincoln answered right back and Wichita never pulled closer than two runs after the top of the fourth inning.

Justin Klipp (4-2), who entered the game leading the American Association in ERA, struggled to find the strike zone early on as he walked each of the first three batters he faced after the Wingnuts were retired in order in the top of the first. With the bases loaded and one out, former Gary SouthShore RailCat Jeremy Hamilton doubled into the left-centerfield gap and cleared the bases to put the Saltdogs ahead 3-0 after one.

The Wingnuts (28-15) reached the scoreboard for the first time in the third inning. David Amberson started the inning with a walk and stole his 14th base of the season to move into scoring position. After Ryan Khoury walked, Carlo Testa hit a bouncer to short that the Saltdogs tried to spin two on. The relay throw from second to first was in the dirt and bounced away from the first baseman Ian Gac, allowing Amberson to race home. Two batters later, Jake Kahaulelio hit an RBI double and the score was 3-2.

The Saltdogs (19-22) responded quickly when Hamilton led off with a single and scored on a Gac double to deep center in the bottom of the third to push the lead to 4-2.

Each team would score in the fourth inning, with the Wingnuts tallying on J.T. Wise’s moonshot solo home run to left. The deep fly was his 11th of the season. Klipp was unable to stave off the Saltdogs, however, allowing a two-RBI single to Hamilton in the home half, to make the lead three runs once again. Hamilton closed the night 3-3 with three runs scored, two RBI, and two walks.

A two-run home run by Brian Joynt gave the Saltdogs their biggest lead of the night at 8-3 in the sixth. Khoury countered with his fifth home run of the season in the top of the seventh, a two-run shot to left to trim the lead to 8-5. Against Lincoln closer Marshall Schuler, the Wingnuts scratched across a run in the ninth on a Testa sacrifice fly. With the tying run at the plate and two out, Kahaulelio flew out to medium-depth right field to end the game and give Schuler his league-leading 13th save.

Seven of the Saltdogs’ eight runs were scored by the top three hitters in the lineup, Matt Forgatch (2), Jeremy Hamilton (3), and Brian Joynt (2). Khoury, Kahaulelio, and Clevlen each racked up multiple hits. Khoury had two extra-base hits and Kahaulelio finished 3-5.

The series finale and rubber-match with the Saltdogs will take place Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. RHP Jason Van Skike (4-1) works for Wichita, with RHP Marquis Fleming (3-3) tossing for Lincoln. For information on 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.

 

 

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Early Bird Gets the Win; Nuts Top Saltdogs 7-4

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

LINCOLN, NE (June 27, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts blasted out of the gates on Friday night at Haymarket Park to take a 7-0 lead after just three innings. It was a good thing they had a spark early, because they were held in check for the rest of the night by the Lincoln Saltdogs pitching. The home team put a small scare in the Wingnuts late, but the pitching staff remained poised and carried the team through the final innings to a 7-4 victory.

The Wingnuts (28-14) didn’t wait long to jump in front, scoring in the very first inning on a sacrifice fly by Brent Clevlen, the 26th of the year for the centerfielder. Ryan Khoury tagged up from third to score the run, which tied him for the most runs in franchise history with 188. That was just the start of the blitz attack as Wichita would put up a crooked number in both the second and third innings against Varce (2-3)

J.T. Wise led off the second inning with his 10th home run of the year to put the visitors in front 2-0. David Amberson, Chris McClendon, and Ryan Khoury all reached base consecutively, with McClendon hitting a single that scored a run. Another sacrifice fly, this time from Carlo Testa, brought McClendon in and it was 4-0. The next batter, second baseman Jake Kahaulelio, ripped a single to bring Khoury around for his record-breaking run. Khoury finished the night with 188 runs scored in his Wingnuts’ career, which is currently in its’ third season. The shortstop surpassed the previous mark of 187 runs scored by Josh Horn from 2008-11. Khoury is now the franchise leader in runs, walks, and stolen bases. The inning finally came to an end with the Nuts leading 5-0. Two more unearned runs came across in the next frame when the first two hitters in the third, Chris McMurray and Wise, reached base on defensive miscues by the Saltdogs. Trevor Whyte singled to load the bases, before McClendon ripped another RBI single to make it 6-0. Khoury was then drilled by a pitch to force in an additional run and extend the lead to 7-0.

While this was going on at the plate, Tim Brown (6-2), a Saltdog from 2009-11, was cruising through the Lincoln (18-22) lineup. He did not allow a run until the sixth inning, when third baseman Kevin Howard homered to right field to put the Saltdogs on the board and cut the lead to 7-1. In the next frame, Eddie Young and Chris Anderson hit back-to-back one out singles before the leadoff hitter Matt Forgatch smacked a three-run home run to left to suddenly make the lead just 7-4. After another batter reached with a hit, Brown was pulled from the game and Mike Zouzalik worked out of the inning with no further harm done. Brown allowed four runs in 6.2 innings on eight hits with six strikeouts.

The Wingnuts improved to 25-1 when leading after the seventh inning courtesy of Patrick Mincey, the set-up man, and closer Matt Nevarez each working a scoreless inning in the eighth and ninth respectively to close the door on the Saltdogs. Nevarez has not allowed a run in 11 straight appearances and earned his 12th save of the year.

Six of the nine Wingnuts to bat in the game drove in a run, but McClendon finished as the only player with multiple hits. The third baseman went 3-4 with one run and two RBI.

The second game of the series will take place on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. with RHP Justin Klipp (4-1) on the mound for the Wingnuts and former big league RHP Joe Bisenius (2-2) throwing for Lincoln. For information on 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.

 

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Hall Helps AirHogs Pass Nuts 10-3 to Split Series

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (June 26, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts managed to outhit the Grand Prairie AirHogs 14 to 13 on Thursday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, but in the column that matters most the Airhogs ran away with a 10-3 victory. Right-fielder Frazier Hall paced the AirHogs attack by going 3-4 with two doubles, a home run, three RBI, and two runs scored.  

The start of the game was a sign of things to come and that wasn’t a great thing for the Wingnuts (27-14). After striking out Jimmy Mojica to open the game, Capra injured his leg trying to beat Alex Nunez to first base on a bunt single. The left-hander had to be taken off the field on a cart and did not return. Alan Williams (2-3) was forced to make an unexpected early appearance and held his own in the first inning, escaping with no damage. The second inning wasn’t quite so easy. He allowed a leadoff double to Hall and walked Brian Myrow and Vince DiFazio to load the bases with one away. After Eric Baker flew out to shallow center, Jimmy Mojica made sure the inning wasn’t fruitless, doubling home a pair to go up 2-0.

Andres Rodriguez singled to score Abel Nieves, who led off the third with a triple, to push the lead to 3-0. The Wingnuts climbed closer in the bottom half of the inning, as Jake Kahaulelio scored a pair on a single with the bases loaded to make the score 3-2. Although runners remained on first and second with nobody out, the Wingnuts would not score anything else in the inning against AirHogs’ starter Jason Jarvis (1-1).

Both teams scored again in the fifth inning, but it was Grand Prairie who was able to stretch the lead a little bit further. Hall again came up big, hitting a two-run blast out the opposite way to left, his third of the year, to make it 5-2. Brent Clevlen gave the Wingnuts their final run of the night with an RBI single off of Jarvis in the home half which briefly cut the AirHogs (16-24) advantage to two.

The AirHogs pulled away with a big four run seventh inning. Mike Zouzalik started the frame and handed it over to lefty Alex Hinshaw, who had yet to allow a run this season, with one out and a runner first. Hinshaw faced six hitters and gave up two hits, hit a batter, and walked three before he was replaced by Daniel Bennett.   Bennett allowed an inherited runner to score, but none of his own. By the time the dust had settled the Wingnuts had fallen behind 9-3.

The visitors added one more in the eighth to finish the scoring on another double by Hall. The outfielder’s third extra-base hit scored Nunez.

The Wingnuts used six pitchers out of the bullpen and all of them aside from Matt Nevarez, who threw the ninth, allowed at least one run. Four AirHogs had multiple hits in the game, while the Wingnuts had three players with more than one hit: Clevlen, Ryan Khoury, and Chris McClendon.

Nevarez talked about the tough game and the upcoming road trip to Lincoln.

The Wingnuts will hit the road to play a weekend series against the Saltdogs in Lincoln. In Friday night’s 7:05 p.m. start, RHP Tim Brown (5-2) will pitch for Wichita and RHP Zach Varce (2-2) will take the hill for Lincoln. The game can be heard on 92.7 KWME or by heading to wichitawingnuts.com and clicking the “Listen Live” link. For information on 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.

 

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Lawrence-Dumont Stadium Hosts Johnny Bench Clinic; C.J. Ziegler Takes Home Award Thursday

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (June 27, 2014) – It was a busy day in sports in the city of Wichita on Thursday and much of the happenings involved the Wichita Wingnuts. Lawrence-Dumont Stadium was the site of the Johnny Bench Award Catcher’s Clinic in the morning and later in the night, while the team was on the field, former Nut C.J. Ziegler was honored as the 2014 Professional Athlete of the Year in Wichita.

The Johnny Bench Award is presented to the nation’s best collegiate catcher after the conclusion of each NCAA season. The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission hosts a banquet each summer to honor achievements in sport at many different levels, including the prestigious award bestowed upon the best backstop in the land. Thursday was the 17th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet.

Prior to the night’s festivities, the Wichita Sports Commission and Mike Gehrer, the owner of Balls-n-Strikes, hosted their annual catcher’s clinic in Wichita that is named after Cincinnati Reds hall of Famer Johnny Bench. The camp was held from 9:00-11:30 a.m. at the home of the Wingnuts and featured a large, energetic, group of future baseball and softball catching stars. With over 175 children in attendance it was the largest group of campers to participate in the event in the last 13 years. The attendees had the opportunity to meet Bench and receive instruction from players and coaches who have excelled at the position. Wingnuts’ catchers J.T. Wise, who won the award back in 2009, and Chris McMurray were on the field instructing the youngsters, as were two of the three finalists for this year’s award, Max Pentecost (Kennesaw State) and Will Allen (Ole Miss). Pentecost was named the winner at the conclusion of the banquet.

Also taking home an award was Wichita’s 2014 Professional Athlete of the Year C.J. Ziegler, who smashed team and league records during the 2013 campaign. The first baseman, currently playing for the Atlantic League’s Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, played in all 107 games at first base and hit .316, while also hitting both an American Association and Wingnuts’ single-season record 30 home runs. In addition, he led the league by driving in 100 runs. Ziegler finished in the top ten in the American Association in runs scored, doubles, walks, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. On August 21 he hit for the first cycle in franchise history against Gary SouthShore. His impressive numbers earned him recognition as American Association Player of the Year, the Star of Stars award winner, and Baseball America’s Independent Player of the Year for the 2013 season.

The Tucson, AZ native spent a pair of seasons with the Wingnuts and exited, after having his contract purchased by the Minnesota Twins this off-season, as the all-time leader in home runs (48) and second in RBI (161). In his two seasons in Wichita, Ziegler hit .317 in 165 games, drew 92 walks, and racked up a .640 slugging percentage.

For information on 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.

 

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Wingnuts Use Big Inning in Both Games to Sweep Doubleheader

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (June 25, 2014) – The Wingnuts used a five-run fifth inning in game one and a big four-run sixth inning to come from behind in game two to take both ends of a doubleheader, 6-2 and 6-4, from the Grand Prairie AirHogs on Wednesday at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

The Wingnuts (27-13) received a spark from their leadoff hitter Ryan Khoury in the third inning of the first contest when he homered to left field to take a 1-0 lead over Brandon Bargas (2-5) and the AirHogs (15-24).

After Bargas stranded a pair in the fourth, the Nuts offense went into attack mode in the fifth. Bargas allowed a leadoff double to Chris McClendon and then walked Khoury. Carlo Testa attempted to move the runners with a sacrifice bunt, but was unsuccessful, as Grand Prairie threw out the lead runner at third. Jake Kahaulelio scored a pair with a groundball double that he tucked inside the first base line, extending the lead to 3-0. Two batters later, Chris McMurray traded places with Kahaulelio on an RBI double of his own. The next man up was J.T. Wise who smoked a two-run home run halfway up the batter’s eye in center field to score a couple more and run the lead to 6-0.

Jason Van Skike (4-1) exited with two outs in the sixth and a pair of runners on base. Alan Williams threw one pitch and escaped the inning when Jason Botts swung and lined the first offering to Brent Clevlen in center. Van Skike finished with this line: 5.2 shutout innings, three hits, three strikeouts, and one base on balls. He has now thrown 13.0 shutout innings against Grand Prairie this season in four appearances, two as a reliever and two as a starter.

Williams would have less success in the seventh and final inning. He allowed a single and three walks to the first four batters he faced, one base on balls forcing in a run, before being replaced by Daniel Bennett. Bennett earned his first save of the season by allowing just an RBI fielder’s choice groundout to Jimmy Mojica.

Khoury finished the opener 3-3 with a home run, RBI, and two runs scored. He reached base in all four of his trips to the plate. Kahaulelio and Wise ended the game with two runs batted in each.

There was more late-inning drama in the second game as the Wingnuts had to come from behind twice to emerge on top. Initially, it was the Wingnuts who got out of the gates fast. Testa walked, stole second, moved to third on a single to left by Kahaulelio, and raced around to score when Botts had trouble fielding the ball.  

The AirHogs took their first lead of the day against Jon Link in the third inning. Mojica and Alex Nunez both singled to start the inning and then Abel Nieves sacrificed them over to third. Botts did just enough to get the game’s first run home when he bounced out to second base, bringing in Mojica. Frazier Hall, who had the game-winning hit in the 11th on Monday, singled to score Nunez and it was 2-0.

Khoury tied the game with his second home run of the day and fourth of the season, another deep fly to left, in the fifth inning.

However, the AirHogs weren’t about to go quietly, they answered right back in the top of the sixth. With two on and one out, Brian Myrow, the Grand Prairie hitting coach who was activated earlier in the day, doubled off of the wall in right-centerfield to clear the bases and put his team back in front 4-2. Patrick Mincey (1-1) came on to record the final two outs of the winning and put himself in line for the win. Link finished having thrown 5.1 innings and allowed four runs on seven hits.

Ty’Relle Harris (1-1) came on to pitch in the bottom of the sixth and the Wingnuts jumped all over him. The first four batters of the inning reached on base hits to tie the game. Clevlen hit a double that plated David Amberson and Wise knocked in Clevlen two batters later. With two on base the newest Wingnut, Trevor Whyte, tried laying down a sacrifice bunt, but it was bobbled by the catcher and he reached to load the bases. Taylor Oldham strode to the plate and ripped a two-RBI double to right-centerfield that put the Wingnuts in front by a 6-4 score.

Closer Matt Nevarez retired the side in order in the bottom half of the inning to earn his league-high tying 11thsave of the season. Clevlen was the only Wingnuts’ hitter with multiple hits, while Mojica and Hall accomplished the task for the AirHogs.

Van Skike and Oldham chat about the sweep after the games

The teams will close out the four-game series on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. in the final game of the Wingnuts’ seven-game homestand. LHP Anthony Capra (4-2) will toss for Wichita against RHP Jason Jarvis (0-1) of the AirHogs. The game will be followed by the PF Chang’s Post-Game Home Run Derby in which fans can sign up to try to hit a ball out of Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. For information on 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.

 

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Tuesday’s Contest with Grand Prairie Washed Away by Rain

Photo Credit: Kevin Jenks

WICHITA, KS (June 24, 2014) – Tuesday night’s contest between the Wichita Wingnuts(25-13) and Grand Prairie AirHogs (15-22) has been postponed due to excessive rain.

The two teams will play a doubleheader beginning at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. The twin-bill will feature a pair of seven-inning contests with approximately 30 minutes in between them. RHP Jason Van Skike (3-1) will pitch in the first game and fellow RHP Jon Link (4-2) will toss in the second.

Fans that have purchased tickets for Wednesday’s game will have admittance to both ends of the doubleheader. Buy-in vouchers that were received through United Way will be good for the 7:05 p.m. game on Tuesday, July 1 against Amarillo. That date will be the United Way of the Plains Placesetter Campaign Kick-Off which was originally scheduled for Tuesday night. Any other ticket purchases can be exchanged for the same number of tickets to any remaining home game.

For information on 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

 

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Extra Painful: AirHogs Prevail Over Wingnuts in 11

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (June 23, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts and Grand Prairie AirHogs locked horns in a pitcher’s duel on Monday evening at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. It took two extra innings for somebody to take the upper hand and thanks to the bat of Frazier Hall it was the visiting AirHogs who emerged with a 3-1 win.

With Justin Klipp and Trevor Harden on the hill for Wichita (25-13) and Grand Prairie (15-22) respectively, a low-scoring battle appeared to be imminent. Both hurlers made sure that was the case, working their first three innings without a hiccup. However, in the fourth frame, the Wingnuts used some small ball to score first. Carlo Testa led off with a single and moved to second on a fielder’s choice groundout by Jake Kahaulelio. The speedy Testa then took third by tagging up on a deep fly ball to center by Brent Clevlen. He would cross home when Chris McMurray, the designated hitter, laced a two out single up the middle to put the Wingnuts out in front 1-0.   The RBI was McMurray’s 23rd of the season. Harden went into shut down mode after that, never allowing another run in 8.0 innings pitched and exited having retired the last 13 Wingnuts he faced.

As well as Klipp was throwing it seemed like it would take something out of the ordinary to scratch across a run against the right-hander who entered play fourth in the American Association with a 1.90 ERA. That is exactly what happened in the sixth and it allowed the AirHogs to tie the game. Eric Baker led off with a single and advanced to second when Klipp collided with third baseman Chris McClendon on an attempted sacrifice bunt by Jimmy Mojica and threw high to first base. The error put runners on second and third with nobody out. A wild pitch short of home plate led to Baker racing home and Mojica moving to third. Klipp was able to get out of the inning without further damage. He eventually departed having worked 8.0 innings and giving up just the unearned run on four hits.

Klipp and manager Kevin Hooper after the game

The score remained that way into the ninth, when Wichita was presented a golden opportunity to walk-off with a win. Ryan Khoury started the inning with a double into the right field corner and then was sacrificed to third base by Carlo Testa. Reliever Ty’relle Harris (1-0) bowed his back and struck out both Kahaulelio and Brent Clevlen to strand the winning run 90 feet from home.

Patrick Mincey (0-1) was forced to work multiple innings for the first time this season and his second on the rubber was when the AirHogs took the lead for good. In the top of the 11th, Mojica led off with a single and then Alex Nunez reached on a bunt single up the first base line. A fielder’s choice groundout by Abel Nieves moved each runner into scoring position with one away. Mincey issued an intentional free pass to Jason Botts to load the bases. Andres Rodriguez popped out in foul territory for the second out before Hall came through in the clutch by shooting a single through the right side and scoring a pair to put Grand Prairie ahead 3-1. Closer Dakota Watts walked Khoury with two outs in the bottom half of the inning, but Testa struck out swinging to end the game.

Game two takes place tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. with RHP Jason Van Skike (3-1) on the mound for Wichita and LHP Brandon Bargas (2-4) throwing for Grand Prairie. For information on 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

 

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Bourquin’s Cycle Helps RedHawks Soar Past Wingnuts 13-10

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (June 22, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts and Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks played a crazy game for the second day in a row on Sunday at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, but this time it was the visiting team that came out ahead 13-10. Ronnie Bourquin hit for the second cycle in RedHawks’ history and Drew Bowlin (2-0) allowed three runs through a season-high 6.1 innings to put the Wingnuts behind the eight-ball early on.

After each team went scoreless in the opening two innings, Fargo-Moorhead (21-15) jumped on Wingnuts’ starter Tim Brown (5-2) for five runs during the second and third frames. With the bases loaded in the third, Nic Jackson cleared the bases by driving in two on a double off the right field wall. The third run scored when Miguel Mendez, playing his first professional game, misplayed the relay throw from centerfielder Brent Clevlen and allowed C.J. Retherford to come home and make it 3-0. In the fourth, Bourquin struck again with an RBI single and later Carroll bounced into a run-scoring fielder’s choice to extend the lead to 5-0.

In the bottom of the fourth J.T. Wise continued his power surge by blasting his fourth home run of the series, and seventh of the season, to score Clevlen and trim the lead to 5-2 in Fargo’s favor.

However, those two runs were cancelled out when the nine-hitter of the RedHawks’, catcher Travis Higgs, hit a solo home run off of Brown to begin the sixth. After Alan Williams replaced the starter, Ronnie Bourquin singled and C.J. Retherford drove him home two batters later to take a 7-2 advantage.

Needing just a home run to complete the cycle, Bourquin stepped to the plate against Matt Robertson in the seventh. Bourquin crushed a high fastball over the wall in right field for a grand slam to complete the rare achievement. The only other Fargo-Moorhead hitter to hit for the cycle was Richard Austin in 2005. The second-year RedHawk finished the game 4-6 with five RBI and three runs scored.

Wichita (25-12) gained two back in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI double by Clevlen and a sacrifice fly to deep center by Chris McMurray.

After Anthony Kaskadden drove in a run on a bloop single over second base, Tim Alberts pushed the lead to 13-4 with a sacrifice fly of his own in the top of the ninth off of Mike Zouzalik to set the stage for a late comeback attempt by the home team.

The inning began with reliever Justin Erasmus allowing three consecutive hits to Ryan Khoury, David Amberson, and Carlo Testa to load the bases. Clevlen then drew a five-pitch base on balls from the right-hander, forcing in a run and cut the deficit to eight at 13-5. McMurray followed with a sharp single to left and the Wingnuts were within seven and had Wise coming to the plate and the bases still loaded, with nary an out. Wise jumped all over a belt-high fastball and hammered it out to left for a grand slam that put his team right back in the game at 13-10. The long ball was Wise’s fifth of the series and eighth of 2014. The former Los Angeles Dodger prospect finished the day with six RBI and two home runs in a 2-5 showing at the dish. After Wise’s smash, the RedHawks brought in Coty Woods to try and finish the deal. He forced three straight hitters to bounce out to second base and the game was over just like that.

Khoury stole the 100th base of his career in the game’s first inning off of Bowlin. Wise, Clevlen, and McMurray combined for all 10 of the team’s RBI. Nic Jackson of Fargo also found success at the plate in this one, going 4-5 with a double and two RBI.

The Wingnuts open a four-game series with division rival Grand Prairie on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Justin Klipp (5-1) will get the start while the AirHogs hurler is to be decided. For information on 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.

 

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Wise’s Fireworks Aid 5-1 Win Over RedHawks

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (JUNE 20, 2014) – As is the case on every Friday night that features a Wichita Wingnuts’ home game at Lawrence-Dumont, there was a post-game fireworks show scheduled to entertain the fans after the final out was recorded. Much to the pleasure of the 3,943 fans in attendance, designated hitter J.T. Wise decided to begin the explosives earlier than planned. The former Johnny Bench Award winner launched two home runs and finished with three RBI and paired with Jon Link and the bullpen to beat the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 5-1.

The Wingnuts (24-11) jumped on Fargo starting pitcher Danny Gutierrez (2-3) in the second inning to take the first lead. Chris McMurray walked with one out and then raced around the bases to score when Chris McClendon laced a two-out double toward the right-center gap. McClendon advanced to third on a throwing error by Brandon Newton, but was stranded there when Colt Loehrs bounced out.

Wise struck with his first long ball of the evening in the fifth to double the lead. He drove a Gutierrez fastball out to deep center and off of the video board for his fourth home run of the season.

Link (4-2) had held Fargo-Moorhead (20-14) to just a lone hit through the first five innings of the ballgame. He also retired the first two hitters of the sixth inning, before allowing a ground-rule double to Ronnie Bourquin and a follow-up RBI single by Sawyer Carroll that trimmed the advantage to 2-1. Link would end up working into the eighth, having allowed the lone run on four hits, while striking out seven. The right-hander’s solid outing moved the starting rotation’s total of quality starts to 23. Link allowed one run or less for the fourth time this season in eight starts.

The Wingnuts added big insurance runs in both the seventh and eighth frames. Taylor Oldham scored McClendon with a fielder’s ground out to third base in the seventh inning, before Wise plated two with his fifth home run of the year in the next stanza. Those runs pushed the lead to 5-1.

Kevin Hooper and Link reflect on the nice win and Wise's big day.

Relievers Patrick Mincey and Alex Hinshaw finished off the RedHawks with a scoreless inning each, moving the Nuts record to 21-1 when holding a lead after seven innings.

Aside from Wise, Ryan Khoury, David Amberson, Carlo Testa, and McClendon each ended the night with a pair of base knocks. The RedHawks had pitchers commit throwing errors on attempted pickoffs at first base in three consecutive innings that allowed a Wichita runner to go from first to third.

The same two foes will meet again on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. The pitching match-up will feature Wichita LHP Anthony Capra (4-2) against RedHawks’ RHP Brian Ernst (2-3). It is Bark in the Park Night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium so feel free to bring your dog along for the game! The game can be heard live on 92.7 KWME with pre-game kicking off at 6:50 p.m. For information on 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.

 

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GM Robertson Named One of Top 25 Most Influential People in Wichita Sports

WICHITA, KS (June 18, 2014) – Wichita Wingnuts’ President and General Manager Josh Robertson has been involved in the game of baseball his whole life and has received many honors both on and off the field.  His name has become synonymous with professional baseball in the city of Wichita and as a result he was named one of the Top 25 Most Influential People in Wichita Sports by the Wichita sports Hall of Fame and KGSO Sports Talk Radio.

“Josh’s family upbringing has played a large role in his success throughout his career.  He loves the game of baseball and always displays honesty, integrity, and a knack for being in the right place at the right time,” said Steve Ruud, one of three owners of the team.  “He deserves this award because he loves the city of Wichita immeasurably.  We are sure glad to have him working for us.”

Robertson, one of four brothers who each serve a different role in the organization, began his successful journey within America’s pastime at Maize High School.  The 1993 graduate earned All-State honors before heading to Allen County Community College to play at the next level.  The catcher eventually made his way to Wichita’s own Friends University, where he became an NAIA First-Team All-American, Triple Crown Winner, and National Player of The Year Finalist.  Injuries would eventually cause Robertson to hang up the spikes and move into a coaching role.

He spent a couple of years directing the Trinity Academy varsity squad before moving to Wichita Collegiate School in an assistant role.  During his six years with the Spartans, Robertson’s teams won back-to-back state championships and made it to the state tournament three straight years.  During the summer he was also the coach of the Wichita Twins, now known as the Derby Twins, leading them to three different NBC World Series appearances.

Following Robertson’s coaching stint; he found his way to Kansas City, where he was employed by Recreational Technologies as a Team Representative for the Seattle Mariners and Chicago White Sox.  After a year in KC, he moved back to Wichita to marry the love of his life, Monica, and made his first voyage to the front office, a place he has not departed from in 15 years.  He spent eight years with the Wichita Wranglers,the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, and is now in his seventh season with the Wingnuts. 

“Josh is one of the most passionate baseball people I have ever been around and it shows in his dedication to the team, fans, and Wichita baseball”, owner Gary Austerman explained. “I know that I speak for all the members of the Wichita Wingnuts ownership when I say we are very lucky to have him as our General Manager. He really gets the job done.”

A general manager, by definition, is supposed to oversee all facets of an organization from sales, to marketing, to the coaches and players on the field. Robertson’s path through the front office of the Wranglers, and now the Wingnuts, has allowed him to become familiar with all aspects of running a baseball team.   He began as the Wranglers’ and National Baseball Congress World Series’ Operations Manager in December of the year 2000.  After a pair of seasons in that role he became the Baseball and Stadiums Operation Manager.  He continued to climb the organizational ladder, advancing to the position of Assistant General Manager and eventually becoming co-General Manager before the franchise departed town.

Steve Shaad, Robertson’s former boss with the Wranglers, credited his old employee’s work ethic and pedigree.  “Josh is a terrifically hard worker that will do everything and literally has done everything at the ballpark.  Clearly the family upbringing he had, with baseball engrained in his life, has played a role in that. I initially hired him as groundskeeper and he just kept moving up the ranks in no time at all.”

Robertson took over as President and General Manager of the Wingnuts prior to their first season in 2008 and is the only individual to hold that role.  He is also the President and GM of the NBC World Series.  With Robertson at the helm, Wichita has reached the American Association’s Championship Series in each of the past two seasons and has won four division titles. 

Wingnuts’ owner Nate Robertson, who is Josh’s younger brother, knows that his sibling takes pride in both the team and the city.  “Growing up together I have had a chance to be around Josh my whole life.  For him to be recognized as one of the most influential Wichitans in sports comes as no surprise to me”, the former Major Leaguer explained.  “He is extremely dedicated and the amount of time and passion he puts into the job is immeasurable.  Josh takes pride in his hometown and makes it a priority of his to ensure that the organization is run in the best way possible and offers a great experience to fans in the city.”

The Wichita Sports Hall of Fame and KGSO honor the most influential sports-related people in the city every five years.  Robertson was ranked 21st in the 2014 edition of the awards.  Paul Savage, who operates the hall, had high praise for Robertson.  “As the GM of the Wichita Wingnuts’ professional baseball team, Josh’s importance to the city’

s sports scene includes not only the high-quality product on the field, but a large, positive, economic impact on Wichita and the quality of life of its’ residents,” said Savage. The 39-year old also received a similar honor in 2009, when he was named one of the Top 40 Most Influential People in Wichita Sports by the same committee.  

For information on 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.

 

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Wingnuts Win Wild One 13-7 To Complete Sweep of Laredo

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

Laredo, TX (June 18, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts needed a victory on Wednesday night at Uni-Trade Stadium to sweep the Lemurs for a second time this season and move to 7-0 against the second-place team in the South in 2014. They used 13 hits to score 13 runs and hung a crooked number on the board in four different innings to run away with a 13-7 victory in a 3:52 inning marathon.

The Wingnuts (23-11) had Justin Klipp (5-1) on the hill with his league-leading 0.94 ERA. John Alonso was able to put a quick run on the board in Laredo’s column in the second inning with a solo home run just out of Carlo Testa’s reach in left field to make it 1-0 in favor of the home team. It was Laredo’s first time holding the lead in the series.

The Wingnuts would grab the lead away in the third inning by taking full advantage of some shoddy defense by the Lemurs (17-15). With Josh Strawn (3-3) on the bump, David Amberson reached to start the inning on an error by third baseman Josh Scheffert. Amberson was caught stealing to clear the bases before Ryan Khoury also reached via an error on shortstop Devin Goodwin. Testa followed with a single and then with two down, Brent Clevlen hit a groundball back to the pitcher Strawn. The right-hander threw the ball over the head of first baseman Gerardo Avila allowing Khoury to score and two men to remain on base. Chris McClendon, who had struggled at the plate of late, smashed a three-run home run the opposite way to left to put Wichita ahead 4-1.

The Wingnuts would score four more runs in the fourth inning. Khoury contributed with an RBI double, Jake Kahaulelio scored a run with a fielder’s choice groundout, and Clevlen looped a two-RBI single to shallow right to grab an 8-1 advantage. The lead was extended to 9-1 in the fifth, when Khoury added his second RBI on a single that scored Chris McMurray.

Thing appeared to be easily in control at the time, but Laredo came back with a vengeance in the fifth. Five straight batters reached against Klipp to start the inning with Travis Denker and Alonso gathering RBI. After a strikeout by Avila, Josh Scheffert added one more run-scoring single to chase Klipp after 4.1 innings. Jason Van Skike, whose next scheduled start will be skipped, came out of the bullpen and retired the two batters he faced in the remainder of the inning to retain a 9-5 lead. Denker added another RBI in the sixth on a single that scored Devin Goodwin to cut the lead to three.

Each team would score in the eighth frame, adding to an already full scoreboard. McMurray made sure that the Wingnuts would remain in control by hitting his third home run of the year, a two run blast to left, which pushed the lead out to 11-6. The Lemurs got one back on a sacrifice fly by Goodwin in the bottom half.

The Wingnuts put the finishing touches on the game against Jeremy Strawn, the starting pitcher’s younger brother, in the ninth. Strawn walked the bases full and then allowed an RBI single to Testa. Strawn was removed in favor of Estevan Uriegas who allowed a sacrifice fly to Kahaulelio, the first batter he faced. Uriegas walked Clevlen to reload the bases before striking out a pair to end the frame with the final margin of 13-7.

Mike Zouzalik and Matt Robertson each worked a scoreless inning in relief of Klipp, who earned his league-high tying fifth win of the season. Seven batters in the game managed to tally multiple RBI, five for Wichita and two for Laredo. Denker and Alonso each had a pair for the Lemurs. Khoury, Kahaulelio, Clevlen, and McMurray had two for the Wingnuts and McClendon finsished with three.

It was the second sweep of the Lemurs by the Wingnuts in 2014. They extended their lead in the south division to 5.0 games.

The Wingnuts have an off day on Thursday, before hosting the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks for the only time this season at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Jon Link (3-2) will take the mound for the Wingnuts that night. It will be Teddy Bear Toss, so make sure to bring new or lightly used stuffed animals to throw on the field when the Winguts score their first run of the game. For information on 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.

 

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Brown and Testa Team Up To Take Out Laredo 5-1

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

Laredo, TX (June 17, 2014) - Tim Brown worked his sixth straight quality start and limited the Laredo Lemurs, the American Association’s top offense, to just one run in 7.0 innings on Tuesday night in a 5-1 victory at Uni-Trade Stadium.He was helped by a 2-4 performance from left fielder Carlo Testa who was responsible for all four RBI the Wingnuts were credited with in the game.

The Wingnuts (22-11) struck first against Laredo fill-in starter Mike Shreves (1-1) in the second inning. David Amberson led off the inning with a double down the left field line and moved to third on a single by Ryan Khoury that caromed off of third baseman Josh Scheffert’s glove. Amberson raced home on a passed ball by catcher Angel Flores to put the Nuts on top and then Testa ripped a single through the right side to score Khoury and put Wichita in front 2-0.

Brown (5-1) would allow his only run of the night in the third, when Scheffert hit a one out homer to left in the third inning that cut the lead in half. Brown would end up allowing a hit in six of the innings he threw, but never gave up more than one in an inning. The quality start was the rotation’s 22nd in 33 games to start to the season. Brown currently has a league-leading five wins.

The short-handed pitching rotation of the Lemurs was pushed to the limit as Pete Incaviglia, the Laredo manager, was forced to throw six different pitchers in the game after Shreves lasted just 4.0 innings. The Wingnuts, specifically Testa, capitalized on the first and second pitchers out of the bullpen to pad the advantage. During Seth Lintz’s third inning in relief of Shreves, J.T. Wise started the inning by doubling to left. With two outs Khoury drew a walk and Incaviglia made the decision to go with lefty Kristhiam Linares against the left-handed hitting Testa. The Wingnuts’ leading hitter jumped on the first pitch from Linares and rocketed a ball out of the park to left to score three and give Wichita a 5-1 lead.

Post-game thioughts of Kevin Hooper and Testa

Neither team would score the rest of the way as Caleb Graham, Tyler Pearson, and Chad Povich combined to slow the Wingnuts and the combination of Daniel Bennett and Alex Hinshaw each worked a scoreless, hitless inning to close out Laredo (17-14). Hinshaw struck out the side in his frame and has yet to allow a run this year.

Seven members of the Wichita lineup mustered a hit, while Testa was the lone individual with multiple. The Wingnuts improved to 6-0 against Laredo this season and pushed their lead in the South Division standings to four games.

RHP Justin Klipp (4-1), the league’s ERA leader, will start in Wednesday night’s series-finale at 7:30 p.m. with RHP Josh Strawn (3-2) toeing the rubber for the Lemurs. For information on 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.

 

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Long-Balls Lead to 7-4 Win Over Lemurs

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

Laredo, TX (June 16, 2014) – After losing their first series of the season the day-before to Amarillo, the Wichita Wingnuts entered Monday night’s showdown with the second-place Laredo Lemurs starving for a victory at Uni-Trade Stadium. The pitching of starter Anthony Capra and three home runs by the bats, helped to quell that hunger in a big way as the Wingnuts took home a 7-4 road victory.

The display of power began with no warning at the very beginning of the night as leadoff hitter Ryan Khoury took Laredo starter Cesar Carillo deep in the first at-bat of the game for his first home run of the season.

Laredo (17-13) would manage to tie the game with a run of their own in the bottom of the first, without the aid of a hit. Capra walked Nick Van Stratten to begin the game and then the centerfielder took matters into his own hands. He tagged up and went to second on a deep fly out by Goodwin, stole third, and came home when Chris McClendon dropped a throw from Chris McMurray who was trying to pick Van Stratten off of third after a pitch.

In the very next inning, McMurray reached on an error by shortstop Devin Goodwin and was driven in with a blast to left of the two-run variety by DH J.T. Wise. The long-ball was the third this year for Wise and moved Wichita back in front 3-1.

With Capra slowing the Lemurs’ bats, David Amberson led off inning number five with an infield single and advanced to second when the third baseman, Angel Flores, hurried a throw and was off target, sending it rolling down the right field line. After Khoury flied out, Carlo Testa put the Wingnuts ahead 4-1 with a single through the right side.

Capra would be removed in the seventh inning, having surrendered his first earned run on an RBI single by Carlos Ramirez that brought in designated hitter John Alonso, who had previously walked. Capra was nothing short of efficient in limiting the league’s leading offense in numerous categories through 6.1 innings. He gave up just three hits and one earned run, while striking out six and walking four. The call went to right-hander Mike Zouzalik with the Wingnuts leading 4-2 and a runner on first with one out. It took Zouzalik only two pitches to coax a 6-4-3 double play from Harrison Kain to end the frame.

With lefty Casey Harman replacing Carillo for the eighth inning, Wichita struck for a trio of big insurance runs. Khoury began the inning by drawing his league-high tying 30th walk of the season which began the inning. With one out, Jake Kahaulelio singled and then Brent Clevlen came through with a mammoth shot to left center to score three and put a 7-2 margin between the rivals.

That turned out to be a huge hit when shortstop Devin Goodwin lined his seventh home run of the season over the wall in left off of set-up man Patrick Mincey to cut the Wingnuts’ edge to three at 7-4. After a scoreless top of the ninth, Matt Nevarez entered in the bottom half and did not allow a base runner on his way to earning his league-leading 10th save.

Khoury and Testa each finished with two hits apiece. Clevlen closed the night with three RBI and Wise added a pair of runs driven in. Capra added another quality start to the long list of them this season by the starting rotation. Tonight’s was the 21st in 32 games.

Clevlen and manager Kevin Hooper share their thoughts on the win after the game.

The Wingnuts (21-11) will throw RHP Tim Brown (4-1) in game two on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The Lemurs starter is to be announced. For information on 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.

 

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Sox Smother Wingnuts in 5-1 Defeat

Amarillo, TX (June 14. 2014) – One night after racking up 15 runs on 19 hits, the Wichita Wingnuts were not as successful going up against a trio of Amarillo pitchers on Saturday night in Amarillo National Bank Sox Stadium. Starter Dayne Quist partnered with relievers Kellen Moen and Erik Draxton to limit the Nuts offense to one run on six hits in a 5-1 Sox victory.

Amarillo (10-18) jumped ahead in the second inning against Wingnuts’ starter Jason Van Skike (2-1), who was making his second start of the year, when Kyle Bellows hit a solo home run to left and made it 1-0.

The Sox used the long ball to strike once again off of Van Skike in the third. Jason Martin, the nine-hitter, tripled to left field to start the frame. After Keith Brachold was retired for the first out, Omar Luna lofted a sacrifice fly to centerfield that was deep enough to score Martin and it was 2-0. After Derek Perren singled, Cory Patton crushed a ball over both fences in right field to extend the home team’s cushion to 4-0.

The Wingnuts (20-10) would not get on the board until the fourth against Quist (1-2) who has been the best pitcher in 2014 for the Sox. Jake Kahahulelio started the inning by drawing a walk and moved all the way to third on a double to left-center by Brent Clevlen. With runners on second and third and nobody out, Chris McMurray grounded to Luna at second to score a run and cut the deficit to 4-1. However, the next two batters, J.T. Wise and Chris McClendon, were retired and Clevlen was stranded on third.

The Sox were able to get that run back immediately in the bottom half with an RBI double courtesy of Jason Martin who finished the night 2-3 with a pair of extra-base hits. Van Skike worked 6.0 innings and allowed five runs on six hits with one strikeout and was dealt his first loss of the season.

Quist was just a little too good on this night and allowed only the one run on five hits through 5.2 innings. He walked four and struck out one, but stranded runners on base throughout the evening. He turned things over to Kellen Moen, the most often used Amarillo reliever, with two outs in the sixth and Moen was up to the task. The right-hander worked through the eighth inning without giving up even a single hit. The closer Erik Draxton came in for the ninth and allowed two runners to reach, but none of them to cross home plate on his way to closing the door on the Nuts.

After the Wingnuts had every member of the starting lineup register a hit in back-to-back nights, McMurray was the only one to collect multiple base knocks in this one. He finished 2-4. The Wingnuts left 10 runners on base in the game and six in scoring position.

The starting pitchers in tomorrow’s series-finale will be RHP Jon Link (3-1) for Wichita and RHP Mike Nannini (3-2) for Amarillo. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. The game can be heard on 92.7 KWME or by heading to wichitawingnuts.com and clicking the “Listen Live” link. For information on 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.

 

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Late Comeback Attempt Falls Short as Wingnuts Drop First Series in ‘14

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

Amarillo, TX (June 15, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts entered the rubber match of a three-game series with Amarillo on Sunday evening having won or earned a split in every series up to that point in the 2014 season. However, an opportunistic Amarillo club that cashed in on the limited chances they were presented, held on late to defeat the Wingnuts 4-3 at Amarillo National Bank Sox Stadium and win the series 2-1.

The Sox (11-18) were forced to pitch reliever Matt Larkins (3-2) in a starting role for the second time this year, after appearing out of the bullpen in 11 of his first 12 appearances. After shutting out Wichita for the first two innings, the Wingnuts took the lead in the third. With two outs Ryan Khoury hit a line drive directly at the third baseman Kevin Mahoney. Mahoney had the ball bounce in and out of his glove and fall to the turf, allowing Khoury to reach on the error. Carlo Testa followed by rifling a ball on the ground at first baseman Keith Brachold, who had it bound off of his chest and down the line to allow a pair on with two out. Jake Kahaulelio ripped a clutch single through the left side to put Wichita ahead 1-0.

Amarillo answered back with a crooked number against Wingnuts starter Jon Link (3-2), who entered play with a string of five consecutive quality starts intact. Jeff Farnham led off with a single and Mahoney followed immediately with a double to put two in scoring position with nary an out. Jason Martin grounded to second base to push in the first run for the home team and tie the game. Brachold then hit a triple just out of the reach of a diving Brent Clevlen in center that rolled to the wall and put Amarillo on top 2-1. The next batter, Omar Luna, tallied his second hit of the game and drove in a third run in the frame with a single to extend the advantage to 3-1.

Corey Patton drove in what would turn out to be a huge run in the sixth inning when he hit the first offering from Link over the wall in straight-away center to put Amarillo ahead 4-1.

That run would be huge because of what the Wingnuts did in the seventh against Larkins. J.T. Wise started things with a leadoff double and then with one out David Amberson singled to left to put runners on the corners. Sox manager Bobby Brown went to the bullpen and called on righty Casey Beck. Beck allowed an RBI fielder’s choice groundout to the first batter he faced, Khoury, and a run-scoring double to left by Carlo Testa before he was pulled. Those two runs closed the book on Larkins who went 6.1 innings, allowed three runs, and gave up six hits. Andrew Brooks made his professional debut by striking out Clevlen on three pitches to end the inning with two on base and Wichita still trailing 4-3.

The duo of John Holdzkom and closer Erik Draxton shut down the Wingnuts in the eighth and ninth respectively, each stranding a runner at second base in their frame.

Khoury paced the Wichita offense with three hits, a run scored, and an RBI. Testa was the only other member of the lineup with multiple hits, finishing 2-5 with an RBI double. Link ended up throwing 8.0 innings and giving up four runs on seven hits.

The Wingnuts will travel to Laredo for a big match-up with the second place team in the South, the Laredo Lemurs, on Monday night at 7:30 p.m. LHP Anthony Capra (3-2) works for the Wingnuts against RHP Cesar Carillo (2-1) of the Lemurs. For information on 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.

 

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Wingnuts Wear Out Sox in High-Scoring Affair

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

AMARILLO, TX (June 13, 2014) – By the time Friday night’s game at National Bank Sox Stadium reached the ninth inning, cars passing by on the highway that caught a glimpse of the scoreboard probably assumed there was a football game taking place inside. That wasn’t the case, however, it was simply an offensive clinic put on by the Wichita Wingnuts as they secured a 15-7 victory over the Amarillo Sox and racked up a season-high 19 hits.

The Wingnuts (20-9) scored early and often against Sox starter, and former Wingnut, Derek Blacksher and the rest of the Amarillo pitching staff. By the time the night was over, every hitter in the starting lineup had registered at least one hit, five tallied more than one RBI, five scored multiple runs, and six had a multi-hit game.

The scoring began in the third inning with a bases-loaded two-RBI single by Carlo Testa off of Blacksher to jump in front 2-0. Testa would end up going 4-5 with two RBI and scored three runs. J.T. Wise scored Chris McMurray with a double down the left field line in the next inning to increase the lead by one run.

Testa shared his thoughta on the game afterwards.

The Sox (9-18) were able to scratch across a couple of runs in the fourth inning by taking advantage of multiple defensive miscues by the Wingnuts, who came into the game leading the American Association in fielding percentage. Kyle Nichols and Keith Brachold both reached on errors to kick the frame off and then Kyle Bellows singled to load the bases with nobody out. Kevin Mahoney grounded into a fielder’s choice in which the Wingnuts threw out the lead runner at the plate for the first out. Jeff Farnham hit a hard groundball to third that took a nasty hop and hit Taylor Oldham in the side of the head. The ball caromed back to pitcher Justin Klipp who threw home for the force out, but the ball bounced out Wise’s mitt and rolled away, allowing two runs to cross the plate and the lead to shrink to 3-2. Oldham left the game, but was in good spirits afterwards and shouldn’t miss considerable time.

Klipp (4-1), who began the game second in the league in ERA, allowed nothing after the sloppy inning and worked his way to another quality start by giving up no earned runs in 6.0 innings on the mound and surrendering just four hits. The Wingnuts have now received a quality start in 20 of their first 29 games. Klipp saw his earned run average shrink even further to a league-best 0.94.

Wichita hung a crooked number in back-to-back innings in the fifth and sixth. In the first of the two, McMurray struck the initial blow with a two-RBI single that scored both Ryan Khoury and Testa. The next batter, Wise, pummeled a pitch over the wall to left field that scored three more and put the visiting ahead 8-2. The catcher went 3-4 and drove in four runs while scoring two. The next inning was capped off by a two-RBI double by Brent Clevlen that extended the cushion to 10-2.

The lead would reach as high as 10 after a two-run home run by Colt Loehrs made it 12-2, but Amarillo cut that in half in the bottom half of the same inning. In Alan Williams’ second inning out of the bullpen, Amarillo had seven consecutive hitters reach base as they scored five runs on six hits and one walk. Kevin Hooper brought in Mike Zouzalik for damage control and the right-hander induced a 5-3 double play on his first pitch and struck out the next batter to make the decision pay off and escape the inning up 12-7.

The Wingnuts added three more runs in the top of the ninth against former major leaguer Josh Spence topushthe lead to the final margin. Clevlen and McMurray were responsible for the runs coming in. Daniel Bennett worked a scoreless ninth inning to seal the win.

The same teams will play again on Saturday night with RHP Jason Van Skike (2-0) of the Wingnuts facing LHP Dayne Quist of Amarillo at 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard on 92.7 KWME or by heading to wichitawingnuts.com and clicking the “Listen Live” link. For information on 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.

 

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Wingnuts Grill T-Bones 4-3 To Take Series

Wingnuts Grill T-Bones 4-3 To Take Series

WICHITA, KS (June 12, 2014) – It wasn’t the prettiest victory of the season, but the Wichita Wingnuts put their resiliency on display and ended up laughing last in Thursday night’s 4-3 win over the visiting Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Tim Brown allowed the T-Bones to reach double digits in the hits column, but stranded numerous runners throughout the night on his way to another quality start. The Wingnuts matched the T-Bones hit-for-hit and everybody in the starting lineup registered at least one hit.

Kansas City (13-14) would scratch across a run in the first inning for a second straight night as David Espinosa reached on an error and then eventually scored when Danny Richar doubled down the left field line to give KC an early 1-0 lead. Brown bore down for the first time of the night when he followed by getting consecutive groundouts to strand Richar at second.

Unlike the night before, the Wingnuts (19-9) responded immediately with runs over their own, using three doubles to get the job done. Carlo Testa ripped the first two-bagger with one out and Jake Kahaulelio followed with one of his own to score Testa and tie the game. After Brent Clevlen flied out to right field, Chris McClendon also split the gap to drive in Kahahulelio and give the Wingnuts their first lead at 2-1.

The Wingnuts added an unearned run in the second inning to go up 3-1. Colt Loehrs reached on an error by third baseman T.J. Mittelstaedt to get the frame started. The next two batters made the error hurt as Taylor Oldham singled and Ryan Khoury followed with another base hit that scored Loehrs and made it 3-1 in the Nuts’ favor.

Kansas City would chip away at the lead off of Brown in the fourth. Mittelstaedt reached on a fielder’s choice with one down and then stole second base. Vladimir Frias moved him to third with a single, before Brian Erie grounded out to short and beat out the attempted double play to bring home a run and cut the lead to 3-2.

The same combination of hitters came through for the visitors two innings later to tie the game. Giarraputo led off with an infield single to third and was moved to second courtesy of a sacrifice bunt from Mittelstaedt. The small ball continued with a ground out to the right side by Frias, allowing Giarraputo to advance 90 feet. Erie got the job done again, this time singling home a run to knot the score at three.

The T-Bones threatened to take the lead in Brown’s final inning on the hill. With one out Espinosa doubled, forcing Kevin Hooper to call on southpaw Alex Hinshaw to face a pair of upcoming lefties. Hinshaw struck out both batters he faced, Richar and Nick Schwaner, to hold the score. Brown threw 6.1 innings and gave up ten hits, but allowed just three runs, two of them earned. The quality start was the 19th in 28 games for the league’s top pitching staff.

Hinshaw (1-0) became the winning pitcher when his offense scored the winning run in the bottom half of the same inning. After the first two batters were struck out by reliever Kyle Devore, Clevlen hit a double and McClendon followed with an RBI single to grab the lead away for good. The third baseman finished the game 2-4 with two runs driven in.

Set-up man Patrick Mincey and closer Matt Nevarez continued to stifle opposing bats by shutting down the T-Bones in the eighth and ninth innings. Mincey allowed a base runner via a base on balls and Nevarez allowed just a single on the way to recording his league-leading ninth save. The Wingnuts now hold a 17-1 record when leading after the seventh inning.

The Wingnuts will travel to play the Amarillo Sox for the first time this year on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. In the opener of the three-game series, RHP Justin Klipp will toss for Wichita and RHP Derek Blacksher will go for Amarillo. For information on 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.

 

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KC Scores Late to Knock Off Nuts 4-2

WICHITA, KS (June 11, 2014) – Anthony Capra of the Wichita Wingnuts and Daniel Barone of the Kansas City T-Bones were each facing their opponent for a third time in the 2014 season on Wednesday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. The two starting pitchers battled to a dead heat through seven innings, but the bullpen of the T-Bones was just a little bit sturdier on this night as Kansas City held on for a 4-2 win.

The T-Bones (13-13) didn’t waste any time getting on the board against Capra. The second batter of the game, David Espinosa, launched a ball out of the park to left to put KC on top 1-0. The T-Bones struck again before Capra got settled in on the hill to go up 2-0 in the second. T.J. Mittelstaedt singled with one out and catcher Brian Erie followed with a run-scoring double down the left field line.

Capra would shut out the T-Bones the rest of the way, ending his night after working 7.0 innings and having allowed two runs on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Capra continued the early-season dominance by the Wingnuts’ starting rotation. They have now lasted at least 6.0 innings in 22 of 27 games and 18 of such appearances have qualified for a quality start (6.0 innings, three earned runs or less).

Barone (4-0), meanwhile, was continuing his domination of the Wingnuts’ offense. Before the seventh inning began, the right-hander had allowed just three earned runs to Wichita in 18.2 innings against them. In the seventh the Wingnuts would fight back without smacking the ball around. Jake Kahaulelio was hit by a pitch to start the inning and then Brent Clevlen was walked. Third baseman Chris McClendon advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt before Chris McMurray ended the drought by bouncing into an RBI fielder’s choice to cut the lead in half at 2-1. With two outs, J.T. Wise clutched up and singled home Clevlen to tie the game.

Barone was taken out of the game following that inning having thrown 7.0 innings and allowing the two runs on five hits with three strikeouts and a walk.

Matt Robertson came on to pitch the eighth inning and the first two batters he faced singled right back through the middle to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Robertson was replaced by left-hander Alex Hinshaw who gave up an RBI single to Danny Richar, the first batter he faced. After hitting Nick Schwaner with a pitch, Hinshaw allowed a second run-scoring base hit to Nick Giarraputo to push the KC lead to 4-2. After an error by McClendon on the following play, Daniel Bennett came on and stranded the bases loaded to keep the game within reach.

Daniel Bennett worked 1.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen, but the offense couldn’t score against either Chris Squires or Kris Regas, sealing their fate. Robertson (0-2) was dealt the loss with both eighth-inning runs charged to him. Wise went 3-4 at the plate with a double and an RBI.

Wise and manager Kevin Hooper share their post-game thoughts.

The two teams play once again on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. The game will represent the final match-up in the KTA Turnpike Showdown, which Wichita currently leads 5-4. On the mound will be RHP Tim Brown of the Wingnuts and T-Bones’ RHP Andy Noga. For information on 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.

 

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Mac Attacks as Nuts Take 7-1 Decision Over KC

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (June 10,2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts rode their Tuesday night battery of Jon Link and Chris McMurray to a 7-1 win over in-state rival Kansas City at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Link contributed his fifth straight quality start in limiting the T-Bones to one run in 7.0 innings, while the catcher McMurray went 3-4 and drove in three runs.

The Wingnuts (18-8) struck first against Wichita native, and T-Bones’ starter, Matt Smith in the bottom of the second inning. Brent Clevlen doubled to start the frame and moved over to third on a deep fly ball by the next batter Chris McClendon. McMurray took advantage of the opportunity by grounding deep into the hole at short to allow Clevlen to score and give the Nuts a 1-0 lead.

After breezing through the first two innings, Link allowed a run in the third, but rebounded to strand the bases loaded and preserve a tie. The right-hander walked T.J. Mittelstaedt and Robby Kuzdale with a groundout by Brian Erie sandwiched in between. Bryan Sabatella singled to load the bases with one out for David Espinosa. The left fielder grounded a ball softly to second and Jake Kahaulelio’s only play was to first, so the tying run crossed home plate. After another walk to Danny Richar, Link got Nick Schwaner to fly out to left and end the inning.

Link would not allow another run in the game as he held the T-Bones (12-13) to just a pair of hits and let one more runner reach scoring position in his outing. Link (3-1) lowered his ERA to 3.15 and continued an impressive start to the season for the league’s best pitching staff. The Wingnuts have now received an outing of at least 6.0 innings by their starting pitcher in 21 of the first 26 games, with 17 of them being quality starts.

Kevin Hooper and Jon Link share their thoughts post-game

The Wingnuts grabbed the lead at 2-1 in the fifth inning on an RBI single by Colt Loehrs that scored McMurray from second after he had singled and stole second base. That lead held until the seventh when Wichita finally hung a crooked number on Smith, once again courtesy of the Wingnuts’ backstop. With one out McClendon singled and then McMurray jumped all over a 2-2 fastball and laced it over the wall in left to extend the advantage to 4-1.

The home team used a combination of speed and timely hitting to add three more in the eighth inning against reliever Jared Messer. David Amberson reached on an infield single prior to a bloop single by Ryan Khoury. With runners on the corners Carlo Testa grounded into a run-scoring fielder’s choice to move the lead to 5-1. Kahaulelio then hit a chopper to short, where Vladimir Frias fielded and threw low and wide to first. The ball escaped Schwaner and rolled into foul territory while Testa raced around the bases and scored. With Kahaulelio at third, McClendon lofted a sacrifice fly to left to score the final run of the game which made it 7-1.

Patrick Mincey and Alan Williams each worked a scoreless inning in relief of Link. Khoury and Clevlen joined McMurray in the multi-hit club, while McClendon extended his hit streak at the outset of his Wingnuts’ career to eight games.

The Wingnuts and T-Bones are back at it on Wednesday night with Wichita sending LHP Anthony Capra (3-2) to the mound to face off with RHP Daniel Barone (3-0) of KC. It will be the third edition of Way-Back Wednesday at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium as the team celebrates the 1960’s. General admission tickets will cost just one dollar and many events throughout the night will have a 60’s feel to them. For information on 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.

 

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Pitching Shines as Wingnuts Split Doubleheader with Grand Prairie

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

GRAND PRAIRIE, TX (June 8, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts struggled to score for most of their Sunday afternoon doubleheader at QuikTrip Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, but managed to break free at the plate in the nick of time to win game two and earn a split for the day. The AirHogs won a pitcher’s duel to take game one 1-0 and the Wingnuts allowed a couple of late runs to force extra innings in game two before running away 8-2 in eight innings.

In game one, Justin Klipp brought his miniscule 1.03 ERA to the hill in a match-up with Grand Prairie right-hander Aaron Wilkerson. The AirHogs were able to scratch across the game’s only run in the very first inning. Former Wingnut Abel Nieves singled with one out in the inning and after a walk to Palmer Karr Jr., raced home on an RBI single by former major leaguer Jason Botts.

The Wingnuts would have plenty of chances to score throughout the game, but could never cash in and reach the scoreboard. In both the second and third inning, Wichita put a pair of runners on with one out, but could not move them from there. In the fifth inning, Carlo Testa drove a one out triple off the wall in center to put the tying run just 90 feet away for the middle of the order. However, Wilkerson struck out Jake Kahaulelio and was able to get Brent Clevlen to ground out to short to preserve the AirHogs’ advantage.

In the sixth, the offense put runners on second and third with just one down after Wise and McMurray reached base and were bunted over by Chris McClendon. Back-to-back ground outs to short by Colt Loehrs and David Amberson kept the score in Grand Prairie’s favor.

Trailing by one in the final inning, the Wingnuts came up empty in their best chance of the afternoon. With closer Dakota Watts in the game, the Wingnuts loaded the bases with one out on a single by Testa, double by Kahaulelio, and intentional walk to Clevlen. With the game teetering in Wichita’s favor, J.T. Wise struck out looking and McMurray grounded out to end the game. The Nuts left at least one runner on base in each of the seven innings.

Klipp (3-1) was handed his first loss despite turning in another stellar outing. He allowed just the one run in 6.0 innings on three hits with one walk and four strikeouts.

The second game of the twin-bill was scoreless until Taylor Oldham changed that in the fifth. The designated hitter, who hadn’t played since Wednesday, launched a 2-run home run off of reliever Jeremy Tietze, who had just entered the game to face him.

Jason Van Skike, who was making his first start of the year, worked 5.0 scoreless innings and allowed just three hits, while striking out three.

Patrick Mincey came on to pitch the eighth inning against his former team having not allowed a run in the 2014 season to that point. Abel Nieves singled with one out and that was followed by a booming double to center by Palmer Karr Jr. After Botts popped out on the infield, Andres Rodriguez smashed a double off of the wall to score both runners and tie the game at two.

After neither team scored in the seventh inning, the Wingnuts broke through for six in the eighth, the first extra frame. Testa gave Wichita the lead with a one out solo home run that left the park on a line and landed in the right field bleacher seats. Kahaulelio followed with a double and then Clevlen also hit a ball that left the yard to put the Wingnuts on top 5-2. Before the inning was over, Oldham added a two-run double off of the wall and Testa was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded for his second RBI of the inning.

Matt Nevarez came on in the bottom half and struck out the side to close out the win. Oldham finished game two 2-4 with four RBI and two runs scored, while Clevlen and Loehrs each added a pair of knocks themselves. Mike Zouzalik worked a scoreless seventh inning to earn his first win of the season.

The Wingnuts will take the day off on Monday, before hosting Kansas City at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in game one of a three-game series on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. For information on 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

 

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Kansas City Clutches Up; Tops Wingnuts 6-2

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

KANSAS CITY, KS (June 5, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts missed on a couple of big opportunities and the Kansas City T-Bones cashed in on their chances on Thursday night at Community America Ballpark, propelling the T-Bones to a 6-2 victory.

The Wingnuts (15-7) loaded the bases in the first inning with nobody out as they threatened to score a first inning run for the fifth straight game. Ryan Khoury walked, Carlo Testa singled, and Jake Kahaulelio was hit by a pitch to set the stage for the middle of the order. However, T-Bones’ starter Daniel Barone rebounded to strike out the next three hitters in a row and escape the inning unscathed.

The Wingnuts shook off that disappointment to score the game’s first run in the third inning.   Brent Clevlen singled with two out and would race around to score on a two-strike double by the designated hitter J.T. Wise, putting Wichita up 1-0.

The lead wouldn’t last long however, as Kansas City (10-11) snatched the lead away in the bottom of the fourth when they got to starting pitcher Anthony Capra for the first time. Leadoff hitter T.J. Mittelstaedt started the inning with a double down the right field line. Mittelstaedt went to third base on a wild pitch prior to a walk to David Espinosa. Clean-up hitter Danny Richar then grounded a ball deep into the hole on the right side to bring home the T-Bones’ first run and tie the score. Nick Schwaner was hit by a pitch and then Nick Giarraputo drew a walk to load the bases for the shortstop, Vladimir Frias. Frias and Capra battled to a full count, but the hitter won the war when he singled to left and made it 3-1 in favor of the home team.

The Wingnuts cut the lead in half in the seventh, but came up empty on a chance to tie or take the lead. Testa reached on a fielder’s choice with one out, before Kahaulelio singled to put two on for Clevlen. The veteran centerfielder laced a single the opposite way, allowing Testa to streak home and Kahaulelio to advance to third. With the tying run 90 feet away, Wise bounced into a 6-3 double play to end the threat with the Nuts still trailing 3-2.

Another clutch two out hit hurt the Wingnuts in the seventh. Daniel Bennett began the inning by allowing a single to Giarraputo. After retiring the next two hitters on fielder’s choice groundouts, Bennett walked Robby Kuzdale, the nine-hitter. With the lefty Mittelstaedt coming to the plate and two on base, manager Kevin Hooper called on left-hander Alex Hinshaw from the bullpen. The former big leaguer, who had yet to allow a hit this season, walked the first batter he faced and then allowed a two-run single to left off of Espinosa’s bat. After the clutch hit the T-Bones led 5-2. They would add another in the eighth with an RBI double by the opportunistic Frias, this time against Mike Zouzalik.

Barone (3-0) worked 6.0 innings and allowed one run on seven hits while striking out five as he remained unbeaten. Capra (3-2) took his second consecutive loss despite another quality start. The lefty allowed three runs in 6.0 innings on two hits with four walks, while striking out five.

Khoury, Testa, Clevlen, Wise, and Colt Loehrs each finished with two hits apiece. Testa scored a run for the fifth straight game.

RHP Tim Brown will start the first of a three-game series in Grand Prairie on Friday night. The AirHogs are to be decided. The game begins at 7:05 p.m. For information on 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.

 

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Former Wingnut Peralta Gets Call to the Show

WICHITA, KS (June 5, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts have had many former Major Leaguers standing in the home dugout at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium throughout their eight seasons of existence. The current roster features the trio of Jon Link, Brent Clevlen, and Alex Hinshaw, who all played at the highest level at some point in the past. However, on Sunday the Wingnuts had their first former player ascend to the MLB when outfielder David Peralta made his major league debut.

Peralta, who played 98 games for Wichita during the 2012 season, went 2-4 in his big league debut against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday afternoon in Arizona. The 26-year old is less than one year removed from the American Association, but moved through the D-Backs system quickly by posting impressive numbers at each stop. Prior to his summons, Peralta was hitting .297 in 53 games with Arizona’s Double-A affiliate in Mobile.

What makes his success story even more satisfying is the fact that he began his professional career with two seasons in the St. Louis organization as a pitcher. After giving up pitching in 2007, Peralta made it back to the pro ranks as a position player in 2011 with the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings of the North American Baseball League.

He made his way to Wichita in 2012 when he hit .332 with three home runs and 70 RBI for a club that lost to Winnipeg in the American Association championship series. Peralta moved on to fellow American Association franchise Amarillo for the start of 2013 before having his contract purchased by Arizona. In 140 American Association games, Peralta hit .338 with 11 home runs and 108 RBI.

Peralta sent the following message to the Wingnuts via his Facebook page: “I want to thank the managers, staff and my fellow teammates from the Wichita Wingnuts. I want to thank the hitting coach Jose Amado, he helped me learn a lot about hitting. We had a great season in 2012 and it was a pleasure to work and play with you all. Thanks to all for believing in me and helping me get where I am today!”

Peralta is the 16th former American Association player to reach the pinnacle of the sport.

For information on 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

 

 

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Wingnuts Use Big First Inning to Tame T-Bones

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS (June 4, 2014) – After waiting approximately 50 minutes for the field at Community America Ballpark to dry out from severe storms that rolled through the night before, the Wingnuts were anything but rusty coming out of the gates. They threw a crooked number on the board in their first trip to the plate, scored a couple more in the fourth, and used superb pitching to take a wire-to-wire 6-1 decision.

Facing Wichita native and former Wichita State Shocker’s pitcher Matt Smith, the Wingnuts (15-6) wasted no time in exerting their will. After Ryan Khoury walked to start the game, Carlo Testa reached on a fielder’s choice groundout. Jake Kahaulelio followed with a base hit to put two aboard. After Brent Clevlen went down on strikes, J.T. Wise responded with a clutch two-out double to score Testa and put the Wingnuts in front 1-0. Chris McClendon punched a ball through the infield to bring home both Kahaulelio and Wise and suddenly the lead was 3-0. Before the inning was over, Colt Loehrs brought home another run with an RBI single of his own.

As they did the previous night, the T-Bones (9-11) answered right back in the bottom half. With Jon Link on the mound for the Wingnuts , T.J. Mittelstaedt singled up the middle to start the frame. The next batter David Espinosa earned a walk to put two on with nobody out. After Bryan Sabatella lined out sharply to first base, Danny Richar followed with his team-leading 17th RBI to cut the lead to 4-1. Link was able to escape the jam by inducing an inning-ending double play groundout by Nick Schwaner.

Wichita turned to the bottom of their order to score two more in the fourth inning. David Amberson and Taylor Oldham led off with back-to-back singles. They each moved into scoring position on a fielder’s choice groundout by Khoury. With Testa at the plate, Smith uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Amberson to score and Oldham to move to third. On the next pitch Testa hit a ground ball deep enough at second base to bring in Oldjam and extend the advantage to 6-1.

Link, the former Los Angeles Dodger, had things under control from that point forward in his outing. He ended up working 6.0 innings and allowing the lone run on five hits. The right-hander walked four and struck out one. It was Link’s fourth quality start in five outings. Manager Kevin Hooper then went into the always tough back end of his bullpen. Alex Hinshaw (7th), Patrick Mincey (8th), and Matt Nevarez (9th) combined to work three scoreless, hitless innings in relief. Hinshaw struck out the side in his appearance.

McClendon had a 2-4 day at the plate and two RBI along with a run scored, while Kahaulelio and Loehrs also finished with two hits. Meanwhile Carlo Testa’s 11-game hitting streak came to an end as he was 0-5 with an RBI and scored a run.

Kevin Hooper and Chris McClendon share their post-game thoughts

The four-game series will conclude tomorrow as Wichita opts for LHP Anthony Capra against RHP Daniel Barone of Kansas City. The game will begin at 7:05 p.m. For information on 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

 

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T-Bones Sizzle Early On, Prevail 9-4

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

KANSAS CITY, KS (June 3, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts couldn’t keep the Kansas City T-Bones off of the scoreboard early on in Tuesday night’s game at Community America Ballpark.   When they finally figured out how to corral the T-Bones, it was too little too late, as they dropped a 9-4 decision to their in-state rival.

The game began on a very positive note when Carlo Testa extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a one out triple in the top of the first inning. He raced home as a result of the following hitter, Jake Kahaulelio, singling up the middle and it was 1-0 Wingnuts.

However, the T-Bones (9-10) were quick to find an answer. David Espinosa reached with a one out single and shortly afterward, stole second. Danny Richar drew a two-out base on balls prior to a run-scoring single by first baseman Nick Schwaner that tied the game.

Kansas City used the long ball to strike against Alan Williams, Wichita’s starter, in the second frame. Catcher Brian Erie launched a full count pitch to deep left field for a two-run home run two batters before leadoff hitter T.J. Mittelstaedt hit a solo blast of his own. The deep flies put the T-Bones up 4-1.

The Wingnuts (14-6) chipped away at the lead in the visiting half of the third. Testa, who finished 3-5 with three runs scored and a home run shy of the cycle, singled to start the inning. Kahaulelio walked and then the two executed a double steal to move into scoring position for J.T. Wise. The designated hitter pulled a groundball inside of third base and down the line to score both, pulling the team within one at 4-3.

The T-Bones continued their early onslaught in the bottom half of the inning. Three straight hits, two of the extra-base variety, by Nick Schwaner, Vladimir Frias, and Danny Richar allowed two runs to score. Erie then struck again by singling in Frias and Mittelstaedt later added a run-scoring double which caused the lead to balloon to 8-2. Williams was chased from the game in the middle of the outburst, having allowed eight runs on nine hits in 2.1 innings of work.

The Wingnuts scored their final run in the fifth inning on a Brent Clevlen RBI single. In the eighth inning the T-Bones tacked on the final run of the night, when Espinosa doubled in Erie, who had just recorded his third hit of the night.

Daniel Bennett turned in 2.2 solid innings in relief of Williams, holding the T-Bones at bay by allowing just two hits. First baseman Colt Loehrs was the only Wingnut besides Testa to register multiple hits in the game. Second baseman Jake Kahaulelio left the game in the eighth inning after being hit by an Andy Noga pitch in the seventh.

View Bennett's Post-Game Comments

The Wingnuts will look to re-take a lead in the series Wednesday morning by sending RHP Jon Link to the mound to square off with RHP Matt Smith of KC. First pitch is slated for 11:05 a.m. For information on 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.

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Wingnuts Walk Past Kansas City 11-2

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

KANSAS CITY, KS (June 2, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts have a number of hitters in their everyday lineup that have the ability to hit any given pitch a long way. However, the value of laying off of pitches that do not enter the strike zone cannot be understated. A combination of the two, seven extra base hits and 11 walks, allowed Wichita to roll to an easy 11-2 win over the Kansas City T-Bones on Monday night at Community America Ballpark.

The walk parade began in the very first inning when T-Bones’ starter Pat Doyle (1-2) issued three free passes. Ryan Khoury began the game by drawing one and then after Carlo Testa followed with a single, Doyle couldn’t find the strike zone to either Brent Clevlen or Chris McMurray and forced home a run.

In the next inning it was both the free bases and the bats that put a crooked number on the board. David Amberson led off with a walk and then advanced to second and third on a pair of wild pitches. Testa singled him home and then proceeded to steal second and third on consecutive Doyle pitches. After Jake Kahaulelio walked, Clevlen smacked a double to left-center field that scored both and made it 4-0.

In Doyle’s last inning, the fifth, the Wingnuts tacked on an unearned run to his line before he departed. Colt Loehrs reached on an infield single and advanced to second on an errant throw from shortstop Vladimir Frias. That put him in scoring position for the newest Wingnut, Chris McClendon, who was acquired earlier in the day. McClendon slapped a ball through the infield to grab a 5-0 lead and record his first RBI with Wichita.

While this was going on in the top half of various innings, Wingnuts’ starter Justin Klipp (3-0) was working his way efficiently through the bottom halves. He escaped the few jams the T-Bones (8-10) put him in on his way to working 7.0 scoreless innings, allowing six hits, and striking out seven.

Klipp and Kevin Hooper share their thoughts post-game.

Wichita (14-5) added two more in the seventh inning on a couple more bases loaded walks, one by Kristhiam Linares and the other by Zach Fowler, to push the lead to 7-0. In the eighth, a McMurray double brought home Clevlen to add one more to the advantage. In the bottom of the same inning Kansas City reached the scoreboard for the only time when, with two on and two out, Carlo Testa dropped a ball near the warning track allowing both runners to score.

In the top of the ninth Testa made up for his defensive miscue by driving in a run prior to Kahaulelio crushing a fastball to left field for a two-run homer and extending the margin to 11-2.

Seven of the nine hitters in Wichita’s lineup drove in a run, while Testa, Clevlen, Kahaulelio, and McMurray each had two. Testa was 3-6 and Clevlen and McMurray both had multiple extra-base knocks.

Left-hander Alan Williams will make the start for the Wingnuts on Tuesday night against left-handed pitcher Rick Zagone of Kansas City. The game begins at 7:05 p.m. with the pre-game show starting at 6:50 on 92.7 KWME or by choosing the “Listen Live” option on wichitawingnuts.com.   For information on 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

 

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Win Streak Ends at Six as Wingnuts Rolled by RailCats

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (May 31, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts entered play on Saturday evening with a season-high six game win streak and feeling very good about the way they were playing. After the dust had settled on a 15-0 RailCats victory, it was the team from Indiana that was walking off of the Lawrence-Dumont turf with a skip in their step.

Wingnuts’ starter Anthony Capra (3-1) entered the game having allowed just one run in his last four regular season starts going back to 2013. Capra was facing a left-hand dominant lineup for the RailCats, but things didn’t go his way from the opening at bat. Danny Pulfer led off the game with a triple and came around to score a few pitches later when Drew Martinez singled him home. Josh Romanski followed with a third straight hit that put runners on the corners with nobody out. Romanski was caught in a rundown between first and second shortly afterward, which allowed Martinez to score without a throw and it was quickly 2-0 RailCats.

After Capra regrouped to work a clean second, Gary SouthShore (8-7) put another crooked number up in the third. With two outs, Martinez reached on another base hit and was driven in by a two-run blast to right-center by Romanski that landed beyond the outfield wall. Ryan Babineau followed by reaching on an infield single and then moving into scoring position on throwing error by Ryan Khoury. He would score the fifth run of the night on an RBI single by Jeremey Hamilton.

Capra was chased in the fourth inning after he walked in a pair of runs and had two more score on an error by first baseman J.T. Wise. Capra finished the day having thrown 3.2 innings while giving up nine runs, four earned, on nine hits and three walks. The start was the shortest of the season by a member of the Wingnuts’ rotation. When the inning reached its’ conclusion the scoreboard read 9-0 in Gary’s favor.

The RailCats did not let up against new pitcher Matt Robertson in the fifth. Gary’s lineup recorded eight straight hits to start the inning and scored a run on a sacrifice fly to finish the disastrous frame leading 15-0.

The Wingnuts (12-5) could never start a rally against Gary starter Stephen Hiscock (1-1). Hiscock, who had pitched against the Nuts last week, scattered six hits over 6.0 scoreless innings. Ethan Gibbons worked two scoreless innings himself, and Chuck Fontana followed by retiring the side in order in the ninth to close it out. It was the first time the Wingnuts were shutout since July 22, 2013.

Kevin Hooper Reacts to the Loss

Gary SouthShore’s 21 hits and 15 runs were the most allowed in both categories by the Wingnuts this season. In fact the 15 runs were the most scored against the Wingnuts since June 16, 2011 at Amarillo, when the Sox scored 17. Hamilton led the RailCats by going 4-6 with three RBI and Martinez, Romanski, and Miles Walding each chipped in three hits apiece. The Wingnuts had three players record all eight of their hits. Brent Clevlen went 4-4 and the duo of Carlo Testa and David Amberson each racked up two.

The finale of this three-game set and the rubber match in the season series will take place on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. RHP Tim Brown works for the Wingnuts against RHP Stephen Bougher of the RailCats. There will be a limited number of Wingnuts’ lanyards given away at the front gate to fans of all ages. For information on 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.

 

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Wingnuts Win Season Series with Gary after 8-3 Victory

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (June 1, 2014) - After falling in a lopsided manner to the Gary SouthShore RailCats in Saturday night’s match-up, the Wichita Wingnuts brought their bats to the park on Sunday. Timely hitting and a couple of big innings allowed Wichita to win the game 8-3 and take the seven-game season series 4-3.

Carlo Testa started the game off on the right foot by blasting a long home run to dead centerfield in the very first inning. The ball bounded off of the bottom of the batter’s eye to give the Wingnuts (13-5) a 1-0 lead against RailCats’ starter Stephen Bougher (2-1).

Tim Brown (3-1) held Gary SouthShore (8-8) scoreless until the top of inning number four. Having faced the minimum through three, Brown left a two strike pitch out over the plate and Danny Pulfer drove it out of the park to left to tie the game.

In the fifth, the RailCats used their more customary small-ball manner to score a run and take the lead. With one out, Justin Gominsky doubled and moved to third on a Zac Mitchell base hit. The ninth batter Miles Walding put down a safety squeeze bunt that got past the glove of Brown and scored Gominsky from third.   As Jake Kahaulelio, the second basemen, threw out Walding at first, the Gary shortstop went down in a heap grabbing his leg. He would not return to the game.

David Amberson began a Wingnuts’ comeback in the fifth by drilling a ground rule double to right center. He advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by the very next batter Taylor Oldham. Ryan Khoury then hit a high pop up into shallow left field that nobody could corral, allowing Amberson to score and the Wingnuts to pull even. They took a 3-2 lead when Khoury stole second, advanced to third when Derek Smith, Walding’s replacement, committed an error on a ball hit by Kahaulelio, and scored on a Bougher wild pitch. That inning was the last for the Gary right-hander who allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits and a walk.

The potent Wichita offense scored five runs combined in the seventh and eighth innings. A two-out, seventh inning, single by Mike Hernandez scored Kahaulelio, who had earlier been hit by a Coleman Stephens pitch. In the eighth it was RBI singles by Khoury and Testa as well as a two-run triple by Brent Clevlen that did the damage and gave the home squad an 8-3 cushion. Daniel Bennett allowed a solo home run to Wally Backman Jr. in the top of the ninth to close the scoring.

Khoury, Testa, and Clevlen each finished with a couple of RBI, while Amberson recorded his third straight multi-hit game. The Wingnuts concluded their seven-game homestand with an impressive 6-1 record.

Tim Brown and Brent Clevlen React to the Win

The Wingnuts hit the road for the next week, beginning with a 7:05 p.m. start Monday night at Kansas City for the continuation of the KTA Turnpike Showdown. Wichita will call on RHP Justin Klipp to continue the hot start and the T-Bones will go with RHP Pat Doyle. The game can be heard live on 92.7 KWME with pre-game kicking off at 6:50 p.m. For information on 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.

 

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Testa Turns Out the Lights on RailCats

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (May 30, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts’ game with the Gary SouthShore RailCats on Friday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium featured all kinds of fireworks, both the literal and figurative kind. In a game that was delayed 40 minutes for Riverfest fireworks, the Wingnuts (12-4) used a huge bases-clearing, go-ahead, three RBI double by Carlo Testa to score their first runs of the game and take a 3-2 lead. They would add one more before the inning ended and held on for the 4-2 win.

The RailCats (7-7) scratched their way onto the scoreboard first in the third inning. Nine-hitter Cody Bishop led off the inning against Wingnuts’ starter Jon Link with a single. With one out, Drew Martinez executed a hit-and-run to perfection to reach via an infield single. Josh Romanski hit a ground ball to first to advance each runner 90 feet and set up the catcher Craig Maddox. With two strikes, the left-handed hitting RailCats backstop hooked a line drive into fair territory down the right field line to score both teammates and give Gary a 2-0 lead.

Link was stingy both prior to and after that inning, as he completed six innings on the hill, giving up the two runs on five hits while striking out and walking a pair. Link’s quality start was the tenth of the season for the rotation and sixth in a row.

Gary starting pitcher Dustin Crenshaw was much better in this game then when he started against Wichita on the previous Sunday. In that game he lasted just five innings, but on Friday he had held the same lineup scoreless through 7.0 innings. In the eighth inning, however, it was Wichita’s turn to shine. Crenshaw allowed a leadoff single to Chris McMurray, before he was pulled in favor of Coleman Stephens. Stephens walked Colt Loehrs before David Amberson laid down a sacrifice bunt attempt to the left side. Stephens and third baseman Wally Backman miscommunicated and the ball rolled between them to load the bases. Gary manager Greg Tagert went to the pen again, this time summoning lefty Joe Testa to face Carlo Testa. The Wingnuts’ Testa lined a bases-clearing double over the head of Bishop in center and to the wall to give Wichita a 3-2 lead. Testa went 2-3 with a double, walk, and three RBI.

Immediately after Testa’s heroics, the game was halted to allow the Riverfest opening night fireworks display to take place. After a 40-minute delay the teams returned to the field and Jake Kahaulelio ripped a double that bounced off of Bishop’s glove and to the turf, allowing Testa to cross the plate and give the Wingnuts a 4-2 advantage. Stephens ended up allowing one run on six hits and struck out four. The second and third runs belonged to Stephens (1-1), who was saddled with the loss, and Testa allowed the fourth.

Post-Game Reaction from Kevin Hooper, David Amberson, and Jason Van Skike

Matt Nevarez earned his eighth save of the season by allowing just a hit in the ninth and striking out one. Jason Van Skike (2-0) earned the win, pitching a scoreless top of the eighth inning before the Wingnuts’ outburst. Alex Hinshaw also added a scoreless inning out of the pen.

The same two teams meet again tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. Wichita LHP Anthony Capra (3-0) will take to the hill and square off with RHP Stephen Hiscock (0-1) of Gary SouthShore. For information on 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

 

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Wingnuts Leave Lemurs in the Dust, Sweep Series

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (May 29, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts have hit a rhythm both at the plate and on the mound since returning home four days ago from a trip to Gary SouthShore. Everything was on display on Thursday night, when the Wingnuts dismantled the Laredo Lemurs 11-2 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

Starting pitcher Alan Williams allowed a run in the first inning to the Lemurs (6-8), but his teammates picked him up and then some in the bottom of the inning. With one out Carlo Testa doubled to left field and Jake Kahaulelio was hit by a pitch from Laredo starter Sean Tracey to put two on with one out. After Brent Clevlen grounded into a fielder’s choice for the second out, six straight Wingnuts reached base safely and the team had snatched away a 6-1 lead. J.T. Wise (2), Mike Hernandez, Taylor Oldham, and Ryan Khoury (2) all drove in runs in the inning.

Williams would allow one more run in the outing and that came in the Lemurs’ half of inning number four. Josh Scheffert drove in Gerardo Avila, who had previously singled, to trim the lead to 6-2. Williams would go on to work 6.0 innings, allowing the two runs on four hits, while walking three. His quality start was the 11th in the first 15 games for the Wingnuts’ starting rotation.

Kevin Hooper and Alan Williams Post-Game Remarks

The Wingnuts (11-4) added two more runs against Tracey in the third inning, eventually chasing him from the game. The right-hander threw two wild pitches that allowed Ryan Khoury and Testa to score and make it 8-1. Tracey departed after working 2.2 innings and allowing eight runs on six hits and five walks.

Mike Hernandez drove in his second run of the game in the fifth inning when his single up the middle scored Clevlen, who had reached earlier on an infield single. Wichita also added lone runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to continue extending the lead to the eventual final mark of 11-2.

The bullpen was stellar once again, as Matt Robertson, Jason Van Skike, and Daniel Bennett each worked scoreless innings to salt away the game. Bennett finished things with a flurry by striking out the side in the ninth.

On Friday night the Wingnuts begin a three-game series with the Gary SouthShore RailCats at home. RHP Jon Link will make the start for Wichita against RHP Dustin Crenshaw of Gary. The game will begin at 7:05 p.m. and there will be a fireworks show following the game. For information on 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

 

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Wingnuts' Riverfest Parking

WICHITA, KS (May 30, 2014) - There will be a parking and shuttle service for the Wichita Wingnuts' three weekend home games during the opening weekend of RiverFest Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  The parking lots at Friends University, just to the north of the football field off of Maple Street, will be available for the use of fans coming to catch a game at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. 

Two trolleys from River City Trolley will transport fans to and from the ballpark between the following times:

Friday - 6 p.m. -11 p.m.

Saturday - 6 p.m. -10 p.m.

Sunday - 1 p.m. -5 p.m.

 

Call (316) 264-6887 with any questions.  We look forward to seeing you at the games and go Nuts!!!!!

Wingnuts Rally Late to Win Fourth Straight

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (May 28, 2014) – To be a really good team in professional baseball, it takes an uncanny ability to win games in a variety of fashions. On Wednesday night against the Laredo Lemurs, Wichita used a huge seventh inning mistake by a Laredo fielder and a big hit by Ryan Khoury to escape with a 2-1 win, a season-high fourth in a row, at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

The Lemurs (6-7) jumped ahead in the fourth inning when they scored an unearned run off of Wingnuts’ starter Justin Klipp. Devin Goodwin singled up the middle for Laredo’s first hit of the game to begin the frame. He stole second a couple of pitches later, and when catcher J.T. Wise’s throw was wide of the bag and bounced off of Jake Kahulelio’s glove and into right field, Goodwin raced to third. The next batter Travis Denker lofted a sacrifice fly to center that scored Goodwin. The RBI was Denker’s American Association leading 18th of the year.

That would be the only run scored off of Klipp, who was nothing but efficient once again tonight. The right-hander pitched 7.0 innings, allowed just the unearned run on four hits and one walk, while striking out one. The quality start was the 10th in 13 games for a Wingnuts’ starting pitcher.

The Wingnuts (10-4) didn’t have much success themselves against Lemurs’ pitcher Tyler Pearson until the fateful seventh inning. Mike Hernandez began the inning by hitting a high fly ball to medium-depth left field. It appeared to be a routine play for Laredo left-fielder J.P. Ramirez until he lost sight of the ball in the lights. It dropped harmlessly next to him as Hernandez eased into second with a double. When Ramirez bobbled the ball in his attempt to pick it up, the Wichita designated hitter hustled to third.   After Chris McMurray flied out, Colt Loehrs blooped a single down the third base line to tie the game at one before being thrown out in an attempt to take second base. David Amberson then walked, before Khoury provided the dagger, a double off the top of the wall in the left field power alley. Amberson scored easily and the Wingnuts led 2-1.

Kevin Hooper and Ryan Khoury Post-Game Interviews

Pearson ended up allowing two runs in 6.2 innings on five hits and five walks. The right-hander struck out one batter.

Patrick Mincey allowed only a lone hit in the eighth while working a clean inning. Matt Nevarez earned his seventh save of the year by striking out the top three hitters in Laredo’s batting order consecutively.

Tomorrow night the Wingnuts will try to sweep their first series of the season when Laredo comes to the ballpark for a final game at 7:05 p.m. The Wingnuts turn to lefty Alan Williams, while the Lemurs go with RHP Sean Tracey. There will be $2 Shiner Blondes served all night and a home run derby on the field following the game courtesy of PF Chang’s. For information on 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.

 

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Wise’s Four RBI Help Wingnuts Outsmart Laredo

WICHITA, KS (May 27, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts vs. Laredo Lemurs series has pitted the American Association’s best pitching staff against the league’s best offense, at least in the first few weeks of 2014. Through two games, it has been the Wingnuts who have held a decided advantage both on the mound and at the plate. The team used the bat of J.T. Wise and the arm of Tim Brown to defeat the Lemurs by a 6-2 score on Tuesday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

The Wingnuts (9-4) scored first for the 10th time in the first 13 games when they took a third inning lead over Laredo starter Josh Strawn. Ryan Khoury doubled with one out and Carlo Testa traded bases with him a few pitches later by driving a ball to left field that gave the Wingnuts a 1-0 lead

Tim Brown, Wichita’s starting pitcher, held the league’s top lineup in check for his first four innings on the bump, before a defensive miscue and a mistake cost him in the fifth. Gerardo Avila reached on an error by third baseman Colt Loehrs, one batter prior to a deep home run by catcher Angel Flores that gave Laredo (6-6) the lead at 2-1.

In the sixth inning, the Wingnuts would add a few more to their total. Jake Kahaulelio started the frame by drawing a walk. Brent Clevlen followed by ripping a single up the middle to put two runners aboard with nobody out. At that point Wise struck his first blow, hitting the base of the wall with a two-RBI double that put the Wingnuts on top for good. Chris McMurray reached on an infield single later in the inning, and when the throw to first went wide of the mark, Wise raced around to score which pushed the lead to 4-2.

With Strawn (1-1) no longer in the game the Wingnuts turned their attention to left-handed reliever Estevan Uriegas in the seventh.   Three straight hits off the bats of Kahaulelio, Clevlen, and Wise allowed Wichita to gain further separation. Wise’s single was responsible for two more runs scoring and as a result the lead ballooned to 6-2. Wise went 2-4 at the plate with a double, run scored, and four driven in.

Tim Brown (2-1) tamed the Lemurs all night as he worked 7.0 innings and allowed two runs on three hits while striking out four. The bullpen tandem of Patrick Mincey and Mike Zouzalik teamed up to keep the Lemurs off the board in the final two innings.

Kevin Hooper and Carlo Testa's Post-Game Comments

Wichita and Laredo meet again on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Justin Klipp of Wichita and RHP Tyler Pearson of Laredo will square off on the mound. It is the second edition of Way-Back Wednesday as the team celebrates the 50’s this time around. There will be fun facts, music, and trivia from that decade as well as general admission tickets being sold at the box office for just 50 cents. For information on 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

 

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Kahaulelio Leads Wingnuts to 5-3 Win Over Laredo

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (May 26, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts had nine players in their lineup on Monday night when they hosted the Laredo Lemurs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, but the way Jake Kahaulelio is hitting these days his name seems to be attached to every big offensive play. The second baseman made some memories on Memorial Day by putting on a show for the 3,844 fans in attendance for Wichita’s 5-3 win over Laredo. Kahaulelio went 3-3 at the plate, with four RBI, a double, and a home run.

Anthony Capra had a tough first inning, but would eventually shut down the league’s top-ranked offense for most of his outing. Nick Van Stratten began the game with a triple and scored shortly thereafter on an RBI single by Devin Goodwin to make it 1-0 Lemurs in the early going. Capra settled in after the initial burst, working 7.0 innings of four-hit baseball and issuing just two walks compared to seven strikeouts. The quality start marked the eighth time in the first 12 games that the starting pitcher for Wichita has gone at least 6.0 innings and allowed three or less runs.

Kahaulelio tied the game at one in the bottom of the first inning when he scored Ryan Khoury on a sacrifice fly to shallow right field. Khoury reached on a walk and stole second base to reach scoring position for his teammate.

Kahaulelio was back on the attack in the fourth inning. Carlo Testa tripled to start the inning and then the California native whacked a home run to left field that gave the Wingnuts a 3-1 cushion.

In the very next inning the Wingnuts relentless bats got to Laredo starter Mike Piazza once again. David Amberson led off with a single before Ryan Khoury drew his league-leading 13th base on balls. The dynamic duo then executed a double steal to put runners in scoring position with nobody out. Testa brought home Amberson on a sacrifice fly to left before Kahaulelio drilled another extra base hit, this time an RBI double to push the lead to 5-1. Piazza allowed all five runs and seven hits over his 6.2 innings of work.

Daniel Bennett came on in relief of Capra for the eighth inning and allowed a one out single to Harrison Kain that was followed by a 2-run home run by Goodwin. Goodwin went 2-4 and drove in three runs to bring his season total to 17. Lefty Alex Hinshaw relieved Bennett with two runners in scoring position and two outs and struck out the only batter he faced to end the threat.

Matt Nevarez allowed just a single in the ninth inning on his way to picking up his sixth save in seven opportunities.

Post-Game Comments from Kevin Hooper and starting pitcher Anthony Capra

The top two teams in the South will meet again on Tuesday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium as RHP Tim Brown works for Wichita against RHP Josh Strawn of Laredo. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. There will be $3 Rolling Rocks served all night long. For information on 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

 

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4th Annual Twister's Tee-Off

Thank you for registering to play in the 4th Annual Twister’s Tee-Off this Monday, June 9th at 1PM at beautiful Sand Creek Station Golf Course! We are excited for a fun filled day on the course!

***IMPORTANT NOTICE***

Due to road construction on Hwy 50, you will need to use exit 28 (the outlet mall exit) to get to the course. Please click here for more details and spread the word to your teammates.

The 4th Annual Twister's Tee-Off is here! Come out to Sand Creek Station in Newton, KS on Monday, June 9th for the 4th Annual Wingnuts Golf Tournament. Enjoy your summer by taking part in a day of golf with the Wingnuts! GO NUTS! Sign Up Now! We have lot's of prizes, the Diamond Dolls will be there, plus players will be on the course and available for teams to use to their advantage. Call 264-6887 to get your team signed up and we will see you on Monday June 9th for another great day of golf and fun with the Wichita Wingnuts. GO NUTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 Download Registration Form

Wingnuts Get Complete Win in 7-1 Victory at Gary

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

GARY, IN (May 25, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts needed a win at U.S. Steelyard in Gary, Indiana on Sunday afternoon to earn a split in the four game weekend series that was a rematch of the 2013 American Association Championship. Starting pitcher Jon Link was up to the task and the Wingnuts offense broke loose on the way to a 7-1 victory.

The Wingnuts scored first for the ninth time in 11 games when Ryan Khoury raced around to score on an RBI single by Jake Kahaulelio in the very first inning. The Wingnuts’ second baseman would be heard from throughout the ball game.

Wichita wasn’t done there, they added a couple more in the third inning when they took advantage of an error by third baseman Wally Backman Jr. After J.T. Wise reached on the miscue, Mike Hernandez and Chris McMurray hit back-to-back doubles to push the lead to 3-0.

The RailCats were able to get to Link for the first time in the game in the third inning. After the Wingnuts’ starter retired the first two hitters he faced, Danny Pulfer reached on an infield single that glanced off of Link’s glove and ricocheted to short. Ryan Khoury’s running throw was wide of first base and sailed into the first base dugout allowing Pulfer to reach second. The following hitter, Drew Martinez, grounded a run-scoring single up the middle to cut the lead to 3-1. After that Link put his foot down and would allow just two more runners in the game to reach scoring position, both on Craig Maddox doubles.

Kahaulelio continued to stay hot by ripping RBI doubles in his next two at-bats in the fourth and sixth innings respectively. That pair of hits put Wichita ahead by a 5-1 margin. With runners on second and third later in the sixth frame, Hernandez lined a single to left that scored both teammates and provided the final run total.

Link continued to cruise, throwing his 100th pitch midway through the ninth. He finished the first complete game of the season for Wichita, having allowed one unearned run on eight hits and a walk, while striking out three.

Kahaulelio and Hernandez both drove in three runs. The former was 5-5 with two doubles, while Hernandez finished 3-5 with a two-bagger.

The Wingnuts will return home to begin a four-game set with new South Division rival Laredo on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. Left-hander Anthony Capra will toe the rubber for Wichita against right-hander Mike Piazza of the Lemurs. It will be a Kwik Shop Dollar Day so select concession and gift store items will be sold for just one dollar. Make sure to stop by a local Kwik Shop to pick up your voucher for one dollar general admission tickets. For information on 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

 

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Wingnuts Captured by Bishop; Lose 7-1

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

GARY, IN (May 24, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts and Gary SouthShore RailCats played a close to the vest, low-scoring game for most of their match-up on Saturday night at U.S. Steelyard. However, the Railcats put crooked numbers on the board in both the sixth and seventh inning to pull away and win 7-1.

The Wingnuts (6-4) would strike first for the eighth time in 10 games when Mike Hernandez drove home his third run in four games on an RBI single to left in the second inning off of RailCats’ starter Morgan Coombs. That would be the only run that Wichita would score against the right-hander, who lasted 6.2 innings and allowed just seven hits, while striking out five.

Gary (5-4) answered back immediately in the home half of the inning. Zac Mitchell singled home Derek Smith to tie the game at two.

That score held all the way until the sixth, when the RailCats loaded the bases against Wingnuts’ starter Alan Williams. Cody Bishop, the nine-hitter, playing in his second game this season, ripped a line drive to the wall in the right-center gap to clear the bases and put Gary ahead 4-1. That ended the night for Williams, who allowed five runs, three earned, on six hits and walked six. Bishop would score on Matt Robertson’s first pitch out of the bullpen on a sacrifice fly by Danny Pulfer.

Already leading 5-1, the RailCats tacked on a couple more unearned runs in the seventh against Robertson. Mitchell struck again with a two-out, two-RBI single through the right side and in the blink of an eye it was 7-1.

The Wingnuts could not muster anything against Chuck Fontana who earned a three inning save as a result of the Gary win. Mitchell went 2-2 at the plate with a run scored and an RBI to lead the RailCats, while Carlo Testa was the lone Wichita hitter to record multiple hits.

Kevin Hooper's Post-Game Reaction

The same two teams close out the series on Sunday afternoon at 2:10 p.m. RHP Jon Link will be handed the baseball for the Wingnuts and he will match up with RHP Dustin Crenshaw of the RailCats. .   For information on 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

 

 

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Wingnuts Drop 6-5 Decision in 14-Inning Marathon

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

GARY, IN (May 23, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts and Gary SouthShore RailCats began play in game two of their four game series at U.S. Steelyard on Friday night in front of 3,387 fans. By the time a winner was decided in the 14th inning it was early Saturday morning and there were only a few hearty souls left in attendance.

Wichita scored first in the third inning when Jake Kahaulelio doubled home Ryan Khoury to grab the 1-0 edge against RailCats’ starter Stephen Bougher. However, the lead would be short-lived when Gary answered with a third inning run of their own against Wingnuts’ hurler Justin Klipp to tie the score.

The RailCats managed to take their first lead of the series via a fielder’s choice RBI groundout by Drew Martinez with one out in the fifth. The Wingnuts would rally back two innings later when they tied the game at two on an RBI triple by catcher Chris McMurray. McMurry then raced in to score on a wild pitch by reliever Kevin Brahney, who had replaced Bougher, to snatch away the lead at 3-2. The starter went six innings and allowed three runs on six hits with a walk and four strikeouts.

Klipp’s day would come to a close when he allowed a run to the RailCats once more in the seventh, which tied the game. Klipp worked a quality 6.1 innings and allowed three runs on just four hits before being replaced by Daniel Bennett.

Wichita re-claimed the lead in the eighth; taking a one run advantage, on single by J.T. Wise that scored Carlo Testa. The Wingnuts added an insurance run in the ninth inning when Dillon Hazlett led off with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by David Amberson, and eventually raced home on a passed ball charged to Gary catcher Craig Maddox. The second run made it 5-3 in the Wingnuts’ favor.

Kevin Hooper called on closer Matt Nevarez to try and close out the game in the bottom half of the ninth. Zac Mitchell appeared to ground out to first base, but Wise had the ball bounce off of his glove and into right field to give the RailCats a leadoff runner. After Nevarez struck out Cody Bishop to record the first out, Danny Pulfer drew a walk. Drew Martinez followed with an RBI single to cut the lead to one and put runners on the corners. That set the stage for Josh Romanski to tie the game on a sacrifice fly to deep center. Wally Backman Jr. popped out to short with the potential winning run on third base and the game continued on.

The RailCats had plenty of chances to win the ballgame early in the extra frames, but Jason Van Skike kept finding a way out of the inning. He stranded the bases full in the 11th inning by striking out Backman on a full count pitch. In the very next inning he stranded two RailCat runners again. Van Skike ended up throwing 3.2 innings and allowing nothing on three base knocks.

Matt Robertson recorded the final out of the 13th and came on to work the 14th as well. He allowed a leadoff double to the gap in left-center field.   The next batter Adam Taylor, failed to lay a sacrifice bunt down on the first pitch, but singled through the middle on the next. Pinch-runner and pitcher Morgan Coombs crossed home plate with the winning run.

Kevin Hooper's Post-Game Thoughts

Most of the players in the lineup on each side made seven appearances at the plate and only four finished the night without having recorded a hit. Each team used six different pitchers before the game concluded.

The two teams will get right back at it on Saturday night with a 6:10 p.m. first pitch. Left-hander Alan Williams gets the start for Wichita and he will oppose the Gary right-hander Morgan Coombs. For information on 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.

 

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Wingnuts Survive Late Scare to Outlast RailCats 5-3

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

GARY, IN (May 22, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts took a comfortable 5-0 lead into the ninth inning on Thursday night at U.S. Steelyard, but as usual the RailCats found a way to climb back into the game and even put the potential tying run on base before Wichita closed the door for good on a 5-3 victory.

Kevin Hooper's Post-Game Thoughts

Starters Tim Brown of Wichita and Stephen Hiscock of Gary were locked in a duel for the first four innings of the game until Mike Hernandez drove in his second run in as many games with a solo shot to left to begin the fifth. Leading 1-0, the Wingnuts (6-2) were not satisfied. In the sixth, the team used four consecutive hits off of Hiscock to score three more runs and chase the starter from the game. Both Brent Clevlen and J.T. Wise knotched RBI singles in the flurry that extended the lead to 4-0.

Tim Brown left the game after working six scoreless innings while allowing six hits and striking out three. Matt Robertson worked a scoreless seventh inning out of the bullpen before the bats came through again with an insurance run in the top of the eighth. Jake Kahaulelio led the inning off with a double and came around to score two batters later on Wise’s second RBI of the night to go up 5-0.

Daniel Bennett shut down Gary (3-4) in the eighth and Mike Zouzalik entered the ninth inning with a five-run cushion. Zouzalik walked the leadoff batter he faced and then, after a one-out single by Zac Mitchell, walked back-to-back hitters to force home a run and cut the lead to 5-1. The next hitter, Josh Romanski, singled home a pair and suddenly the game was on. Closer Matt Nevarez entered with runners on the corners and one out and promptly struck out both Ryan Babineau and Wally Backman Jr. to end the game. The save was Nevarez’s sixth of the season.

Wise led the offense by going 3-4 at the plate with two RBI. Kahaulelio and Carlo Testa also registered multiple hits.

Tomorrow night the two squads clash again at 7:10 p.m. Right-hander Justin Klipp will get the nod for Wichita, while Gary SouthShore counters with fellow righty Stephen Bougher.   For information on 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

 

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Oh No-No So Close

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (May 21, 2014) – Will Savage threw the only solo no-hitter in Wichita Wingnuts’ history back in July of 2009. For 8.1 innings on Wednesday night it appeared that Anthony Capra was prepared to join the illustrious club. Capra allowed a one out single to Nick Giarraputo in the Kansas City T-Bones ninth to end the no-hit bid, but Matt Nevarez saved the day as the Wingnuts (5-2) held on for a 2-0 victory at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

The scheduled starter for the T-Bones (3-4), Rick Zagone, was a late scratch due to injury so Kansas City gave the ball to reliever Andy Noga in an emergency start. Noga was brilliant during his 3.0 innings of work striking out five and allowing just two hits. Jared Messer threw a scoreless pair of innings in relief of Noga, as the game was locked in a scoreless tie through five.

That changed when lefty Zach fowler entered the game in the sixth. David Amberson reached scoring position by hustling for a leadoff double on a sharp line drive to left. After Ryan Khoury walked to put runners on the corners, Jake Kahaulelio also doubled, allowing Amberson to trot home and giving the Wingnuts a 1-0 lead. That would be the only run necessary with the brilliance of Capra on the mound, but Newcomer Mike Hernandez drove in another on a fielder’s choice groundout with the bases loaded to go up 2-0.

Capra continued to baffle Kansas City hitters through the eighth inning, but had walked seven so his pitch count was well over 100 entering the ninth. He made his way to the hill anyways with a chance to make history. He retired the first hitter he faced, David Espinosa, on a fly out to center field before walking the next man up Bryan Sabatella. Immediately afterwards, clean-up hitter Nick Giarraputo singled through the right side to end Capra’s aspirations. He was removed to a standing ovation from the crowd in favor of Nevarez. The reliever induced a fly ball to center for the first out and then walked Vladimir Frias to load the bases. He rebounded to strike out Byron Wiley and end the game with the tying run on second base.

Capra’s impressive numbers included 8.1 shutout innings, allowing one hit and eight walks while striking out nine.

The Wingnuts will hit the road for the first time on Thursday night when they play at Gary SouthShore, in a rematch of the 2013 championship series. RHP Tim Brown will get the nod for Wichita and will face RHP Stephen Hiscock of the RailCats. The game can be heard on 92.7 KWME or by heading to wichitawingnuts.com and clicking the “Listen Live” link. For information on 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.

 

 

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Wingnuts Fall in Battle of Former Big Leaguers

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (May 20, 2014) – With a pair of former Major League right-handers throwing in Tuesday night’s battle between the Wichita Wingnuts and Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont stadium, it was safe to assume that a pitcher’s duel was at hand. Neither the Wingnuts’ Jon Link nor the T-Bones’ Daniel Barone disappointed in Kansas City’s 4-2 triumph.

Things started out on a sour note for Link when leadoff hitter Byron Wiley hit an opposite field home run in the first at bat of the night. However, after that pitch, Link was nearly unhittable for much of his start. The 30-year old ended up striking out a career-high 10 batters in the game over 7.1 innings of work.

His opposite, Daniel Barone, was equal to the gauntlet that Link had thrown down. Barone, a former Florida Marlin, was perfect through the first 11 Wingnuts’ hitters he faced before a Brent Clevlen double in the fourth. Barone wound up with seven strikeouts and one walk in 6.2 innings pitched.

It took some time, but the Wingnuts’ bats got to Barone in the fifth. J.T. Wise led off the inning with a single. After a fly out to center, Chris McMurray, Carlo Testa, and David Amberson singled in order. Testa’s and Amberson’s were good for RBI as they scored Wise and McMurray respectively to establish a 2-1 lead.

Link came out to pitch the top of the eighth inning and allowed back-to-back hits to start it off. David Espinosa lined out to second for the first out of the inning, but Bryan Sabatella singled home the tying run one batter later. Patrick Mincey was selected to enter from the bullpen and replace the Wingnuts’ starter with runners on the corner and one out. Mincey allowed a run-scoring single to the first batter he faced, Nick Giarraputo, before retiring the rest of the side.

After a quiet eighth inning for the Wingnuts offense, Mike Zouzalik allowed an RBI triple to Wiley which extended the T-Bones advantage to 4-2. That would be the final score as Kris Regas was nearly untouchable in striking out the side in the ninth and earning the 1.1 inning save.

Byron Wiley was a thorn in Wichita’s side all night, going 3-5 with a double, triple, home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. He and David Amberson were the only two hitters in either lineup to record multiple hits. Every T-Bone in the order reached base at least once in the game.

Wednesday’s 7:05 p.m. start between the same two teams features a match-up of lefties in Anthony Capra of the Wingnuts and Rick Zagone of Kansas City. It is the first Way-Back Wednesday of the year and will be dedicated to the 1940’s, with music, trivia, and games from that decade taking place all night. General admission tickets and select concession items will also reflect the pricing from that era. For information on 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.

 Kevin Hooper's post-game thoughts.

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Wingnuts Open Series vs. T-Bones with Wild Win

Phot Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA,KS (May 19,2014) – The wind was blowing hard all night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, which led to a lot of runs on the board and a bunch of extra base hits when the Wichita Wingnuts (4-1) matched up with the Kansas City T-Bones (2-3) on Monday night.   In the end a caught stealing by Nuts’ catcher Chris McMurray sealed the deal as Wichita held on for a 9-8 victory.

Alan Williams, making his fourth career start, allowed five runs in his first two innings of work, before settling into a rhythm and earning the victory. The first four T-Bones to bat in the game reached base as Bobby Kuzdale began the game with a double to the gap. David Espinosa followed with an RBI single before Bryan Sabatella hammered a ground rule double. After Williams walked Nick Giarraputo, Danny Richar drove in a pair with the third double of the inning to push KC to a 4-0 lead. Kuzdale then hit a solo shot in the second to extend that advantage to five.

The Wingnuts came back in a hurry in the bottom of the second though. T-Bones starter Justin d’alessandro, who was saddled with the loss, walked the first two batters of the frame. One out later McMurray doubled home the home team’s first run. Carlo Testa and David Amberson each walked, setting the stage for Ryan Khoury to single home a pair. Khoury was then thrown out attempting to steal, but in the process Amberson raced home to tie the game at five.

With Williams getting into a groove on the mound, the offense gave him a lead for the first time in the fourth. McMurray was hit by a pitch prior to a bunt single by Testa. David Amberson reached on an error, which brought in a run and then two batters later Jake Kahaulelio singled home two more. That ended a four-run inning and gave Wichita a 9-5 advantage.

Jason Van Skike worked a clean seventh, but in the eighth the T-Bones’ first three hitters reached base via hit and scored to pull Kansas City within one. Patrick Mincey entered from the bullpen and ended the push with three consecutive outs.

In the ninth inning, Matt Nevarez allowed two runners to reach on hit by pitches. With two on and two out and the powerful Giarraputo at the plate, the T-Bones attempted a double steal. McMurray delivered a bullet strike down to second base and Kahaulelio applied the tag to end the game.

Williams went 6.0 innings and allowed five runs on six hits. The southpaw walked three and struck out the same number. McMurray went 2-3 with an RBI and scored twice to supplement his game-ending play.

The Wingnuts and T-Bones do it all over on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. Wichita throws RHP Jon Link, while KC is undecided. For information on 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.

 Post-Game video of Kevin Hooper and Matt Nevarez

 

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Wingnuts Klipp AirHogs 3-0 and Take Series

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (May 18, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts (3-1) proved that they can win games by outscoring opponents already, but with Sunday afternoon’s 3-0 shutout win over the Grand Prairie AirHogs (1-3) at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, they showed that they can hold their own in a pitcher’s duel as well. With the win the Wingnuts took the series three games to one.

Wichita starter Justin Klipp achieved a quality start in his first outing of 2014, working 6.0 shutout innings and allowing just four hits and a walk to go with six strikeouts. In relief of Klipp, relievers Mike Zouzalik, Patrick Mincey, and Matt Nevarez each worked a scoreless frame and combined for three strikeouts. Nevarez earned his second save as a result of his efforts.

The Wingnuts’ scored all the runs necessary in the very first inning against left-hander Shawn Spainhoward, who was making his professional debut. Jake Kahaulelio hit a one out single, stole second base, and scored on an RBI double by Brent Clevlen, the 700th of Clevlen’s career. After Clevlen swiped third, Chun-Hsiu Chen followed with a single to plate Clevlen and make it 2-0. Two batters later, Dillon Hazlett lifted a shallow fly ball into center field. The shortstop Abel Nieves and the center fielder Eric Baker did not communicate and the ball dropped and bounced over Baker’s head for another run producing double and a 3-0 advantage.

The AirHogs tried to make a push in the sixth, Klipp’s final frame of the day. Brandon Pinckney and Nieves singled to start the inning, but were each retired when Andres Rodriguez grounded into a 5-4 fielder’s choice that fell just short of a triple play.

The Wingnuts will go with left-hander Alan Williams in Monday’s match-up with the Kansas City T-Bones, the first installment of the KTA Turnpike Showdown. The T-Bones hurler is to be announced. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. and the game can be found on Oldies 92.7 KWME. For information on 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

 

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Missed Opportunities Cost Wingnuts in 6-3 Loss

WICHITA, KS (May 17, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts (2-1) didn’t have many chances to score runs on Saturday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium against the pitching of the Grand Prairie AirHogs (1-2). When opportunity knocked in the later innings, the team was unable to take full advantage and the AirHogs held on to hand the Wingnuts a 6-3 loss, their first of the season.

For the third straight night Wichita was the first team to reach the scoreboard. AirHogs’ starter Brandon Bargas allowed a single and walked three batters in the second inning, the third a Ryan Khoury base on balls that forced home a run with the bases loaded.

Grand Prairie responded quickly in the top of the third against Wingnuts’ starting pitcher Tim Brown. Frazier Hall led off the inning with a double which was followed immediately by another double off the bat of Vince DiFazio, scoring Hall and tying the game. Two batters later, Brandon Pinckney also hit a run-scoring two-bagger to give the AirHogs a 2-1 lead.

Both pitchers cruised along until the top of the 6th inning when Brown was close to enticing Andres Rodriguez into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. However Chun-Hsiu Chen could not make a clean scoop of a low relay throw from second and Rodriguez reached on the fielder’s choice. The next batter, Jason Botts, made the Wingnuts pay by launching a two-run homer over the right field wall and extending the AirHogs’ advantage to 4-1.

Brown allowed an RBI double to Eric Baker with two outs in the seventh inning before Mike Zouzalik relieved him. Brown took the loss and worked 6.2 innings in his first start of the season, allowing five earned runs on eight hits, while striking out six. Zouzalik also allowed a run in the eighth inning, making it 6-1 in Grand Prairie’s favor.

The best chance for the home team to rally was in the eighth inning against AirHogs’ reliever Dustin Cameron. J.T. Wise greeted Cameron with a lead-off solo blast to trim one run off of the deficit. Cameron then proceeded to hit two batters, bringing Carlo Testa to the dish with two on and nobody out. Testa lined sharply to Pinckney, the second baseman, who flipped it to shortstop Matthew Burns doubling off Hazlett who was caught leaning towards third. David Amberson reached on an infield single before Cameron drilled Ryan Khoury to load the bases once again. With Jake Kahaulelio due up as the potential tying run, the AirHogs brought in Cesar Lopez from the bullpen. The move paid off as Lopez got Kahaulelio to foul tip a two-strike pitch into the catcher’s mitt, ending the threat.

Brent Clevlen launched a solo home run in the ninth, but the Wingnuts could not muster anything else against Yhency Brazoban. Bargas earned the win, allowing one run on four hits in 5.0 innings. Clevlen had a big night going 3-5 with two doubles and the long ball.

The Wingnuts will send right-hander Justin Klipp to the mound for game four on Sunday, while the AirHogs will turn to left-hander Shawn Spainhoward. First pitch is at 2:05 p.m. For information on 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

 

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Wingnuts Lead Start to Finish, Best AirHogs 9-1

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (May 16, 2014) – After escaping with a wild win on opening night, the Wichita Wingnuts (2-0) won in a much more comfortable fashion on Friday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. After a 30-minute rain delay prior to first pitch, the Wingnuts jumped ahead in the second inning and never relinquished the lead on their way to a 9-1 victory over the Grand Prairie AirHogs (0-2).

Wichita put at least one run on the board in four consecutive innings after being shutout in the bottom of the first. They used four consecutive hits, three of the extra base variety, to strike first in the second inning. Dillon Hazlett legged out a leadoff double ahead of Chris McMurray and Carlo Testa who knocked in a run each with a double and triple respectively. David Amberson capped off the inning by extending the lead to 3-0 with a single up the middle.

The Wingnuts tallied three more in the third on an RBI triple by Chun-Hsiu Chen which was immediately backed up by a run-scoring double courtesy of J.T. Wise. Two batters later McMurray rose to the occasion again with a sacrifice fly to center. The Wingnuts’ backstop finished the day 2-3 with three RBI and two runs scored. After the inning ended, the Wingnuts held a 6-0 lead.

Wichita tacked on three more insurance runs over the next two innings. Chen and Wise added to their totals with RBI extra base hits in the fourth inning. In the fifth, McMurray welcomed new pitcher Brett Hunter to the ballgame by driving the first pitch of his at-bat over the wall in left field for the Wingnuts’ first home run of the year.

Meanwhile Anthony Capra was dealing on the hill. The southpaw allowed an AirHogs’ runner to reach third base in each of the first two innings, but never gave in. He ended up earning the win after working 6.0 shutout innings and allowing four hits while striking out eight opposing batters. On the other side, Grand Prairie starter Trevor Harden was chased after 4.0 innings, having allowed eight earned runs on nine hits and three walks.

Capra turned the ball over to relievers Matt Robertson and Daniel Bennett to work the final three innings. Robertson allowed the lone run of the night for the AirHogs in the seventh on an RBI single by Vince DiFazio that followed a Palmer Karr Jr. double. Bennett allowed a hit and walked one, but finished the game without a run crossing the plate.

Right-hander Tim Brown will make his Wingnuts debut on Saturday night in game three of the four-game series with the AirHogs. Grand Prairie counters with lefty Brandon Bargas. Come out to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium to meet the Kansas City Chiefs cheerleaders who will be in attendance at the game. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. and the game can be heard on 92.7 KWME. For information on 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.

 

 

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Wingnuts Earn Wild 10-8 Win on Opening Night

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (May 15, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts (1-0) 2014 season did not necessarily start the way they had hoped, as they found themselves trailing the Grand Prairie AirHogs (0-1) by five runs after an inning and a half of play on Thursday night in the season-opener at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. However, the Wingnuts showed their resilience by slowly chipping away at the deficit until they finally broke through to take a lead that they would never relinquish on their way to a 10-8 victory in front of 2,563 fans.

Things looked great early when Jon Link worked a scoreless top half of the first inning and then the team jumped ahead 1-0 on an RBI single by Chun-Hsiu Chen in the bottom half.

The AirHogs answered in a big way in the second by scoring six runs against Wingnuts’ starter Jon Link. A pair of walks and a single loaded the bases for Michael Hur, who jumped on a fastball and drove it over the wall in left field for a grand slam and a 4-1 Grand Prairie advantage. Later Mitch Abeita and Brandon Pinckney came around to touch the plate on a two out, two RBI double by former Wingnut Abel Nieves making it 6-1.

Possibly the most exciting play of the night occurred when David Amberson hit a groundball deep in the hole at third with Carlo Testa already on base. Amberson legged out an infield single, but the throw from Frazier Hall got by Andres Rodriguez and into right field allowing Amberson to head towards third. The throw to that base also escaped and Amberson managed to beat the throw from shallow left field with a directional slide into home and cut the deficit to 6-3.

Each squad tacked on a lone run in the fifth inning before the Wingnuts put together a big sixth frame. Ryan Khoury led off with a single which was followed immediately by a Jake Kahaulelio double. Khoury scored on a wild pitch and then Brent Clevlen drove home Kahaulelio with a single. After Clevlen reached third on a stolen base and wild pitch, Chen garnered his second RBI by lifting a sacrifice fly to right field. The Wingnuts finished the inning with an 8-7 lead.

Kahaulelio added another sacrifice fly in the seventh, one of two insurance runs Wichita would add in the inning.

The AirHogs put together a threat in the ninth against closer Matt Nevarez, scoring one run and putting a couple more on base with one out before the right-hander induced Mitch Abeita into game-ending 6-4-3 double play.

Jason Van Skike earned the win after working 1.1 innings and allowing nothing on two hits and a pair of strikeouts. Daniel Bennett and Patrick Mincey, a former AirHog, also worked scoreless innings in relief. Khoury went 3-4 with a walk, run scored, and three stolen bases and was a spark plug at the plate and on the field all night. He became the franchise’s all-time leader in walks with his 118th career base on balls in the second inning.

The Wingnuts and the AirHogs will clash again on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. with LHP Anthony Capra receiving the nod for the Nuts and RHP Trevor Harden going for Grand Prairie. A limited number of magnet schedules will be given away at the front gate and fireworks will follow the conclusion of the game.  For information on 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

 

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Wingnuts End Exhibition Slate with 10-2 Victory

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (May 12, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts finished off their seven-game exhibition schedule on Monday afternoon with a 10-2 win over the Gary SouthShore Railcats at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. The Wingnuts used three separate big innings to tally double-digits on the scoreboard for the second straight day against RailCat pitching.

Gary was able to scratch first against Wingnuts’ starter Tim Brown. Danny Pulfer led off the game with a base hit and proceeded to steal second base. He would score when the following batter, Cody Bishop, singled him home.

The Wingnuts were able to respond in a big way in the bottom of the inning. Taylor Oldham was walked to start the frame and stole second base. Two batters later, Brent Clevlen also walked and then the pair executed a double steal to put two in scoring position. J.T. Wise tied the game with a sacrifice fly to right field before RailCats’ starter Edwin Walker issued two more free passes to load the bases. That set the stage for Jose Roman, who cleared the base paths with a three-RBI double and put Wichita ahead 4-1.

The hot bats struck again in the third inning as Wise followed a leadoff walk by Clevlen with a 2-run blast to left field. Dillon Hazlett tripled in the ensuing at bat and two outs later scored on an RBI single by Carlo Testa. After the dust settled the lead had ballooned to 7-1.

Wichita would tack on three more insurance runs during a three-hit eighth inning. After Oldham reached via an error to start things and then stole second base, Mike McCarthy brought him home with a single. Hazlett also singled and then Roman came up big again. With two strikes against him, the lefty ripped a single through the right side, scoring two more and pushing the advantage to 10-1.

Meanwhile, the Wingnuts’ combination of relievers Jason Van Skike, Erik Lambe, Daniel Bennett, and Jack Wagoner was holding the RailCats offense off the board. The four pitchers combined for 5.0 scoreless, hitless innings and three strikeouts. Gary managed to put their final run on the board against Patrick Mincey in the top of the ninth.

Roman led the way with a 3-5 afternoon and five RBI. Other major contributors included Wise, who drove in three and Hazlett, who scored three runs in the ballgame.

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie Airhogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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.

 

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Wingnuts Rout RailCats 12-1 in Lawrence

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

LAWRENCE, KS (MAY 11th, 2014) – After scoring only one late run on Saturday night, the Wichita Wingnuts closed out their three-game exhibition road trip with an impressive offensive display in beating the Gary SouthShore RailCats 12-1 at Lawrence Free State High School. On a day in which there was a stiff breeze blowing out to left field all game, Wichita blasted four home runs and put up a crooked number in four different innings.

The Wingnuts gave the crowd a glimpse of what would happen throughout the afternoon in the very first inning. Ryan Khoury led off the game with a single and scored when Chun-Hsiu Chen crushed a fastball from RailCats’ starter Stephen Hiscock over the fence in center field to give the Nuts a 2-0 lead.

Wichita was back at it in the second inning, using four straight hits to lead off the frame, including a two-RBI double by Carlo Testa to make the lead to 4-0. Before the inning was over Brent Clevlen tacked on a three-run blast to increase the advantage to seven runs.

The RailCats scratched across their only run in the top of the fifth as Brooks Braga crossed home plate on a bases loaded wild pitch by Wingnuts’ reliever Alan Williams. However, Wichita didn’t take long to answer back. In the bottom of the same inning Clevlen led off with his second long ball of the day and three batters later Dillon Hazlett drove home Chad Kruse with a two-out RBI double to left, making it 9-1.

The Wingnuts would add two more insurance runs in the sixth and another in the eighth to reach the final margin. Jake Kahaulelio hit his second home run of the spring with two down in the sixth, while Taylor Oldham singled home the final run two innings later.

The wind seemed to have no effect on the Wingnuts’ pitching staff as seven pitchers combined to strike out nine Gary hitters, while allowing just three hits. Of the three base knocks for the RailCats only one left the infield. Anthony Capra, who started the game, worked 3.0 shutout innings, striking out five, and giving up a pair of singles. Jack Wagoner, Nelson Curry, Daniel Bennett, Mike Zouzalik, and Matt Nevarez all threw scoreless innings out of the bullpen.

The offensive standouts for Wichita included Clevlen, 2-3 with two home runs and four RBI, Hazlett, two doubles, and Amberson, who had his second two hit game in as many days.

The Wingnuts and RailCats will square off once again on Monday morning at 11:05 a.m. for another “School Kid’s Day” at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Tickets for the final exhibition contest are general admission and cost $7 at the gate.

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie Airhogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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.

 

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Wingnuts Drop Second Straight on Road Trip

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

SAUGET, IL (May 10th, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts played a Frontier League opponent on the road for the second straight day on Saturday, and just like Friday night they came up just a bit short. Great pitching, good defense, and a three-run inning led the Gateway Grizzlies to a 3-1 victory at GCS Ballpark.

Starter Jon Link looked outstanding in his second and final start of the spring. He worked 3.0 innings, allowed just one hit and a lone walk, while striking out four.

The Grizzlies did the first damage of the night in their half of the fourth inning against the Wingnuts’ Erik Lambe. Niko Vasquez singled with one out, before Michel Wing struck with a two out, two-run home run to deep left field. Lambe then issued a free pass to Richard Seigel, who raced around to score when Xavier Macklin drove a ball into the left field corner for an RBI double.

The Wingnuts loaded the bases with one out in the eighth inning against reliever Alex Bos, but couldn’t cash in. Jake Kahaulelio was called out on strikes and Brent Clevlen was retired on a fly ball to right field to end the threat.

Chun-Hsiu Chen hit his first home run of the spring to begin the ninth, but the rest of the hitters went down in order as Justin Erasmus earned the save for the Grizzlies.

David Amberson was the only member of the Wichita lineup to record multiple hits as he singled in both the third and seventh innings. In addition to Link, Matt Robertson, Alan Williams, Mike Zouzalik, and Matt Nevarez also threw scoreless innings of relief in their appearances.

The Wingnuts travel to Lawrence Free State High School on Sunday to play the Gary SouthShore RailCats at 2:05 p.m.

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie Airhogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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.

 

 

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Rascals Rally Late to Knock off Wingnuts

O’Fallon, MO (May 9th, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts led for most of the afternoon on Friday at TR Hughes Ballpark against the River City Rascals, but a three-run eighth inning and a walk-off home run by Taylor Ard in the ninth propelled the Rascals to a dramatic victory.

The Wingnuts jumped ahead 1-0 early when J.T. Wise ripped a home run to straight-away center field.

Wichita has managed to put together a big inning of at least three runs in each of their four games so far this spring and on Friday it came in the third against Cory Caruso. Four straight Wingnuts reached to start the frame, with Brent Clevlen driving in a pair on a groundball single into left field. After Chun-Hsiu Chen walked, Wise struck again, this time with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0. Chris McMurray finished off the inning with an RBI to push the lead to five runs.

The lead held until the bottom of the fifth inning when the Rascals scored a pair off of Michael Schlact on a two-RBI single by Saxon Butler.

The Wingnuts led 5-2 entering the eighth inning, but the Rascals were not finished. River City scored three runs against Nelson Curry on three hits and three walks. The big hit was a clutch, game-tying double by Bryan Aanderud with two outs.

After the Wingnuts went scoreless in their half of the ninth inning, Taylor Ard led off with a home run to left field against Wichita’s Patrick Mincey to ice the game and send River City home victorious. .

Justin Klipp worked 3.0 scoreless innings at the beginning of game to push his scoreless inning streak this spring to six. Wise led the offense by going 1-3 with a home run and two RBI at the plate.

The Wingnuts will next play the Gateway Grizzlies at 7:05 p.m. Saturday Night in Sauget, Illinois. The game can be heard on 92.7 KWME or streamed online by visiting wichitawingnuts.com.

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie Airhogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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.

 

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Big Inning Leads Wingnuts to 8-5 Win over KC

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (May 7th, 2014) – For a third straight exhibition game the Wichita Wingnuts found themselves trailing entering the middle innings. This time it was against the Kansas City T-Bones and the team used a five-run fourth inning to grab the lead and never looked back on the way to an 8-5 victory. The win pushed the Wingnuts to 2-1 in pre-season play.

The Wingnuts took the initial lead by scoring in their very first opportunity. Ryan Khoury began the bottom of the first with a double and moved to third on a fielder’s choice groundout by Jake Kahaulelio. Brent Clevlen stayed hot with an RBI single to take a 1-0 advantage.

The T-Bones got to Wingnuts’ starter Tim Brown in his third and final inning of work. With one down, Darrell Hudson drew a walk. He then took off for second on a perfectly executed hit and run with Vladimir Frias. After sliding safely into a third, an errant throw to first base allowed Hudson to scamper home with the tying run. David Espinosa followed by driving a double in the left-center gap to give Kansas City a 2-1 lead.

That score held until the fifth inning, when the Wingnuts knocked seven hits and scored five runs against Booby Shore to jump in front 6-2. Ryan Khoury, Brent Clevlen, Chris McMurray, and David Amberson each registered RBI doubles, while Chun-Hsiu Chen, Dillon Hazlett, and  Jose Roman also added hits.

Each team scored a pair in the sixth. The T-Bones used three walks and a hit by pitch to score without putting a ball in play. The Wingnuts got their first home run of the exhibition season when Jake Kahaulelio followed a Taylor Oldham double with a 2-run blast to left field. After the wild frame the Wingnuts led 8-3.

The T-Bones managed one more run in the top of the ninth off of Matt Nevarez on a bases loaded fielder’s choice groundout by Danny Richar.

Jason Van Skike earned the win by pitching 2.0 perfect innings and recording a pair of strikeouts. Ryan Khoury was 2-3 with two doubles, an RBI, and two runs scored. Brent Clevlen also finished 2-3 with a double and a couple RBI.

The Wingnuts hit the road for another exhibition game against the River City Rascals on Friday, May 9th at 11:05 a.m.

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie Airhogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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.

 

 

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Wingnuts to Honor “Hero of the Game” During Each Friday Home Game

WICHITA, KS (May 6, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts are pleased to announce that they will be partnering with Corvias Military Living to honor a “Hero of the Game” prior to each Friday home game during the 2014 season.

Fans will have the opportunity to nominate a member of the military that has recently returned from active duty to receive the honor through a link on the Wingnuts’ website.   Each honoree will be invited onto the field prior to the game to throw out the ceremonial first pitch and have their story shared over the P.A. system. In addition, the selected hero will receive tickets to the game for their immediate family members, a game-worn Wichita Wingnuts American flag jersey, and a baseball autographed by the team.

Corvias Military Living is a privately-owned and fully integrated development, construction, and property management company. Corvias began operations Sept. 1, 2013 to construct, manage, and maintain family housing at McConnell AFB in Wichita. Corvias also manages military housing at Edwards AFB in California, Eielson AFB in Alaska, Hurlburt Field and Eglin AFB in Florida, Seymour Johnson AFB and Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Meade and Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, Fort Polk in Louisiana, Fort Rucker in Alabama, Fort Still in Oklahoma, and Fort Riley in Kansas.

“We are proud to have the opportunity to work with the Wichita Wingnuts in honoring and recognizing local military members for their sacrifices in securing our freedom,” said John Pearsall, program manager for Corvias Military Living at McConnell AFB.

The Wingnuts have seven Friday home games slated for 2014. The dates are May 16, May 30, June 20, July 11, July 18, August 15, and August 29.

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie AirHogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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.

 

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Wingnuts Stung by Emporia State 6-3 in Exhibition Game

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (May 5th, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts battled an in-state college opponent for the second straight night of exhibition play on Monday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. For the second straight night they fell behind early and battled back to take the lead, but this time Emporia State University (36-16) answered with a big seventh inning and pulled away for a 6-3 victory.

The Hornets struck first against former Major Leaguer, and Wingnuts’ starter, Jon Link. The leadoff batter reached against Link in each of the first three frames, but didn’t do any damage until the third. Shortstop Toby Cornejo ripped a two-RBI single through the left side to stake ESU to a 2-0 lead.

The Wingnuts were held in check by a carousel of Hornets’ pitchers until they broke through with a crooked number of their own in the fifth. The first three batters of the inning Carlo Testa, David Amberson, and Ryan Khoury reached base safely, before a pair of wild pitches allowed the Wingnuts to tie the game. Brent Clevlen then pounded a double to the left-center gap to plate another and make it 3-2 Wichita.

The 3-2 lead would hold until the top of the seventh when the first four Hornets’ hitters reached base against Nelson Curry. That set the stage for Daniel Lorenzen who singled home a pair of teammates and pushed Emporia State ahead 4-3. Another unearned run would cross the plate before the inning was finished.

ESU tacked on an insurance run in the eighth inning against reliever Jack Wagoner with an RBI groundout by catcher Tyler Beebe leading to the 6-3 final score.

Brent Clevlen paced the Wingnuts offensively by reaching base all four times he batted and finishing 3-4 with three doubles and the lone Wichita RBI. Matt Robertson (2.0 innings), Erik Lambe, and Mike Zouzalik each shut out the Hornets during their appearances on the mound.

The Wingnuts will play a fellow American Association team for the first time this exhibition season on Wednesday, May 7th at 11:05 a.m. when they host the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium for School Kid’s Day. The game can be heard live on 92.7 KWME with pre-game beginning at 11:00 a.m.

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie AirHogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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.

 

 

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Wingnuts Open Exhibition Season by Doubling Up Friends University 12-6

WICHITA, KS (May 4, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts fell behind early in their exhibition opener against Friends University at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Sunday afternoon, but had runners on base all day, grabbed the lead with a big fifth inning, and pulled away for a comfortable 12-6 victory in their first live action of 2014.

The Falcons jumped ahead 4-0 in the second inning courtesy of three hits and three hit batsmen against Wingnuts’ starter Michael Schlact. Schlact was pitching in a professional game for the first time in two years since coming off of arm surgery. He allowed four runs on six hits in 3.0 innings of work.

Wichita answered back immediately by cutting the lead in half in the bottom of the inning. Dillon Hazlett reached with a two out single to start the rally before Chris McMurray singled him home and Carlo Testa followed with an RBI double.

Hazlett trimmed the deficit to 4-3 with an RBI single in the third, before the floodgates opened in the bottom of the fifth. The Wingnuts sent 12 batters to the plate in the frame, chasing Falcons starter Ryan Householder, and scoring seven runs. Pinch-hitters Jose Roman and Taylor Oldham each drove in a pair with one out, line drive, base knocks.

Wichita scored a pair of runs to cushion their lead in the seventh, the second coming on another RBI by Hazlett. The Wingnuts’ relief corps managed to shut out the Falcons until they put up a pair against Matt Nevarez in the ninth inning. Justin Klipp worked three shutout innings to earn the win, while Daniel Bennett and Patrick Mincey each showed why they figure to factor in the back end of the bullpen this season by breezing through their innings on the hill.

Wichita finished with 14 hits and 12 of the 13 Wingnuts to make a plate appearance reached base safely. Hazlett, a Topeka native, had a great start to his pre-season as he went a perfect 4-4 at the plate with two runs scored, three RBI, a walk, and a stolen base.

The Wingnuts will again turn to the college ranks for their second exhibition game as they welcome the Emporia State Hornets to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium at 6:05 p.m. Monday evening. Tickets are general admission and cost just seven dollars.

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie AirHogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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.

Wingnuts to Open Camp on Saturday

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (May 2, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts have their sights set on a third straight trip to the American Association’s Championship Series in 2014. The team has a long journey to navigate and a trio of new foes in the South Division to battle along the way. The sound of gloves popping and bats cracking will return to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium this weekend as the Wingnuts officially begin training camp on Saturday morning.

Some familiar faces will be taking the field on a daily basis as Ryan Khoury, Jake Kahaulelio, David Amberson, and Brent Clevlen all return. The same applies to the mound where Jon Link, Matt Nevarez, Anthony Capra, Justin Klipp, Daniel Bennett, and Erik Lambe will wear a Wingnuts’ uniform once again. Add to that a group of exciting new faces including former Grand Prairie closer Patrick Mincey who saved 24 games and finished with a 1.01 ERA last season, towering right-hander Michael Schlact, Emporia State standout Dillon Hazlett, ex-Royals prospect Carlo Testa, and Johnny Bench Award winner J.T. Wise to name a few. The Wingnuts are currently carrying 28 players on the roster and must reduce that number to 22 by May 13th.

The club opens its’ seven-game exhibition slate with three straight home games. The Wingnuts will battle a pair of local colleges, Friends University and Emporia State University, on Sunday, May 4th and Monday, May 5th respectively, before welcoming the Kansas City T-Bones on Wednesday, May 7th. A trio of road games will follow as the club plays at River City (Frontier League) on Friday, May 9th, Gateway (Frontier League) on Saturday, May 10th, and matches up with Gary SouthShore at Lawrence Free State High School on Sunday May 11th. The pre-season schedule concludes with another game against Gary SouthShore at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Monday, May 12th. The contests on the 7th, 10th, and 12th will be broadcast live on 92.7 KWME, your radio home for Wingnuts’ baseball. Tickets for all exhibition games are general admission and cost $7.

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts’ baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie AirHogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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.

 

 

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Wingnuts and your Hometown Chevy Dealers to Host Free Youth Baseball Instructional Clinic

 

WICHITA, KS (May 1, 2014) - The Wichita Wingnuts in partnership with your Hometown Chevy Dealers are excited to offer a free Chevy Youth Baseball Instructional Clinic on Tuesday, May 6th from 6:00-9:00 p.m.  The clinic is for children ages 6-14 and all family members are encouraged to attend.  Participants will have the opportunity to take the field at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium and receive instruction from Wingnuts' manager, and former Major Leaguer, Kevin Hooper as well as current Wingnuts' players.  Click the link below for more details! 

 

 

2014 Wichita CYB Clinic Invitation

 

Wingnuts Sign Two Backstops; Make Additional Wise Move

WICHITA, KS (April 30, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts have signed a pair of catchers in Chris McMurray and Mike McCarthy , while also adding power hitter, and former first team All-American catcher J.T. Wise to the roster.

The 27-year old McMurray is entering his seventh season of professional baseball and first in Wichita.  A career .247 hitter, the right-handed catcher spent 2013 playing in both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago White Sox farm systems.  He began the season in Visalia (Advanced-A, Diamondbacks) where he collected eight hits in 48 at-bats over the span of 15 games.  McMurray hit one home run and drove in eight, while drawing 12 walks.  He was traded to Chicago in late July and was assigned to Double-A Birmingham.  In 14 games with the Barons, the Mission Viejo, California resident hit an even .200 with one long ball, four RBI, and 10 walks. 

“Chris is a guy we have had our eye on for a couple of years now.  From the first day I saw him play, I was impressed with his abilities,” said Wingnuts’ manager Kevin Hooper.  “He could arguably be the best catcher in the league.  We have been fortunate in the past to have a great line of catchers and Chris has a chance to be the best one yet.”

McMurray was selected in the 18th round of the 2008 MLB draft by the Cincinnati Reds out of the University of California-Santa Barbara.  He spent four seasons in the Reds organization, reaching as high as Double-A Carolina in both 2010 and 2011.  McMurray began the 2012 campaign with the Diamondbacks Triple-A affiliate in Reno before playing out the remainder of the year with Lincoln and Grand Prairie of the American Association.  In 138 independent baseball games he has posted a .287 batting average, 22 home runs, and 85 RBI.  In his professional career McMurray has been charged with just 14 passed balls and has thrown out 36% of attempted base stealers.

“From everything that I have heard Wichita runs a fantastic program.  In talking to coach Hooper, I love the talent that is on the roster and think we have a chance to make a run at a championship,” McMurray said.  “I can’t wait to get in to town and get the season started.”

McCarthy, 24, will be entering his second season of professional baseball in2014.   The native of Dayton Beach, Florida has been putting up big numbers since his days at Lyman Hall High School.  McCarthy was named team captain, all-league, and all-state in his high school days, while also setting school records for home runs, RBI, and slugging percentage.  He played his freshman season of college ball at the University of Vermont in 2009, hitting .313 and was named to the America East All-Rookie team.  After transferring to the University of Texas- Pan American, McCarthy led the team in batting average and RBI in 2011 and finished his collegiate career as the First Team All-Great West catcher in 2012.  

“I am extremely excited and grateful that coach Hooper is giving me the opportunity to play in Wichita.  I have heard nothing but great things about both the city and the Wingnuts’ organization,” said McCarthy.  “It’s been a long off-season and I can’t wait for camp to begin.”

The right-handed backstop began his pro career playing for Roswell of the Pecos League last summer.  In 53 games with the Invaders, McCarthy hit .328 with 13 doubles, a triple, five home runs, and 34 RBI.  He managed to draw 33 walks last season, which is the same number of times he struck out.  Defensively, he was charged with four passed balls and threw out 18 of 57 potential base stealers.

“Mike is another case of using one of our current players as a recruiting tool.  He came highly recommended from Erik Lambe, along with many others that I have spoken to,” Hooper explained.  “He will come into camp battling for the backup spot.  I am very excited to see what he is capable of.”

Wise spent his college days playing for two traditional powerhouse programs.  He began his career at Louisiana State in 2006. Playing mostly third base, he hit 11 home runs and drove in 40 on his way to being named to the All-SEC Freshman and Freshman All-America teams.  After being selected in the 45th round of the 2007 draft by Oakland following his sophomore season, Wise transferred to Oklahoma University for his junior and senior campaigns.  He put together a solid season in his first go-around in Norman before exploding with a remarkable final year.  In 2009, Wise finished in the top five of all Big-12 players in six different offensive categories, led the Sooners in four offensive categories, and threw out a whopping 52% of all potential base stealers.  His long list of honors following the season included Big 12 Player of the Year, first team All-Big 12, ABCA Midwest All-Region first team, first team All-American, and Golden Spikes Award semi-finalist.  He was also presented the Johnny Bench Award (nation’s best catcher) in Wichita that summer.

“In talking to “Hoop” and (General Manager) Josh Robertson the Wingnuts’ organization seems to have a positive and upbeat feel to it. They will take care of their players, but expect everyone to work hard.  You get out of it what you put into it,” said the Orlando, Florida native.  “I would obviously love to get picked up by an affiliated club, but I won’t treat this as just a stop in the road.  This club has the feel of a high-level minor league team, if not better.  They went out on a limb for me so I want to pay them back for that.”

The 27-year old was drafted once again in 2009, this time in the fifth round by the Los Angeles Dodgers. After completing the 2009 season with the Dodgers rookie-ball affiliate in Ogden, Wise began a steady climb through the L.A. farm system.  He advanced a level each season, playing a majority of his games at first base, until peaking at Double-A Chattanooga where he played in both 2012 and 2013.  Last year, Wise hit .245 with eight home runs and 35 RBI for the Lookouts.   In 106 games he finished with 20 doubles, drew 39 walks, and struck out 88 times.

“Once we got wind that he wanted to play for us, it was a no-brainer to get him signed.  He will be a big piece for us in the middle of the lineup,” Hooper said.  “J.T. will be able to play first base, DH, and also get a day or two a week behind the plate.  He had a great college career at Oklahoma and has also put up great numbers in pro ball.” 

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie AirHogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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.

 

 

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Call to Arms: Four More Pitchers Added to Roster

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (April 28, 2014) – With under a week until spring training opens for the 2014 season, the Wichita Wingnuts have completed their pitching staff with the addition of four arms.  The team has re-signed Erik Lambe and will welcome newcomers Matt Robertson, Michael Zouzalik, and Jack Wagoner.

Lambe joined the Wingnuts’ bullpen late in the 2013 season as the team was gearing up for its’ playoff run.  He appeared in three regular season games prior to allowing one run in 3.2 post-season innings.  He earned the first save of his career in Game 2 of the American Association Championship Series against Gary SouthShore.  Lambe spent a majority of the season with the Roswell Invaders of the Pecos League.  While there, he made 16 appearances, eight of them starts, and put together an impressive 10-0 record and 2.33 ERA in 69.2 innings.  He tossed a pair of complete games, finished two others, and struck out 66 while walking only 17.  Lambe’s strong performance helped guide the Invaders to the Pecos League title. 

“Lamber was a shot in the dark for us late last season and I can definitely say I'm glad we brought him in. He had a monster year in the Pecos League and gives us the option to start him or throw him out of the pen,” said Wingnuts’ manager Kevin Hooper.   “He gave us a small glimpse of what he can do and I am anxious to see the improvements he has made.”

Lambe, entering his second season of pro baseball, played collegiately for LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York.  The 6’4 right-hander put together his best statistical season for the Dolphins as a sophomore in 2010. That year he posted a 2.28 ERA, one save, and a 7-1 record.  As a senior, Lambe helped lead the school to an NE-10 championship by going 4-2 with three saves and 3.10 ERA, while fanning 37 hitters in 40.2 innings.

“I am really looking forward to coming back to Wichita this year.  I only spent about a month with them last year, but I immediately felt like part of the team and enjoyed every minute I was there,” said the 23-year old Lambe. “I look forward to getting the season started and contributing to the team in any way possible.”

The Robertson name is synonymous with baseball in Wichita, and even more so within the Wingnuts’ organization.  The family will have the opportunity to feature a sibling in four different aspects of the club in 2014.  Eldest brother Josh is the team’s General Manager, Nate is part-owner, Luke serves as the pitching coach, and now youngest brother Matt has signed as a pitcher. 

“It means a lot to me to have the chance to play for the Wingnuts.  Being a part of something like this with my brothers is very special and playing in my hometown means that parents, family, and friends will be able to come to the ballpark to watch,” the youngest Robertson revealed.  “My goal is to have a good spring training and earn the opportunity to wear the “Nuts” jersey all season.”

Last season was Robertson’s first in professional baseball after finishing up a stellar collegiate career at Emporia State University.  The right-hander was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in both 2007 out of Valley Center High School and 2008 out of Barton Community College, but opted to continue with college baseball each time.  He spent the 2013 season with the Kitchener (Ontario) Panthers of the Intercounty Baseball League where he finished with a 1-5 record, two saves, and a 6.95 ERA in 17 appearances.

“I have known Matt for almost twenty years now and can't say enough about him.  This is obviously a unique situation with the Robertson family playing such a big role in our organization,” explained Hooper.   “We thought this was a perfect opportunity to bring Matt into camp and have him battle for a spot on our pitching staff.”

The 23-year old Zouzalik joins the Wingnuts for his second season of professional baseball after splitting his first between the Texas Rangers’ affiliates in Spokane (Low-A) and Myrtle Beach (Advanced-A).  He went a combined 4-0 with five saves and 15 games finished in 23 relief appearances between the stops.  In 33.2 innings the right-handed Zouzalik struck out 27 and walked 14.

“I am very excited to be going to Wichita as I’ve heard nothing but great things about the whole Wingnuts’ organization in the conversations I have had with coach Hooper on the phone,” said Zouzalik. “I can’t wait to get going and help the team win some games.”

The Austin, Texas native went undrafted out of the University of Texas-Pan American after wrapping up his career there in 2012.  He was later signed by the Rangers after he attended an open tryout in August at Round Rock that featured over 400 participants.  During a stellar senior season with UTPA Zouzalik went 4-1 with a 3.81 ERA in 13 games, eight of them starts.  He held opponents to a .237 batting average on his way to being named Second Team All-Great West Conference.

“Mike is a pretty neat story having opened some eyes at the Rangers’ open tryout. He had a solid first season and as a rookie could be very valuable for us,” Hooper said.  “He is a low-to-mid 90's guy with a lot of upside from the reports I have gotten.  Mike is another quality individual that we have added to the roster.”

The most experienced of the four arms belongs to the 24-year old Wagoner.  The right-hander played the first three seasons of his career within the Cleveland Indians organization.  After spending a pair of campaigns with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Low-A) Wagoner pitched for Lake County (Single-A) in 2013.  With the Captains, he posted a 4-5 record and 5.17 ERA while also earning a pair of saves.  In 42 relief appearances covering 55.2 innings he finished 15 games, struck out an average of just over one hitter per inning, and walked 34. 

Hooper shared the story of how Wagoner ended up a Wingnut as well as a brief scouting report. “I got wind of Jack from a friend of mine with Cleveland right after he got released in camp. Jack is hungry for this opportunity and anxious to get back on the mound to prove he is worthy of getting another shot in affiliated ball.  He is another power arm that we can bring out of the bullpen.”

Wagoner, who spent the final two years of college playing at Florida Gulf Coast University, is thrilled to be coming to Wichita. “I have heard great things about coach Hooper and the rest of the staff as well as the fan base in the city.  It looks like a tremendous atmosphere to play in as well as a fun league for traveling,” said the Eagles single-season record holder for saves.  “I am excited for the opportunity to come to Wichita and spend some quality time in a great place.”

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie AirHogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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

 

 

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Wingnuts 2014 Promotions Schedule Released

 

WICHITA, KS (April 23, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts released their 2014 promotions schedule on Wednesday and it features something for everyone.   Whether you like to take home a collectible, have the chance to rub shoulders with a celebrity, interact with the players, or take a trip back in time, Lawrence-Dumont Stadium is the place to be this summer!

Full 2014 Promotional Schedule

The season will begin with a flourish as the Wingnuts open with a seven-game homestand right out of the gates. Opening Day takes place on Thursday, May 15th at 7:05 p.m. against the Grand Prairie AirHogs and is presented by Southwestern College. A limited number of magnet schedules will be given away at the front gate.

The Wingnuts will have the pleasure of welcoming a number of familiar faces to the ballpark this season. A group of women that you may be used to seeing on Sundays in the fall at Arrowhead Stadium, the Kansas City Chiefs cheerleaders, will stop by on Saturday, May 17th as the Wingnuts attempt to dance all over the Grand Prairie AirHogs. The team will look to outsmart the Sioux City Explorers on Saturday, July 19th with renowned ballpark nerd Myron Noodleman in attendance. Finally, the Nuts will try to lay the smackdown on the AirHogs as WWE superstar Sgt. Slaughter makes an appearance.

The Wingnuts are pleased to offer many family friendly activities throughout the season. The team is offering Scout Night and Sleepover twice at the park this season. The first will take place on Friday, May 16th and the second on Saturday, July 19th. Each of the days will include tickets for as little as five dollars, a commemorative Scout Night patch for each Scout and Leader, and a movie shown on the video board following the completion of the game. Afterwards the scouts are invited to camp out overnight in center field. On Saturday, May 31st the Wingnuts’ mascot, Spinner, will be celebrating his birthday with many other large and furry friends at our “Mascot Palooza”. Finally, the second annual Teddy Bear Toss will take place on Friday, June 20. Fans can bring a new or gently used bear to toss on the field after the Wingnuts score their first run. Players will later distribute the teddy bears to children at local hospitals.

If you enjoy hunting or the outdoors the Friday, July 18th game with the Sioux City Explorers will be right up your alley as it will be Duck Call Giveaway Night. There will be limited supply of duck calls courtesy of Midwest Huntfest passed out upon entrance to the stadium.

The tradition of post-game fireworks will continue in 2014 with six spectacular shows planned for prime weekend dates and a special Tribute to America’s Heroes in the final home game prior to the Fourth of July on Wednesday, July 2nd. The other fireworks shows will take place on May 16th, May 30th, June 20th, July 11th, July 18th, August 15th, and August 29th.

Another Wingnuts' fan-friendly tradition takes place after every Saturday game with post-game autographs.  Immediately following every Saturday contest fans are invited down on the field to meet and greet their favorite Wingnuts’ players.  A final autograph session featuring the entire team takes place on Fan Appreciation Night, which is Monday, September 1st against Laredo.

Each Sunday home game will feature a different limited Wingnuts-related giveaway. The first will take place on Sunday, May 18th when fans will receive mini-bats. Other giveaways planned for the season include Wingnuts lanyards (June 1st), Wingnuts Nut Cups (June 22nd), Wingnuts hats (July 13th), Wingnuts trading card sets (July 20th), Wingnuts youth jerseys (August 17th), and Wingnuts draw-string backpacks (August 31st). Following all Sunday games fans have the opportunity to play catch on the field.

Fans can also stop by any Wichita area Kwik Shop for a $1 general admission voucher for every Monday game.  The eight Kwik Shop Dollar Days include May 19th, May 26th, June 23rd, June 30th, July 7th, July 21st, August 18th, and September 1st. Select concession and gift shop items will also be on sale for just $1 during each Monday.

The Wingnuts have once again partnered with various local businesses to offer Buy-In Nights.  Fans can stop by any of the presenting sponsor's locations to pick up a complimentary general admission voucher that can be upgraded to a lower box or upper chair-back seat at a discount rate.  This year's Buy-In partners include American Family Insurance (Tuesday, July 8th) and Delta Dental (Tuesday, July 22nd).

For the first time, the Wingnuts will turn back the clocks mid-week with Way-Back Wednesdays. Each Wednesday home game will feature a tribute to a certain decade in our past. Help us go back in time to the 1940’s on May 21st, the 1950’s on May 28th, the 1960’s on June 11th, the 1970’s on July 9th, the 1980’s on July 23rd, and the 1990’s on August 20th. Each night will feature music from the highlighted era as well as tickets and select concessions items priced as they would have been in that time period.

Finally, Thursdays will be PF Chang’s Home Run Derby Night. The first 20 fans to sign up and pay ten dollars in the Wingnuts' merchandise store will receive a chance to take ten swings. Every fan who hits a home run will receive a t-shirt that says "I HIT ONE OUT OF LAWRENCE DUMONT STADIUM!”.  Those fans will also be invited back to our final Thursday home game of the season for the Home Run Derby Championship with the winner receiving a great prize from PF Chang’s.

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie AirHogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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.

 

 

 

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Wingnuts Add to Bullpen, Bring in Three New Arms

WICHITA, KS (April 21, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts’ coaching staff feels great about their starting rotation and the back end of their bullpen for 2014. With those areas of the pitching staff seemingly locked down, the team has turned their focus to bridging the gap between the two.  The Wingnuts have announced the signings of pitchers Nelson Curry, Alan Williams, and Jason Van Skike.

The right-handed Curry, 27, will be beginning his sixth professional season and first with the Wingnuts.  He spent a majority of last season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of United League Baseball before finishing 2013 with the Frontier League’s Southern Illinois Miners.  In 23 relief appearances with the Vipers, Curry worked 27.0 innings and finished with a sparkling 1.67 ERA.  He finished 14 games and earned four saves while striking out 34 and walking just eight, a 4.25/1 ratio.  After the season he was one of five relievers named to the ULB’s All-League Team.  After the move to Southern Illinois late in the year, Curry allowed seven runs in 4.2 innings pitched for the Miners.

Wingnuts manager Kevin Hooper explained how he became aware of Curry, “A lot of times my best recruiters are other players and Nelson is a case of this.  Johnny Bowden (former Wingnuts’ catcher) played with him in the United League last year and told me we needed to get this guy,” said the skipper. “We went out and got him in a trade and hopefully he will come in and help our bullpen.  He has a low 90's fastball to go along with a plus slider and is a quality individual that will be a great fit in the clubhouse.”

The Mobile, Alabama native was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Chicago White Sox in 2011 after completing his career at his hometown school, the University of Mobile.  Curry spent a pair of seasons with the White Sox rookie-ball affiliate in Great Falls before embarking on an independent career that has taken him to five different stops, four in the Frontier League.  He posted a 7-5 career record in two seasons at the University of Mobile, striking out 58 in 79.2 innings. Curry also played 113 games as an outfielder and designated hitter, batting .349 for his career.

“I am really excited and anxious for spring training to get here so I can start playing again,” said Curry.  “I have heard great things about the program and team in Wichita, so I am thrilled to be playing there.”

The 24-year old Williams joins the Wingnuts after spending most of the first three years of his career in the Milwaukee Brewers farm system.  He was drafted by the Florida Marlins in both 2008 and 2009, but elected to return to Meridian Community College in Mississippi each time.  Williams thrived in striking out opposing hitters in college, fanning 32 in 28.1 innings in 2009 and 25 in 24.1 innings in 2010.  He appeared in three games for the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League to begin 2011 before the Brewers purchased his contract.  Williams made stops at four different affiliates within the organization, reaching as high as Double-A Huntsville.

“I got a lead on Alan once Milwaukee released him from camp this spring.  He will be a key piece down in that bullpen being our only left-hander to start the season,” Hooper said.  “He was in Double-A last year at the age of 23, so I know he has the stuff to pitch at a high level.  He also has the capability to start if we ever need him to.”

A southpaw from Monroe, Louisiana, Williams spent 2013 at three different stops in the Brewers system.  He played two games for the Arizona Brewers (Rookie), three for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Single-A), and 13 for the Huntsville Stars (Double-A).  Williams finished with a combined 0-4 record and 3.96 ERA.  He struck out 40 and walked just 15 opposing batters.  Williams has held left-handed batters to a career .241 average against him.

“I am excited and grateful for this opportunity,” said an appreciative Williams.  “Thanks to Hoop I am getting a second chance at this wild ride.”

Van Skike, originally from Gig Harbor, Washington, will play independent ball for the first time in 2014 after spending the previous three years in the Chicago White Sox organization. He went undrafted after playing the final three years of his college career at Indiana State University.  He was a successful starter for the Sycamores for the entirety of his stay, even tossing a no-hitter in 2011, but was converted to a relief pitcher immediately upon entering White Sox camp.  Van Skike played for three different Rookie and Single-A White Sox affiliates from 2011-2013. 

Versatility is always desired in baseball and Hooper explained that Van Skike possesses that trait, “Jason is one of those guys that is very valuable to a ball club in that he can start or throw out of the pen.  His career numbers are very good, and from what I've heard he is a guy that pounds the strike zone and lets his defense play behind him.” 

Last year the 25-year old Van Skike made a lone appearance in Kannapolis (Single-A) before being promoted to Winston-Salem (Advanced-A) less than one week into the season.  Spending the remainder of the year with the Dash, the right-hander made 30 appearances, including nine starts.  He posted a 3-5 record and 2.80 ERA, allowing 76 hits and 25 walks while striking out 45. 

“I am excited about the opportunity to play for Kevin Hooper and the Wichita Wingnuts,” Van Skike offered. “Having played in Wichita for the NBC Tournament and in college I know that some of the most passionate and knowledgeable baseball fans in the country reside there.”

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie AirHogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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.  

 

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Wingnuts Search Near and Far for Latest Signees

WICHITA, KS (April 18, 2014) – Way back in 1939 when Abner Doubleday wrote the rules for the sport we call baseball; the game was dominated by players from America.  In the present day, however, there are talented players in every corner of the globe, giving teams an opportunity to search internationally for quality players to fill out their rosters.  The Wichita Wingnuts have caught on, as evidenced by their latest round of additions: Dillon Hazlett from Topeka, Chad Kruse from San Antonio, Texas, Jose Roman from Puerto Rico, and Chun-Hsiu Chen (pronounced CHUHN-sue-CHEN) from Taiwan.

The 25-year old Chen has been playing affiliated ball in the Cleveland Indians organization since 2008 when he was signed at the age of 19.  In Taiwan he played mainly as a pitcher and a third baseman, but was converted to catcher with the Indians.  After starting his career slowly in rookie ball, Chen quickly adapted to the new position and advanced steadily through the organization.  In 2011, with Akron (Double-A) he put up the best power numbers of his career by launching 16 home runs and driving in 70.  In 2012 he was moved to first base and has played mainly that position since then.

Wingnuts’ manager Kevin Hooper was looking for a big bat to add to the lineup and feels like he has found that in Chen, “I got great reports on him and I love the fact that he has a lot of experience at the upper levels in the minor leagues,” said Hooper. “I am anxious to see him produce in the middle of our order. He can DH, play first base, and is also capable of playing some outfield.”

Last season Chen, born in Hualien County, Taiwan, played 38 games with Akron and 94 games with the Indians’ Triple-A affiliate in Columbus.  He combined to hit .253 in 132 games with 15 home runs and 69 RBI.  He also racked up 23 doubles, three triples, 13 stolen bases, and 60 walks.  In 76 games at first base and 20 in left field, Chen finished with .987 fielding percentage, committing eight errors in 611 chances.

“I am going to enjoy playing for the Wingnuts, they run everything as close to an affiliated team as possible,” said Chen.  “They take care of their players, there aren’t a ton of teams that are worth playing for, but Wichita is one of them.  I appreciate the opportunity and cherish what I have now.”

Roman (pronounced roh-MAHN) was born and raised in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.  He played two years for the Pittsburgh Pirates’ affiliate in the Venezuelan Summer League, but the 2014 season will be his first playing professionally stateside.  In 2010 and 2011 for the VESL Pirates the 23-year old Roman played first base as well as all three outfield positions.  In those two seasons he played in 126 games and hit an even .300 with eight home runs, 86 RBI, 33 doubles, eight stolen bases, and 64 walks while striking out just 74 times.

“I am hoping that Jose will be one of those hidden gems that you are able to find every once in a while.  I like what I've heard and seen on video and am excited to see how he can help us,” Hooper said.  “He will come into camp competing for our first base job, but can also play some outfield, which is always a bonus.”

Hazlett (pronounced HAYZ-lett) grew up, played high school ball, finished his college career, and now will resume his professional career in the state of Kansas.  After starring at Topeka High, Hazlett attended Allen County Community College in Iola, KS for two years.  Playing shortstop, he was named the Jayhawk Conference Freshman of the Year and then as a sophomore hit .462.  Hazlett transferred to the University of North Carolina for his junior season, hitting .325 with four home runs and 54 RBI.  Finally, he chose to move closer to home and finish his collegiate career at Emporia State University in 2011 where he was an All-MIAA and All-American selection after driving in 42 runs, stealing 43 bases and hitting a whopping .433.

Hazlett played 77 games for the Seattle Mariners Single-A affiliate in High Desert during the 2013 season.  He hit .211 with seven home runs and 31 RBI while playing almost anywhere on the infield.  The Mariners originally selected Hazlett in the 20th round of the 2011 draft and he has spent the past three seasons at rookie and Single-A affiliates in their system.

Hooper explained that he was impressed with Hazlett’s versatility and athleticism, while also partial to his home state, “We brought Dillon in for an individual workout after being released this winter and fell in love with him.   The fact that he is a Kansas kid is also a plus as we like to bring in as many quality local guys as we can.” Hazlett will begin the season at third base.

The versatile Kruse (pronounced KROO-zee) will be playing his second season of professional baseball in 2014.  He began his career playing for the Roswell Invaders of the Pecos League in 2013.  The 24-year old infielder split his time between second and third base last season on his way to hitting .321 with 38 RBI in 59 games.  In addition he tallied 20 doubles, two triples, and 24 walks.  The right handed Kruse committed seven errors 161 chances.  After the season he was named to the Pecos League’s All-Star Team.

“Chad will come into camp competing for a utility spot.  He played in the Texas Winter League and the feedback I got from folks was very positive,” Hooper said while adding that he likes the way Kruse plays the game.  “He seems to be a grinder/dirtbag type of guy and as far as I'm concerned, you can't have enough of those.”

After playing two seasons at Richland College in Dallas and redshirting one year at Sam Houston State the right-handed Kruse came into his own during his two years at the University of Houston-Victoria.  While playing for the Generals in 2011 and 2012 Kruse compiled a .367 batting average in 89 games and finished with a .951 fielding percentage.  He also put together 25 multi-hit games and a 10-game hitting streak.  During his summers he played a pair of seasons for the Victoria Generals of the Texas Collegiate League.  Due to his exceptional performance with them he was the first player in the five year history of the team to have his number retired.

“I am extremely excited and blessed to have the opportunity to play for the Wingnuts,” Kruse stated.  “There are going to be a lot of talented and experienced players on the roster so it’s going to be an exciting challenge to compete for a job.  I can’t wait to get things rolling in a few weeks.”

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie AirHogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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.

 

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Help Us Put Spinner “Over the Edge”

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (April 17, 2014) – Everybody knows that your average, every day, garden-variety squirrel is fleet of foot and possesses the ability to climb and jump pretty much anywhere.  Have you ever wondered how a lovable seven-foot tall squirrel in a Wingnuts’ jersey would fare on the side of a 14 story building?  With your help we will all be able to find out!  

The Wichita Wingnuts are asking for your assistance to send Spinner, the Wingnuts’ mascot, “Over the Edge” on May 10th.  If the team can reach their goal of $750 by the aforementioned date Spinner will rappel down the side of the Ambassador Hotel in what is sure to be an unforgettable experience.  You can make your donation today by visiting overtheedgekansas.com and clicking on Spinner’s page under the “Donate to An Edger Page” tab or clicking on the following link http://www.overtheedgekansas.com/edgers/spinner-wichita-wingnuts-mascot/.

All proceeds from the event will support the Scouting program of the Quivira Council, which serves youth in 30 counties in southern and southeast Kansas with a values based, character development program.  Scouts grow in leadership, citizenship, physical fitness and self-confidence as they set goals and achieve them.  Your participation in this event can help to make a difference in the lives of youth and families involved in the Scouting program.

The Wingnuts have teamed up with the Boy Scouts of America on many occasions in the past and will continue that tradition this season.  The team will host a pair of Scout Nights and Sleepovers at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in 2014.  The first of those dates is on Friday, May 16th against the Grand Prairie AirHogs with the second taking place Saturday, July 19th against the Sioux City Explorers.  Each of the days will include tickets for as little as five dollars, a commemorative Scout Night patch for each Scout and Leader, and a movie shown on the video board following the completion of the game. 

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie Airhogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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.

 

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Lights Out: Wingnuts Fill Late-Inning Relief Roles

Photo Credit:  Meryl Loop 

WICHITA, KS (April 14, 2014) – In 1964 there was a film released in Japan featuring a terrifying and intimidating dragon-like creature with three heads called Ghidorah.  Nearly 60 years later the Wichita Wingnuts are hoping that the back end of their bullpen will strike a similar fear in opposing hitters.  With that thought in mind, the Wingnuts have signed three pitchers with closing experience, Daniel Bennett, Patrick Mincey, and Matt Nevarez.

The 25-year old Bennett returns to Wichita after serving as a valuable asset in the Wingnuts’ bullpen in 2013.  The sidearm throwing right-hander went 1-3 with 13 games finished and a 2.79 ERA in 48 relief appearances.  He struck out 56 and walked 27 in 51.2 innings pitched.  Bennett did not allow an earned run in 36 of his 48 outings and held right-handed hitters to a .203 average.

“Benny had a quality year for us in 2013 and I am hoping 2014 is going to be even better,” said Wingnuts manager Kevin Hooper.  “He is a unique guy for us to have in the pen because he adds a different look being a sidearm pitcher.  He is very tough on righties and has come up big for us in crucial situations.”

Bennett will be beginning his fourth season of professional baseball, and is 10-7 with 22 saves and a 2.38 ERA in 136.1 career innings.  The Tallahassee, FL native has struck out 156 against 57 walks and six home runs over his first three pro campaigns.  Bennett was drafted by the Tigers in the 19th round in 2011 after playing two seasons of college baseball in his hometown at Florida State University.  Bennett was a combined 8-2 with 18 saves and a 2.73 ERA for the Seminoles, and helped them reach the 2010 College World Series.  Bennett also pitched two seasons at Tallahassee Community College where he holds school records for both single season and career appearances.

The 24-year old Mincey was also in the American Association last season, but wore a different uniform.   After a dominant season as the closer for the Grand Prairie AirHogs the Wingnuts were able to acquire him via trade in exchange for third baseman Abel Nieves.  The right-hander’s impressive numbers included a 5-1 record, 43 games finished, 24 saves, and a miniscule 1.01 ERA.  In 53.1 innings of work, all in relief, he struck out 55, walked just 14, and allowed a lone long ball.   Mincey’s WHIP of 0.881 ranked him fourth in the league among pitchers who threw at least 20.0 innings.  Following the season he was named the American Association’s Relief Pitcher of the Year and was one of three relief pitchers included on Baseball America’s All-Independent Leagues Team.

“We were adamant that if we were going to trade Abel Nieves, Mincey was going to be the guy we had to get,” explained Hooper.  “I like to have as many closer type guys as I can in the late innings of a game.  I know for a fact our guys didn't like facing him so I am glad he will be wearing our uniform this year.”

The Hartsville, South Carolina native spent his first professional season with the Schaumburg Boomers of the Frontier League in 2012.  While there he earned 17 saves throwing 35.2 innings in 34 games.   He posted a 2.78 ERA and struck out 57 while issuing just 17 free passes, a 3.35 ratio.  Mincey finished his college career playing two seasons at Division II Francis Marion University in Florence, SC. after spending his first two years of eligibility at Spartanburg Methodist College.

“I’ve heard only good things about Kevin Hooper and the facilities in Wichita are great, I have nothing but respect for the organization,” said Mincey.  As for his goals this year, “I just want to win a ring.  Everybody would love to get picked up at some point, but I’m not going to worry about things I can’t control or what my stats are.”

Nevarez, also a right-handed thrower, will be joining the Wingnuts for a third time in 2014.  After beginning the 2011 season with the Houston Astros Double-A affiliate in Corpus Christi Nevarez joined the Wingnuts in early July.  He finished five games and earned one save on his way to a 2.76 ERA in 18 appearances.  In 2012, he started the season in Wichita before having his contract purchased by the Tampa Bay Rays in late July.  In his Wingnuts’ career Nevarez is 3-3 with eight saves and a 2.95 ERA in 43 games.  He has fanned 64 while walking 17 in 42.2 innings.  American Association opponents have hit just .167 against him.

“I am excited to get back and work with all the coaches and players,” said the 27-year old pitcher.  “It is a great organization that always works hard to put the best team possible on the field; I wouldn’t want to play anywhere else.”

Nevarez, who was initially a 10th round draft pick of the Texas Rangers in 2005, appeared in nine games last season for the Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay, Double-A) prior to injuring his arm.  He has logged four years in the Rangers system, three seasons with the Houston Astros, and most recently a pair of seasons within the Rays organization in his eight year professional career. 

Hooper knows that Nevarez possesses the tools necessary to be special, “We have had Matty in the past and are ecstatic to have him back to begin this season.  He is coming off of surgery and if he can show he is healthy we may not have him for long.  Not many guys are blessed with a mid to upper 90's fastball, but he is one of them.”

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie AirHogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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

 

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Amberson Returns, Nuts Welcome Two Newcomers

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (April 11, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts have announced the addition of two new players and the re-signing of another.  David Amberson will be back to roam the outfield turf at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, while Carlo Testa and Taylor Oldham will look to become familiar with it in 2014.

The right-handed hitting Amberson returns after spending his first professional baseball season with the Wingnuts in 2013. The 26-year old outfielder hit .280 with two home runs and 29 RBI in 69 games.  He scored 38 runs with nine doubles, one triple, 15 stolen bases, and 12 walks.  Amberson hit safely in 40 of 69 games and had a personal best 16-game hitting streak at one point.  Although he hit eight or ninth in every game he played in, Amberson was a thorn in opposing pitchers’ sides.  He hit .295 against right-handed pitching, .323 with runners in scoring position, and was named the American Association’s Batter of the Week in mid-June.

Wingnuts’ manager Kevin Hooper is expecting even more out of Amberson now that he has a season under his belt. “I believe Ambo is going to be much more polished this year after a quality first season.  He brings an element to the game that you cannot teach, nor defend, and that is his dynamic speed,” said Hooper.  “He will be penciled in as our right fielder and help us turn over the lineup batting ninth.”

Amberson played for the Australian Baseball League's Perth Heat during their 2012-13 campaign, where he was a teammate of Ryan Khoury.  The Everett, Washington native hit .380 for Perth in 19 games with five doubles, two triples, one home run, seven RBI, and nine stolen bases.  He finished his college career at Western Oregon University after playing two seasons at Everett Community College in his home state of Washington.

Amberson is enthusiastic in looking ahead to the season, “I am excited for another chance to try and take home the American Association title and to spend the summer around some great people.”

Also an outfielder, the 27-year old Testa began last season with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, and concluded it with the Traverse City Beach Bums of the Frontier League.  He played 13 games with the Naturals prior to being released and signing with the Beach Bums ten days later. In 72 Frontier League games Testa hit .271 with seven home runs and 42 RBI.  He also stole 31 bases (third in the league) and drew 22 walks to help guide the team to the Frontier League playoffs.

“I am eager to play for a team that comes highly touted as one of the best independent ball clubs to play for.  From coaching staff, to veteran players, to clubhouse personnel I have heard nothing but positives,” said Testa before adding that he has high hopes for 2014. “I have great expectations that my teammates and I will do whatever it takes to have a winning season.”

The left-handed hitting Testa was an 18th round selection by the Royals in the 2008 draft.  He spent six seasons in the organization, reaching as high as Double-A in both 2012 and 2013.  Testa is a career .273 hitter in 516 games. His best season offensively came in 2012 when he launched 15 home runs and tallied 54 RBI for Northwest Arkansas.  A native of Tallmadge, Ohio, Testa played collegiately at Belmont University in Nashville, TN where he was a standout as both a pitcher and a hitter.  In 2008 he became the first player ever to be named All-Atlantic Sun Conference as both a pitcher and a position player. He led the conference in triples and shutouts and led the team in every traditional offensive category aside from slugging percentage and walks.

“Carlo will start the season as our everyday left fielder and probably hit somewhere in the middle of the order,” Hooper confided. “I am very excited to see what he can bring to the table for us.  The report from the Royals is that he has a lot of plus tools and will be a great fit in the clubhouse.”

The versatile Oldham is valuable to any team he suits up for because of his ability to literally play anywhere on the field.   In his two year professional career Oldham has played at least two games at every position besides pitcher and catcher, however, the majority of his time has been spent manning the hot corner as a third baseman.  He spent the 2013 season applying his trade for the Taos Blizzard of the Pecos League where he hit an impressive .379 in 29 games.  Oldham hit six home runs, drove in 25 runs, and earned ten free passes on his way to posting a .447 on-base percentage.

Taylor will come into camp battling for one of our utility spots,” Hooper said.  “We have heard nothing but great things about him and I am anxious to see what he can do in camp to help contribute to our team.”

The 24-year old began his professional baseball career in 2012 with a pair of Frontier League clubs.  He spent the first half of the slate with the Washington WildThings and played the second half with the London Rippers/Road Warriors.  Oldham played his first three collegiate seasons at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia before playing his last year of eligibility at Tennessee Wesleyan.

“You don’t get to play for a manager who has not only had success coaching, but also a fantastic playing career because of an amazing understanding of the game very often,” Oldham said in reference to Hooper.  “My new teammates have experience in consistently putting winning seasons together and I am blessed to have the opportunity to be a Wingnut.”

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie Airhogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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.

 

-Wingnuts-

Diamond Dolls are coming back!

 Are you fun, energetic, outgoing, love people and baseball? If you can answer yes to any of those descriptions, please contact Drew Hays with the Wichita Wingnuts to set up an interview. Being a Wingnuts Diamond Doll means having fun with the fans and helping us with the on-field promotions. Contact Drew@wichitawingnuts.com for more details. GO NUTS!!

Wichita! Joe Maddon Finds Unlikely Connection with Kansas' Largest City

 

by Andrew Astleford

Fox Sports Florida

 

Joe Maddon has done time in Wichita. He said as much late in March, during spring training, when he chose the Kansas community as the Tampa Bay Rays' code word to signal that a call should be challenged as part of Major League Baseball's expanded replay. The moment was vintage Maddon: funny, creative, smart. He's one of a kind.

Why let Omaha, made famous by Peyton Manning's audibles last fall with the Denver Broncos, have all the fun?

Why not pass the love to another Midwestern city?

"Omaha and Wichita, kind of almost in a perverse way, rhyme," the manager said last month. "I never served time in Omaha, but I have in Wichita."

Wichita had quite a run with the Rays to start this season. Maddon won his first challenge last Friday, when Wil Myers' diving catch of a ball from the Texas Rangers' J.P. Arencibia in right field during the seventh inning was first ruled a single. He won another Saturday, when shortstop Yunel Escobar's throw to first base to retire the Rangers' Robinson Chirinos in the second inning was first ruled too late. He lost one both Monday and Tuesday, when his winning streak ended against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

Still, Wichita has become part of the fabric of this Rays season. The label is a nod to Kansas' largest city, with a population of about 382,000 people. It's known as the "Air Capital of the World" because of its background in aircraft manufacturing. Its sports ties are a mix of Royals and Kansas City Chiefs love, with college allegiances to Kansas, Kansas State and Wichita State sprinkled about its Old Town district and elsewhere. Its Shockers were the first team in college basketball history to go 35-0.

Its passions vary like any metro area: Arts, culture, entertainment. But baseball is an interest that has owned a soft spot throughout Wichita's history.

"Maybe that's why Wichita is his call sign, his code," said Josh Robertson, president/general manager of the Wichita Wingnuts, part of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. "He's got a warm place in his heart for it."

Robertson would know. He also serves as general manager of the National Baseball Congress. The NBC World Series is held each summer at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium near downtown. It has grown into one of the country's most storied amateur tournaments since its start in 1935, when Satchel Paige's team from Bismarck, N.D., won the title. It has a proud past.

Maddon participated as a member of the champion Boulder (Colo.) Collegians in 1975. He returned as a player-coach in 1980. He was inducted into the NBC Hall of Fame in 2012, joining others like Barry Bonds and Buck O'Neil and Ozzie Smith to receive the honor since the inaugural class in 1991.

So Maddon has served time in Wichita, all right. Some Wichitans see themselves in him. They are proud people.

"I kind of think of Wichita State as a perennial underdog," said Steve Shaad, former general manager of the now-defunct Double-A Wichita Wranglers. "With his managing background and not a lot of success in the minor leagues and coming into the big leagues, he wasn't really successful as a player. But he has managed to persevere and be extremely successful as a major league manager. I think he's a kind of a roll-up-your-sleeves, get-hard-to-work kind of guy that overcomes obstacles. I think Wichitans, as a whole, can relate to that."

No doubt.

This has been quite the year for Wichita. The Shockers' run under coach Gregg Marshall nudged the city from the shadows of Kansas City to the northeast and Dallas and Oklahoma City to the south. Now, Wichita is known for more than the site of the original Pizza Hut and a convenient place to stop on a drive to the Rocky Mountains. Wichita offers a lot.

But for many years, baseball has remained a pride point within this city nestled on the Arkansas River. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Wichita has been home to some form of minor league baseball since 1887. Wichita State grew into one of the country's best programs under manager Gene Stephenson after his arrival in spring 1977, with seven College World Series berths and a national championship in 1989. Future major league stars like Carlos Beltran and Johnny Damon, a former Rays member, played in a combined 161 games with the Wranglers in the late 1990s and early 2000s as part of the Royals organization. If only the stands at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium could talk.

"Wichita's ties in the baseball community run deep,” Susie Santo, president and CEO of the Go Wichita Convention and Visitors Bureau, said in a statement. "Hopefully some of our hometown spirit can help push Tampa towards a historic season of its own.”

So Maddon's nod to Wichita fits. It's a tip of the cap to his past. For Wichitans, it's another reason to brag about their present. A bond has formed between the nation's breadbasket and Florida's Bay Area.

Why Wichita?

Why not?

"Knowing that Mr. Maddon grew up as a Cardinals fan, he's obviously a very smart fellow," said Ted Ayres, vice present and general counsel at Wichita State, and a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan. "And I think he's a sports fan if he's showing respect to Peyton Manning and his career as a quarterback. I'd also like to think the performance of the men's basketball team here, the Shockers, this year -- going 35-0 before finally being defeated -- must have caught his attention. So it's only natural that he'd want to be associated with a winner like Wichita."

That's the interesting thing about Maddon. You never know what you'll live around him. From DJs and penguins and pythons in the clubhouse to a 40-foot RV at spring training to feeding the homeless during his "Thanksmas" celebration each winter, he's a renaissance man. Life is his playground.

The unpredictability makes him entertaining. The variety makes him insightful.

Now, Wichita is part of his tapestry.

"I like watching the guy manage -- him with his glasses on," Robertson said. "He's got that old-school, hard-nosed, blue-collar-type manager (approach). He gets the most out of his players. From what I can see, and the things that I have heard ... he's old-school, blue-collar, respectable, that type of guy who gets everything out of his players. And obviously, Wichita has got a place in his heart."

The beat will live with each Rays' replay challenge this season.

Why Wichita?

Why not?

The time seems right.

Rotation Taking Shape as Three More Arms Added

 

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (Monday, April 7) – With opening night just over five weeks away, the Wichita Wingnuts’ starting rotation is beginning to take form.  With Jon Link and Anthony Capra already in the fold the team has added two experienced arms in Michael Schlact and Tim Brown and will bring back a familiar face in Justin Klipp.

The 28-year old Schlact sat out the 2013 baseball season while he recovered from his second shoulder surgery.  His last baseball action came in 2012 with the Atlantic League’s Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.  He appeared in just three games that season before he was injured. During his most recent full season, which came in 2011 with Southern Maryland, he was 6-4 with a 4.61 ERA in 21 appearances, 18 of which were starts.  He struck out 38 and walked 25 in 107.1 innings of work. 

Manager Kevin Hooper is looking forward to watching the towering Schlact throw this season.  “Michael is a guy I am very excited to see in May when the guys report.  He is a 6'7" right-hander that will hopefully fit somewhere right in the middle of our rotation.  He seems to pound the strike zone and doesn't give out many free passes.”

Schlact is entering his tenth season of professional baseball since being selected by the Texas Rangers in the 3rd round of the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft out of Wheeler High School in Marietta, GA.  He spent seven years in the Rangers organization reaching as high as Double-A Frisco, where he spent four seasons from 2007-10.  Schlact enjoyed his best season statistically with the Low-A Clinton LumberKings in 2005.  There he posted a 10-7 record in 28 starts to go along with a 4.17 ERA. 

“I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to be part of such a classy and successful organization,” Schlact said.  “I am looking forward to being on the field with some really talented players and a top notch coaching staff.”

Although relatively young in age, Tim Brown is an independent baseball veteran.  The 27-year old has already completed five seasons with three different independent baseball clubs.  He pitched for the Lincoln Saltdogs and Grand Prairie AirHogs, both of the American Association, between 2009 and 2011 before spending each of the last two campaigns with the Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier League.

“I’m very excited to be joining the Wingnuts this year,” Brown stated. “I have always enjoyed the city of Wichita and playing against the team in the past.  I have nothing but respect for them and I look forward to a great season.”

Brown was not drafted after finishing his collegiate career at Pittsburg State University in 2009. Brown led the Gorillas pitching staff that year with a 3.71 ERA in 80.0 innings of work.  He has the fourth most strikeouts in a single season at the school with 77.  Brown is the career leader in lowest amount of walks per nine innings pitched with an average of 0.83 and holds the two best single-season marks in the same category with an average of 1.04 in 2008 and 0.68 in 2009.

Following the completion of the college season Brown joined the Lincoln Saltdogs, going 7-1 in 17 appearances with a 2.59 ERA.  He also began the 2010 season with Lincoln, but after starting the season 7-5 had his contract purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies in July.  Brown was placed with the team’s Gulf Coast League affiliate where he finished with an impressive 1.50 ERA in seven games spanning 24.0 innings. 

He split the 2011 season between Lincoln and Grand Prairie before flourishing with Gateway the past two seasons.  With the Grizzlies Brown was a combined 25-5 in 39 starts with a 2.61 ERA.  He struck out 136 batters while issuing just 64 walks.  In 2013, he finished second in the Frontier League with a 2.97 ERA.  On July 20th of last year in a game against the Lake Erie Crushers Brown threw the third no-hitter in Grizzlies history, allowing just a pair of base runners via walk.

“I have kept a close eye on Tim since the first time I saw him pitch for Lincoln in 2009 as a true rookie,” explained Hooper.  “He pitches to our philosophy of going right at guys, pounding the zone, and letting his defense play behind him.  He is a proven winner and I can't wait to see him in a Wingnuts uniform.”

The right-handed Klipp played professional baseball for the first time last season at the age of 28.  He spent the final three months of the season with the Wingnuts after being acquired via trade from the Edinburgh Roadrunners of United League Baseball.  In 17 appearances with Wichita, 15 of which were starts, Klipp posted an 8-3 record and 3.88 ERA.  In 92.2 innings he struck out 56 and walked 21. 

According to the 29-year old from Tarzana, California the season cannot begin soon enough.  “I am excited to be in Wichita and have been chomping at the bit to be playing every day again since the new year began.  I want redemption for last year and will settle for nothing less than a ring.”

Klipp started just three games with Edinburgh prior to the trade to Wichita, but made his mark in the short time frame.  He was 2-1 with a 1.24 ERA in 21.2 innings pitched.  He struck out 14 batters in 6.1 innings against Fort Worth in his professional debut and followed that by fanning another 14 in his next outing.

Klipp was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 22nd round in 2007, but did not see live action professionally until last year due to a pair of back injuries.  The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Klipp was drafted following two successful years at Cal State Fullerton.  Klipp posted a 2.15 ERA during his senior season with the Titans, striking out 28 in 37.2 innings of work.

“Klipper is an older rookie that had dealt with a serious injury, but has come back hungrier than ever.  I'm expecting big things out of him this year,” expressed Hooper. “He continues to want to get better every time out and I really like that he isn't fazed by anything thrown at him.”

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie AirHogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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

 

-Wingnuts-

Experienced Arm from Both Sides Back to Lead Rotation

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (April 4, 2014) – The Wichita Wingnuts pitching staff led the American Association in both ERA and strikeouts in 2013. In fact, the numbers they posted in both categories blew away the previous league records for each. Two of the arms that were big contributors in putting up those impressive numbers will take the mound at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium again this season. Both Jon Link and Anthony Capra have re-signed with the Wingnuts for 2014.

Link, a former Major Leaguer who started for the Wingnuts on Opening Day last year, will be entering his second season in Wichita. The right-handed pitcher spent just over a month with the Wingnuts in the beginning of the 2013 campaign before his contract was purchased by the Detroit Tigers in mid-June. At the time of his departure he led the American Association in both wins (six) and ERA (1.74) and was fifth in the league with 38 strikeouts.  Link also tossed the first complete game of his career on June 17th versus Gary SouthShore. The Columbus, OH native allowed two or fewer earned runs in six of his seven starts and had a string of 24.0 consecutive scoreless innings.

The Tigers initially sent Link to their Double-A affiliate in Erie. Link went 3-1 with a 1.13 ERA in five games, all starts. In 39.2 innings of work he struck out 21 while allowing 30 hits and five walks. Those impressive numbers earned Link a promotion to the Toledo Mud Hens, Detroit’s Triple-A affiliate. There he worked 43.2 innings in 11 appearances, seven of them starts. He also finished three games and closed the season with a 5.56 ERA. He was granted free agency by the Tigers in November.

Manager Kevin Hooper is glad that Link is back to provide both pitching and guidance.  “Jon will once again be the leader in our rotation this upcoming season.  Having pitched in the big leagues, he is willing to teach the younger guys what it takes to be successful on the mound,” the skipper said. “He is very smart and knows how to give himself a chance to win a ball-game every fifth day.”

Link enters his tenth season of professional baseball and was originally drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 26th round out of Bluefield College (Bluefield, VA) in 2005.  The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Link is 34-27 in his career with 93 saves over 400 appearances. The veteran was named the Double-A Southern League's Relief Pitcher of the Year in 2008 with the Birmingham Barons (Chicago White Sox).  Link had a 4.15 ERA in nine relief appearances for the Dodgers in 2010.  The Columbus, OH native made his Major League debut on April 20th of that season with two shutout relief innings against the Cincinnati Reds.

“I’m really excited to be back in a great city playing in front of great fans and for a first class organization,” Link expressed. “We definitely have some unfinished business from last year to take care of. This year it’s all about the ring.”

With Link providing a top-notch right-handed arm at the top of the rotation, every team would love to have a left-handed stalwart as a compliment. That is where Anthony Capra comes in. The southpaw, who will begin his third season in Wichita, was 7-2 with a 3.92 ERA in 22 appearances last season. In 100.0 innings of work Capra struck out 122 opposing hitters and walked 59. He had one of his best starts of the season when it mattered most, throwing 7.1 shutout innings against Grand Prairie in Game 3 of the Division Series. Capra racked up double-digit strikeout totals in three games.

“I’m excited to be coming back to play in Wichita, which I consider my second home. Playing for Kevin Hooper has allowed me to rediscover my love of the game as well as learn some things as a pitcher along the way,” Capra said. He also agreed with Link about one thing, “We’ve finished just short of our goal twice now and everyone that is coming back knows what our end goal is for 2014.”

Capra is entering his seventh season of professional baseball and owns a lifetime 28-37 record with a 4.20 ERA in 115 starts and 14 relief appearances.  Capra, 27, has averaged 9.0 strikeouts per nine innings over 608.0 career frames.  The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Capra was drafted by the Oakland Athletics as a fourth-round pick out of Wichita State University in 2008.  Capra was 18-4 with a 2.43 ERA during his three seasons with the Shockers, earning All-American and All-Missouri Valley Conference honors in 2008.  Capra reached Triple-A Sacramento for the Athletics in 2011, and was named organizational Pitcher of the Year in 2009 after striking out 170 in 152.0 innings between two levels.  Capra is the 10th former Shocker to wear a Wingnuts' uniform.

Hooper is very familiar with Capra and has high hopes for his future. “I have known Cap since his college days at WSU and feel very fortunate to have him in our rotation.  He put together a stellar season last year and will be another huge part of our success in 2014.  I'm hoping if he can go out and repeat what he did last year that it won't be long before he gets another opportunity in affiliated ball.”

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie Airhogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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.

 

                                                                                                                     -Wingnuts-

Special K's: Double Play Duo Re-Signs

 

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

 

WICHITA, KS (March 31, 2014) – In baseball the letter “K” is usually something you want to avoid unless you are a pitcher.  In the case of the Wichita Wingnuts, however, the more “K’s” you can place in the middle of the infield the better the chance you have to win on a nightly basis.  Appropriately, shortstop Ryan Khoury and second baseman Jake Kahaulelio will each be back for a third season with the Wingnuts in 2014.

Khoury, who recently turned 30, has been an absolute ironman during his two previous seasons in Wichita, playing in 199 out of a possible 200 regular-season games.  In 2013, he hit .244 with 14 doubles and 46 RBI while hitting safely in 89 of 99 games.  A staple at the top of the order, Khoury drew 58 walks which tied him for the team lead with CJ Ziegler.

The right-handed hitting shortstop is the Wingnuts’ franchise leader in stolen bases (67) and sacrifice flies (16).  He is also tied with Josh Horn for the most career walks at 117. 

In 2012, his first season in Wichita, Khoury (pronounced KORE-ee) put together a remarkable campaign by both team and league standards.  He hit .256 with 18 doubles, three triples, four home runs, 38 RBI, and a .360 on-base percentage.  The Salt Lake City, UT native finished third in the American Association in stolen bases (37), fourth in runs scored (79), and tied for fourth in walks (59).  The 37 steals remains a franchise single-season record.  After the season he was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Wingnuts’ Manager Kevin Hooper knows that Khoury is valuable in multiple facets of the game, “Ryno will not only set the tone for us offensively as our leadoff hitter, but defensively as well. In addition, he is a huge threat out on the base paths.”

Khoury was originally drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 12th round out of the University of Utah in 2006.  During his senior season with the Utes, Khoury earned Mountain West Conference Player of the Year honors, batting .437 with 13 home runs and 56 RBI in just 56 games played.  Khoury spent six years in the Red Sox' farm system, reaching the Triple-A level three times. 

Kahaulelio, who hit behind Khoury in the second spot in the order last season, is hoping to build on an impressive all-around season in 2013.  Last year the 28-year old hit .322 in 95 games while piling up 17 home runs, 68 RBI, 91 runs scored, and .408 on-base percentage.  The 91 runs scored led the American Association.  In addition, he was hit by 22 pitches, a Wingnuts’ single-season and American Association record.

As impressive as Kahaulelio was with a bat in his hands he may have been even more impressive with his glove.  He had the top fielding percentage of any second basemen in the league (.991) on his way to being named the American Association’s All-Star at the position.   Of the 448 total chances he received Kahaulelio committed only four errors.

“Coming back to Wichita was the best decision I could make, the staff works so hard for us and playing here has put the fun back in the game for me,” Kahaulelio shared.  “I look forward to making another run at a championship this year.”

One person that Kahaulelio has definitely impressed during his two previous seasons with the team is his manager, “Jake provides so much to our team in that he can hit for average, hit for power, provide speed, and play stellar defense on a nightly basis,” Hooper stated. “Not only is he an outstanding baseball player, but a class act all around.  I am so grateful to have a guy like Jake on our ball club.”

Kahaulelio (pronounced kuh-HAU-lay-lee-oh) was also the American Association's all-star second baseman in 2012, and captured the league's batting crown with a .372 average that year.  Kahaulelio added 60 runs scored, 19 doubles, six home runs, and 11 stolen bases in 59 games played.  The Petaluma, CA native also finished second in the American Association in on-base percentage (.448) and seventh in slugging percentage (.536).  Kahaulelio hit safely in 47 of 59 contests, had four hitting streaks of at least seven games, and batted an incredible .475 with runners in scoring position.  Again, he led the league’s second basemen in fielding percentage (.990) and committed only three errors.

The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Kahaulelio was originally drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 20th round in 2007 out of Oral Roberts University.  Kahaulelio has three years of experience at the Double-A level, including an all-star campaign with the Southern League's Carolina Mudcats in 2010.   Kahaulelio hit a combined .319 during his two seasons at Oral Roberts and also spent two years at Santa Rosa Junior College where he won a California State championship in 2005.

Hooper used his prior experience to sum up the importance of this tandem returning to his club, “Being a former shortstop myself, I take a lot of pride in building teams that are strong up the middle.  Ryno and Jake form possibly the best double play combination I have ever seen in the American Association.”

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie Airhogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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.

Powerful Pair of Veteran Sluggers Returns

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS (March 27, 2014) – In 2013 the Wichita Wingnuts’ lineup was a force to be reckoned with.  The team led the American Association in home runs, RBI, and slugging percentage among other categories.  With plans to continue putting up big numbers offensively in 2014, the Wingnuts have announced the re-signing of a pair of power-hitting former big leaguers in John Rodriguez and Brent Clevlen.

  The duo brings with them a combined 29 years of professional baseball experience and nearly 400 career home runs.  Both Rodriguez and Clevlen were named American Association Post-Season All-Stars after their stellar 2013 campaigns with the Wingnuts.

Rodriguez, who was the designated hitter in all 100 games last season, will be returning to Wichita for the third consecutive season.  He has driven in more runs in his Wingnuts career than any other player (167) and is second in franchise history in runs, hits, total bases, and intentional walks.  Last season he hit .337 while launching 19 homers and driving in 86 runs.  The left-handed hitter also drew 42 walks and set a single-season franchise record with 409 at-bats.

Wingnuts’ manager Kevin Hooper is thrilled to have Rodriguez back in the fold, “J-Rod is arguably one of the best hitters in our league and is a great leader not only on the field, but in the clubhouse.   It's not very often that you get to have a World Series Champion on your team at this level so he is a great example for our younger players.” 

The 2014 season will be a special one for the 36-year old slugger as it will be the final year of an impressive baseball career.  “I will be retiring after this season so I really want to bring home a championship.  General Manager Josh Robertson and Kevin Hooper do a great job of putting together a quality team each year and I believe that we have a great chance to win it all this year,” Rodriguez said. “Everyone in this city has been great to my family and I and Wichita has become like a second home for me.”

Rodriguez played two seasons in the Major Leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals (2005-06), helping the Redbirds win back-to-back National League Central Division crowns, as well as the 2006 World Series.  The New York City native hit .298 with 46 runs scored, 18 doubles, seven home runs, and 43 RBI in 158 Major League games.  During his time with St. Louis, Rodriguez collected base hits against numerous all-stars, including Roger Clemens, Trevor Hoffman, Greg Maddux, and John Smoltz.

Rodriguez enters his 18th year of professional baseball after having been originally signed by the New York Yankees as a non-drafted free agent in 1996.  Rodriguez is a career .283 hitter with 1,577 base hits, 233 home runs, and 950 RBI in 5,554 at bats over 1,638 games played.  In addition to his time with the Cardinals, Rodriguez has nine years of experience at the Triple-A level, and was a teammate of Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper with the International League's Columbus Clippers in 2004.

Clevlen will also be back for his third season with the Wingnuts after spending portions of the 2011 and 2013 seasons in Wichita.  Last season he hit .322 with 14 home runs and 51 RBI in 70 games after joining the team in mid-June.  Clevlen spent the first part of the season in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization with Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno.

The 30-year old outfielder has one thing on his mind after last year’s team fell just short in the championship series, “I am very excited to be back because I want to make another run at the championship.  The fans and staff make it very easy for the players to go out and do what we love so it’s time to bring that trophy to Wichita!”

Clevlen batted .310 with 15 doubles, 10 home runs, and 32 RBI in 46 games for the Wingnuts in 2011.  On June 27th of that season versus El Paso, he hit the first inside-the-park home run in team history.  His contract was purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies' organization in August of 2011 and he went on to hit .336 with six homers and 20 RBI in 32 games for the Double-A Reading Phillies.

Clevlen was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the second round in 2002 out of Westwood High School in Austin.  He first reached the Majors with Detroit in 2006 where he teamed with Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper and co-owner Nate Robertson.  He spent parts of the next two seasons with the Tigers and also saw time with the Atlanta Braves in 2010.

 "Clev is a special player and I feel very fortunate to pencil him into our lineup night in and night out,” Hooper said. “He is without a doubt one of the best players in the league and will once again be a key run producer in the middle of our order.”

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie Airhogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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.

 

National Team Coming to NBC World Series

WICHITA, KS – Each and every summer the National Baseball Congress World Series serves as a showcase for some of the best amateur baseball players and teams in North America.  This year the 80th edition of the tournament is sure to continue that proud tradition, especially with the announcement that a national team will compete for the first time in 15 years.

The NJCAA National team, featuring the best players in the country from the National Junior College Athletic Association, will be traveling to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita to try to bring home a championship in the 2014 World Series.  “We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in this year’s event and would like to thank the NBC and their staff for the invitation and the hospitable nature in which they have approached our group.  We are looking forward to a great event,” said NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association President Rick Hitt.

This will be the first time the NJCAA has compiled a national team for tournament play since their entry in the 2010 Honkbal Tournament in Holland.  That squad went 2-4 in the international competition, knocking off Chinese Taipei twice.

“The National Baseball Congress is very excited to have the NJCAA National Team compete in the 80th Annual World Series,” said NBC General Manager Josh Robertson.  “It will be the first time since 1999 that a USA National Team has competed in the tournament and our fans still remember how exciting it was to have them here.”

In the past four years players from the NJCAA ranks have made a sizeable impact on Major League Baseball’s June Amateur Draft.  The 2010 draft featured a record 175 players chosen from NJCAA schools, while there have been at least 93 selected in every draft since.  The 2013 draft featured 124 NJCAA draft picks highlighted by the Chicago White Sox choosing shortstop Tim Anderson of East Central Community College in Mississippi with the 17th overall pick.  Anderson’s high draft position makes it the third time in four years there has been a NJCAA player taken in the first round.

Many household names in the sport of baseball have started their careers by playing collegiately for an NJCAA program.  In fact, nine former NJCAA players participated in the 2013 MLB All-Star Game including big names like Bryce Harper, Cliff Lee, Sergio Romo, Chris Davis, and Craig Kimbrel.

The potential to see future stars isn’t the only reason to pay attention to this group of collegians. “Some players go on to have great professional careers, but what is amazing to me is the constant success stories from all over the country about players making it to college with an opportunity to play collegiate baseball, who lived for that opportunity, took nothing for granted, and made the most of the chance they received to play this great game,” explained Hitt, who is also the head baseball coach at NJCAA program South Florida State.  “The experience of being part of the NJCAA National Team is one that the players and staff who participate will always remember.”

Two-time NJCAA National Coach of the Year at Iowa Western Marc Rardin will coach the national team this summer.

“It will be a great experience for everyone to see a fresh new team in the World Series and no doubt some future Major League players in the mix,” Robertson added. “We are grateful to the NJCAA Committee for choosing The National Baseball Congress World Series as the post-season tournament of choice to showcase these talented young men.”

The 2014 NBC World Series will begin on Friday, July 25th and conclude on Saturday, August 9th.  The field challenging the NJCAA National Team will include last year’s champion the Seattle Studs, 2007 champion the Wellington Heat, Alaska, and long-time power Prairie Gravel.  It is possible that six former World Series champions will be in the field.

Tickets for the 80th annual NBC World Series can be ordered by calling the NBC Baseball Box Office at 316-264-6887.

 

Manager Hooper Highlights Return of Wingnuts Coaching Staff

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS - Over the past four seasons the Wichita Wingnuts have compiled a 240-173 record, won three division titles, and appeared in the American Association’s Championship series twice.  During that string of success players have come and gone, but one thing has remained unchanged, the coaching staff.  The Wichita Wingnuts have announced that the trio of field manager Kevin Hooper, pitching coach Luke Robertson, and hitting coach Jose Amado will return in 2014 for their fifth season together as a staff.  

"I am very grateful to have the opportunity to manage the Wingnuts again for the upcoming season," said Hooper.  "We have had players throughout the years who have bought into our system and beliefs as an organization and it has been a successful match.”

Hooper enters his sixth year as Wingnuts' manager, and 16th overall in professional baseball.  The Lawrence, KS native has guided the Wingnuts to a winning record in each of his five seasons at the helm, with an overall mark of 290-202 (.589).  During this stretch, the Wingnuts have reached the playoffs four times--winning division titles in 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2013--while falling just one game shy of both the division crown and wild card in 2010.  The team reached the championship series in both 2012 and 2013.

General Manager Josh Robertson is pleased to see Hooper return, “The Wingnuts organization is thrilled to have “Hoop” back at the helm for the 2014 season.  He has proven time and again that we will always have a chance to make the playoffs.  Off the field, he is as first class as they come and we couldn’t ask for a better representative for our organization.”

During the last five years, the Wingnuts have sold the contracts of 18 players to Major League organizations.  En route to winning the Central Division title in 2013, the Wingnuts set American Association single-season records for wins (68), team ERA (3.38), and strikeouts by a pitching staff (782).  In addition, the club led the league in batting average (.297), runs (609), and home runs (107). Hooper has seen many individual accomplishments achieved during his tenure as well.   He has been named the American Association's Manager of the Year after both the 2009 and 2013 seasons.  Also, he has managed 23 all-stars, two Players of the Year, three Pitchers of the Year, and a Defensive Player of the Year.  A member of the Wingnuts has won the league’s batting title in four of the last six seasons, including Hooper himself who took home the crown in 2008.

Hooper's playing career started in 1999 when the Florida Marlins drafted him in the 8th round out of Wichita State University.  The 37-year old Hooper ascended quickly through the minors and spent six of his 10 professional seasons at the Triple-A level.  Hooper reached the Major Leagues with the Detroit Tigers in both 2005 and 2006.  Hooper's playing career concluded with the Wingnuts in 2008, a season that saw him notch his 1,000th professional hit, and win the American Association batting title by 40 points.

Hooper and his wife Lindsey now reside in Valley Center with their two daughters Lucy and Laney.

“We are truly blessed to have our coaching staff returning including pitching coach Luke Robertson and hitting coach Jose Amado”, Robertson adds. “The Wingnuts have been atop the league year in and year out on the mound and at the plate thanks to the efforts of these guys.  One thing you can count on, former bench coach Brian Rose is always looking down and cheering us on.”

Pitching coach Luke Robertson returns for his seventh year in the same role, while hitting coach Jose Amado is back for his fifth campaign.  Hooper has high praise for both, “I am very fortunate to have Luke and Jose returning to our coaching staff.  I know I get a lot of the credit for our success, but I can't do what I do without the help from the two of them.  They have been a vital piece to our organization throughout the years.” 

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie Airhogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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.

 

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Wingnuts Receive Best of Wichita Award

WICHITA, KS – The Wichita Wingnuts are busy preparing for the upcoming 2014 American Association season.  There is, however, one more reason to reflect back on a very successful campaign last year as the Wingnuts have been selected for the 2013 Best of Wichita Award in the Sports Promoters & Managers category by the Wichita Award Program.


The Wichita Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Wichita area. Recognition is given to companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.  Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Wichita Award Program and data provided by third parties.


“We are honored to receive an award like this and I am proud of our entire staff for working long and hard to deliver the product that everyone saw on game day last year”, said Wingnuts’ President and General Manager Josh Robertson.  “That being said, we are in the midst of coming up with new promotions that will give fans a different, but still exciting, experience in 2014.”


The Best of Wichita Award comes on the heels of the organization also being named “Best Local Sports Team” in the Wichita Eagle Reader’s Choice for 2010, 2011, and 2012.


The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie Airhogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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.


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Wingnuts 2014 Schedule is Set

2014 Wichita Wingnuts Schedule

WICHITA, KS - The Wichita Wingnuts will attempt to reach the American Association's championship series for the third consecutive year in 2014, but will have to battle a new set of divisional opponents in order to reach the post-season. 


With the El Paso Diablos exiting, the 12-team league now features three four-team divisions.  In order to balance the numbers the Wingnuts have moved from the Central to the South Division. General Manager Josh Robertson shares why the move could result in a special accomplishment, “We have won one North Division title and the last three Central Division titles.  It would be another historical moment if we can go capture the South Division crown this season and be the first team to win all three divisions.”  Once again, the three division winners and one wild-card will advance to the playoffs following a 100 game regular season schedule. 


Wichita will face every team in the league at least once and will welcome nine different opponents into Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  The Wingnuts will open the 2014 campaign at home against new division rival, and 2013 playoff opponent, Grand Prairie on Thursday, May 15th. 


The Wingnuts will play 51 games against South Division foes, 29 of them coming at home.  They will see Grand Prairie a season-high 20 times, including the four game series to begin the season (May 15th-May 18th).  Laredo will come to town 12 times including a four-game set to conclude the regular season (August 29th- September 1st).  Finally, Wichita will play six home and six road games with Amarillo.


A highlight of the schedule is seven games against defending champion Gary SouthShore.  The RailCats make their only stop in Wichita for three games between May 30th and June 1st.  The Wingnuts will play a combined 32 games with their former Central Division opponents.


As is the custom, Wichita will depart on an extensive road trip in late July to make way for the NBC World Series at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. The trip which runs from July 25th- August 13th takes the team in order to Amarillo, St. Paul, Fargo-Moorhead, Winnipeg, and Lincoln. 


The 80th annual amateur and semi-pro National Baseball Congress tournament, which begins on July 25th and continues through August 9th, will allow fans to get their baseball fix even while the Wingnuts are on the road.  Robertson says there are a few things for fans to look forward to this year, “We are building on the format change that was implemented in 2013 and will be seeing some new teams such as the USA Junior College National Team, Alaska, and long-time powerhouse Prairie Gravel.”


There will be a brief respite near the mid-point of the schedule for the two-day American Association All-Star event in Winnipeg.  There will be a fan fest and skills competition on Monday, July 28th followed by an all-star luncheon and the game itself on Tuesday, July 29th.  Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper will manage the south squad in the game. This is the first American Association All-Star Game since 2010 when Wichita was the host city. Robertson explained why there is reason to look forward to the mid-season break, “The All-Star game will be a welcome addition to the schedule in 2014 and I am excited that it will played in a great city and environment like Winnipeg.  One of our own is managing in the game and hopefully we can send a number of players to accompany him.”


The Wingnuts schedule features seven home weekend series as well as four exhibition games at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on May 4th, 5th, 7th, and 13th, two of which are school kid’s day games.  There is ample opportunity for avid baseball fans and families to catch a glimpse of the 2014 edition of the team.  “We will be changing many of our promotions and fans can expect a fresh look in terms of entertainment,” Robertson says. 


The standard start time for home games is 7:05 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 2:05 p.m. on Sunday.  The two exceptions are on Thursday, June 26th (11:05 a.m.) and Labor Day, Monday, September 1st (5:05 p.m.).


The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 15th against the Grand Prairie Airhogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  For information on 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



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Independent Player of the Year Signed by Twins

WICHITA, KS – Former Wichita Wingnuts’ slugger C.J. Ziegler has signed a contract with the Minnesota Twins and will report to spring training with the organization in February. 


The 28- year old infielder enjoyed a record-breaking 2013 campaign.  Playing in all 107 games at first base, Ziegler hit .316 while also setting both an American Association and Wingnuts’ single-season record 30 home runs.  He also led the league by driving in 100 runs.  In addition, Ziegler finished in the top ten in the American Association in runs scored, doubles, walks, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.  On August 21 he hit for the first cycle in franchise history against Gary SouthShore.  His impressive numbers earned him both American Association Player of the Year and Baseball America’s Independent Player of the Year for 2013.


“It was a fun two years having C.J. on our ball club,” said Wingnuts’ manager Kevin Hooper.  “For him to be named player of the year is a special achievement.  He had a terrific season and was a huge part of our team’s success on the field.  We wish him the best of luck.”


The Tucson, AZ native spent a pair of seasons with the Wingnuts and leaves as the all-time leader in home runs (48) and second in RBI (161).  In his two seasons in Wichita Ziegler hit .317 in 165 games, drew 92 walks, and racked up a .640 slugging percentage.


Ziegler is the fourth player the Wingnuts have sold to a Major League organization in 2013 and the 19th all-time.


Wingnuts Sold to Major League Organizations
OF Dustan Mohr, 2008 - Colorado Rockies
RHP Will Savage, 2010 - Los Angeles Dodgers
RHP Ben Graham, 2010 - Washington Nationals
LHP Justin Dowdy, 2010 - Tampa Bay Rays
OF Ryan Patterson, 2011 - Arizona Diamondbacks
LHP Dustin Pease, 2011 - San Diego Padres
RHP Cephas Howard, 2011 - Texas Rangers
OF Kenny Gilbert, 2011 - Chicago White Sox
OF Brent Clevlen, 2011 - Cincinnati Reds
OF Brent Clevlen, 2011 - Philadelphia Phillies
SS Jose Martinez, 2012 - Houston Astros
LHP Nate Robertson, 2012 - Toronto Blue Jays
RHP Matt Nevarez, 2012 - Tampa Bay Rays
RHP Andrew Aizenstadt, 2012 - Philadelphia Phillies
RHP James Hoyt, 2012 - Atlanta Braves
OF Adam Buschini, 2013 - San Diego Padres
RHP Jon Link, 2013 - Detroit Tigers
LHP Ryan Hinson, 2013 - Atlanta Braves
1B C.J. Ziegler, 2013 - Minnesota Twins


The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins in May.  For information on 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

 

 

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Hooper to Skipper All-Star Game

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography

WICHITA, KS- Wichita Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper has been named a field manager for the 2014 American Association All-Star Game.

The game is scheduled for July 29th at Shaw Park, home of the North Division's Winnipeg Goldeyes.  A fan fest and skills competition will take place one day prior.  The event returns for the first time since the Wingnuts' hosted the 2010 edition at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

The official format of the game will be announced at a later date.  Hooper will manage across Gary SouthShore RailCats' skipper Greg Tagert.

Hooper guided the Wingnuts to an American Association record 68 wins in 2013, as well as a second consecutive berth in the league's Championship Series.  Since taking over the club in 2009, Hooper has led Wichita to the most wins (290) and the highest winning percentage (.589) in the league.

The seventh season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins in May.  For information on 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

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Baseball America Recognizes Trio of Wingnuts

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- Wichita Wingnuts' first baseman C.J. Ziegler, third baseman Abel Nieves, and right-handed pitcher Junior Guerra recently gained national attention on two of Baseball America's end-of-season lists.

Ziegler and Guerra placed eighth and ninth respectively on the publication's Independent Leagues Top-10 Prospects list, while Ziegler and Nieves were named to the All-Independent Leagues team.

Ziegler hit .318 and led the American Association in both home runs (30) and RBI (99).  The 30 home runs set a league record.  The Tucson, AZ native was voted American Association Player of the Year and recently earned similar honors from Baseball America.  In two seasons with the Wingnuts, Ziegler has slugged a franchise-best 48 home runs with 160 RBI in just 158 games played.

Guerra was 9-4 with a 3.30 ERA in 19 starts and two relief appearances.  The 28-year-old righty finished tied for ninth in the American Association in wins, fifth in ERA, and second in strikeouts (126).  A native of San Felix, Venezuela, Guerra allowed three or fewer earned runs in 14 of his 19 starts and posted a 2.63 ERA from June 21st through the end of the regular season.

Nieves won the American Association's batting title with a .357 average.  It marked the fourth batting championship for a Wingnuts' player in the team's six-year history.  Nieves added 23 doubles, five home runs, and 51 RBI.  The Maracay, Venezuela native walked more times (56) than he struck out (46) and reached base in 89 of 99 games played with a hit, walk, or hit by pitch.  Nieves also ranked second among American Association third basemen with a .955 fielding percentage.

Baseball America 2013 Independent Leagues Top-10 Prospects
1. K.C. Serna, SS - Amarillo Sox, American Association
2. Pete Perez, RHP - Southern Illinois Miners, Frontier League
3. Tim Adleman, RHP - New Jersey Jackals, Can-Am League
4. Jeff Shields, RHP - Trois-Rivieres Aigles, Can-Am League
5. Nathan Kilcrease, RHP - Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, American Association
6. Race Parmenter, RHP - Southern Illinois Miners, Frontier League
7. Marquis Riley, 2B - Joliet Slammers, Frontier League
8. C.J. Ziegler, 1B - Wichita Wingnuts, American Association
9. Junior Guerra, RHP - Wichita Wingnuts, American Association
10. Lucas Irvine, RHP - Kansas City T-Bones, American Association

Baseball America 2013 Independent Leagues All-Star Team
C Danny Canela - River City Rascals, Frontier League
1B C.J. Ziegler - Wichita Wingnuts, American Association
2B C.J. Beatty - Washington Wild Things, Frontier League
3B Abel Nieves - Wichita Wingnuts, American Association
SS Jeremy Barnes - New Jersey Jackals, Can-Am League
OF Nick Van Stratten - Sioux Falls Canaries, American Association
OF Nick Akins - Joliet Slammers, Frontier League
OF Cyle Hankerd - Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, Atlantic League
DH Jake Fox - Somerset Patriots, Atlantic League
SP Taylor Stanton - Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, American Association
SP Scott Dunn - Traverse City Beach Bums, Frontier League
SP Josh Lowey - Somerset Patriots, Atlantic League
SP Dwayne Pollock - Lancaster Barnstormers, Atlantic League
SP Jeff Shields - Trois-Rivieres Aigles, Can-Am League
RP Patrick Mincey - Grand Prairie AirHogs, American Association
RP Jason Urquidez - Lancaster Barnstormers, Atlantic League
RP Joe Harris - Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, American Association

The 2014 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins next May.  For information on season tickets, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS or visit the team's official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Ziegler Earns BA's Top Indy Honor

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- Wichita Wingnuts' first baseman C.J. Ziegler has been named Baseball America's 2013 Independent Leagues Player of the Year.

Ziegler (pronounced ZIH-glur) compiled an historic 2013 season that included an American Association record 30 home runs.  The Tucson, AZ native started all 100 games for the Wingnuts while hitting .318 and ranking first in the league with 99 RBI.  Ziegler also ranked tied for fourth in runs scored (81), tied for fourth in doubles (32), tied for fifth in walks (58), tied for ninth in on-base percentage (.408), and second in slugging percentage (.645).  Ziegler's accomplishments earned him a spot on the league's Postseason All-Star Team, as well as American Association Player of the Year honors.

The 27-year-old Ziegler hit safely in 73 of 100 contests and reached with a hit, walk, or hit by pitch in 88 of them.  Ziegler was twice named the American Association's Batter of the Week (June 24th-30th and August 19th-25th).  On August 21st at Gary SouthShore, Ziegler hit for the first cycle in team history.  Earlier this month, Ziegler was named the American Association's Pointstreak Star of Stars.

Ziegler is the second Wingnuts player to receive the honor.  Greg Porter was named Baseball America's Independent Leagues Player of the Year in 2009.  The award encompasses more than 40 independent clubs across North America.

The 2014 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins next May.  For information on season tickets, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS or visit the team's official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts' Dream Season Ends in Game Four

Photo Credit: Abbygail Wells

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts lost 6-5 to the Gary SouthShore RailCats in Game Four of the 2013 American Association Championship Series at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Saturday night.

Highlights

The RailCats win the series 3-1 and claim the 2013 American Association championship.

Gary SouthShore built an early 4-0 lead over the first two innings.  Adam Klein led off the game with a walk.  A Mike Massaro single and a Cristian Guerrero walk loaded the bases with no outs.  Reid Fronk grounded into a double play at second base to drive in Klein with the game's first run.

In the top of the second, Brian Kolb singled to center field and advanced to second when Drew Martinez reached on a fielder's choice to third.  Zac Mitchell beat out a sacrifice bunt attempt which resulted in a throwing error by Wingnuts' starter Junior Guerra.  Kolb scored on the play.  Danny Pulfer plated Martinez and Mitchell with a line drive single to left that made it 4-0.

Craig Maddox led off the top of the fifth with a double down the left field line.  Maddox took third on Kolb's sacrifice and scored when Drew Martinez lined a single to left.

The Wingnuts scored their first runs in the bottom of the seventh against RailCats' starter Morgan Coombs.  Jake Kahaulelio singled to center and moved to second when Abel Nieves walked.  Both runners advanced on a groudball to first from Cole Armstrong.  David Amberson ripped a groundball single to right field that cut the RailCats' lead to 5-2.

Mitchell tripled to right-center with one out in the top of the eighth and scored what proved to be the decisive run on Pulfer's sacrifice fly to left.

In the bottom of the inning, Wichita sent nine men to the plate to pull within one.   With first and third and one out, C.J. Ziegler hit a sacrifice fly to left that scored Jared McDonald.  Kahaulelio blooped a single down the right field line, while Nieves walked to load the bases.  Armstrong worked a bases loaded walk to cut the lead to 6-4.  Amberson drove in Wichita's fifth run with an infield single.  RailCats' reliever Kyle Lindquist kept the lead intact when Madison Beaird lined out to second base.

Josh Dew threw a scoreless top of the ninth to keep the Wingnuts within one run.

Marco Gonzalez closed out the game for a second straight night to earn the save.  Rodriguez reached first on a two-out, infield single before Gonzalez retired Ziegler on a flyball to center field that ended the game.

Guerra took the loss, allowing five earned runs on nine hits in five innings.  Guerra walked four and struck out two.

Coombs earned the win, allowing two earned runs on five hits in seven and one-third.  Coombs walked two and struck out four.

Erik Lambe worked three strong innings of long relief, allowing one earned run on just one hit.

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Wingnuts Drop Game Three to RailCats

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts lost 7-6 to the Gary SouthShore RailCats in Game Three of the 2013 American Association Championship Series at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Friday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper

The RailCats now lead the series 2-1.  Wichita must win Game Four on Saturday night to force a Game Five on Sunday.

With two outs and no one on base in the top of the eighth inning, Adam Klein and Mike Massaro reached on back-to-back infield singles.  The hits came on almost identical groundballs over the mound.  Both Klein and Massaro narrowly beat a throw to first from Ryan Khoury.  On the next pitch, Cristian Guerrero lined a single to center field that scored Klein.

Kyle Lindquist and Marco Gonzalez combined to keep the Wingnuts scoreless over the final two innings to preserve the 7-6 final.

The RailCats scored the first run of the game in the top of the first.  Klein drew a leadoff walk.  After Wingnuts' starter Anthony Capra recorded two outs, Klein stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball.  Reid Fronk drove in Klein when he beat out an infield single to first base.

Wichita tied the game in the bottom of the second.  Clevlen tripled off the top of the center field wall leading off.  Abel Nieves followed with an RBI single to center field.

In the top of the third, the RailCats scratched across two runs to take a 3-1 lead.  With the bases loaded and one out, Fronk and Brian Kolb drew consecutive walks to force in the go-ahead runs.

Wichita responded again in the bottom of the fourth.  A leadoff walk to John Rodriguez and back-to-back singles from C.J. Ziegler and Clevlen loaded the bases with no outs.  Nieves tied the game for a second time with a two-run, line drive single to right-center.  RailCats' starter Billy Spottiswood retired the next three hitters in a row to keep the game tied.

Gary SouthShore took its third lead of the game in the top of the seventh.  Klein doubled down the left field line leading off.  Massaro then reached on a fielder's choice while attempting to sacrifice.  Klein advanced to third on the play.  After Daniel Bennett relieved Capra, Guerrero drove in the lead run with an infield single up the middle.  Babineau lined a single to left that scored Massaro to make it 5-3.  A Fronk sacrifice fly to left drove in the RailCats' sixth run of the game.

The Wingnuts engineered their third game-tying rally in the bottom of the inning.  With two outs and no one on base, Jake Kahaulelio reached on an infield single between third and shortstop.  Rodriguez singled to left while Ziegler walked to load the bases.  Clevlen legged out an infield single on a chopper up the middle that scored Kahaulelio and cut the lead to 6-4.  Nieves delivered his fourth and fifth RBIs of the night with a line drive single down the right field line.

Capra took a no-decision, allowing five earned runs on seven hits in six-plus innings.  Capra walked six and struck out four.

Spottiswood also took a no-decision, allowing three earned runs on six hits in six innings.  Spottiswood walked four and struck out three.

Estevan Uriegas earned the win in relief for the RailCats.

Justin Klipp took the loss for Wichita.  Klipp allowed one earned run in two and two-thirds relief innings.

Game Four of the 2013 American Association Championship Series is Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.  Junior Guerra will pitch on three days of rest.  The RailCats go with right-hander Morgan Coombs.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Even Championship Series in Extras

Photo Credit: Jonathan Miano/Time NW of Indiana 

GARY, IN- The Wichita Wingnuts beat the Gary SouthShore RailCats 6-4 in 10 innings in Game Two of the American Association Championship Series at U.S. Steel Yard on Wednesday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper, Brent Clevlen, and Erik Lambe

The best-of-five series is now tied 1-1 heading back to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

The Wingnuts took their third lead of the night in the top of the 10th inning.  Tied at 4-4, Jake Kahaulelio was hit by a pitch leading off and took second on a sacrifice bunt from John Rodriguez.  After C.J. Ziegler was intentionally walked, Brent Clevlen sliced a double to right-center field that scored Kahaulelio with the go-ahead run.  Abel Nieves was intentionally walked, leading to a Cole Armstrong's sacrifice fly to center field.

Josh Dew struck out Cristian Guerrero leading off the bottom of the 10th.  Andrew Aizenstadt then relieved Dew and struck out Reid Fronk looking.  A Craig Maddox double and back-to-back walks to Brian Kolb and Drew Martinez loaded the bases.  23-year-old true rookie Erik Lambe came in from the bullpen and struck out Zac Mitchell on three consecutive pitches to end the game.

Dew earned the win in relief, while Lambe picked up his first career save.

Kyle Lindquist took the loss for the RailCats.

The RailCats sent the game to extras with two runs in the bottom of the ninth.  Kolb led off with a triple down the right field line and scored on an infield single from Martinez.  Mitchell sacrificed Martinez to second.  Two batters later, Adam Klein singled to left-center to tie the game at 4-4.

The Wingnuts scored first for a fifth straight game this postseason.  With Nieves on first and two outs in the top of the second, Armstrong lifted a double to right-center field that made it 1-0 in favor of Wichita.

Klein tied the game in the bottom of the third with an RBI single down the right field line.

Kolb pulled a single down the left field line in the bottom of the fourth to give the RailCats a 2-1 lead.

Rodriguez, Ziegler, Clevlen, Nieves, and Armstrong strung together five consecutive singles in the top of the sixth to give Wichita a 4-2 lead.  Nieves' single came with the bases loaded and drove in two runs.  Armstrong accounted for the third run in the frame and finished the night with three RBI.

Chris Smith started for Wichita and took a no-decision.  Smith allowed two earned runs on seven hits in seven and one-third innings.  Smith walked one and struck out six.

Stephen Hiscock started for the RailCats and also took a no-decision.  Hiscock allowed four earned runs on eight hits in five and two-thirds.  Hiscock walked one and struck out three.

The teams take Thursday off before the series shifts to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium for Game Three on Friday night at 7:05 p.m.  Anthony Capra faces right-hander Billy Spottiswood.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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RailCats Take Game One From Wingnuts

GARY, IN- The Wichita Wingnuts lost 9-4 to the Gary SouthShore RailCats in Game One of the 2013 American Association Championship Series at U.S. Steel Yard on Tuesday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

The RailCats rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to erase a 4-3 Wingnuts' lead.  Reid Fronk led off with a line drive single to right and took second on Ryan Babineau's pinch-hit line drive single to center.  After Brian Kolb laid down a sacrifice bunt, Nick Liles drew a pinch-hit walk to load the bases.  Zac Mitchell was then hit by a pitch to force in the tying run.  Danny Pulfer followed with a two-run double that was just fair down the right field line.  Adam Klein made it 7-4 with a sacrifice fly to center field.

RBIs from Kolb and Liles in the bottom of the eighth accounted for the RailCats' final two runs.

Wichita scored first for a fourth straight postseason game in the top of the second.  C.J Ziegler drew a leadoff walk, went to second on a single up the middle from Abel Nieves, and took third on Cole Armstrong's lineout to left-center.  David Amberson hit a two-out, RBI double to left-center that scored Ziegler.

Gary tied the game in the bottom of the fifth when Pulfer and Klein hit back-to-back doubles.

Klein drew a bases loaded, two-out walk in the top of the sixth to force in the go-ahead run.  Mike Massaro followed with an infield single to third base that made it 3-1 in favor of the RailCats.

The Wingnuts re-took the lead in the top of the seventh.  An Amberson infield single and a Ryan Khoury walk set up a three-run home run to left-center from Jake Kahaulelio.

James Giulietti took the loss in relief for the Wingnuts, allowing four earned runs in one-third of an inning.

Will Krout earned the win in relief for Gary SouthShore, retiring two batters over the seventh and eighth.

Junior Guerra took a no-decision in the start, allowing three earned runs on nine hits in five and two-thirds.  Guerra walked two and struck out four.

Alain Quijano started for the RailCats and also took a no-decision.  Quijano allowed four earned runs on seven hits in six and two-thirds.  Quijano walked three and struck out five.

Amberson had four hits for the Wingnuts.

Game Two of the American Association Championship Series is Wednesday night at 7:10 p.m.  Chris Smith faces RailCats' right-hander Stephen Hiscock.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts host Game Three of the series on Friday, September 13th at 7:05 p.m.  Wichita will also host the "if necessary" Games Four and Five on September 14th and 15th.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts and RailCats Play for Championship on Tuesday

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts begin the 2013 American Association Championship Series on Tuesday night against the Gary SouthShore RailCats.

The RailCats host the first two games in the best-of-five series with both contests scheduled for a 7:10 p.m. first pitch.

The teams take Thursday off before the Wingnuts host Game Three on Friday, September 13th at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  The Wingnuts will also host the "if necessary" Games Four and Five on September 14th and 15th.  All Wingnuts' home games in the series begin at 7:05 p.m.

The Wingnuts return to the Championship Series after sweeping the Grand Prairie AirHogs three games to none last week.  Wichita's pitching staff totaled 30 shutout innings in the series and allowed just two runners past second base.

This is the RailCats' first Championship Series since joining the American Association in 2011.  Gary SouthShore beat Fargo-Moorhead three games to one in the Division Series, and clinched with a 3-0 victory on Saturday at U.S. Steel Yard.  The RailCats won Northern League championships in 2005 and 2007.

Junior Guerra (9-4, 3.30) starts Game One for the Wingnuts on Tuesday night.  Guerra pitched six shutout innings and took a no-decision in Game One at Grand Prairie last Wednesday.  The Wingnuts won the contest 2-0 in 12 innings.  Left-hander Alain Quijano (12-7, 4.05) takes the mound for the RailCats.  Quijano took the loss in Game One at Fargo-Moorhead on Wednesday, allowing two earned runs in seven and one-third frames.

2013 American Association Championship Series
Game 1 - Tuesday, September 10th - U.S. Steel Yard, 7:10 p.m.
Game 2 - Wednesday, September 11th - U.S. Steel Yard, 7:10 p.m.
Game 3 - Friday, September 13th - Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, 7:05 p.m.
Game 4* - Saturday, September 14th - Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, 7:05 p.m.
Game 5* - Sunday, September 15th - Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, 7:05 p.m.
*if necessary

Game One can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

Individual tickets for Games three, four, and five can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Blank 'Hogs to Return to Championship Series

Photo Credit: Abbygail Wells

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts completed a three-game sweep of the Grand Prairie AirHogs with a 13-0 win in Game Three of the American Association Division Series at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Friday night.

Highlights

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Wingnuts Players 

Anthony Capra, Andrew Aizenstadt, and Josh Dew combined on Wichita's third straight shutout.  Wingnuts' pitching combined for 30 scoreless innings in the three games.

Wichita scored three times in the bottom of the second and never looked back.  Brent Clevlen led off with a triple off the center field fence and scored on an RBI single to right-center from Abel Nieves.  Nieves took second on a wild pitch and scored on an error by AirHogs' first baseman Andres Rodriguez.  Three batters later, Ryan Khoury poked a double down the right field line to drive in Cole Armstrong with the Wingnuts' third run.

John Rodriguez led off the bottom of the third with a triple down the right field line.  On the next pitch, C.J. Ziegler made it 4-0 with a line drive single to center.

David Amberson and Jard McDonald hit back-to-back singles leading off the bottom of the fourth.  After Khoury laid down a sacrifice bunt, Jake Kahaulelio hit a sacrifice fly to left that scored Amberson.

Khoury hit a one-out, solo home run to left field in the bottom of the sixth to stretch the lead to 6-0.

Wichita broke the game open for good with a four-run bottom of the seventh.  With first and third and one out, Armstrong lifted a sacrifice fly to center that drove in Ziegler from third base.  After Amberson singled through the left side, McDonald tripled to deep left-center to add two more runs.  Khoury capped the inning with an RBI double to right-center.

Clevlen doubled home pinch hitter Madison Beaird with the Wingnuts' 11th run in the bottom of the eighth.  Beaird led off the inning with a line drive single to right-center.  A Nieves groundball to shorstop and an Amberson triple down the left field line provided the game's final margin.

Capra earned the win with seven and one-third scoreless innings.  Capra allowed just three hits, walked one, and struck out nine.

Aizenstadt recorded the final two outs in the eighth, while Dew pitched a perfect top of the ninth to close out the series.

Derek Blacksher took the loss for Grand Prairie, allowing five runs, three earned, on 10 hits in four and one-third innings.  Blacksher walked none and struck out three.

Wichita totaled 19 hits in the win and outscored the AirHogs 21-0 in the series.  Nine different Wingnuts had at least one hit.  Khoury, Ziegler, Clevlen, and Amberson all had three-hit games.  Khoury picked up three RBI.

Game One of the 2013 American Association Championship Series is scheduled for Tuesday, September 10th at either Fargo-Moorhead or Gary SouthShore.  Junior Guerra will start for Wichita.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts host Game Three on Friday, September 13th at 7:05 p.m.  Wichita will also host the "if necessary" Games Four and Five on September 14th and 15th.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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CJ Ziegler Voted Player of the Year

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- Wichita Wingnuts' first baseman C.J. Ziegler has been voted the American Association's 2013 Player of the Year.

Ziegler had an historic 2013 in which he set an American Association single-season record with 30 home runs.  The 27-year-old slugger hit .318 and also topped the league with 99 RBI.  Ziegler finished tied for fourth in runs scored (81), tied for fourth in doubles (32), tied for fifth in walks (58), tied for ninth in on-base percentage (.408), and second in slugging percentage (.645).

The Tucson, AZ native hit safely in 73 of 100 games and reached base with a hit, walk, or hit by pitch in 88 of them.  Ziegler totaled 39 multi-hit contests while collecting multiple RBIs 25 times.  On August 21st at Gary SouthShore, Ziegler hit for the first cycle in franchise history.  Ziegler had three hitting streaks of seven or more games and was twice named the American Association's Batter of the Week.

The Wingnuts host the Grand Prairie AirHogs in Game Three of the American Association Division Series tonight at 7:05 p.m.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Kevin Hooper Voted Manager of the Year

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

WICHITA, KS- Wichita Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper has been voted the American Association's 2013 Manager of the Year.

Hooper guided the Wingnuts to a league-best 68-32 regular season record.  The Wingnuts' 68 victories and .680 winning percentage both set American Association records.

The Lawrence, KS native is in his fifth year as Wichita's skipper and has led the Wingnuts to five consecutive winning seasons, four division titles, and a berth in the 2012 American Association Championship Series.  Since taking over the team in 2009, Hooper owns the most wins (290) and the highest winning percentage (.589) of any manager in the league.

Hooper enjoyed a 10-year playing career as a professinal which concluded with an American Association batting title in 2008 as the Wingnuts' shortstop.  Hooper's .373 mark that summer led the league by 40 points, which remains the widest margin of victory in American Association history.

The 36-year-old Hooper was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 8th round in 1999 following a stellar, four-year career at Wichita State Universiy.  Hooper spent six years at the Triple-A level and reached the Major Leagues with the Detroit Tigers in both 2005 and 2006.

Hooper joins Steve Shirley (Sioux Falls, 2008 and 2010) and Tim Johnson (Lincoln, 2006 and El Paso 2012) as the only American Association managers to win the award twice.

The Wingnuts host the Grand Prairie AirHogs in Game Three of the American Association Division Series tonight at 7:05 p.m.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Smith's Gem Gives Wingnuts 2-0 Lead

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

GRAND PRAIRIE, TX- The Wichita Wingnuts beat the Grand Prairie AirHogs 6-0 in Game Two of the American Association Division Series at QuikTrip Park on Thursday night.

Wichita leads the best-of-five series 2-0.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper, Chris Smith, and Jared McDonald

Chris Smith pitched the first nine-inning complete game of his professional career, blanking the AirHogs on three base hits.  Smith walked three, struck out five, and finished the night at 122 pitches.

The Wingnuts took the lead in the top of the third.  Jared McDonald led off with a line drive single to right field.  McDonald stole second base and scored the first run of the night when Ryan Khoury lined a single down the right field line.

Brent Clevlen singled on a line drive to center with one out in the top of the fourth.  Clevlen took second on a hit-and-run groundball from Abel Nieves and scored on a Cole Armstrong line drive single to right.

Wichita added two more runs in the top of the fifth.  McDonald again led off with a single and stole second base.  Khoury singled McDonald to third on a groundball through the right side.  With Khoury in motion, Jake Kahaulelio hit a groudball to shortstop that plated McDonald to make it 3-0.  John Rodriguez then drove in Khoury from second on a groundball single to center.

With two outs and no one on base in the top of the seventh, Khoury singled through the right side.  On the next pitch, Kahaulelio doubled off the left field fence to score Khoury with the Wingnuts' fifth run.

Wichita's final tally came in the top of the ninth.  David Amberson drew a leadoff walk, took second on a passed ball, and advanced to third when McDonald hit a groundball to first base.  Two batters later, Amberson scored on a Kahaulelio sacrifice fly down the right field line.

Smith retired 12 consecutive hitters from the fifth inning through the eighth, and at one point set down 16 of 17.  Smith allowed just one runner past second base the entire night.  Smith had one career shutout entering Thursday, which came in the opener of a double header on June 4th, 2006 while pitching for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox).  It is the first postseason complete game and shutout in team history.

Josh Strawn took the loss for Grand Prairie, allowing five earned runs on 12 hits in six and two-thirds innings.  Strawn walked one and struck out one.

Khoury and McDonald each had three hits while Kahaulelio had three RBI.  Rodriguez had multiple hits for a second straight night in the series.

The series shifts to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Friday night for Game Three.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  Anthony Capra takes on former Wingnuts' righty Derek Blacksher.

Wichita will also host the "if necessary" Games Four and Five on September 7th and 8th.  Individual tickets for all home playoff games can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Scratch Out Win in Series Opener

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

GRAND PRAIRIE, TX- The Wichita Wingnuts beat the Grand Prairie AirHogs 2-0 in 12 innings in Game One of the American Association Division Series at QuikTrip Park on Wednesday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper, Johnny Bowden, and Josh Dew 

With the game scoreless in the top of the 12th, Johnny Bowden overcame an 0-2 count to draw a pinch-hit bases loaded walk that forced in John Rodriguez with the first run of the night.  David Amberson followed with an RBI single through the left side that made it 2-0.  Rodriguez started the rally with a groundball single to right.  Two batters later, Brent Clevlen bounced a single to left.  Abel Nieves followed with a walk that loaded the bases.  Grand Prairie then called on left-hander Brandon Bargas, while the Wingnuts countered with the right-handed Bowden.

Josh Dew closed out the game with a perfect bottom of the ninth to earn the save.  Wichita's bullpen totaled six shutout innings in the win.

The Wingnuts came up with a huge defensive play in the bottom of the 11th.  Rian Kiniry led off with a double to the right field fence.  When Kiniry tried to stretch the hit into a triple, Jake Kahaulelio made a perfect relay throw to Abel Nieves to record the first out of the inning.

Junior Guerra started for the Wingnuts and pitched six shutout frames.  Guerra allowed five hits, walked five, and struck out six in a no-decision.  Guerra was especially tough with runners on base, stranding 11 AirHogs over the first five innings.

Grand Prairie starter Aaron Wilkerson and four relievers kept Wichita off the board for 11 innings.  From the sixth inning through the 11th, AirHogs' pitching retired 17 batters in a row.

Stephen Nikonchik took the loss in relief for Grand Prairie.

Wilkerson took a no-decision with seven scoreless innings.  Wilkerson allowed three hits, four walks, and struck out five.

Daniel Bennett, Nick Walters, Andrew Aizenstadt, and Lincoln Holdzkom helped contribute to the 12-inning shutout.  Holdzkom earned the win with a scoreless bottom of the 11th.

Rodriguez had three hits in the win for Wichita.  Amberson had two base hits.  It is the Wingnuts' first postseason extra inning victory in team history, and their first 12-inning game overall since July 12th, 2012 versus Kansas City.

Game two of the series is Thursday night at 7:05 p.m.  Chris Smith faces right-hander Josh Strawn.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts host Game Three of the series on Friday, September 6th at 7:05 p.m.  Wichita will also host the "if necessary" Games Four and Five on September 7th and 8th.  Individual tickets for all home playoff games can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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More Milestones for Wingnuts in Regular Season Finale

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (68-32) beat the Kansas City T-Bones (40-60) 5-4 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Monday evening.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Jake Kahaulelio

The win helped the Wingnuts set several more league records.  At 68-32, the Wingnuts' .680 winning percentage eclipses the Lincoln Saltdogs' .677 mark set in 2006.  Wichita also finished the season with a record-setting 3.38 team earned run average.  The 2008 Fort Worth Cats held the previous low at 3.49.

The Wingnuts also wrapped up several team and individual benchmarks for the 2013 season.  Wichita's .297 team batting average ranks first in the American Association.  Third baseman Abel Nieves locked up the batting title with a 2-for-4 performance that raised his average to .357.  It is the Wingnuts' fourth batting title in their first six years.  C.J. Ziegler finishes with a league-best 30 home runs and 99 RBI.  The 30 home runs establish a new league single-season record.

For a third straight game in the series, the Wingnuts overcame an early deficit to pull out the win.  Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the second, Wichita used a double steal of second and home to cut the T-Bones' lead in half.  With two outs, David Amberson went first to third on a bunt single from Jared McDonald.  Amberson hustled home when McDonald broke for second base.

In the bottom of the fourth, Brent Clevlen led off with a line drive single to center.  Clevlen stole second and went to third on a line drive single to right from Abel Nieves.  Cole Armstrong tied the game with a sacrifice fly to left.  After the Wingnuts loaded the bases with two outs, Jake Kahaulelio pulled a single through the left side that scored Nieves and Amberson to make it 4-2.

C.J. Ziegler drove in the Wingnuts' final run with an RBI groundout to shortstop in the bottom of the seventh.

The T-Bones used consecutive RBI groundouts from Felix Molina and Stephen Yoo in the top of the eighth to pull within one run.

Andrew Aizenstadt worked a scoreless top of the ninth to earn his first save of the year.

James Giulietti improved to 4-0 in four starts with the Wingnuts, allowing two earned runs on three hits in five innings.  Giulietti walked three and struck out three.

Josh Hildebrand took the loss in relief for Kansas City, allowing three earned runs in the bottom of the fourth.

Ethan Cole started for the T-Bones and took a no-decision.  Cole allowed one earned run on four hits in three innings.  Cole walked two and struck out none.

Daniel Bennett and Lincoln Holdzkom each worked a scoreless relief inning.  Kahaulelio finished with four hits.

The Wingnuts open the 2013 American Association Division Series on Wednesday night against the Grand Prairie AirHogs.  Junior Guerra starts for Wichita.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts host Game Three of the series on Friday, September 6th at 7:05 p.m.  Wichita will also host the "if necessary" Games Four and Five on September 7th and 8th.  Individual tickets for all home playoff games can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Draw Grand Prairie in Playoffs

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

WICHITA, KS- The Central Division champion Wichita Wingnuts (68-32) face the Grand Prairie AirHogs in the American Association Division Series beginning Wednesday night at Grand Prairie's QuikTrip Park.

The AirHogs (54-46, South Division champion) host the first two games of the series, while the Wingnuts host Game Three on Friday, September 6th at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Wichita also hosts the "if necessary" Games Four and Five on Saturday and Sunday respectively.  First pitch for all five games is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

The series marks the second postseason meeting between the two clubs.  The AirHogs defeated the Wingnuts in four games in the Division Series in 2011, and went on to win the American Association championship.

Junior Guerra (9-4, 3.30) takes the mound for the Wingnuts in Game One.  Wichita follows with Chris Smith (8-4, 3.55), Anthony Capra (7-2, 3.96), and Justin Klipp (8-3, 3.89).  The Wingnuts' starter for a potential game five is yet to be determined.

The winner advances to the American Association Championship Series against either the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (62-38, North Division champion) or the Gary SouthShore RailCats (58-41, wild card winner).

2013 American Association Division Series - Wichita vs. Grand Prairie
Game 1 - Wednesday, September 4th at QuikTrip Park - 7:05 p.m.
Game 2 - Thursday, September 5th at QuikTrip Park - 7:05 p.m.
Game 3 - Friday, September 6th at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium - 7:05 p.m.
Game 4 - Saturday, September 7th at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium - 7:05 p.m.
Game 5 - Sunday, September 8th at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium - 7:05 p.m.

Individual tickets for all home postseason games can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Bowden Hits Clutch Homer in Win

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (67-32) beat the Kansas City T-Bones (40-59) 4-3 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Johnny Bowden

Johnny Bowden hit a two-out, two-run home run to left field in the bottom of the eighth inning to give Wichita a 4-3 lead.  C.J. Ziegler started the rally with a one-out single to right and went to third on Abel Nieves' single to center.

Pitching on a fourth consecutive day, Josh Dew closed out the game in the top of the ninth to earn his 27th save of the year.  Dew stranded the tying run on third base when Justin Bass popped out to Ziegler in foul territory.

Trevor Coleman lined a two-out, RBI single to center in the top of the third to give Kansas City a 1-0 lead.

The Wingnuts responded in the bottom half after there were two outs and no one on base.  John Rodriguez legged out a double on a line drive to right field.  Ziegler reached on an infield single when he beat out a high chopper to the right of the mound and then took second on a wild pitch.  Nieves made it 2-1 Wichita with a ground rule double over the right-center field wall.

Kansas City re-gained the lead in the top of the sixth.  Back-to-back doubles from Petey Paramore and Luis Rivera tied the game at 2-2.  Anthony Davis' groundball single to center scored Rivera with the go-ahead run.

Erik Lambe earned the win in relief for Wichita with two perfect innings.

Kansas City starter Rick Zagone took the loss, allowing four earned runs on 12 hits in seven and two-thirds innings.  Zagone walked three and struck out three.

Anthony Capra started for the Wingnuts and took a no-decision.  Capra allowed three earned runs on nine hits in six innings, walked one, and struck out 10.  Capra struck out eight of the T-Bones' nine starters.

Nieves heads into the final day of the regular season with a league-leading .355 batting average.  Sioux Falls' Nick Van Stratten ranks second at .346, while Winnipeg's Ryan Scoma is third at .343.  Ziegler heads into Monday with an American Association-best 30 home runs and 98 RBI.  Sioux Falls' Tim Pahuta ranks second with 29 home runs.  John Rodriguez is second with 86 RBI.

The regular season concludes with a 5:05 p.m. game Monday evening against the T-Bones.  James Giulietti faces right-hander Ethan Cole.

The 2013 American Association Division Series begins Wednesday, September 4th.  The Wingnuts will face the winner of the South Division.  Wichita hosts Game Three of the series on Friday, September 6th as well as the "if necessary" Games Four and Five on September 7th and 8th.  Individual tickets for all home playoff games can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Break League Wins Record

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (66-32) set an American Association record with their 66th win of the season on Saturday night, beating the Kansas City T-Bones (40-58) 5-3 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper

Jake Kahaulelio had four RBI in support of Justin Klipp who pitched six strong innings to earn his eighth win of the year.

Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the third, David Amberson singled to left field and moved to second when Jared McDonald beat out a groundball in the hole at shortstop.  After Ryan Khoury walked to load the bases, Kahaulelio pulled a single through the left side to score Amberson and McDonald with the tying runs.

McDonald drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the fifth and took second on a single through the left side from Khoury.  With Kahaulelio due up next, Josh Hildebrand relieved T-Bones' starter Keith Picht.  Kahaulelio put Wichita in front with a two-run, hit-and-run double to right-center field.

In the top of the sixth, Felix Molina lined a single to center that scored Kennard Jones to cut Wichita's lead to 4-3.  Klipp escaped further trouble when Luis Rivera grounded into an inning-ending double play at short.

Klipp allowed three earned runs on nine hits, walked one, and struck out three.

Nick Walters worked two shutout innings in relief of Klipp.

Josh Dew struck out two during a scoreless ninth to earn his 26th save of the season.

Picht took the loss, allowing four earned runs on four hits in four-plus innings.  Picht walked three and struck out two.

Kansas City scored twice in the top of the third to take a 2-0 lead.  Justin Bass tripled home Anthony Davis for the game's first run.  Joey Gathright followed with an RBI single to left.

Game two of the series is Sunday afternoon at 3:16 p.m.  Anthony Capra faces left-hander Rick Zagone.

The 2013 American Association Division Series begins Wednesday, September 4th.  The Wingnuts host Game Three of the series on Friday, September 6th as well as the "if necessary" Games Four and Five on September 7th and 8th.  Individual tickets for all home playoff games can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Quintet of Wingnuts Voted All-Stars

WICHITA, KS- Five Wichita Wingnuts players were named to the American Association's 2013 Postseason All-Star team on Friday.

First baseman C.J. Ziegler, second baseman Jake Kahaulelio, third baseman Abel Nieves, outfielder Brent Clevlen, and designated hitter John Rodriguez all received honors.

Ziegler has been one of the biggest contributors to Wichita's league-leading offense.  The Tucson, AZ native ranks 13th in the American Association in batting average (.322) and leads the league in both home runs (30) and RBI (98).  The 30 long balls currently stand as an American Association record.  On August 21st at Gary SouthShore, Ziegler hit for the first cycle in team history.  Over the last two seasons, Ziegler has combined for 48 home runs and 159 RBI in 154 games played.  The 27-year-old Ziegler has twice been named the American Association's Batter of the Week this year.

Kahaulelio earns all-star honors for a second straight year and is hitting .317 with 17 home runs and 61 RBI.  The Petaluma, CA native leads the American Association with 90 runs scored and has committed just four errors in 91 games played at second base.  Kahaulelio has been hit by a pitch 22 times which stands as an American Association single-season record.  On July 23rd, Kahaulelio slugged a walk-off grand slam home run versus Amarillo.

Nieves leads the American Association in batting average (.354) and will try to become the fourth Wingnuts player in the team's first six years to win the batting title.  The Maracay, Venezuela native compiled a 19-game hitting streak during the month of June in which he was 38 for 76 (.500).  Nieves has reached base in 85 of 95 games this season with a hit, walk, or hit by pitch and ranks first among American Association third basemen in fielding percentage (.958).

Clevlen has had a major impact on the Wingnuts' since joining the team in mid-June.  The former Major Leaguer is tied for ninth in the league in batting at .333 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI in just 66 games.  The 29-year-old Clevlen also ranks fourth in the league in on-base percentage (.427) and third in slugging percentage (.606).  Clevlen and all-star teammate John Rodriguez are the only two active players in the American Association that rank in the top-10 in batting average while also reaching double digit home runs.

Rodriguez has anchored the Wingnuts' lineup for a second straight season.  The 2006 World Series champion (St. Louis Cardinals) is fourth in the league in batting average (.344), tied for fourth in home runs (19), second behind Ziegler in RBI (85), and second behind Kahaulelio in runs scored (83).  Rodriguez has been especially dangerous in the season's final month.  The 35-year-old Rodriguez is hitting .390 with 24 runs scored, seven homers, and 29 RBI in 25 August contests.  Rodriguez leads the Wingnuts with 43 multi-hit games and notched his 1,500th career base hit on July 8th versus Amarillo.

The Wingnuts play their final regular season road game tonight at 7:05 p.m. against the Lincoln Saltdogs.  Chris Smith faces right-hander Luis Chirinos.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

Wichita returns home Saturday, August 31st for a three-game series against the Kansas City T-Bones.

The 2013 American Association Division Series begins Wednesday, September 4th.  The Wingnuts host Game Three of the series on Friday, September 6th as well as the "if necessary" Games Four and Five on September 7th and 8th.  Individual tickets for all home playoff games can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Saltdogs Rally Late in Series Finale

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

LINCOLN, NE- The Wichita Wingnuts (65-32) lost 6-5 to the Lincoln Saltdogs (49-48) at Haymarket Park on Friday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

Lincoln rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to come away with the win.  Mike Coles led off with a double and went to third on David Espinosa's single to right-center.  After Curt Smith walked, Ian Gac singled home the tying and winning runs on a line drive to left.

Wichita took a 4-0 lead in the top of the first.  With the bases loaded and one out, Brent Clevlen hit a groundball to Espinosa at second.  Espinosa's flip to Yasel Gomez for an attempted force play was dropped and allowed Ryan Khoury to score the game's first run.  Abel Nieves followed with an RBI single through the right side.  Two batters later, David Amberson lined a two-run single to right that made it 4-0.

Lincoln chipped away with three runs in the bottom of the second.  With first and second and one out, Bryan Pounds hit an RBI, infield single that struck the top of the first base bag.  Sean O'Connell's double cut the lead to 4-2 while an RBI single to right from Gomez pulled Lincoln within one run.  Wingnuts' starter Chris Smith came back to retire Coles and Espinosa to end the inning with Wichita still in front.

Brian Joynt hit a two-out, RBI single to left in the bottom of the fifth that tied the game.

Cole Armstrong lined a solo home run to right leading off the top of the sixth to give the Wingnuts their second lead of the night.

Josh Dew took the loss in relief for Wichita while Danny Meszaros earned the win for Lincoln.

Smith took a no-decision, allowing four earned runs on nine hits in six innings.  Smith walked none and struck out three.

Luis Chirinos started for Lincoln and also took a no-decision.  Chirinos allowed five runs, two earned, on eight hits in six innings.  Chirinos walked three and struck out one.

Nieves and Armstrong each had two hits for Wichita.  Daniel Bennett and Andrew Aizenstadt both worked one scoreless inning in relief of Smith.

The Wingnuts begin their final regular season home series on Saturday night when they host the Kansas City T-Bones at 7:05 p.m.  Justin Klipp starts for Wichita.

The 2013 American Association Division Series begins Wednesday, September 4th.  The Wingnuts host Game Three of the series on Friday, September 6th as well as the "if necessary" Games Four and Five on September 7th and 8th.  Individual tickets for all home playoff games can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Tie American Association Wins Record

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

LINCOLN, NE- The Wichita Wingnuts (65-31) tied an American Association record with their 65th win of the season, beating the Lincoln Saltdogs (48-48) 5-4 at Haymarket Park on Thursday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

Tied at 4-4 in the top of the eighth inning, Cole Armstrong singled to deep right-center field.  Madison Beaird pinch ran for Armstrong, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and stole third.  With two outs, Jared McDonald ripped an RBI double down the right field line to score Beaird with the go-ahead run.

Daniel Bennett and Josh Dew combined for two perfect innings to finish out the win.  Dew recorded his 25th save of the year in the bottom of the ninth.

Jake Kahaulelio lifted a sacrifice fly to center field in the top of the third to give Wichita a 1-0 lead.

Lincoln scored three times against Wingnuts' starter Junior Guerra in the bottom of the fifth to take their first lead of the series.  With the bases loaded and one out, David Espinosa drew a walk to force in the tying run.  Curt Smith followed with a sacrifice fly to right field that made it 2-1.  Ian Gac added a two-out, RBI single to left.

Wichita answered right back in the top of the sixth.  C.J. Ziegler walked and took second when Brent Clevlen reached on an error by third baseman Bryan Pounds.  Abel Nieves advanced the runners on a groundball to second base.  Cole Armstrong then tied the game with a double off the right field fence that scored Ziegler and Clevlen.  Two batters later, Armstrong scored from second on an error by shortstop Yasel Gomez that put Wichita in front 4-3.

Smith hit an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game at 4-4.

Lincoln Holdzkom earned the win in relief for Wichita.  P.J. Zocchi took the loss for the Saltdogs.

Guerra took a no-decision, allowing three runs, two earned, on three hits in six innings.  Guerra walked five and struck out three.

Mike Burns started for Lincoln and also took a no-decision.  Burns allowed four runs, two earned, on five hits in seven innings.  Burns walked four and struck out four.

The Wingnuts join the 2006 Lincoln Saltdogs (65-31, .677) and the 2012 Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (65-35, .650) for the most wins in an American Association season.  Wichita has four games remaining on their regular season schedule.

The series concludes Friday night at 7:05 p.m.  Chris Smith faces right-hander Luis Chirinos.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts play their final three regular season home games beginning this Saturday against the Kansas City T-Bones.

The 2013 American Association Division Series begins Wednesday, September 4th.  The Wingnuts host Game Three of the on Friday, September 6th as well as the "if necessary" Games Four and Five on the 7th and 8th.  Individual tickets for all home playoff games can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Rodriguez Helps Power Wingnuts

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

LINCOLN, NE- The Wichita Wingnuts (64-31) beat the Lincoln Saltdogs (48-47) 10-2 at Haymarket Park on Wednesday afternoon.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Johnny Bowden

John Rodriguez hit a pair of home runs and finished with four RBI to lead the Wingnuts' offense.

With two outs and no one on base in the top of the first, Rodriguez singled up the middle and went to second when C.J. Ziegler walked.  Brent Clevlen followed with a line drive single to left that scored Rodriguez with the game's first run.

Jake Kahaulelio lined a one-out, solo home run to left-center in the top of the third to make it 2-0 in favor of Wichita.

In the top of the sixth, Clevlen singled to right with one out.  Two batters later, Clevlen took second on a wild pitch and scored the Wingnuts' third run on a single to shallow left from Madison Beaird.

Lincoln scored twice in the bottom of the sixth to pull within one.  Matt Forgatch singled to center with the bases loaded and one out to get the Saltdogs on the board.  Clevlen helped stabilize the inning with a running catch on Bryan Pounds' flyball to deep center field that resulted in a sacrifice fly.

With two outs and no one on base in the top of the seventh, Rodriguez hit the first of his two home runs.  The line drive over the right-center field fence extended the lead to 4-2.

Wichita broke the game open with a six-run top of the eighth.  RBI hits from Johnny Bowden, David Amberson, and Kahaulelio made it 7-2.  Rodriguez followed Kahaulelio with a three-run shot that just cleared the left field wall.

Wingnuts' starter James Giulietti earned the win, allowing two earned runs on six hits in five and two-thirds innings.  Giulietti walked four and struck out three.

Nick Walters, Lincoln Holdzkom, Justin Klipp, and Erik Lambe combined for three and one-third shutout relief frames.

Saltdogs' starter Stephen Bougher took the loss, allowing three earned runs on eight hits over six.  Bougher walked one and struck out seven.

Walters' appearance was his 105th in a Wingnuts' uniform over the last two seasons which breaks Jared Simon's (2011-12) franchise record of 104.  Rodriguez, Clevlen, and Amberson each had three hits in the win.

Game three of the four-game series is Thursday night at 7:05 p.m.  Junior Guerra is scheduled to make his final regular season start for the Wingnuts.  Right-haner Mike Burns goes for Lincoln.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Saturday, August 31st for their final regular season home series against the Kansas City T-Bones.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts to Welcome Miss Kansas Teen USA®

WICHITA, KS- Alyssa Klinzing, Miss Kansas Teen USA® 2013, will make an appearance at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Sunday, September 1st when the Wichita Wingnuts take on the Kansas City T-Bones at 3:16 p.m.

Klinzing is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch and will be on hand for photographs.  The Olathe, KS native was crowned Miss Kansas Teen USA® on December 2nd, 2012.

Klinzing is involved with numerous volunteer activities, including Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), CureSearch, Angel Babies, and the Girl Scouts of America.  In 2012, Klinzing earned the Girl Scouts' prestigious Silver Award.

The Wingnuts face the Lincoln Saltdogs at Haymarket Park on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Saturday, August 31st when they host the Kansas City T-Bones.

The 2013 American Association Division Series begins September 4th.  Wichita will face the winner of either the North Division or the South Division.  The Wingnuts host Game Three of the series on Friday, September 6th, as well as the "if necessary" Games Four and Five on September 7th and 8th.

Individual tickets for all home playoff games can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Break League Strikeout Record in Win

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

LINCOLN, NE- The Wichita Wingnuts (63-31) beat the Lincoln Saltdogs (48-46) 8-4 at Haymarket Park on Tuesday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Anthony Capra

Wingnuts' starter Anthony Capra struck out 11 batters while earning the win.  Wichita has now struck out 741 batters this season, breaking the American Association record set by the Laredo Lemurs in 2012 (738).

Brent Clevlen connected on a mammoth solo home run leading off the top of the third inning to give Wichita a 1-0 lead.  Abel Nieves followed with a single.  After Cole Armstrong was hit by a pitch, David Amberson laid down a sacrifice bunt that put runners on second and third.  Two batters later, Ryan Khoury ripped a line drive single to center to extend the lead to 3-0.

Capra struck out the side in order in both the third and fifth frames.  The record-breaker came against Yasel Gomez for the final out in the bottom of the fifth.  Capra allowed two earned runs on three hits over six innings.  Capra walked just two.

The Wingnuts made it 6-0 with three runs in the top of the fifth.  C.J. Ziegler became the first player in American Association history to reach the 30-home run plateau with a solo shot to left.  Clevlen reached on an error by third baseman Bryan Pounds and went to second when Nieves walked.  Saltdogs' starter Moises Melendez was removed from the game due to injury.  Following a double steal by Clevlen and Nieves, Armstrong singled over a drawn-in infield against reliever Travis Parker to plate two more runs.

Jake Kahaulelio hit a solo home run to left-center with one out in the top of the sixth to make it 7-0.

Lincoln first baseman Ian Gac hit a two-out, two-run homer to left in the bottom of the sixth to get the Saltdogs on the board.

Lincoln loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Junior Guerra and Daniel Bennett limited the Saltdogs to just one run on a Gomez groundball double play.

Gac homered again in the bottom of the eighth to drive in Lincoln's final run.

Andrew Aizenstadt closed out the game with a perfect bottom of the ninth.

Melendez took the loss, allowing six runs, five earned, on eight hits in four and one-third innings.  Melendez walked two and struck out one.

John Rodriguez had three hits for Wichita.  Khoury, Kahaulelio, Clevlen, and Armstrong also had multi-hit nights.  Capra's performance was the seventh double digit strikeout effort by a Wingnuts' starter this year.

The series continues Wednesday morning at 11:05 a.m.  James Giulietti faces right-hander Stephen Bougher.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Saturday, August 31st for their final regular season home series against the Kansas City T-Bones.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Historic Week Earns Ziegler League Honors

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

WICHITA, KS- Wichita Wingnuts' first baseman C.J. Ziegler has been named the American Association's Batter of the Week for August 19th-25th.

Ziegler had a monster week in which he hit safely in seven of seven games.  The right-handed slugger was 16 for 29 (.552) with eight runs scored, four doubles, one triple, five home runs, and 14 RBI.  On August 21st at Gary SouthShore, Ziegler hit for the first cycle in team history.  Ziegler's home run that night was also his 27th of the year.  At the time, that tied an American Association single-season record set by Brandon Sing (Sioux Falls) in 2010.  The following afternoon, Ziegler drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out, RBI single in the top of the ninth that finished off a stunning comeback over the RailCats.

After Sioux Falls' Tim Pahuta cracked two home runs on August 22nd versus Fargo-Moorhead to surpass both Ziegler and Sing, Ziegler homered in back-to-back games versus Grand Prairie this weekend to establish a new American Association record.

The 27-year-old Ziegler currently ranks 12th in the American Association in batting average (.323), and first in both home runs (29) and RBI (97).  Ziegler is also tied for fourth in runs scored (76), tied for fourth in doubles (31), eighth in walks (51), eighth in on-base percentage (.408), and first in slugging percentage (.660).

It is the second time this season Ziegler has won Batter of the Week and the seventh time a Wingnuts' player has earned league honors.

2013 Wingnuts American Association Honors
OF Jared McDonald - Batter of the Week (May 27th-June 2nd)
OF David Amberson - Batter of the Week (June 10th-16th)
1B C.J. Ziegler - Batter of the Week (June 24th-30th)
RHP Chris Smith - Pitcher of the Week (July 15th-21st)
LHP Ryan Hinson - Pitcher of the Month (June)
DH John Rodriguez - Batter of the Week (August 5th-11th)
1B C.J. Ziegler - Batter of the Week (August 19th-25th)

The Wingnuts open a four-game series at Lincoln on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m.  Anthony Capra faces left-hander Moises Melendez.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Saturday, August 31st when they host the Kansas City T-Bones.

The 2013 American Association Division Series begins September 4th.  Wichita will face the winner of either the North Division or the South Division.  The Wingnuts host Game Three of the series on Friday, September 6th, as well as the "if necessary" Games Four and Five on September 7th and 8th.

Individual tickets for all home playoff games can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Hurry Up and Wait

By Jeremy Deckard, Wingnuts' Media Correspondent

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

I often hear this response from people when you ask them how their doctor or dentist visit was; “I hurried up to wait.”

Well the Wichita Wingnuts have already gotten their lollipop for the regular season and now they have to wait for a shot at the big prize.

The Nuts clinched their third straight central division title with a 5-3 win against the Grand Prairie AirHogs last Friday.  That left them with nine games left in the regular season before the American Association playoffs begin September 4th.

With that many games left to play, the usual concern is 'did the Wingnuts clinch to early?'

"Whether you clinch or not, we still have games left and you have to play them all," Wichita manager Kevin Hooper said.  "We are on a mission right now.  We have just one thing in mind and that’s to win a ring.  I think our guys are going to be focused for it."

Wichita does have a veteran-laden squad that has been through the winning and waiting before.  Those veterans do not believe there will be any kind of let down.  When asked about the number of games left and the possibility of a loss of focus, the scenario was immediately dismissed by veteran pitcher Anthony Capra.

"That only becomes an issue if you let it become an issue.  I don’t think 'Hoop' will let that become an issue and I don’t think the veterans on this team will let it become an issue," Capra said.  "We’re going to keep grinding and stay focused."

There was no let down the night after clinching as the Wingnuts played with an aggressive approach in a 7-1 win over Grand Prairie.

There are only two and a half games separating three teams in the South Division race, and just one and a half between the top two clubs in the wild card standings.  Hooper and the Wingnuts may not know their first round opponent until the final days of the regular season.  Regardless of who the Wingnuts eventually draw in the first round, Hooper and his players believe they will be focused no matter who they face.

"We have a good game plan with whoever we should play.  I think we come up with a good game plan of what we want to do against hitters," Hooper said.

“We’ve played everybody in the league, so we’re familiar with them.  We don’t need to change anything.  We just need to do what we do and play together as a team,” second baseman Jake Kahaulelio said.

Capra felt the team could also use the extra time to make sure that health is not a question entering the playoff rounds.

"The biggest thing is to make sure that everybody is healthy and that we take care of the little nagging injuries," Capra said.  "We have to come out focused for Game One and just be ready to go."

Wichita still has plenty to play for as they are trying to secure home field advantage throughout the postseason, as well as break the American Association record for numbers of wins in one year.  The record is 65 set by the 2006 Lincoln Saltdogs and 2012 Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.

"It’s one of those things that at the start of the year when we saw who all was coming back, we knew that anything was possible,” shortstop Ryan Khoury said.  "We’ve been getting the job done on the field and we did it with some time to spare so that we can enjoy it.  We want to make a run at the wins record.  We've reached one of our goals, but we still have goals left to play for and to stay focused on."

Right after clinching the division, Hooper was making sure his team enjoyed the moment, but to not lose focus on the big picture.

"I mentioned to the guys that--especially in baseball--the best team doesn’t always win.  I’ve felt like we've had the best team the last couple of years and we were unable to win it all," Hooper said.  “It comes down to getting hot at the right time.  Winnipeg did it last year as the wild card.  They swept Fargo who had been playing the best ball and then came up here and swept us.  You've got to hope for the best and try to keep everybody healthy for these final games."

Several players expressed afterwards the thrill of clinching the division title for the third straight season.  Kahaulelio took part in last year’s celebration as well and said this year the best part was watching the rookies on the roster enjoy the moment.

"It was just as good as the first time.  Being able to see the excitement on the faces of the guys who have never experienced that before was a blessing,” Kahaulelio said.

You can bet every member of the Wingnuts' roster wants to celebrate with some of the bubbly at least one more time in mid-September.

The Wingnuts open a four-game series at Lincoln tonight at 7:05 p.m.  Anthony Capra faces left-hander Moises Melendez.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts play their final three regular season home games beginning this Saturday against the Kansas City T-Bones.

The 2013 American Association Division Series begins Wednesday, September 4th.  The Wingnuts host Game Three of the on Friday, September 6th as well as the "if necessary" Games Four and Five on the 7th and 8th.  Individual tickets for all home playoff games can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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AirHogs Take Finale From Wingnuts

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (62-31) lost 8-3 to the Grand Prairie AirHogs (48-45) at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

Andres Rodriguez hit a one-out, solo home run in the top of the eighth inning to snap a 3-3 tie and give the AirHogs their first lead of the game.  Grand Prairie added two more runs in the eighth on Angel Flores' triple to right-center and Chad Mozingo's double down the right field line.

Palmer Karr Jr. added a two-out, two-run homer in the top of the ninth to extend the lead to 8-3.

Boomer Potts worked one and two-thirds scoreless relief innings to earn the win.  Patrick Mincey pitched a shutout ninth to finish the game.

C.J. Ziegler and Brent Clevlen hit back-to-back two-out, RBI doubles in the bottom of the first inning to give Wichita an early 2-0 lead.

Ziegler blasted his 29th home run of the year in the bottom of the third to account for Wichita's final run.  The home run establishes a new American Association record.  Sioux Falls' Tim Pahuta currently has 28 home runs.  Both Ziegler and Pahuta have eclipsed the previous league mark of 27, set by Brandon Sing of the Sioux Falls Pheasants in 2010.

Flores cut the Wingnuts' lead to 3-2 with a two-run homer to left-center in the top of the fourth.

Chris Smith started for the Wingnuts and took a no-decision, allowing two earned runs on four hits in six innings.  Smith walked one and struck out six.

Josh Strawn took a no-decision for the AirHogs in the start, allowing three earned runs on five hits in six and one-third.  Strawn walked three and struck out three.

Lincoln Holdzkom took the loss for the Wingnuts.

The Wingnuts travel to Lincoln, NE on Tuesday for a four-game series against the Saltdogs.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Saturday, August 31st for their final regular season home series against the Kansas City T-Bones.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Klipp Deals Against AirHogs

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (62-30) beat the Grand Prairie AirHogs (47-45) 7-1 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Saturday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

Pitching on three days of rest, Justin Klipp pitched seven strong innings to pick up the win.  Klipp allowed one earned run on three hits over seven innings.  Klipp walked one and struck out six.

Wichita erased an early 1-0 deficit with two runs in the bottom of the first inning.  Ryan Khoury led off with a double down the left field line and took third on Jake Kahaulelio's groudball to second base.  John Rodriguez drove in Khoury with an infield single to second base.  Rodriguez then stole second and scored two batters later on a line drive single to left-center from Brent Clevlen.

Wichita added three more in the bottom of the second.  David Amberson bunted for a single leading off and stole both second and third base before Jared McDonald walked.  Khoury made it 3-1 with a sacrifice fly to center that scored Amberson and advanced McDonald to second.  Kahaulelio followed with a ground rule, RBI double over the left-center field fence.  C.J. Ziegler capped the inning with a two-out, RBI single to right.

Wingnuts' pitching did not allow a hit beyond the third inning.  Junior Guerra made his first relief appearance of the year in the top of the eighth, striking out two in a scoreless frame.  Daniel Bennett finished the win with a scoreless ninth.

Rodriguez, Clevlen, and Amberson each had multi-hit games.

Gabriel Garcia started for the AirHogs and took the loss.  Garcia allowed five earned runs on seven hits in one and two-thirds innings.  Garcia walked one and struck out zero.

Grand Prairie's lone run came on an Andres Rodriguez single to right-center in the top of the first.

The Wingnuts and AirHogs conclude their series on Sunday afternoon at 3:16 p.m.  Chris Smith takes on right-hander Josh Strawn.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Are Central Division Champs Again!

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (61-30) clinched their fourth division title in the last five years, beating the Grand Prairie AirHogs (47-44) 5-3 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Friday night.

Highlights 

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Wingnuts Players

Trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the third, the Wingnuts scored three runs to tie the game.  David Amberson was hit by a pitch leading off and went to third on an errant pickoff throw by AirHogs' starter Curtis Camilli.  Amberson scored on Jared McDonald's groundout to first base.  Later in the inning, and with two outs and no one on base, Jake Kahaulelio doubled down the left field line.  John Rodriguez then beat out a groundball to second base for an infield single that put runners on the corners.  Rodriguez broke for second and drew a throw from catcher Angel Flores that allowed Kahaulelio to score Wichita's second run.  C.J. Ziegler followed with a line drive single to left that scored Rodriguez to tie the game at 3-3.

Brent Clevlen and Abel Nieves hit back-to-back singles leading off the bottom of the fourth and were sacrificed an extra base by Cole Armstrong.  Wichita took the lead when Clevlen scored on a wild pitch from Camilli.  Amberson made it 5-3 with a groundball single up the middle through the AirHogs' drawn-in infield.

James Giulietti and four Wingnuts' relievers made the lead stand up.  Giulietti earned the win, allowing three runs, two earned, on five hits in six innings.  Giulietti walked four and struck out five.

Nick Walters, Lincoln Holdzkom, Andrew Aizenstadt, and Josh Dew combined for three shutout innings to close out the win.  Dew struck out the side in order in the top of the ninth to earn his 24th save.

Andres Rodriguez hit a two-out, two-run home run down the left field line in the top of the first to give the AirHogs an early 2-0 lead.

Palmer Karr Jr. added a sacrifice fly to left in the top of the third to make it 3-0.

Camilli took the loss, allowing five earned runs on seven hits in four innings.  Camilli walked none and struck out none.

It is the Wingnuts' third consecutive Central Division title and fourth in five years under manager Kevin Hooper.

The series continues Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.  Justin Klipp starts for the Wingnuts.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Magic Number at One After Wingnuts Stun RailCats

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (60-30) beat the Gary SouthShore RailCats (50-39) 5-4 at U.S. Steel Yard on Thursday afternoon.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and John Rodriguez 

With the win, the Wingnuts guaranteed themselves a playoff berth for a fourth time in five years, and trimmed their magic number down to one to clinch American Association Central Division.  Wichita can clinch the division as early Friday with a home win versus Grand Prairie, or a RailCats' loss at St. Paul.  The 60 wins set a franchise single-season record.

Trailing 4-2 in the top of the ninth, the Wingnuts rallied for three runs after there were two outs and no one on base.  Ryan Khoury drew a walk and went to third when Jake Kahaulelio doubled off the left field wall.  John Rodriguez followed with a line drive single to right that scored Khoury and Kahaulelio with the tying runs.  On the next pitch, C.J. Ziegler plated Rodriguez with a line drive single to center that gave Wichita its first lead of the day.

Josh Dew worked around an error and a walk in the bottom of the ninth to record his 23rd save of the year.

Nick Walters earned the win in relief for the Wingnuts.  Walters threw one and one-third scoreless innings.

Ian Durham took the loss for Gary SouthShore.

The RailCats took an early lead with four runs in the bottom of the first.  Cristian Guerrero and Danny Pulfer hit back-to-back singles with the bases loaded to make it 2-0.  Later in the frame, Ryan Brockett lined a single to right to drive in two more runs.

Wingnuts' starter Anthony Capra shut the RailCats down for the next five innings to keep Wichita in the game.  Capra took a no-decision, allowing four earned runs on eight hits over six innings.  Capra walked three and struck out four.  Capra now has 101 strikeouts on the season, giving the Wingnuts three pitchers who have reached 100 or more strikeouts.

Kahaulelio and Rodriguez hit consecutive RBI fielder's choices in the top of the seventh to cut the RailCats' lead in half.

Billy Spottiswood started for Gary SouthShore and took a no-decision.  Spottiswood allowed two earned runs on five hits in six-plus innings.  Spottiswood walked four and struck out one.

Kahaulelio was hit by a pitch in the top of the third inning.  It was Kahaulelio's 21st hit batsmen of the year, setting an American Association single-season record.

The Wingnuts return home on Friday for a three-game series against the Grand Prairie AirHogs.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Sports Auction Sunday to Benefit Brian Rose Trust

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts are holding a silent auction for the Brian Rose Trust this Sunday when the Wingnuts face the Grand Prairie AirHogs at 3:16 p.m.

The auction features more than 50 great pieces of sports memorabilia.  Fans will have the opportunity to bid on each item during the game.  All proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Brian Rose Trust.

Feature items include a basketball signed by the 2013 Phoenix Suns (including signatures from Michael Beasley and Marcus and Markieff Morris), an Eric Berry signed football, a photo signed by Johnny Bench, and baseballs signed by Ryne Sandberg, Goose Gossage, Mike Moustakas, Billy Butler, and Frank Thomas.  Various other unique sports collectables will also be available for bid.

Brian Rose served as the Wingnuts' bench coach from 2010-12 before passing away at the age of 34 from stage 4 melanoma on January 31st of this year.  Rose's number "3" was retired on Opening Night, and the Wingnuts have dedicated the 2013 season in Rose's honor.

Tickets for Sunday's game are just $5 for any seat if purchased in advance.  General admission seats will be priced at just $3 at the ticket window.  For ticket information, call (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Ziegler's Historic Night Leads Wingnuts

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (59-30) defeated the Gary SouthShore RailCats (50-38) 18-5 at U.S. Steel Yard on Wednesday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and CJ Ziegler 

C.J. Ziegler completed the first cycle in the team's six-year history and tied the American Association single-season record for home runs (27).

Ryan Khoury led off the game with a walk, stole second base, and scored on a pair of wild pitches from RailCats' starter Joe Zeller.  With two outs and no one on base, Ziegler lined a solo shot down the left field line to give Wichita a 2-0 lead.  In addition to tying Brandon Sing's (Sioux Falls, 2010) home run mark, Ziegler picked up his 87th RBI of the season to set a Wingnuts' single-season record.  Brent Clevlen followed with a double to center field, took third on a passed ball, and scored Wichita's third run on an error by shorstop Zac Mitchell.

The Wingnuts added four more runs in the top of the third inning.  With first and second and no outs, Ziegler hit a deep flyball that RailCats' center fielder Drew Martinez lost in the lights.  The ball bounced in right-center field and allowed Jake Kahaulelio and John Rodriguez to score.  Ziegler took third on the triple, which was the first of his professional career.  Clevlen followed with a popfly double that broke off a retreating Nick Liles in shallow center to make it 6-0.  Clevlen later scored on a groundball from David Amberson.

Clevlen drew a bases loaded walk in the top of the fourth to force in the Wingnuts' eighth run.  The RailCats got on the board in the bottom of the inning on a two-out, RBI single from Reid Fronk.

In the top of the sixth, Abel Nieves doubled home Clevlen to extend the lead to 9-1.  Two batters later, Amberson singled through the left side to drive in Nieves.  Kahaulelio capped off the inning with a bases loaded walk.

The RailCats used RBI hits from Brian Kolb, Craig Maddox, and Drew Martinez, to cut Wichita's lead to 11-4, before the Wingnuts tacked on six runs in the top of the seventh.

With the bases loaded and one out in the seventh, Amberson lined a single to center field that plated Ziegler with the Wingnuts' 12th run.  Jared McDonald followed with a three-run double to left-center.  A John Rodriguez sacrifice fly made it 16-4.  Ziegler then doubled on a line drive off the left field fence for his fourth RBI of the game.

A Maddox fielder's choice in the bottom of the seventh accounted for the RailCats' final run.

Madison Beaird and John Rodriguez hit back-to-back doubles down the left field line in the top of the ninth to make it 18-5.  In his seventh trip to the plate, Ziegler hit a sharp groundball to center field to complete the cycle.

Lincoln Holdzkom worked two shutout innings to finish off the game.

Junior Guerra earned the win, allowing four earned runs on nine hits in six innings.  Guerra walked one and struck out nine.  Guerra now has 121 strikeouts on the season, breaking Gabe Medina's team record of 116 set in 2010.

Zeller took the loss for the RailCats, allowing eight runs, six earned, on seven hits in three and one-third innings.  Zeller walked three and struck out four.

11 different Wingnuts had at least one hit in the victory.  Khoury reached base four times and scored three runs.  Rodriguez, Clevlen, and Amberson each finished with three hits.  All three of Clevlen's hits were doubles.  Clevlen scored three runs while Amberson had three RBI.  With 59 wins, the Wingnuts match their franchise best for a single season.  Wichita also won 59 games in 2012.

The series concludes Thursday afternoon at 12:10 p.m.  Anthony Capra faces right-hander Billy Spottiswood.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Friday, August 23rd when they host the Grand Prairie AirHogs.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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RailCats Take Double Header From Wingnuts

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (58-30) lost both ends of a double header to the Gary SouthShore RailCats (50-37) at U.S. Steel Yard on Tuesday night, falling 7-4 in the opener and then 4-3 in the nightcap.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

In the opener, Gary scored seven runs, five of which were unearned, in the bottom of the second inning to erase a 2-0 Wingnuts' lead.  Craig Maddox led off with a single through the right side and scored two batters later on Brian Kolb's double down the left field line.  Drew Martinez reached first on an error by C.J. Ziegler that put runners on the corners.  After Zac Mitchell was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Nick Liles poked a two-run single down the right field line that gave the RailCats a 3-2 lead.  Adam Klein made it 4-2 with an RBI groundout to shorstop.  Mike Massaro drove in Liles with a triple to left-center and then scored the RailCats' sixth run on an errant relay to third base.  With two outs and no one on base, Christian Vitters singled up the middle and scored on a double to right-center from Maddox.

Ziegler homered in the top of the third to cut the lead to 7-3.

Wichita rallied in the top of the seventh to bring the tying run to the plate.  With the bases loaded and no outs, Jake Kahaulelio hit a sacrifice fly to left that made it 7-4.  John Rodriguez roped a line drive towards center field that was snagged by a reaching Liles at second base to turn a game-ending double play.

Chris Smith took a tough complete game loss for Wichita, allowing seven runs, two earned, on six hits in six innings.  Smith walked two and struck out three.

Chuck Fontana was assigned the win in relief for the RailCats with two scoreless innings.

Matt Jernstad started game one for Gary SouthShore and allowed three earned runs on seven hits in two and one-third.

Brent Clevlen drove in the game's first run with a two-out, RBI single to left in the top of the first.  Earlier in the inning, Kahaulelio tied an American Association single-season record with his 20th hit by pitch.

Cole Armstrong led off the top of the second with a single and scored on a sacrifice fly to left from Kahaulelio that made it 2-0.

The RailCats won the nightcap in extra innings on a one-out, bases loaded single to center from Ryan Babineau.  Mitchell led off the inning with an infield hit and took second on a sacrifice from Ryan Brockett.  After Klein was intentionally walked, Lincoln Holdzkom relieved Andrew Aizenstadt.  Massaro walked to load the bases, setting up Babineau's hit.

Wichita scored early for a second straight game on Kahaulelio's third sacrifice fly of the twinbill in the top of the first.

Massaro hit an inside-the-park-home run with one out in the bottom of the first to tie the game.

A Cristian Guerrero infield single and a Vitters fielder's choice helped the RailCats score two unearned runs in the bottom of the third to take a 3-1 lead.

Wichita tied the game in the top of the fifth on a two-out, two-run homer to left from Ziegler.

Estevan Uriegas worked two shutout relief innings to earn the win.  Aizenstadt took the loss.

Justin Klipp started game two for Wichita and took a no-decision.  Klipp allowed three runs, one earned, on five hits in five-plus innings.  Klipp walked three and struck out five.

Stephen Hiscock allowed three earned runs on nine hits in seven innings in a no-decision for Gary SouthShore.  Hiscock walked two and struck out five.

With his two home runs, Ziegler now has 26 for the season.  Sioux Falls' Tim Pahuta also hit his 26th of the year on Tuesday in a game versus Fargo-Moorhead.  Both sluggers are now one home run shy of the American Association single-season record (27) set by Brandon Sing of the Sioux Falls' Pheasants in 2010.

Ziegler also reached 86 RBI for 2013, tying a Wingnuts' single-season record set by Greg Porter in 2009 and Juan Richardson in 2011.

The series continues Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m.  Junior Guerra starts for the Wingnuts.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Friday, August 23rd when they host the Grand Prairie AirHogs.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Edge RedHawks in Rubber Game

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (58-28) beat the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (55-32) 3-2 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and James Giulietti 

Five Wingnuts' pitchers, including newly-signed starter James Giulietti, combined on a three-hitter in the victory.

Giulietti allowed two earned runs on just two hits over six innings to pick up the win.  Guilietti walked two and struck out eight while throwing 99 pitches.

Jake Kahaulelio hit a solo home run to left-center with one out in the bottom of the first inning to give the Wingnuts a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth, Jared McDonald pulled a two-run triple down the right field line that extended the lead to 3-0.

From the third inning through the fifth, Giulietti retired 10 batters in a row.

Fargo's only runs came in the top of the sixth on a two-out, two-run home run off the batter's eye in center field from Nic Jackson.

Wichita's bullpen combined for three shutout innings.  Nick Walters escaped a first and third situation with one out in the top of the eighth when Jackson grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Josh Dew threw a perfect top of the ninth to earn his 22nd save of the year.

RedHawks' starter Ethan Opsahl took the loss, allowing three earned runs on five hits in six innings.  Opsahl walked two and struck out three.

Giulietti (pronounced juh-LET-ee) was signed prior to Sunday's game.  The 24-year-old left-hander was 4-3 with a 1.56 ERA for the United League's Fort Worth Cats this season.  Giulietti struck out 52 in 57.2 innings for the Cats and is in his third overall year of professional baseball.  A native of Plainview, NY, Giulietti played four years of college baseball at Binghamton University where he earned America East Conference Pitcher of the Year honors as a junior in 2010.

With 14 games left in the regular season, Wichita trimmed its magic number to clinch the American Association Central Division down to five over the Gary SouthShore RailCats and three over the Lincoln Saltdogs.

The Wingnuts take Monday off and open a four-game series against the RailCats on Tuesday evening.  Tuesday is a double header with the first pitch of game one scheduled for 5:10 p.m. at U.S. Steel Yard.  Chris Smith and Justin Klipp are Wichita's scheduled starters in the twinbill.

The Wingnuts return home on Friday, August 23rd when they host the Grand Prairie AirHogs.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Add Outfielder Sing Chow

Photo Credit: The Maui News 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts signed outfielder Waylen Sing Chow on Saturday.

Sing Chow hit .309 with 46 runs scored, 16 doubles, five triples, two home runs, 29 RBI, and 23 stolen bases in 59 games played for the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball's Maui Na Koa Ikaika.  The Honolulu, HI native hit safely in 45 of 59 games played for Maui and posted a nine-game hitting streak (14 for 34, .412) from June 21st through June 30th.  A left-handed hitter and fielder, Sing Chow hit above .300 against both left- and right-hander pitching this season.

The 23-year-old Sing Chow hit .266 with 45 runs scored, 28 RBI, and 15 stolen bases for Maui in 2012 when the club was a member of the North American League.  Sing Chow played four seasons of college baseball at the University of Nevada, and batted .297 with 27 runs scored in 35 contests as a senior in 2011.

Sing Chow brings the Wingnuts' active roster to 21 players, one shy of the American Association maximum.

The Wingnuts play game two of a three-game series against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium tonight at 7:05 p.m.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Stellar Bullpen Helps Wingnuts Win in 11

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (57-28) beat the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (55-31) 4-3 in 11 innings at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Saturday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Andrew Aizenstadt 

Ryan Khoury led off the bottom of the 11th with a full count walk and stole second base with Jake Kahaulelio at the plate.  Kahaulelio then beat out a sacrifice attempt at first base to put runners on the corners with no outs.  After John Rodriguez was intentionally walked, C.J. Ziegler lifted a sacrifice fly down the left field line that scored Khoury with the winning run.  Khoury had just made a diving catch to rob Todd Jennings with two outs in the top of the inning to keep the game tied.

Josh Stone earned the win in relief for the Wingnuts while Mackenzie King took the loss for the RedHawks.

The Wingnuts took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second.  Ziegler doubled off the top of the center field fence and went to third on a line drive single to left-center from Brent Clevlen.  Abel Nieves grounded a hit-and-run single through the left side to drive in Ziegler with the game's first run.  Three batters later, Jared McDonald lined a two-out, two-run single down the right field line that scored Clevlen and Nieves.

In the top of the third, Zach Penprase singled through the right side with one out.  Penprase took third base on Ronnie Bourquin's single to right and scored on a throwing error by McDonald to cut Wichita's lead to 3-1.

Bourquin drew a one-out walk in the fifth, took second on Nic Jackson's groundout to third, and scored Fargo-Moorhead's second run on an infield single from C.J. Retherford that clipped the top of the third base bag.

Einertson led off the top of the sixth with a home run to left that tied the game at 3-3.

Wichita's bullpen combined for five and two-thirds shutout innings in relief of starter Anthony Capra.  Wingnuts' pitchers stranded 18 runners on base in the win.

Capra took a no-decision, allowing three runs, two earned, on eight hits in five and one-third innings.  Capra walked four and struck out eight.  Capra has struck out seven or more in six of his last seven starts.

Danny Gutierrez started for the RedHawks and also took a no-decision.  Gutierrez allowed three earned runs on four hits in seven and two-thirds.  Gutierrez walked one and struck out five.

The series concludes Sunday afternoon at 3:16 p.m.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Guerra Dominant Again in Tough Loss

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (56-28) lost 5-4 to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (55-30) at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Friday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

The RedHawks scored five runs in the top of the fifth inning and held off a late Wingnuts' rally to preserve the win.

With the Wingnuts leading 2-0, Buddy Sosnoskie led off the top of the fifth with a groundball single through the left side and took second on Mitch Einertson's bloop single to center.  After Todd Jennings struck out, Zach Penprase loaded the bases with a bloop single to right field.  Ronnie Bourquin hit a sharp groundball to C.J. Ziegler at first base.  Ziegler's throw to the plate for a force attempt on Sosnoskie bounced away from Cole Armstrong and went out of play.  Sosnoskie and Einertson scored the tying runs, while Penprase and Bourquin each moved into scoring position.  Nic Jackson followed with a two-run double down the right field line that made it 4-2.  Two batters later, Keith Brachold drove in Jackson with a bloop double down the left field line.

RedHawks' starter Brian Ernst and relievers Joe Harris and Nathan Kilcrease kept the score at 5-2 into the final inning.

With one out in the bottom of the ninth, John Rodriguez lined a single to left field against reliever Chris Bodishbaugh.  Ziegler followed with a two-run home run to left-center that cut the RedHawks' lead to 5-4.  Derrick Miramontes relieved Bodishbaugh following a five-pitch walk to Brent Clevlen that put the tying run on first.  Miramontes recorded the save when Abel Nieves grounded into a game-ending double play at second base.

Wichita took an early lead in the bottom of the first.  Jake Kahaulelio doubled down the right field line and scored on a line drive single to left-center from Rodriguez.

The Wingnuts' second run came in the bottom of the third on a Clevlen double play ball with the bases loaded and no outs.

Junior Guerra took a tough loss for Wichita, allowing five runs, two earned, on five hits in eight innings.  Guerra walked three and struck out a career-high 11 batters.  It was Guerra's third consecutive start with double digit strikeouts.  Guerra struck out eight of the the RedHawks' nine starters.

Nick Walters worked a scoreless top of the ninth.  Guerra and Walters did not allow a base hit in eight of nine innings.

With two runs scored Kahaulelio now has 81 on the season, which ties a Wingnuts' single-season record set by Juan Richardson in 2011.  Kahaulelio was also hit by a pitch twice in the game, giving him 19 on the year.  Jorge Delgado held the previous franchise record with 18, also in 2011.

Ernst picked up the win, allowing two earned runs on seven hits in five and two-thirds innings.  Ernst walked two and struck out four.

The series continues Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.  Anthony Capra faces right-hander Danny Gutierrez.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Thursday's Game Rescheduled for Tuesday at Gary

WICHITA, KS- Thursday's postponed game between the Wichita Wingnuts and Gary SouthShore RailCats has been rescheduled as part of a double header on Tuesday, August 20th at U.S. Steel Yard.

First pitch of game one is set for 5:10 p.m.  Both contests are scheduled for seven innings.  The RailCats will serve as the home team for both contests.  Tuesday now marks the Wingnuts' fifth double header of 2013.  Wichita's team record for double headers in one season is six set in 2008.

Tickets dated for Thursday, August 16th will be honored at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium this Sunday (August 18th) when the Wingnuts take on the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.

The Wingnuts and RedHawks begin a three-game series tonight at 7:05 p.m.  Junior Guerra faces right-hander Brian Ernst.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Split Twinbill With 'Cats

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (56-27) split a double header with the Gary SouthShore RailCats (47-35) at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Wednesday night, winning the opener 2-1 and dropping the nightcap 10-5.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

Abel Nieves won game one with an RBI double in the bottom of the seventh inning that scored Brent Clevlen from second base.  Clevlen doubled off the bottom of the left field wall with one out in the inning.  Two pitches later, Nieves sliced a line drive that just eluded a sliding Drew Martinez for the game-ending hit.

Nick Walters earned the win in relief with a scoreless top of the seventh.

Chris Smith started and took a no-decision.  Smith allowed one earned run on seven hits over six innings.  Smith walked one and struck out four.

Gary SouthShore took an early 1-0 lead on Christian Vitters' two-out, RBI single to center that scored Mike Massaro.  Massaro reached third on a triple down the right field line two batters into the game.

Wichita tied it in the bottom of the third when C.J. Ziegler lined a solo home run to left-center.

Kyle Lindquist took the loss in relief for the RailCats.

Morgan Coombs took a no-decision as Gary SouthShore's starter.  Coombs allowed one earned run on six hits in four and two-thirds innings.  Coombs walked four and struck out five.

In the nightcap, Gary SouthShore scored in five straight innings to build a 10-3 lead after the Wingnuts had briefly tied the game in the bottom of the second.

With the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the third, Reid Fronk drew a walk to force in the go-ahead run.  Brian Kolb then grounded into a double play that made it 5-3.

Adam Klein lined a two-run triple to right in the top of the fourth to extend the lead to 7-3.

Massaro drove in the RailCats' eighth run in the top of the fifth after beating out a potential double play groundball.

Drew Martinez and Zac Mitchell added two-out, RBI hits in the top of the sixth for Gary SouthShore.

Nieves cut the lead to 10-4 with an RBI single to right in the bottom of the sixth.

Ryan Khoury hit a solo home run to left-center in the bottom of the seventh for Wichita's final run.

The RailCats scored first for a second time in the double header with three runs against Wingnuts' starter Justin Klipp in the top of the second.  Ryan Babineau drew a leadoff walk and scored on a triple to left-center from Fronk.  Kolb knocked in Fronk with a line drive single to left and scored three batters later on a two-out, RBI double down the left field line from Ryan Brockett.

The Wingnuts responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning.  With runners on first and second and one out, Johnny Bowden lined a triple to center field that boucned past a sliding Martinez to drive in two runs.  Khoury tied the game with a two-out, RBI double down the left field line.

Klipp took the loss, allowing seven runs, five earned, on five hits in three-plus innings.  Klipp walked five and struck out none.

Stephen Hiscock earned the win for Gary SouthShore, allowing four earned runs on eight hits in six innings.  Hiscock walked none and struck out three.

With hits in both ends of the double header, Nieves has hit safely in eight games in a row.

The series concludes Thursday night at 7:05 p.m.  Anthony Capra takes on right-hander Billy Spottiswood.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Tuesday's Game Postponed, Double Header Wednesday

WICHITA, KS- Tuesday's game between the Wichita Wingnuts and Gary SouthShore RailCats has been postponed due to inclement weather.

The game will be made up Wednesday evening as part of a double header beginning at 5:05 p.m.  Both games are scheduled for seven innings.  Chris Smith is scheduled to pitch the opener for Wichita while Justin Klipp is slated for the nightcap.

It will be the Wingnuts' fourth double header of 2013, and the third necessitated by weather.  The team record for double headers in one season is six (2008).

Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

'Nuts Fans Attempt to Break World Record

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts will attempt to break the world record for largest game of "Duck-Duck-Goose" on Saturday, August 24th when the team faces the Grand Prairie AirHogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

The world record attempt is part of the Wingnuts' "Ducked Dynasty" promotion and will take place on-field at the conclusion of the game.  All fans are invited to participate and can pick up a numbered wristband near the first base entrance immediately following the last pitch.  According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the current benchmark is 2,165 participants.  The first 500 fans in attendance receive a duck call, courtesy of the Midwest Huntfest.

All children who participated in the Wingnuts' annual summer reading program receive free admission to the game on the 24th.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

The Wingnuts begin a six-game homestand this evening with a double header against the Gary SouthShore RailCats.  First pitch for game one is set for 5:05 p.m.  Tickets dated for either Tuesday, August 13th or Wednesday, August 14th will be honored for both games.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Rodriguez Tabbed Batter of the Week

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

WICHITA, KS- Wichita Wingnuts' designated hitter John Rodriguez has been named the American Association's Batter of the Week for August 5th-11th.

In seven games last week, Rodriguez was 12 for 27 (.444) with three home runs and 13 RBI.  The left-handed hitting slugger had at least one RBI in all seven contests and helped the Wingnuts go 6-1 to close out their 16-game road trip.  Rodriguez has driven in a run in each of his last nine games overall (18 total RBI).

Rodriguez entered Monday tied for fourth in the American Association in batting average (.337), tied for fifth in home runs (17), and second in RBI (74).  The 35-year-old Rodriguez is in his second season with the Wingnuts and owns the franchise's career RBI record (155).

Rodriguez is the Winguts' fourth Batter of the Week honoree this season and the sixth player to earn league accolades.

2013 Wingnuts American Association Honors
OF Jared McDonald - Batter of the Week (May 27th-June 2nd)
OF David Amberson - Batter of the Week (June 10th-16th)
1B C.J. Ziegler - Batter of the Week (June 24th-30th)
RHP Chris Smith - Pitcher of the Week (July 15th-21st)
LHP Ryan Hinson - Pitcher of the Month (June)
DH John Rodriguez - Batter of the Week (August 5th-11th)

The Wichita Wingnuts open a three-game series against the Gary SouthShore RailCats on Tuesday night.  First pitch at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium is 7:05 p.m.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Wingnuts Finish Successful Road Trip With Win

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

LITTLE FALLS, NJ- The Wichita Wingnuts (55-26) beat the Can-Am League's New Jersey Jackals (40-38) 7-5 at Yogi Berra Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Jared McDonald 

Tied at 3-3 in the top of the sixth, Abel Nieves led off with a line drive single to left field.  Cole Armstrong followed with an 11-pitch walk to put runners on first and second.  Two batters later, Jared McDonald bounced a single through the right-side to score Nieves with the go-ahead run.  Armstrong took third on Ryan Khoury's foul flyout down the right field line and scored the Wingnuts' fifth run on a wild pitch from Jackals' starter Wes Roemer.

The wild pitch came during an at bat to Jake Kahaulelio.  Following a called strike on a 2-1 pitch in the same at bat, Kahaulelio and all three members of Wichita's coaching staff were ejected by the umpiring crew.  Jonathan Davis finished Kahaulelio's at bat and lined a single to left that chased home McDonald to make it 6-3.

New Jersey rallied for two runs in the bottom of the sixth.  Danny Rams doubled home Nick Giarraputo to cut Wichita's lead to 6-4.  Later in the inning, Jeremy Barnes drew a bases loaded walk against Nick Walters to pull the Jackals within one run.  Walters escaped the inning when Brandon Jones hit into a fielder's choice with the bases loaded.

Jared McDonald hit a solo home run to right-center in the top of the eighth to give the Wingnuts an insurance run.  On the previous pitch, McDonald just missed a home run down the right field line that was ruled foul.

Josh Dew struck out two in the bottom of the ninth to earn his 21st save, which set a new Wingnuts' single-season record.

Josh Stone picked up the win for Wichita, allowing five earned runs on eight hits over five and one-third innings.  Stone walked three and struck out two.

Roemer took the loss, allowing six earned runs on six hits in five and two-thirds.  Roemer walked five and struck out two.

Wichita took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third.  McDonald and Khoury hit back-to-back singles to open the inning.  After a wild pitch moved runners to second and third, Kahaulelio brought in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly to right-center.  Rodriguez then drove in Khoury from third with a groundball to second.  Rodriguez has drive in a run in eight consecutive contests.

The Jackals responded with three runs in the bottom of the third.  Jose Cuevas and Gaetano Giunta started the inning with singles.  Two batters later, Barnes lined a single to left that scored Cuevas.  Brandon Jones tied the game with an RBI double down the right field line.  Bryan Sabatella made it 3-2 New Jersey on a groundout to shortstop.

McDonald tied the game with a groundout to first in the top of the fourth.

McDonald finished with three hits, three runs, and three RBIs.  Daniel Bennett and Lincoln Holdzkom each worked a scoreless inning of relief.  Armstrong drew three walks.

The Wingnuts finish their 16-game road trip with a record of 11-5, including a 9-1 mark against the Can-Am League.

Wichita takes Monday off and returns to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Tuesday when they open a three-game series against the Gary SouthShore RailCats.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Wingnuts Split Well-Pitched Double Header

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

LITTLE FALLS, NJ- The Wichita Wingnuts (54-26) split a double header with the Can-Am League's New Jersey Jackals (40-37) at Yogi Berra Stadium on Saturday night, dropping the opener 3-1 and winning the nightcap 2-1.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper

In the second game, Anthony Capra turned in a great effort, allowing one earned run on four hits over seven innings to notch the win.  Capra walked three, struck out seven, and retired the final nine batters to face him.  Capra has allowed five or fewer hits in 10 of 13 starts this season.

Josh Dew worked a scoreless bottom of the seventh to earn his 20th save and tie a Wingnuts' single-season record.  Dew stranded the tying and winning runs on base when Brandon Jones flied out to center field to end the game.  Byron Embry saved 20 games for Wichita in 2008.  Dew also had 20 in 2011.

John Rodriguez helped Wichita erase a 1-0 deficit with a two-run home run to right-center field in the top of the fourth inning.

New Jersey's only run of game two came on a two-out, RBI single to left from Bryan Sabatella in the bottom of the third.

Jackals' starter Brandon Moore took a complete game loss, allowing two earned runs on six hits over seven innings.  Moore walked two and struck out eight.

In the opener, Jackals' starter Jon Lucas held the Wingnuts to one run over six and one-third innings to earn the win.

With runners on second and third and two out in the bottom of the third, Nick Giarraputo blooped a single to shallow right field that scored Jeremy Barnes and Bryan Sabatella with the game's first runs.  Both runs in the inning were unearned against Wingnuts' starter Junior Guerra.

Jake Kahaulelio led off the top of the fourth with a triple to right-center and scored on a groundball to second from John Rodriguez.

Cody Johnson lined a solo home run to right-center leading off the bottom of the fourth to provide the game's final margin.

Guerra took a tough, complete game loss, allowing three runs, one earned, on eight hits in six innings.  Guerra walked one and struck out 10, tying a career-high set last Sunday at Newark.

Lucas walked one and struck out four en route to the win.

Rodriguez's 12-game hitting streak came to an end in the opener.

The series concludes Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. Central Time.  Josh Stone faces right-hander Wes Roemer.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Tuesday, August 13th when they host the Gary SouthShore RailCats.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Friday's Game Postponed

LITTLE FALLS, NJ- Friday's game between the Wichita Wingnuts and New Jersey Jackals has been postponed due to inclement weather.

The game will be made up as part of a double header on Saturday, August 10th beginning at 3:00 p.m. Central Time.  Both games are scheduled for seven innings.

Junior Guerra will face right-hander Jon Lucas in the opener.  Anthony Capra takes on right-hander Brandon Moore in the nightcap.  All the action can be heard on www.wichitawingnuts.com

The Wingnuts return home on Tuesday, August 13th when they host the Gary SouthShore RailCats.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Wingnuts Break Three Records for Eighth Straight Win

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

POMONA, NY- The Wichita Wingnuts (53-25) won their eighth consecutive game on Thursday night, beating the Can-Am League's Rockland Boulders (38-37) 9-6 at Provident Bank Park.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and CJ Ziegler 

Wichita set three franchise home run records in the game.  C.J. Ziegler cracked his 22nd of the year in the top of the fourth to set a single-season mark.  Wichita belted six home runs as a team, which is a new franchise-best for a single game.  The six home runs also gave the Wingnuts 88 for the season, passing their team single-season mark of 86 set in 2009.

For a second straight night, John Rodriguez helped the Wingnuts get off to a quick start.  With Jake Kahaulelio on the first base with one out in the opening inning, Rodriguez clocked a two-run homer to deep right field that gave Wichita a 2-0 lead.

Cole Armstrong led off the top of the second with a home run.  Armstrong hooked a line drive just fair inside the right field foul pole to make it 3-0.

In the top of the third, Ryan Khoury drew a two-out, bases loaded walk to force in the Wingnuts' fourth run.

Rockland scratched out a run in the bottom of the third to cut the Wingnuts' lead to 4-1.  Donnie Webb led off with a double to right-center and went to third on a bunt single from Danny Bomback.  Jerod Edmondson drove in Webb on a fielder's choice groundball to first base.

Ziegler's fourth-inning home run came with one out on a high line drive to left-center.  Kelly Hunt and Greg Porter tied for the previous team record with 21 home runs in 2009.

Rockland scored three times in the bottom of the fourth to pull within one run.  With two outs and no one on base, Jaren Matthews doubled to left-center.  After Scott Knazek walked, Matt Nandin, Webb, and Bomback hit consecutive RBI singles.  Wingnuts' starter Justin Klipp then retired Edmondson on a groundball to first to end the inning and keep the Wingnuts in front.

In the top of the sixth, Rodriguez drew a one-out walk.  Two batters later, Brent Clevlen smacked an opposite field home run to right-center that made it 7-4.

Clevlen and Abel Nieves hit back-to-back home runs in the top of the ninth inning to stretch the lead to 9-4.

Klipp earned the win, allowing four earned runs on eight hits in six innings.  Klipp walked two and struck out four.  It marked the first time in 11 starts this season that Klipp has walked more than one batter.

Charlie Law started and took the loss for Rockland.  Law allowed five earned runs on five hits in four innings. Law walked eight and struck out none.

Nick Walters and Andrew Aizenstadt each worked a scoreless relief inning for Wichita.

Rockland's final two runs came on back-to-back two-out, RBI hits from Edmondson and Angel Molina in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The Wingnuts start the final leg of their 16-game road trip on Friday against the Can-Am League's New Jersey Jackals.  First pitch at Yogi Berra Stadium is at 6:05 p.m. Central Time.  Junior Guerra starts against Jackals' right-hander Jon Lucas.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Tuesday, August 13th when they host the Gary SouthShore RailCats.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Wingnuts Smash Boulders

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

POMONA, NY- The Wichita Wingnuts (52-25) won their seventh game in a row on Wednesday night, beating the Can-Am League's Rockland Boulders (38-36) 15-3 at Provident Bank Park.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Madison Beaird 

Chris Smith earned his eighth win of the season with seven dominant innings.  Smith allowed two earned runs on just two hits and retired the final 13 batters to face him.  Smith walked two and struck out four.

Trailing 2-1 in the top of the third, Wichita took the lead for good with three runs.  John Rodriguez singled up the middle leading off and took second when C.J. Ziegler walked.  Brent Clevlen tied the game with a double to left that scored Rodriguez.  Two batters later, Cole Armstrong gave the Wingnuts a 3-2 lead with a groundball to second.  Madison Beaird capped the inning with a two-out, RBI double to left-center.

In the top of the fifth, Jake Kahaulelio singled through the left side with one out.  Rodriguez then hit a groundball along the first base line that was fielded by Boulders' relief pitcher Marcos Frias.  Frias threw the ball towards a vacated first base bag which put runners second and third.  Ziegler made it 5-2 with a groundout to third base while Clevlen knocked in the Wingnuts' sixth run with an RBI infield single to shortstop.

Wichita broke the game wide open in the top of the sixth.  The Wingnuts scored eight runs on seven hits and sent 14 batters to the plate.  Beaird singled up the middle to start the rally and went to second on a walk to Jared McDonald.  Ryan Khoury lined a hit-and-run single to left that drove in Beaird.  After Kahaulelio was retired, Rodriguez lifted a two-run double to left-center that scored McDonald and Khoury to make it 9-2 in favor of Wichita.

Walks to Ziegler and Clevlen loaded the bases.  Abel Nieves ushered in Rodriguez with an infield single.  Armstrong then pulled an RBI single through the right side to increase the Wingnuts' lead to 11-2.  With the bases still loaded, Beaird ripped a two-run double down the right field line.  Three batters later, Kahaulelio finished the eight-run outburst with a line drive single to left.

McDonald drew a bases loaded walk in the top of the sixth to account for the Wingnuts' final run.

Ryan Scoles worked the final two innings for the Wingnuts to close out the win.  Scoles allowed an unearned run in the eighth when Danny Bomback doubled home Donnie Webb.

Rodriguez hit a two-out, solo home run in the top of the first inning to give Wichita a 1-0 lead.

With two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the third, Webb walked and scored the tying run on a double to left from Bomback.  Jerod Edmondson gave the Boulders a brief 2-1 lead with a line drive single to left-center.

Rockland starter Bo Budkevics took the loss, allowing four earned runs on seven hits in four innings.  Budkevics walked two and struck out one.

All 11 of Wichita's position players reached base at least once, while eight had at least one hit.  Beaird and Rodriguez had four hits each.  Rodriguez scored four runs and has now hit safely in 11 games in a row.  Kahaulelio extended his hitting streak to nine games.

The four-game series concludes Thursday at 6:00 p.m. Central Time.  Justin Klipp starts for the Wingnuts.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Tuesday, August 13th when they host the Gary SouthShore RailCats.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Wingnuts Clinch Fifth Winning Season for Hooper

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

POMONA, NY- The Wichita Wingnuts (51-25) beat the Can-Am League's Rockland Boulders (38-35) 7-5 at Provident Bank Park on Tuesday afternoon.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Nick Walters 

With 51 victories, the Wingnuts clinched a fifth consecutive winning season under fifth-year manager Kevin Hooper.  Hooper entered the day with the most wins and the highest winning percentage of any manager in the American Association since taking over in 2009.

For a fourth time in five games, the Wingnuts managed a comeback in the later innings.  Trailing 4-3 in the top of the eighth, Wichita plated four runs to take their first lead of the day.  Abel Nieves struck an opposite field double to right-center with one out to put the tying run on base.  Madison Beaird followed with a line drive single to left that put runners on the corners.  Cole Armstrong then delivered a pinch-hit RBI single through the left side that tied the game at 4-4.  After Jared McDonald singled to load the bases, Ryan Khoury was hit by a pitch to force home the go-ahead run.  Two batters later, John Rodriguez extended the lead to 7-4 with a two-run single up the middle.

Rockland scratched out their final run in the bottom of the eighth inning.  Angel Molina led off with a double and scored on consecutive groundballs from Stephen Cardullo and Billy Alvino.

Josh Dew struck out two during a perfect bottom of the ninth to lock down his 19th save of the year.  Dew is one save shy of tying the Wingnuts' single-season record.  Dew, who saved 20 games in 2011, shares the record with Byron Embry (2008).

Rockland jumped out to an early lead when Jerod Edmondson hit a two-run home run to right-center in the bottom of the first inning against Wingnuts' starter Josh Stone.

The Boulders tacked on another run in the second on a Donnie Webb groundout to first with the bases loaded.

Trailing 3-0 in the top of the third, McDonald homered on a high flyball to right-center to pull the Wingnuts within two.

Edmondson led off the bottom of the third with a triple to center field and scored two batters later on Cardullo's RBI double down the left field line.

Brent Clevlen tripled off the top of the left-center field wall with one out in the top of the fourth.  Nieves followed with an RBI double to right-center that cut Rockland's lead to 4-2.

The Wingnuts scored their third run in the top of the seventh.  With two outs and no one on base, Jake Kahaulelio came back from an 0-2 count to walk.  Rodriguez followed with a single to center field.  Kahaulelio and Rodriguez engineered a double steal with Kahaulelio scoring on a throwing error from Boulders' catcher Scott Knazek.

Nick Walters earned the win in relief with a perfect bottom of the seventh.  Marcos Frias took the loss for Rockland, allowing four earned runs in one-third of an inning in the eighth.

Stone took a no-decision, allowing four earned runs on five hits in five innings.  Stone walked three and struck out one.

Pat Moran started for Rockland and also took a no-decision.  Moran allowed three runs, two earned, on eight hits over seven innings.  Moran walked four and struck out six.

Daniel Bennett worked a scoreless relief inning for Wichita.  Eight different Wingnuts had at least one hit in the win.  Kahaulelio, Rodriguez, Nieves, and McDonald each had multiple hits.  Wichita stole five bases in the win and has stolen nine bases over the last two games.

The series continues Wednesday evening at 6:00 p.m. Central Time.  Chris Smith takes the mound for the Wingnuts.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Tuesday, August 13th when they host the Gary SouthShore RailCats.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Wingnuts Take Opener From Rockland

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

POMONA, NY- The Wichita Wingnuts (50-25) won their fifth game in a row on Monday night, beating the Can-Am League's Rockland Boulders (38-34) 4-1 at Provident Bank Park.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Anthony Capra 

Anthony Capra and three Wingnuts' relievers combined on a five-hitter.  Capra earned the win, allowing one earned run on three hits over six innings.  Capra walked three and struck out seven.

Wichita scored twice in the top of the seventh inning to break a 1-1 tie.  John Rodriguez drew a leadoff walk against Boulders' reliever Dan Sausville.  With Rodriguez in motion, C.J. Ziegler crushed a double to straightaway center field to drive in the lead run.  Three batters later, Cole Armstrong plated Ziegler with a double to left-center that made it 3-1.

In the top of the eighth, Ryan Khoury singled through the left side leading off.  After Jake Kahaulelio flied out to right field, Rodriguez ripped a triple down the right field line to score Khoury.

Nick Walters worked a scoreless seventh in relief of Capra while Andrew Aizenstadt had a scoreless bottom of the eighth.

Josh Dew pitched a shutout bottom of the ninth to earn his 18th save of the year.

Wichita jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth.  Jared McDonald and Khoury opened the inning with singles.  Two batters later, Rodriguez pulled a single to right that scored McDonald.

Rockland tied the game in the bottom of the fifth.  Matt Nandin led off with a single to left.  Nandin went to second on Steve Nyisztor's sacrifice bunt, stole third base, and scored on a sacrifice fly from Danny Bomback.

Nathaniel Roe started for the Boulders and took a no-decision.  Roe allowed one earned run on six hits in five innings pitched.  Roe walked four and struck out four.

Sausville took the loss in relief for Rockland.

All nine of the Wingnuts' starters reached base at least once.  Seven different Wingnuts had at least one hit.  Khoury, Rodriguez, Ziegler, and McDonald had multi-hit games.  Abel Nieves had an 11-game hitting streak snapped.  The win marked the fourth time this season Wichita has won five or more games in a row.

Game two of the series is Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m. Central Time.  Josh Stone makes his first professional start for the Wingnuts.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Tuesday, August 13th when they host the Gary SouthShore RailCats.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Wingnuts Badger Bears in Newark

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

NEWARK, NJ- The Wichita Wingnuts (49-25) beat the Can-Am League's Newark Bears (23-48) 13-5 at Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium on Sunday evening.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

The Wingnuts scored three runs in the top of the fifth to take a 4-2 lead.  Jonathan Davis drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches from Bears' starter Joe Testa.  After Ryan Khoury walked, Jake Kahaulelio ripped a double down the left field line to score Davis with the tying run.  John Rodriguez followed with a line drive single to left that scored Khoury to make it 3-2 Wichita.  With runners on first and third and one out, Rodriguez stole second base.  Kahaulelio scored from third when Bears' catcher Sandy DeLeon threw to second.

The Wingnuts added four in the top of the seventh.  Khoury singled to left, moved to second on a walk to Kahaulelio, and advanced to third when Rodriguez reached on an error by shorstop Bridger Hunt.  Damian Seguin relieved Testa and allowed a sacrifice fly to C.J. Ziegler that made it 5-2.  Clevlen capped the inning with a three-run home run to left-center.

Khoury and Kahaulelio opened the top of the eighth with back-to-back singles.  After Rodriguez was robbed by Bears' center fielder Trent Wilkins on a deep drive to left-center, Ziegler cleared the bases with a three-run home run.  It was Ziegler's 21st home run of the season, tying a Wingnuts' single-season record held by Kelly Hunt and Greg Porter who each hit 21 in 2009.  Cole Armstrong and Jared McDonald added two-out, RBI hits later in the eighth to stretch the lead to 13-2.

Newark scored two in the bottom of the eighth and one in the ninth before Ryan Scoles struck out Sean O'Hare with the bases loaded to close out the win.

Wander Nunez hit a two-out, two-run double to right-center in the bottom of the first to give the Bears an early 2-0 advantage.

Rodriguez homered on a line drive to right-center in the top of the third to get Wichita on the board at 2-1.

Junior Guerra earned the win for the Wingnuts, allowing two earned runs on eight hits over seven innings.  Guerra walked two and struck out a career-high 10 batters.

Testa took the loss, allowing seven earned runs on six hits over six-plus innings.  Testa walked six and struck out five.

All nine of Wichita's starters reached base at least once, while eight collected at least one hit.  Davis reached base five times with three walks and two hit batsmen.  Khoury and Kahaulelio each scored three runs.  Khoury, Kahaulelio, Rodriguez, Clevlen, and Abel Nieves all had multi-hit games.

The Wingnuts travel to Pomona, NY for a four-game series against the Rockland Boulders beginning Monday night.  First pitch at Provident Bank Park is 6:00 p.m. Central Time.  Anthony Capra starts for the Wingnuts.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Tuesday, August 13th when they host the Gary SouthShore RailCats.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Clutch Wingnuts Strike Late Again

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

NEWARK, NJ- The Wichita Wingnuts (48-25) beat the Can-Am League's Newark Bears (23-47) 9-2 at Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium on Saturday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Abel Nieves 

Wichita engineered a late comeback for a second straight night, scoring three times in the top of the eighth to erase a 2-1 deficit.  Jake Kahaulelio hit a one-out, solo home run to deep left field to tie the game at 2-2.  John Rodriguez followed with a line drive single to left and took second two batters later when Brent Clevlen walked.  Abel Nieves gave Wichita its first lead with a line drive single to right that plated Rodriguez with the go-ahead run.  Nieves' ball skipped by Bears' right fielder Jonny Kaplan and allowed Clevlen to score from first base to make it 4-2.

Lincoln Holdzkom relieved Wingnuts' starter Justin Klipp in the bottom of the eighth and struck out two during a scoreless inning to keep the lead intact.

Wichita scored five runs in the top of the ninth for a second straight night to break the game open.  Walks to Madison Beaird, Ryan Khoury, and Jake Kahaulelio loaded the bases with one out.  Beaird scored on a wild pitch thrown by reliever Steve Merslich.  After Brian Parker relieved Merslich, Rodriguez singled up the middle through a drawn-in infield to score Khoury and Kahaulelio.  C.J. Ziegler hit a towering, two-run home run on the next pitch to make it 9-2.  It was Ziegler's 20th home run of the year, making him the third player in franchise history to reach 20 homers in a single season.  The team record is 21, held by both Kelly Hunt and Gret Porter in 2009.

Daniel Bennett threw a perfect bottom of the ninth on just six pitches to close out the game.

Newark took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth.  Richard Arias hit a ground rule double down the right field line and took third on Jonny Kaplan's groundball to second.  Ernie Banks Jr. drove in Arias with a line drive single to left.

Trent Wilkins drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the fifth, took second on Sandy DeLeon's grondball to the mound, and scored two batters later on a line drive single to center from Bridger Hunt.

Wichita cut the lead in half in the top of the sixth when Rodriguez sliced a solo home run to left-center.

Klipp earned the win, allowing two earned runs on six hits over seven innings.  Klipp walked one and struck out three.

Fray Martinez took the loss in relief for Newark, allowing three runs, two earned, on three hits in the top of the eighth.

Bears' starter Leondy Perez took a no-decision, allowing one earned run on three hits in seven innings.  Perez walked four and struck out 11.

Rodriguez had three hits, three runs scored, and three RBI for Wichita.

The series concludes Sunday evening at 5:00 p.m. Central Time.  Junior Guerra faces left-hander Joe Testa.  The Bears have not announced their starting pitcher.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Tuesday, August 13th when they host the Gary SouthShore RailCats.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Stunning Ninth Lifts Wingnuts in Newark

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

NEWARK, NJ- The Wichita Wingnuts (47-25) beat the Can-Am League's Newark Bears (23-46) 10-8 in 10 innings at Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium on Friday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

The Wingnuts scored five runs in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game before plating two in the 10th to take the lead.  The five runs matched the largest ninth-inning deficit overcome in franchise history.

John Rodriguez opened the ninth with an infield single and came home when C.J. Ziegler lined a home run to left-center field.  Brent Clevlen followed with a double to left-center.  Abel Nieves cut Newark's lead to 8-6 with a triple off the right-center field fence.  After Cole Armstrong was retired by new reliever Jorge Vasquez, Madison Beaird drew a pinch-hit walk to put the tying runs on base.  Jared McDonald bounced a single through the right side that scored Nieves and moved Beaird to third.  Ryan Khoury lifted a sacrifice fly to left that tied the game.

Andrew Aizenstadt worked around a leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth to keep the game tied.  Armstrong started a key double play in the inning on a bunt attempt from Sean O'Hare.

In the top of the 10th, Ziegler singled to center with one out.  Two batters later, Nieves reached on an infield single.  With runners on first and second and two outs, Armstrong ripped a line drive single to right that drove in Ziegler with the go-ahead run.  After Sergio Espinosa relieved Vasquez, Beaird doubled to deep left field to drive in Nieves and make it 10-8.

Josh Dew struck out the side in the bottom of the 10th to earn his 17th save.

Aizenstadt earned the win in relief while Vasquez took the loss.

Wichita took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.  Jake Kahaulelio singled through the left side with one out and eventually scored on a wild pitch from Bears' starter Adam Gabel.

Newark scored four times in the bottom of the third to take a 4-1 lead.  Trent Wilkins drew a leadoff walk and went to second on Travis Weaver's sacrifice bunt.  Weaver reached first on an error.  After Bridger Hunt flied out to right field, Wander Nunez tied the game with a double down the left field line.  Jonny Kaplan made it 2-0 with a single to left-center.  Kaplan went to second on Ernie Banks' grondout to third.  Kyle Lafrenz drove in Nunez and Kaplan with a groundball single to left field.

McDonald doubled leading off the top of the fourth and scored two batters later on a single to right from Kahaulelio.

Wichita cut the lead to 4-3 in the top of the sixth on a Jonathan Davis solo home run to left-center.  The home run was Davis' first career professional hit.

Newark scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh to re-extend the lead to 8-3.  Hunt, Kaplan, Lafrenz, and Sandy DeLeon had RBIs in the inning.

Chris Smith started for the Wingnuts and took a no-decision.  Smith allowed eight runs, five earned, on nine hits over seven innings.  Smith walked one and struck out seven.

Gabel also took a no-decision, allowing three earned runs on eight hits in six innings.  Gabel walked three and struck out one.

10 different Wingnuts had at least one hit, while seven scored at least one run.  Kahaulelio, Ziegler, Clevlen, Nieves, and McDonald all had multi-hit games.  Daniel Bennett worked a scoreless relief inning for Wichita.

Game two of the three-game series is Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. Central Time.  Justin Klipp starts for the Wingnuts.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Tuesday, August 13th when they host the Gary SouthShore RailCats.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Win Final Game in El Paso

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

EL PASO, TX- The Wichita Wingnuts (46-25) defeated the El Paso Diablos (22-47) 11-9 at Cohen Stadium on Wednesday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and John Rodriguez

Wichita scratched out a run in the top of the first inning on an Abel Nieves bases loaded walk and held the lead through the end of the night.

In the top of the second, Jared McDonald drew a one-out walk and advanced to second when Diablos' starter Kevin Cooper balked.  Two batters later, Jake Kahaulelio lined a single to center that scored McDonald and made it 2-0.  Kahaulelio went to third on John Rodriguez's hit-and-run single through the left side.  C.J. Ziegler and Brent Clevlen followed with back-to-back RBI singles.

McDonald plated Madison Beaird with a sacrifice fly to center field in the top of the third to stretch Wichita's lead to 5-0.

The Diablos scored three unearned runs against Wingnuts' starter Anthony Capra in the bottom of the third.  With first and second and one out, Jose Garcia doubled down the right field line to drive in Maikol Gonzalez.  Welington Dotel followed with an RBI groundout to second that brought in Oscar Mesa.  Garcia scored the third run of the inning on Anthony D'Alfonso's RBI single to left.

Wichita responded with four runs in the top of the fourth.  With the bases loaded and no outs, Nieves singled up the middle to score Rodriguez and Ziegler.  Clevlen went to third on Nieves' base hit and was awarded home plate when center fielder Gabriel Suarez's throw bounced into the third base stands.  Bowden drove in Nieves two batters later with a line drive double down the left field line.

Ziegler hit an RBI double in the top of the fifth that scored Kahaulelio with the Wingnuts' 10th run.

Juan Apodaca's RBI double in the bottom of the fifth and Garcia's two-run double in the bottom of the sixth helped the Diablos cut the lead to 10-6.

El Paso scored three two-out runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to pull within one before Josh Dew struck out pinch hitter Sergio Burruel with the bases loaded to end the inning.

Kahaulelio hit a two-out, solo home run down the left field line in the top of the ninth to provide the Wingnuts with an insurance run at 11-9.

Dew retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth to finish the four-out save.

Capra earned the win for the Wingnuts, allowing six runs, three earned, on seven hits over five and one-third innings.  Capra walked three and struck out six.

Cooper took the loss, allowing seven runs, six earned, on six hits in three-plus innings.  Cooper walked five and struck out two.

Andrew Aizenstadt worked one and two-thirds scoreless relief innings for Wichita.  For a second straight night, all nine of Wichita's starters reached base at least once.  Kahaulelio finished with four runs scored.  Kahaulelio, Rodriguez, Ziegler, and Clevlen all had multiple hits.

The Wingnuts travel east for the final 10 games of their 16-game road trip.  Wichita opens a three-game series against the Can-Am League's Newark Bears on Friday, August 2nd.  First pitch at Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. Central Time.  Chris Smith starts for Wichita.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Tuesday, August 13th when they host the Gary SouthShore RailCats.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Early Deficit Too Much For Wingnuts

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

EL PASO, TX- The Wichita Wingnuts (45-25) lost 10-5 to the El Paso Diablos (22-46) at Cohen Stadium on Tuesday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

El Paso scored seven runs in the bottom of the first and held off a strong charge by the Wingnuts during the middle innings.  Two walks and a single loaded the bases with no outs against Wingnuts' starter Ryan Scoles.  After Anthony D'Alfonso struck out looking, Juan Apodaca singled home Maikol Gonzalez and Oscar Mesa with the game's first runs.  A throwing error moved Jose Garcia to third and sent Apodaca to second.  Sergio Burruel followed with a line drive single to center that scored two more to make it 4-0.  A Gabrial Suarez single and a walk to Jonathan Cisneros re-loaded the bases.  Burruel was forced out at home plate when Devin Thaut grounded into a fielder's choice.  Gonzalez capped the inning with a two-out, three-run double to right-center.

The Wingnuts began to chip away in the top of the second.  C.J. Ziegler doubled to left-center leading off and took third on a groundball to shortstop from Brent Clevlen.  Abel Nieves singled up the middle to bring in Ziegler with the Wingnuts' first run.  Madison Beaird singled to left to put runners on first and second.  After Johnny Bowden was retired on a deep flyball to right, Jared McDonald ripped a two-run double to right-center that cut El Paso's lead to 7-3.

Bowden led off the top of the fourth with a double to left-center and scored three batters later on a popfly single to left from Jake Kahaulelio.

Clevlen led off the top of the fifth with a solo home run to pull the Wingnuts within 7-5.

El Paso re-extended the lead with three runs in the bottom of the sixth.  An infield single from Gonzalez led to a pair of throwing errord that scored Suarez.  Garcia added a two-run single with the bases loaded later in the frame.

Scoles took the loss, allowing eight earned runs on six hits in five-plus innings.  Scoles walked six and struck out three.

Jesse Estrada earned the win for El Paso, allowing five earned runs on nine hits over five innings.

All nine of Wichita's starters reached base at least once, while eight had at least one hit.  Rodriguez, Clevlen, Nieves, and Bowden all had multi-hit nights.

The series concludes Wednesday night at 8:05 p.m. Central Time.  Anthony Capra faces right-hander Austin Carden.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Tuesday, August 13th when they host the Gary SouthShore RailCats.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Diablos Sneak Past Wingnuts in Ninth

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

EL PASO, TX- The Wichita Wingnuts (45-24) lost 8-7 to the El Paso Diablos (21-46) at Cohen Stadium on Monday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

El Paso scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning.  With the bases loaded and one out in a 7-7 game, Jonathan Cisneros hit a sharp groundball at Wingnuts' second baseman Jake Kahaulelio.  The ball took a bad hop and deflected off Kahaulelio's body before falling into shallow right field for the game-winning hit.

Wichita rallied from a 7-5 deficit over the seventh and eighth innings to tie the game.  In the seventh, John Rodriguez doubled to right-center field with one out.  After C.J. Ziegler walked, Brent Clevlen singled through the left side to cut the lead to 7-6.

Jared McDonald led off the top of the eighth with a single to right, stole second base and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly to center from Rodriguez.

El Paso jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first.  With the bases loaded and one out, Juan Apodaca singled up the middle to drive in Oscar Mesa and Jose Garcia.  Sergio Burruel followed with a line drive single down the left field line that brought in Anthony D'Alfonso.

The Wingnuts chipped away with a run in the top of the third.  Ryan Khoury doubled to left-center, took third on a Kahaulelio single, and scored on a fielder's choice by Rodriguez.

Clevlen drew a leadoff walk in the top of the fourth.  Abel Nieves singled through the right side to move Clevlen to second.  Cole Armstrong's hit-and-run groundball put runners on second and third.  Jonathan Davis collected his first career RBI with a groundball to shortstop that scored Clevlen.

Wichita went in front with a three-run top of the fifth.  Kahaulelio doubled to left-center with one out and scored the tying run when Rodriguez tripled to right-center.  Ziegler gave Wichita a 4-3 lead with a sacrifice fly to right.  Clevlen followed with a line drive home run to straightaway center field that cleared Cohen Stadium's 20-foot fence.

El Paso scored four times in the bottom of the sixth.  Gabriel Suarez doubled home the tying runs on a line drive to left-center.  Devin Thout and Garcia added RBI singles in the inning to give the Diablos their second lead of the night.

Lincoln Holdzkom took the loss for Wichita.  Marshall Schuler earned the win for El Paso.

Junior Guerra took a no-decision for the Wingnuts, allowing six earned runs on eight hits in five-plus innings.  Guerra walked three and struck out three.

Carlos Teller started for El Paso and also took a no-decision.  Teller allowed five earned runs on eight hits in four and two-thirds.  Teller walked three and struck out four.

Andrew Aizenstadt worked two scoreless relief innings for Wichita.  Kahaulelio finished with four hits, while Rodriguez had three RBI.  All nine of Wichita's starters reached base at least once.

The series continues Tuesday night at 8:05 p.m. Central Time.  Ryan Scoles starts for Wichita.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Tuesday, August 13th when they host the Gary SouthShore RailCats.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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AirHogs Win Rubber Game Over Wingnuts

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

GRAND PRAIRIE, TX- The Wichita Wingnuts (45-23) lost 7-3 to the Grand Prairie AirHogs (36-30) at QuikTrip Park on Sunday evening.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper

Andres Rodriguez hit a two-out, three-run home run in the bottom of fifth inning to give the AirHogs a 5-3 lead.  Brandon Pinckney started the rally with a two out walk and went to third on Brian Myrow's double into the right field corner.

Walks to Myrow and Rodriguez in the bottom of the seventh led to a two-out, two-run single to left from Austin Newell that broke the game open at 7-3.

With runners on first and second and one out in the bottom of the second, Rian Kiniry doubled to right-center to score Newell with the game's first run.  Ryan Pineda followed with a sacrifice fly to left field that made it 2-0.

Wichita responded in the top of the third.  Ryan Khoury singled to left leading off and eventually scored on a two-out, line drive single to left from C.J. Ziegler.

The Wingnuts took the lead in the fourth.  Abel Nieves tripled to right-center leading off and scored two batters later on a triple to left-center from Madison Beaird.  Beaird scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.

Justin Klipp started and took the loss for the Wingnuts, allowing five earned runs on eight hits over four and two-thirds innings.  Klipp walked two and struck out two.

Derek Blacksher earned the win for Grand Prairie, allowing three earned runs on seven hits in six innings.  Blacksher walked two and struck out four.

Nick Walters and Andrew Aizenstadt each worked a scoreless inning of relief for Wichita.

The Wingnuts head to El Paso and open a three-game series against the Diablos on Monday night at 8:00 p.m. Central Time.  Junior Guerra starts for Wichita.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Tuesday, August 13th when they host the Gary SouthShore RailCats.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Clevlen, Nieves Lead Late Comeback

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

GRAND PRAIRIE, TX- The Wichita Wingnuts (45-22) beat the Grand Prairie AirHogs (35-30) 4-3 at QuikTrip Park on Saturday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Chris Smith 

Down to their final four outs of the game, the Wingnuts rallied for two runs in the top of the eighth inning to retake the lead.  With no one on base, C.J. Ziegler drew a four-pitch walk against AirHogs' reliever David Quinowski.  Brent Clevlen followed with a triple to left-center field that scored Ziegler with the tying run.  Abel Nieves put Wichita in front with a sharp, groundball single to center field.

Lincoln Holdzkom struck out the side during a scoreless bottom of the eighth to preserve the lead.

Josh Dew worked a perfect bottom of the ninth to lock down his 15th save of the year.

Grand Prairie rallied for three two outs runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh before the Wingnuts went back in front.  With the Wingnuts leading 2-0, Palmer Karr Jr. drew a two-out walk with no one on base.  Karr scored on Austin Newell's pinch-hit double down the left field line.  After Bubba Dotson was hit by a pitch, Angel Flores tied the score at 2-2 with a single through the left side.  Rian Kiniry followed with a line drive single down the right field line that scored Dotson with the lead run.  On the same play, Wichita retired the side when Ziegler threw Flores out at the plate during a rundown.

Wichita scored the first run of the game in the top of the fourth inning.  Clevlen and Nieves drew back-to-back walks with one out and then executed a double steal of second and third.  Cole Armstrong brought in Clevlen with a groundball to third base.

Jake Kahaulelio tripled to left-center with two outs in the top of the fifth.  John Rodriguez followed with an RBI single up the middle that made it 2-0.

Nick Walters earned the win in relief for the Wingnuts, while Quinowski took the loss.

Chris Smith started for Wichita and took a no-decision.  Smith allowed three earned runs on just four hits over six and two-thirds innings.  Smith walked two and struck out four.

Gabriel Garcia started for the AirHogs and also took a no-decision.  Garcia allowed two earned runs on three hits in four and two-thirds innings.  Garcia walked four and struck out two.

The series concludes Sunday evening at 6:05 p.m.  Justin Klipp faces former Wingnuts' right-hander Derek Blacksher.  Blacksher entered 2013 as the Wingnuts' all-time leader in wins and strikeouts.  Both records were broken this season by Ryan Hinson.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Tuesday, August 13th when they host the Gary SouthShore RailCats.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Wingnuts Fall Short in Grand Prairie

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

GRAND PRAIRIE, TX- The Wichita Wingnuts (44-22) lost 3-2 to the Grand Prairie AirHogs (35-30) at QuikTrip Park on Friday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper

AirHogs' left fielder Bubba Dotson hit a two-out, two-run home run to right field in the bottom of the sixth inning that gave Grand Prairie a 3-2 lead.

Five AirHogs relievers combined on three shutout innings to close out the win.  Patrick Mincey threw a scoreless top of the ninth to earn the save.

Wichita jumped on the board early against AirHogs' starter Josh Strawn.  Ryan Khoury led off the game with a ground rule double, took third on an infield single from Jake Kahaulelio, and scored on a John Rodriguez groundball double play to second.  After there were two outs and no one on base, C.J. Ziegler, Brent Clevlen, and Abel Nieves hit consecutive singles to make it 2-0.

Wingnuts' starter Anthony Capra pitched four scoreless innings before allowing a two-out, RBI single to Brandon Pinckney in the bottom of the fifth that cut Wichita's lead in half.

Capra took a no-decision, allowing one earned run on three hits over five frames.  Capra walked three and struck out seven.

Boomer Potts earned the win in relief for the AirHogs, while Daniel Bennett took the loss for Wichita.

Strawn also took a no-decision, allowing two earned runs on six hits in five innings.  Strawn walked three and struck out two.

Wichita left 10 runners on base in the loss.  Khoury and Ziegler each had two hits.  Nick Walters pitched one and one-third scorless relief innings.  Andrew Aizenstadt also had a scoreless inning from the bullpen.

The series continues Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.  Chris Smith takes the mound for Wichita.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Tuesday, August 13th when they host the Gary SouthShore RailCats.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Wingnuts Ready for Long Trip

By Jeremy Deckard, Wingnuts' Media Correspondent

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

When the NBC World Series comes to Wichita it means just two words for the Wichita Wingnuts: "road trip."

The Wingnuts just wrapped up a six-game homestand, and now load the bus for Texas for a 16-game, 17-day road trip that also includes a flight to the east coast.

It’s a trip that fifth-year manager Kevin Hooper is familiar with and understands the importance of.

“You have to keep things light and loose and stay focused.  In the past we’ve been able to come home for a day and relax before heading back out, but that’s not the case this year.  It will be by far our longest trip ever,” Hooper said

The trip starts with six games in Texas--three against Grand Prairie and three against El Paso.  The team will catch a flight from El Paso to New York's LaGuardia Airport for 10 games against the Can-Am League's Newark Bears, Rockland Boulders, and New Jersey Jackals.  The trip will span approximately 4,633 travel miles by the time the team returns home on August 12th.

“It’s a grinder.  There’s no way around it.  It’s a long trip.  We just have to find a way to enjoy ourselves.  I try to pick my spots on when to take 'BP'.  We will get through it.  We have to keep the prize in sight, and that’s to make the playoffs.  This trip is just another part of achieving that goal,” Hooper said.

One benefit for this year's Wingnuts is that there are several veteran players who have made the long trip in previous seasons.

Shortstop Ryan Khoury is one of those veterans who experienced the trip in 2012.

“Obviously we made the trip last year and we just try to approach each game--home or away--the same.  We have a good core of guys who have been around for a while, and a nice blend of new guys to go with them.  It should be a fun trip,” Khoury said.

Wingnuts' closer Josh Dew has made the trip twice and is very familiar with the impact it can have on the standings.

“The goal is to stay above .500.  It’s not easy to win on the road, so we’ll just go out and do our best to try to win,” Dew said.

Starter Chris Smith felt that more important than the number of wins earned on the trip was for the team to remain healthy during the five-city excursion.

“You want to come back healthy.  We’ll be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel when we return and you want to be healthy enough to make a solid final push,” Smith said.

The Can-Am League clubs play in Newark, NJ, Pomona, NY, and Little Falls, NJ.  Rockland is second in the Can Am League with a 33-29 record.  New Jersey is a perennial contender and ranks third at 31-31.

Smith who has experienced long flights at the Triple-A and Major League levels is very excited about playing the east coast portion of the trip.

“It’s going to feel good to get back on that plane again.  It will be interesting to see how we play teams not from our league, especially on the east coast.  The east coast just brings something out of a ball player.  It’s a different atmosphere and different weather,” said Smith.

Another individual excited about the trips to New York and New Jersey is Bronx, NY native John Rodriguez.

“We’re going to New Jersey where we haven’t played yet and back to my home town in New York.  It will be great to show them around and play teams that we haven’t played against.  It’s not like we’re going somewhere for the second or third time already, so it should be fun,” Rodriguez said.

The Wingnuts have returned home with a winning record on the trip in each of Kevin Hooper's first four seasons as manager.  Wichita was 9-7 on the trip in 2009, 7-5 in 2010, 7-6 in 2011, and 9-6 in 2012.

The Wingnuts open a three-game series at Grand Prairie on Friday night.  First pitch at QuikTrip Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Tuesday, August 13th when they host the Gary SouthShore RailCats.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Kahaulelio, Guerra Help Wingnuts Win Two

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (44-21) picked up two victories over the Amarillo Sox (33-28) at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Wednesday night, winning 8-4 in the continuation of Tuesday's suspended game, and then 4-1 in Wednesday's originally scheduled contest.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Jake Kahaulelio 

Tuesday's game re-started in the top of the seventh inning with the score tied 4-4.  Nick Walters and Daniel Bennett combined for three perfect relief innings.

In the bottom of the ninth, Madison Beaird reached on a bunt single and advanced to second on a sacrifice from Jared McDonald.  McDonald was safe at first when Sox' reliever Kristhiam Linares attempted to force out Beaird at second base.  Ryan Khoury beat out a sacrifice attempt to load the bases with no outs.  Jake Kahaulelio won the game with a grand slam home run down the left field line.  It was the first walk-off grand slam in team history, and the Wingnuts' first walk-off home run since June 2nd, 2012.

Walters earned the win in relief, while Linares took the loss.

In the nightcap, Junior Guerra fired seven shutout innings to earn the win.  Guerra allowed seven hits, three walks, and struck out seven.

Khoury led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run to left field and the Wingnuts led through the end of the game.

With second and third and two outs in the bottom of the third, Abel Nieves singled up the middle to score John Rodriguez and Brent Clevlen to make it 3-0.

Guerra worked out of a bases loaded jam with no outs in the top of the fourth, and escaped first and second with no outs in the fifth.

Wichita drew four consecutive walks with two outs in the bottom of the eighth to scratch across their final run.  C.J. Ziegler picked up an RBI.

Lincoln Holdzkom worked a scoreless top of the eighth, while Josh Dew recorded the final three outs in the ninth.

Wichita drew nine walks in the win.  All nine starters reached base at least once.

Brad Wilson took the loss for Amarillo, allowing three earned runs on eight hits in six and two-thirds innings.  Wilson walked four and struck out three.

The Wingnuts begin their annual NBC road trip this Friday at Grand Prairie.  First pitch at QuikTrip Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

This year's trip runs 16 games over 17 days and totals 4,633 miles from start to finish.  The Wingnuts play at Grand Prairie and El Paso before traveling to the east coast to face the Can-Am League's Newark Bears, Rockland Boulders, and New Jersey Jackals.

The Wingnuts return home on Tuesday, August 13th when they host the Gary SouthShore RailCats.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts and Sox Suspended Due to Storm

Photo Credit: Abbygail Wells 

WICHITA, KS- Tuesday night's game between the Wichita Wingnuts and Amarillo Sox has been suspended with the score tied 4-4 after six full innings due to inclement weather.

The game will resume in the top of the seventh inning on Wednesday evening at 6:00 p.m.  Wednesday's regularly scheduled game is still set for nine innings.  Tickets from Tuesday night will be honored on Wednesday, and can be used for both contests.

The Wingnuts jumped on the board in the bottom of the first inning.  Jake Kahaulelio reached on an infield single, stole second base, and scored on a base hit through the right side from John Rodriguez.

With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the second, Ryan Khoury made 2-0 on a fielder's choice groundball to shortstop that brought in Abel Nieves.

K.C. Serna cut Wichita's lead in half in the top of the third with a two-out, RBI single to shallow center.

Rodriguez beat out an infield single leading off the bottom of the third and scored three batters later when Nieves tripled to right-center.

Khoury lifted a sacrifice fly to center in the bottom of the fourth to make it 4-1 Wichita.

Joe Weik hit a two-out, three-run home run to left-center in the top of the fifth that tied the game.

Wingnuts' starter Justin Klipp allowed four earned runs on six hits over six innings.  Klipp walked one and struck out three.

Sox' starter Jason Johnson also allowed four earned runs over six.  Johnson gave up seven hits, walked zero, and struck out one.

Both Klipp and Johnson are officially still in the game.

The Wingnuts conclude their series against Amarillo on Wednesday night with the completion of Tuesday's supsended game.  Action resumes in the top of the seventh at 6:00 p.m.  The regularly scheduled nine-inning game will follow with Junior Guerra taking on left-hander Kristhiam Linares.  Tickets from Tuesday's suspended game will be honored for both of Wednesday's games.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Smith Tabbed as Pitcher of the Week

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

WICHITA, KS- Wichita Wingnuts' starting pitcher Chris Smith has been named the American Association's Pitcher of the Week for July 15th-21st.

Smith was 2-0 with a 0.61 ERA in two starts last week.  On July 15th, Smith tossed eight shutout innings and struck out nine during the Wingnuts' 2-0 win at Sioux City.  It marked the fifth consecutive start in which the right-hander pitched at least seven full innings.  In yesterday afternoon's win versus Lincoln, Smith held the Saltdogs to just one earned run on three hits.  The Apple Valley, CA native struck out a season-high 12 batters, one shy of tying a Wingunts' single-game record.

Smith is 7-3 in 12 starts this season with a 3.40 ERA.  The 32-year-old Smith ranks tied for fourth in the American Association in wins, ninth in ERA, and second in strikeouts (81).  Smith has allowed three or fewer earned runs in nine of 13 starts and has walked three or fewer in 12 of them.

Smith becomes the fifth Wingnuts' player to earn league honors this season.

2013 Wichita Wingnuts League Awards
OF Jared McDonald - Batter of the Week (May 27th-June 2nd)
OF David Amberson - Batter of the Week (June 10th-16th)
1B C.J. Ziegler - Batter of the Week (June 24th-30th)
LHP Ryan Hinson - Pitcher of the Month (June)
RHP Chris Smith - Pitcher of the Week (July 15th-21st)

The Wingnuts open a three-game series tonight against the Amarillo Sox.  First pitch at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  Ryan Scoles faces right-hander Joe Newby.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Add K-State Star Davis

Photo Credit: Big12Sports.com

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts added two players to their roster on Monday, signing rookie outfielder Jonathan Davis and acquiring catcher Johnny Bowden from the United League's Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings in exchange for cash.

Davis recently completeed his college career at Kansas State University where he helped the Wildcatds reach the 2013 NCAA Super Regionals.  The Juneau, AK native hit .302 with 49 runs scored, 14 doubles, five home runs, 42 RBI, and 10 stolen bases in 63 games played as a senior this past spring.  A switch-hitter, Davis batted .316 as a junior in 2012 and also spent one season at Cal State Fullerton.

Bowden hit .318 with 22 runs scored, seven doubles, and nine RBI in 39 contests for Rio Grande Valley.  A right-handed hitter and fielder, Bowden also drew 33 walks against just 28 strikeouts, and posted a .490 on-base percentage.  Bowden split the 2011 season in the American Association with the Kansas City T-Bones and Gary SouthShore RailCats.  The Orange, CA native has thrown out 29% of opposing base stealers in his career.  Bowden was originally drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 41st round in 2007 out of the University of Southern California.

Both Davis and Bowden are in Wichita's starting lineup tonight.

To make room, the Wingnuts released catcher Scott Dalrymple and placed outfielder David Amberson on the Inactive List retroactive to July 18th due to injury.

The Wingnuts open a three-game series against the Amarillo Sox tonight at 7:05 p.m.  Ryan Scoles faces right-hander Joe Newby.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Sox Blank Wingnuts in Series Opener

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (42-21) lost 4-0 to the Amarillo Sox (33-26) at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Monday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

The Sox scored the first run of the game in the top of the third inning.  Jason Martin drew a leadoff walk against Wingnuts' starter Ryan Scoles and took second on K.C. Serna's groundout to third.  After Joe Weik struck out, Jorge Delgado lined a single to center field that plated Martin.

In the top of the fourth, Chris Valencia hit a leadoff single to right field.  Brandon Jones took Valencia's place on first after grounding into a fielder's choice.  Trey Ford followed with a line drive, two-run homer to left-center that made it 3-0.

Scoles took the loss, allowing three earned runs on four hits in five innings.  Scoles walked four and struck out two.

Serna singled home Ford with two outs in the top of the sixth for the game's final run.

Amarillo starter Joe Newby earned the win with eight-plus shutout innings.  Newby allowed five hits, walked three, struck out three, and threw 135 pitches.

Nick Walters, Daniel Bennett, and Andrew Aizenstadt each worked a scoreless inning of relief.

Game two of the three-game series is Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m.  Justin Klipp faces right-hander J.J. Mitchell.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Smith Fans 12 in Wingnuts Victory

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (42-20) beat the Lincoln Saltdogs (34-28) 4-1 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Madison Beaird 

In a matchup of two former Major League teammates, Wingnuts' starter Chris Smith bested Mike Burns.  Smith struck out a season-high 12 batters and allowed one earned run in six and two-thirds innings.  Smith walked one and allowed just three base hits.

Wichita jumped on Burns early with four consecutive singles to open the bottom of the first inning.  Ryan Khoury reached on an infield single to shorstop and took second base on a throwing error by Yasel Gomez.  Khoury scored on Jake Kahaulelio's line drive single to left.  Kahaulelio stole second and went to third on John Rodriguez's groundball single through the left side.  C.J. Ziegler followed with an RBI single to left that scored Kahaulelio with the Wingnuts' second run.

Gomez hit a solo home run down the left field line in the top of the fifth to account for Lincoln's only run of the game.

Wichita responded in the bottom of the fifth when Madison Beaird doubled off the right-center field wall for his first professional hit.  Beaird took third on Jared McDonald's bunt single and scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly to left from Kahaulelio.

Beaird tripled down the left field line with one out in the bottom of the seventh.  McDonald made it 4-1 Wichita with a sacrifice fly to center field.

Smith struck out multiple batters in six different innings, and struck out the side in the top of the fourth.

Burns took the loss, allowing four earned runs on seven hits in seven innings.  Burns struck out four and did not issue a walk.

Andrew Aizenstadt, Lincoln Holdzkom, and Josh Dew combined for two and one-third scoreless relief innings.  Dew struck out two in the top of the ninth and earned his 14th save of the year.

The Wingnuts open a three-game series against the Amarillo Sox on Monday night.  First pitch at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium is 7:05 p.m.  Ryan Scoles starts for Wichita.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Saltdogs Hold Down Wingnuts

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (41-20) lost 5-1 to the Lincoln Saltdogs (34-27) at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Saturday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper

Lincoln scored four times in the top of the third to take control of the game.  Walks to Mike Coles, Curt Smith, and Ian Gac helped load the bases with one out.  Jon Gaston broke a scoreless tie with a two-run double to left-center field.  Matt Forgatch followed with a two-run triple to right-center that made it 4-0.

Wichita scratched out its lone run in the bottom of the sixth inning.  John Rodriguez drove in Jared McDonald with a two-out, infield single that deflected off the glove of Lincoln starter Pete Parise.

Ian Gac's RBI infield single with two outs in the top of the ninth accounted for Lincoln's final run.

Parise earned the win, allowing one earned run on eight hits over seven innings.  Parise walked one and struck out four.

Anthony Capra started for the Wingnuts and took the loss, allowing four earned runs on three hits in five innings of work.  Capra walked six and struck out eight.

Josh Stone, Daniel Bennett, and Lincoln Holdzkom each threw a scoreless inning of relief.  Rodriguez and C.J. Ziegler each had multi-hit games for the Wingnuts.  Cole Armstrong singled in the bottom of the seventh and has hit safely in seven in a row.

The series concludes on Sunday afternoon at 3:16 p.m.  Chris Smith faces Lincoln right-hander Mike Burns.  The two veterans were teammates on the Milwaukee Brewers in 2009.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Streak Ends as Late Rally Falls Short

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (41-19) had their 13-game winning streak come to an end on Friday night in a 6-5 loss to the Lincoln Saltdogs (33-27) at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

Wichita rallied from deficits of 5-0 and 6-2 over the final two innings to bring the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth.  Trailing 5-0 in the eighth, Jake Kahaulelio singled on a hard groundball to center field.  John Rodriguez followed with a colossal home run to straightaway center field that cut the Saltdogs' lead to 5-2.

Lincoln added a run in the top of the ninth on an RBI single to center from Mike Coles.

In the bottom of the final inning, Ryan Khoury laid down a bunt single with one out.  Kahaulelio then reached on an infield single that struck third base umpire Brock Ballou.  With runners on first and second, Rodriguez pulled a line drive, three-run homer to right-center that pulled the Wingnuts within one run.  Lincoln closer R.J. Rodriguez relieved Conor Spink and retired C.J. Ziegler and Brent Clevlen to earn the save.

Tyler Goodro gave Lincoln an early 1-0 lead with a sacrifice fly to center in the top of the second.

David Espinosa hit a two-run triple to right-center in the top of the fifth that made it 3-0.  Espinosa scored Lincoln's fourth run on a third strike to Curt Smith that resulted in a wild pitch.

Ian Gac made it 5-0 Saltdogs with a solo home run to left-center in the top of the eighth.

Lincoln starter Travis Parker earned the win.  Parker threw five shutout innings on three hits, walked three, and struck out one.

Junior Guerra started for the Wingnuts and took the loss.  Guerra allowed four earned runs on seven hits over seven innings.  Guerra walked two and struck out five.

The Wingnuts and Saltdogs play game three of their four-game series Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.  Anthony Capra faces right-hander Pete Parise.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts' Winning Streak Hits Lucky 13

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (41-18) won their 13th consecutive game on Thursday night, beating the Lincoln Saltdogs (32-27) 4-3 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Lincoln Holdzkom 

Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning, John Rodriguez doubled home Jake Kahaulelio from first base with the tying run.  On the next pitch, C.J. Ziegler ripped a double down the left field line that gave the Wingnuts a 4-3 lead.

Wingnuts' starter Justin Klipp earned the win, allowing three earned runs on eight hits over six and two-thirds innings.  Klipp struck out six and did not issue a walk.

Nick Walters relieved Klipp in the top of the seventh with the tying run on third base and two outs.  Walters struck out Stephen Douglas on three consecutive sliders to end the inning and keep Wichita in front by one run.

Andrew Aizenstadt kept the lead intact through the top of the eighth, striking out Brian Wuest to strand the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position.

Lincoln Holdzkom pitched a scoreless top of the ninth to earn the save.  Holdzkom struck out Douglas for the final out of the game and stranded the tying run on first.  It was Holdzkom's first save since July 25th, 2007 while pitching for the Double-A Eastern League's Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox).

Curt Smith hit a two-out, RBI double in the top of the first to give Lincoln an early 1-0 lead.

Wichita tied it in the bottom of the second.  Brent Clevlen drew a one-out walk and went to second on a groundball to second base from Abel Nieves.  Cole Armstrong pulled a single to right field that scored Clevlen with the Wingnuts' first run.

Ziegler led off the bottom of the fourth with a double and was followed by Clevlen who drew another walk.  Ziegler and Clevlen pulled off a double steal of third and second respectively with Ziegler eventually scoring on a groundout to second from Armstrong.

Mike Coles hit a two-out, two-run homer down the left field line in the top of the fifth to give the Saltdogs a brief 3-2 lead.

Lincoln starter Stephen Bougher took the loss, allowing four earned runs on six hits over seven innings.  Bougher walked two and struck out three.

Rodriguez's double in the bottom of the fifth moved him past Josh Horn (2009-11) for the most RBI in franchise history (126).

The Wingnuts and Saltdogs continue their series on Friday night at 7:05 p.m.  Junior Guerra starts for Wichita.  Travis Parker makes a spot start for the Saltdogs.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Win Twelfth Straight

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

SIOUX CITY, IA- The Wichita Wingnuts (40-18) set a franchise record with a 12 consecutive win, beating the Sioux City Explorers (23-34) 12-5 at Lewis and Clark Park on Tuesday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and CJ Ziegler 

With two outs and no one on base in the top of the first inning, John Rodriguez singled through the right side.  C.J. Ziegler followed with a two-run home run to left-center field that just cleared the fence.

Abel Nieves lined a single to center leading off the second and advanced to second two batters later when Colt Loehrs drew a walk.  Jared McDonald made it 3-0 with a line drive single to center that scored Nieves.  After Ryan Khoury lined out to right field, Jake Kahaulelio sliced a double inside the right field line to score two more runs.

With two outs and no one on base in the top of the fourth the Wingnuts loaded the bases on a Kahaulelio single and back-to-back walks to Rodriguez and Ziegler.  Brent Clevlen was hit by a pitch to force home Wichita's sixth run of the game.

Sioux City scored three times in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead in half.  Adrian Martinez hit a two-run home run to left field, while Bryan Pounds added a two-out, RBI double to center later in the inning.

Wichita answered back with four runs in the top of the sixth.  With the bases loaded and one out, Loehrs and McDonald hit back-to-back RBI singles to stretch the lead to 8-3.  Khoury forced home another run with a bases loaded walk.  Loehrs scored the final run of the inning on a wild pitch.

Alberto Espinosa singled home a run in the bottom of the sixth to cut the lead to 10-4.  Gilbert Briones followed with a bases loaded walk.

Cole Armstrong lifted a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh to increase Wichita's lead to 11-5.  Ziegler added a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth to provide the game's final margin.

Ryan Scoles earned the win for the Wingnuts, allowing three earned runs on seven hits in five innings.  Scoles walked one and struck out two.

Andy Noga took the loss for the Explorers, allowing six earned runs on seven hits in three and two-thirds innings.  Noga walked four and struck out three.

All nine of Wichita's starters reached base at least once, while eight collected at least one hit.  Josh Stone, Lincoln Holdzkom, and Andrew Aizenstadt each worked a scoreless inning of relief.  Kahaulelio and Nieves each had three hits.

The Wingnuts return home on Thursday, July 18th when they open a four-game series against the Lincoln Saltdogs.  Justin Klipp is scheduled to start for the Wingnuts.  Lincoln goes with right-hander Stephen Bougher.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Facing Scary Batters and Sitting Them Down

By Jeremy Deckard, Wingnuts' Media Correspondent

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

Pete Vuckovich played intimidating hitter “Haywood” in the movie Major League.

In that same film, Dennis Haysbert played the voodoo baseball bat-wielding tough guy Pedro Serrano, before becoming the ever relaxing person of reassurance in Allstate Insurance commercials.

Every pitcher has faced a guy at the plate that intimidates them more than an extreme couponer scares cashiers on triple-coupon day.  Whether it’s the 14-year-old slugger with a mustache and chest hair, or a 500-home run hitting future Hall of Famer, Wichita Wingnuts' pitchers have faced their fair share of intimidating hitters.

Starter Chris Smith has logged the most major league time of anyone on the Wingnuts' roster.  He spent parts of three of his 11 professional seasons playing in the Majors with the Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers.  He also had pitched at the Triple-A level for six seasons.  It would figure that he would have at least one batter that scarred him like a loan-shark in a dark alley.

“Carlos Lee is a big guy who takes up the whole box, front-to-back, and side-to-side.  It seemed like no matter where you threw it, it was just down the middle for him.  He was tough guy for me to get out,” Smith said.

Former Oakland A’s farm hand Anthony Capra’s choice for most intimidating foe made sense.  He chose a guy that had been dominating and intimidating American League West Division pitchers for the last six years.  Capra’s pick was former Texas Rangers All-Star and current Los Angeles Angel Josh Hamilton.

“Josh Hamilton because he takes up the whole batter’s box and hits balls 9,000 feet.  He is an intimidating guy in the box,” Capra said.

Wingnuts’ reliever Daniel Bennett has been outstanding for Wichita this season.  Bennett pitched for the Detroit Tigers' organization and this season has 39 strikeouts in 30.0 innings pitched.  None of those strikeouts compare to the one he had against another former Rangers' slugger who is now preparing to make his 2013 MLB debut after finishing a rehab assignment.

“I faced Alex Rodriguez last year.  Just knowing his history is pretty intimidating.  I only faced him once, but I struck him out looking,” Bennett said.

Last season Nick Walters tied the American Association record for appearances, as he pitched in 57 games.  Walters remembers an appearance against a tough right-handed slugger who currently calls Turner Field in Atlanta his home park.

“I faced Justin Upton in spring training down in Tucson.  He’s a big boy and is right on the plate.  I got him out, but he hit it about 500 feet into the air.  He has quick hands,” Walters said.

Wichita closer Josh Dew’s choice of a scary opponent played in Wichita’s Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in 2006 and 2007.

“I faced Kila Ka’aihue in Double-A.  He is just a big lefty, and I was having trouble with lefties at the time.  He’s a big power and RBI guy who was intimidating,” Dew said.

Ka’aihue played two seasons for the Wichita Wranglers and would also play for the Kansas City Royals.

Wichita starter Justin Klipp remembered his biggest challenge at the plate coming during his years at the collegiate level.  Klipp and Tampa Bay Rays' all-star third baseman Evan Longoria played key roles in the historic rivalry between Cal-State Fullerton and Long Beach State.

“I struck out Evan Longoria and that was tough because of the situation.  There were runners on first and second with one out, and I came into the ninth inning in a 2-2 game.  It was against our college rivals and I struck out back-to-back hitters and one of them just happened to be Longoria,” Klipp said.

The best description of the toughest batter faced came from young Josh Stone.  Stone is a true rookie who just finished his college career at Tabor College in Hillsboro, KS.

“My best friend in high school was tough for me to face because I just could not take him seriously when I faced him,” Stone said.

There are lots of reasons batters can be intimidating at the plate.  They may crowd it.  They may look like they could eat it, or as Stone says, because of their very presence you just can’t focus when facing them.

The Wingnuts starting rotation and bullpen have very seldom been phased this season by American Association hitters.  The Wichita pitching staff continues to be among the league leaders in wins, fewest hits allowed, strikeouts, and team ERA.

The Wingnuts return home on Thursday, July 19th when they host the Lincoln Saltdogs.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Tie Franchise Record Winning Streak

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

SIOUX CITY, IA- The Wichita Wingnuts (39-18) tied a franchise record with their 11th consecutive win on Monday night, blanking the Sioux City Explorers (23-33) 2-0 at Lewis and Clark Park.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Josh Dew

The shutout was the Wingnuts' seventh as a team this season.

Chris Smith led Wichita with eight scoreless innings on just 95 pitches.  Smith scattered four hits, walke only one, and tied a season-high with nine strikeouts.  Smith retired nine batters in a row at one point, and 13 of 14 from the third inning into the seventh.  Smith allowed just two runners past second base and retired the leadoff hitter in all eight innings that he started.

The Wingnuts broke a scoreless tie in the top of the sixth inning.  Jake Kahaulelio walked with one out and took second on a groundball single to right field by John Rodriguez.  C.J. Ziegler followed with a single to right that scored Kahaulelio.

Wichita plated an insurance run in the top of the ninth.  Abel Nieves drew a one-out walk and went to third when Cole Armstrong doubled off the right-center field wall.  David Amberson executed a safety squeeze bunt to the right side of the infield that brought in Nieves.

Josh Dew struck out two during a perfect bottom of the ninth inning to earn his 13th save.

Richard Salazar took the loss for Sioux City, allowing one earned run on four hits in seven innings.  Salazar walked three and struck out five.

Ziegler, Rodriguez, and Nieves each finished with two hits.  Both pitching staffs retired the leadoff hitter in every inning.

The series and road trip conclude on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m.  Ryan Scoles faces fellow true rookie Andy Noga.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Thursday, July 18th when they host the Lincoln Saltdogs.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Capra Dominates as Wingnuts Solve Jarvis

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

SIOUX CITY, IA- The Wichita Wingnuts (38-18) beat the Sioux City Explorers (23-32) 7-2 at Lewis and Clark Park on Sunday evening.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Anthony Capra 

The Wingnuts have won 10 games in a row, which now stands as the second-longest winning streak in franchise history.  The team record is 11 straight wins set last year.

Anthony Capra had a dominant performance, striking out a season-high 11 batters.  Capra allowed two earned runs on four hits over six innings to pick up the win.  Capra walked three.  The left-hander retired 10 of the final 11 batters to face him.

Wichita broke through against Explorers' starter Jason Jarvis in the top of the second.  With second and third and two outs, Jared McDonald battled Jarvis for nine pitches, including three consecutive foul balls with a full count.  On the ninth pitch of the at bat, McDonald slugged a three-run home run to right-center field for the game's first runs.

Sam Judah hit a two-out, solo home run to left in the bottom of the second, but the Wingnuts re-extended the lead in the top of the fourth.  Jake Kahaulelio was hit by a pitch leading off.  John Rodriguez followed with a long, two-run home run to left-center that opened up a 5-1 lead.

Sioux City's final run came in the bottom of the fourth when Bryan Pounds walked with the bases loaded and two outs.

Wichita scored their sixth run in the top of the fifth inning on a C.J. Ziegler double play with first and third and no outs.  Anthony Kaskadden's throwing error on a Rodriguez groundball to second led to Wichita's final run in the top of the ninth.

Josh Stone, Lincoln Holdkom, and Daniel Bennett combined for three shutout relief innings in support of Capra.

Jarvis took the loss, allowing six earned runs on eight hits over seven innings.  Jarvis walked three and struck out three.  In his previous three outings against the Wingnuts, Jarvis had thrown three complete games without allowing an earned run.  Each effort halted a Wingnuts' winning streak of five or more games.

The road series continues Monday night at 7:05 p.m.  Chris Smith faces left-hander Richard Salazar.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Thursday, July 18th when they host the Lincoln Saltdogs.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Sweep, Winning Streak Hits Nine

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

KANSAS CITY, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (37-18) beat the Kansas City T-Bones (19-36) 4-2 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark on Saturday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper

The Wingnuts have won nine games in a row, tying the second-longest winning streak in frahcise history.

For a second time in three nights, the Wingnuts held the T-Bones to two base hits.  Junior Guerra earned the win, allowing two unearned runs over seven innings.  Guerra gave up two hits, walked three, and tied a career-high with nine strikeouts.

Trailing 2-0 in the top of the sixth, Jake Kahaulelio lined a single to center field.  Kahaulelio took second on a passed ball and went to third on an infield single from John Rodriguez.  Two batters later, Brent Clevlen smashed a double down the left field line that deflected off the glove of T-Bones' third baseman Matt Padgett and pulled the Wingnuts within one run.  With Rodriguez now on third and Clevlen on second, Abel Nieves lined a single to left-center that plated both runners and made it 3-2 Wichita.

Rodriguez doubled to left-center leading off the top of the eighth and scored on a base hit to left-center from C.J. Ziegler.

Guerra retired the final seven batters he faced while Nick Walters and Daniel Bennett combined on a scoreless eighth.

Josh Dew recorded a scoreless bottom of the ninth to earn his 12th save.  Dew has earned the save in each of Wichita's last three games.

Kansas City jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth, scoring two unearned runs with two outs on a wild pitch that resulted in a throwing error.

Dustin Loggins took the loss for Kansas City, allowing three earned runs on four hits in six innings.  Loggins walked four and struck out four.

The Wingnuts stole four bases in the game, including two from Jared McDonald.

Wichita heads to Sioux City for a three-game series on Sunday.  First pitch at Lewis and Clark Park is at 6:05 p.m.  Anthony Capra starts against Sioux City right-hander Jason Jarvis.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Thursday, July 18th when they host the Lincoln Saltdogs.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts' Winning Streak Reaches Eight

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

KANSAS CITY, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (36-18) beat the Kansas City T-Bones (19-35) 8-3 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark on Friday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Brent Clevlen 

The Wingnuts have won eight games in a row, tying the third-longest winning streak in franchise history.

Wichita overcame a 1-0 deficit in the top of the fourth and never trailed the rest of the night.  C.J Ziegler drew a leadoff walk and went to third when Brent Clevlen doubled down the left field line.  Abel Nieves tied the game on a groundball to second that scored Ziegler and advanced Clevlen to third.  After Cole Armstrong was retired, Colt Loehrs slugged a two-out, RBI double off the left field wall to give Wichita a 2-1 lead.

The Wingnuts broke the game open with a five-run top of the fifth in which nine men came to the plate.  Ryan Khoury and Jake Kahaulelio opened the inning with back-to-back walks.  A wild pitch put Khoury on third and Kahaulelio on second.  Two batters later, Ziegler was intentionally walked.  With the bases loaded and one out, Ethan Cole relieved Kansas City starter Aaron Meade.

Brent Clevlen lined a single to left-center against Cole that scored Khoury and Kahaulelio to make it 4-1.  Nieves followed with a double down the right field line that scored Ziegler and moved Clevlen to third.  Armstrong finished the rally with a line drive single to left that scored both Clevlen and Nieves.

Kansas City rallied for an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth, but Wingnuts' starter Justin Klipp escaped further trouble when Matt Padgett grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Kahaulelio tripled to left field with one out in the top of the ninth and scored Wichita's final run on a Ziegler sacrifice fly to deep left-center.

The T-Bones cut the lead to 8-3 on a Felix Molina RBI single in the bottom of the ninth.  Kansas City worked the bases loaded with two outs to place the tying run on deck, but Josh Dew retired Devin Goodwin on a groundout to second to end the game and earn his 11th save of the year.

Kyle Nichols drove in the game's first run with a two-out, RBI double to left in the bottom of the first.

Klipp earned the win, allowing two runs, one earned, on eight hits over eight innings.  Klipp walked one and struck out one.

Meade took the loss, allowing five earned runs on two hits in four and one-third innings.  Meade walked six and struck out three.

All nine of Wichita's starters reached base at least once.  Kahaulelio, Ziegler, and Clevlen all scored two runs.

The series concludes Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.  Junior Guerra takes on right-hander Dustin Loggins.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Thursday, July 18th when they host the Lincoln Saltdogs.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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All-Time Wins Leader Purchased by Braves

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- Wichita Wingnuts' left-handed pitcher Ryan Hinson was purchased by the Atlanta Braves' organization on Thursday afternoon.

In 10 starts this season, Hinson was 7-2 with a league-best 1.53 ERA.  Hinson also ranks seventh in the American Association with 57 strikeouts.  The 26-year-old lefty allowed two or fewer earned runs in nine of 10 starts and did not allow more than three earned runs in any of them.  Hinson was named the American Association's Pitcher of the Month for June.

"This is great news and well-deserved for 'Hinsy'," said Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper.  "He's earned this opportunity to get back to affiliated ball.  He has been a huge part of our organization for three years and we wish him nothing but the best."

A native of Rock Hill, SC, Hinson threw a complete game, six-hit shutout last Saturday versus Amarillo to become the Wingnuts' all-time leader in wins (27).  Hinson also ranks first in team history with 234 strikeouts.  During his three seasons in Wichita, Hinson was a combined 27-15 with a 3.58 ERA over 51 starts and three relief appearances.

Hinson is expected to report to the Braves' High-A Carolina League affiliate in Lynchburg, VA.

Hinson is the second player the Wingnuts have sold to a Major League organization this year and the 18th all-time.

Wingnuts Sold to Major League Organizations
OF Dustan Mohr, 2008 - Colorado Rockies
RHP Will Savage, 2010 - Los Angeles Dodgers
RHP Ben Graham, 2010 - Washington Nationals
LHP Justin Dowdy, 2010 - Tampa Bay Rays
OF Ryan Patterson, 2011 - Arizona Diamondbacks
LHP Dustin Pease, 2011 - San Diego Padres
RHP Cephas Howard, 2011 - Texas Rangers
OF Kenny Gilbert, 2011 - Chicago White Sox
OF Brent Clevlen, 2011 - Cincinnati Reds
OF Brent Clevlen, 2011 - Philadelphia Phillies
SS Jose Martinez, 2012 - Houston Astros
LHP Nate Robertson, 2012 - Toronto Blue Jays
RHP Matt Nevarez, 2012 - Tampa Bay Rays
RHP Andrew Aizenstadt, 2012 - Philadelphia Phillies
RHP James Hoyt, 2012 - Atlanta Braves
OF Adam Buschini, 2013 - San Diego Padres
RHP Jon Link, 2013 - Detroit Tigers
LHP Ryan Hinson, 2013 - Atlanta Braves

The Wingnuts play at Kansas City on Friday night at 7:05 p.m.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Thursday, July 18th when they host the Lincoln Saltdogs.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Rookie Scoles Helps Wingnuts Win Seventh Straight

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (35-18) won their seventh game in a row, beating the Kansas City T-Bones (19-34) 1-0 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Thursday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Ryan Scoles 

Five Wingnuts' pitchers, including rookie starter Ryan Scoles, combined on a two-hit shutout.

The game's only run came in the bottom of the first inning.  Jake Kahaulelio singled up the middle with one out and took second base on a wild pitch.  John Rodriguez followed with a double that landed just fair inside the left field line to score Kahaulelio.

Scoles was signed before the game after scheduled starter Ryan Hinson was purchased by the Atlanta Braves' organization.  In his professional debut, Scoles allowed just one hit, walked four, and struck out one over five-plus shutout innings to earn the win.

Scoles escaped a bases loaded jam in the top of the first when Jairo Perez lined out to deep left field.  The 25-year-old right-hander allowed just two baserunners from the second inning through the fifth.

Scoles issued back-to-back walks to Devin Goodwin and Matt Padgett to start the top of the sixth and was relieved by Daniel Bennett.  Bennett struck out Kyle Nichols and Petey Paramore before inducing a comebacker from Perez that ended the inning.

Bennett and Nick Walters combined on a scoreless top of the seventh, while Lincoln Holdzkom worked a perfect top of the eighth on eight pitches.

Josh Dew earned his 10th save of the year with a scoreless top of the ninth and stranded the tying run on second base.

Lucas Irvine took the loss for Kansas City, allowing one earned run on seven hits in seven innings.  Irvine struck out seven and walked none.

The two hits were the fewest allowed by the Wingnuts in a nine-inning game since July 13th, 2011 when three pitchers combined on a no-hitter versus Shreveport-Bossier.

Rodriguez finished the night with four hits and is two RBI shy of Josh Horn's franchise record (125).  Wichita's bullpen combined for four shutout innings for a third time in four games.

Scoles is the 30th player to make his professional debut in a Wingnuts' uniform.  The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Scoles played two seasons at Hutchinson Community College and most recently played for the Walter Johnson League's Kansas Cannons.

The four-game series shifts to Kansas City's CommunityAmerica Ballpark on Friday night at 7:05 p.m.  Justin Klipp starts for the Wingnuts.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Thursday, July 18th when they host the Lincoln Saltdogs.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingunts Win Sixth Straight

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (34-18) beat the Kansas City T-Bones (19-33) 10-4 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Wednesday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Chris Smith 

Wichita has won a season-high six games in a row.

Kansas City took an early 1-0 lead on Matt Padgett's two-out, solo home run to right-center in the top of the first, but the Wingnuts scored twice in the bottom half and did not trail the rest of the night.  Ryan Khoury drew a four-pitch leadoff walk against T-Bones' starter Connor Graham and advanced to second when Jake Kahaulelio was hit by a pitch.  John Rodriguez pulled a single to right field that scored Khoury with the tying run.  Kahaulelio went to third on Rodriguez's base hit and came home when C.J. Ziegler grounded into a double play.

With two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the second, David Amberson reached first on an infield single.  Jared McDonald lined a single to left that chased Amberson to third.  After McDonald stole second base, Amberson came home with the Wingnuts' third run on a passed ball charged to T-Bones' catcher Petey Paramore.

The team's matched runs in the fourth inning.  Felix Molina bunted for a hit with one out, stole second base, and scored on a two-out single to right from Joey Gathright that cut the Wingnuts' lead to 3-2.

In the bottom half, Cole Armstrong doubled to right-center with one out, took third on a wild pitch, and came home on McDonald's two-out, groundball single to center.

Abel Nieves drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the sixth and advanced to second when Armstrong grounded out.  Amberson dropped down a bunt single to third base that put runners on the corners with two away.  McDonald followed with a two-run double to left-center that opened up a 6-2 lead.

Devin Goodwin hit a solo home run down the left field line in the top of the seventh that made it 6-3, but the Wingnuts responded with four runs in the bottom half.  Kahaulelio led off with a double down the left field line and scored on a line drive single to left-center from Rodriguez.  After Ziegler walked, Josh Hildebrand relieved Graham.  Brent Clevlen walked to load the bases, and set up a two-run double to right-center by Nieves.  Armstrong capped the inning with a sacrifice fly to center field.

Chris Smith earned the win for the Wingnuts, allowing three earned runs on seven hits in seven innings.  Smith walked three and struck out five.  Smith has pitched seven innings or more in each of his last four starts.

Graham took the loss, allowing nine runs, eight earned, on 10 hits in six-plus innings.  Graham walked four and struck out one.

Andrew Aizenstadt worked a perfect top of the eighth for Wichita.  Kansas City scored their final run in the top of the ninth on a sacrifice fly from Goodwin.

All nine of Wichita's starters reached base at least once while eight scored at least one run.  McDonald finished with three hits and three RBI.

The Wingnuts and T-Bones play game two of their series on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m.  Ryan Hinson faces right-hander Lucas Irvine.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Grind Out Fifth Straight Win

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (33-18) beat the Amarillo Sox (29-21) 8-5 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Tuesday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Nick Walters 

The Wingnuts scored seven unanswered runs to overcome a four-run deficit and win their fifth game in a row.

Trailing 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Ryan Khoury opened the inning with a triple off the bottom of the wall down the left field line.  After Jake Kahaulelio was hit by a pitch, Kristhiam Linares relieved Sox' starter Joe Newby.  John Rodriguez cut the lead to 5-3 with a sacrifice fly to left field that was caught in foul territory.  After C.J. Ziegler walked, Josh Giles relieved Linares.  Brent Clevlen doubled down the right field line to score Kahaulelio.  With the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position, Abel Nieves was intentionally walked to load the bases.  Wichita tied the game when Cole Armstrong was hit by a pitch, and took their first lead on a sacrifice fly to center from Colt Loehrs.

Khoury bunted for a hit leading off the bottom of the eighth.  Kahaulelio followed with a line drive, two-run home run to left-center that provided the Wingnuts with two insurance runs.

Josh Dew closed out the game with a scoreless top of the ninth to earn his ninth save of the year.

Nick Walters earned the win in relief, striking out three in one and one-third scoreless relief innings.

Giles took the loss for Amarillo.

Josh Stone and Andrew Aizenstadt also had scoreless relief appearances.  Wichita's bullpen totaled four shutout innings for a second straight game.

The Sox took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the second against Wingnuts' starter Anthony Capra.  Two walks and a single loaded the bases with no outs.  Austin Gallagher drew a bases loaded walk to force home the game's first run.  K.C. Serna added a sacrifice fly to left field later in the inning.

Armstrong singled home Clevlen on a line drive to center in the bottom of the second to cut Amarillo's lead in half.

Adam De La Garza singled leading off the top of the third, took second on a wild pitch, and scored on consecutive groundballs from Chris Valencia and Joe Weik to make it 3-1 Sox.

Serna led off the fifth with a double and scored on Jason Martin's bunt single that resulted in a throwing error.  Martin took second on the same play and eventually scored on a Valencia groundout.

Clevlen was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the fifth to pull the Wingnuts within three runs.

Capra took a no-decision, allowing five runs, four earned, on five hits in five innings.  Capra walked four and struck out four.

Newby also took a no-decision, allowing four earned runs on four hits in six-plus innings.  Newby walked four and struck out four.

The Wingnuts host the Kansas City T-Bones for two games beginning Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m.  Chris Smith takes the mound for Wichita.  Kansas City goes with right-hander Connor Graham.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Rodriguez Reaches 1,500 Hits in Win

Photo Credit: Abbygail Wells

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (32-18) won their fourth game in a row on Monday night, beating the Amarillo Sox (29-20) 11-4 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Daniel Bennett 

For a third time in four games, eight different Wingnuts had at least one hit.  Wichita also hit three home runs in the victory, inlcuding a three-run shot from John Rodriguez that gave him 1,500 career base hits.

With runners on first and third and two outs in the bottom of the first inning, Brent Clevlen lined a three-run home run to left-center that put the Wingnuts in front 3-0.

Austin Gallagher hit a two-out, RBI double to right-center in the top of the second that cut the Wingnuts' lead to 3-1.

Wichita responded with three more two-out runs in the bottom half.  With two outs and no one on base, Ryan Khoury singled to right and took third on a groundball single to right from Jake Kahaulelio.  Rodriguez followed with the milestone home run on a high flyball to left-center.  The three-run homer also moved Rodriguez past the 900 RBI plateau for his 17-year professional career.

Cory Patton led off the top of the fourth with a double to left-center against Wingnuts' starter Junior Guerra.  Patton took third on a wild pitch and scored Amarillo's second run on Chris Grossman's groundout to third base.

A C.J. Ziegler single and an Abel Nieves walk in the bottom of the fifth setup a two-out, RBI single to center from Colt Loehrs that stretched Wichita's lead to 7-2.

Amarillo loaded the bases with no outs against Guerra in the top of the sixth on a hit, walk, and error.  Adam De La Garza drew a pinch-hit walk that forced home a run to make it 7-3.  Daniel Bennett relieved Guerra and retired the next three hitters in a row, limiting the Sox to just one more run.

Bennett, Lincoln Holdzkom, and Josh Stone combined for four scoreless innings without allowing a hit to finish the game.

The Wingnuts scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth without a hit to take a 9-4 lead.  Ziegler drew a bases loaded walk, while Clevlen followed with a sacrifice fly to right.

Ziegler crushed a two-run home run to deep left-center in the bottom of the eighth for the Wingnuts' final runs.

Guerra earned the win, allowing four runs, two earned, on four hits in five-plus innings.  Guerra walked four and struck out five.

Sox' starter Matt Larkins took the loss, allowing six earned runs on seven hits in four innings.  Larkins walked one and struck out four.

Kahaulelio had two hits and scored three runs.  Rodriguez, Ziegler, Clevlen, and Nieves also had multi-hit games.

The series concludes Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m.  Anthony Capra faces right-hander Joe Newby.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Wingnuts Rally in Ninth

Photo Credit: Abbygail Wells

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (31-18) defeated the Amarillo Sox (29-19) 6-5 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Jared McDonald 

Trailing 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Wingnuts scored twice against Sox' closer Erik Draxton to pull out the win.  Brent Clevlen and Abel Nieves opened the inning with back-to-back singles, giving both players three hits on the afternoon.  After Cole Armstrong laid down a sacrifice bunt to first base, David Amberson tied the game with a line drive sacrifice fly to center field.  Jared McDonald followed with a sharp, groundball single to center that drove in Nieves with the winning run.

Josh Dew earned the win in relief for the Wingnuts with one and one-third scoreless innings.  Draxton took the loss.

Amarillo scored three times with two outs in the top of the eighth to take a 5-4 lead.  With runners on first and second and two outs, Austin Gallagher chopped a single to center field that pulled the Sox within one run.  Brandon Jones followed with a two-run double to left-center.

Wichita took an early lead for a second straight night when Clevlen, Nieves and Armstrong hit consecutive one-out singles in the bottom of the second.

Amarillo took a brief 2-1 lead in the top of the third.  Trey Ford Walked leading off, took second on Jason Martin's single to right, and scored the tying run on K.C. Serna's sacrifice bunt that resulted in a throwing error by Nieves.  Chris Valencia drove in Martin with a sacrifice fly to right field before Wingnuts' starter Justin Klipp retired the next two batters to keep the Wingnuts within one.

Wichita re-gained the lead in the bottom of the inning.  With two outs and no one on base, Jake Kahaulelio reached first on a throwing error by Serna at shortstop.  After Kahaulelio took second on an errant pickoff attempt, John Rodriguez hit a two-run home run to left-center that made it 3-2 Wingunts.

Clevlen singled through the right side leading off the bottom of the fourth and scored three batters later on a two-out, RBI single to right from Colt Loehrs.

Klipp took a no-decision, allowing three runs, one earned, on seven hits in seven and one-third innings.  Klipp walked one and struck out five.

Jason Mitchell started for Amarillo and also took a no-decision.  Mitchell allowed four runs, two earned, on nine hits in seven innings.  Mitchell walked none and struck out five.

The Series continues Monday night at 7:05 p.m.  Junior Guerra starts for the Wingnuts.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Hinson Sets Wins Record With Shutout

Photo Credit: Abbygail Wells

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (30-18) shutout the Amarillo Sox (29-18) 7-0 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Saturday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Ryan Hinson 

Ryan Hinson pitched a complete game, six-hit shutout to become the Wingnuts' all-time leader in victories.  Hinson retired the leadoff man in all nine innings, and retired the first two batters in each of his first seven.  The left-hander struck out five, did not issue a walk, and lowered his ERA to a league-best 1.53.  Hinson has not allowed an earned run in his last three starts.  The complete game shutout was the first of Hinson's five-year professional career, and the first by a Wingnuts' starter since July 10th, 2011.

Wichita scored early and often against Sox' starter Jason Johnson.  Jake Kahaulelio cracked a one-out solo home run in the bottom of the first to get Wichita on the board.  John Rodriguez followed with a double off the left field wall and scored two batters later on a two-out, RBI single to right field from Brent Clevlen.

With two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the second, Jared McDonald singled through the right side and stole second base.  Ryan Khoury made it 3-0 Wichita on a flyball single to right that scored McDonald.  Khoury stole second base later in the inning to become the Wingnuts' all-time leader in steals (47).

Wichita broke the game open with a four-run bottom of the fourth.  Colt Loehrs singled to center leading off and took third on a bunt single from McDonald that resulted in a throwing error by Sox' third baseman Brandon Jones.  After Khoury walked to load the bases, Kahaulelio lined a single to center that drove in two runs.  Rodriguez and C.J. Ziegler added RBI singles that helped open a 7-0 lead.

For a second straight night, eight different Wingnuts had at least one hit, while all nine reached base at least once.  Kahaulelio, Rodriguez, Ziegler, Clevlen, Loehrs, and McDonald all had multi-hit nights.

Hinson retired 14 batters in a row from the third inning into the eighth.

Johnson took the loss, allowing seven earned runs on 12 hits in four innings.  Johnson walked one and struck out zero.

The Series continues Sunday afternoon at 3:16 p.m.  Justin Klipp takes on right-hander Jason Mitchell.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Smith's Big Effort, Hit Barrage Help Break Streak

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

GRAND PRAIRIE, TX- The Wichita Wingnuts (29-18) defeated the Grand Prairie AirHogs (26-19) 6-2 at QuikTrip Park on Friday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and John Rodriguez 

The Wingnuts scored twice in the top of the first inning to take their first lead of the series.  Ryan Khoury and Jake Kahaulelio hit back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second with no outs.  John Rodriguez lined a single to center field that scored Khoury with the game's first run.  Three batters later, Abel Nieves made it 2-0 on a fielder's choice to shortstop.

Wingnuts' starter Chris Smith took early control of the game en route to earning the win.  Smith pitched seven and two-thirds innings of one-run ball and retired the first two batters in each of his first seven frames.  Smith scattered five hits, walked four, and struck out seven.

Wichita added a run in the top of the fifth.  Khoury singled to left with one out, stole second base, and scored on a ground rule double to left from Kahaulelio.

The Wingnuts broke the game open with a three-run top of the eighth.  C.J. Ziegler, Brent Clevlen, Nieves, Cole Armstrong, and Colt Loehrs started the inning with five consecutive singles with the latter three all collecting an RBI.

Andrew Aizenstadt relieved Smith and struck out Frazier Hall with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the eighth to end a two-out threat for Grand Prairie.  The AirHogs opened the inning with back-to-back doubles from Yasutsugu Nishimoto and Ryan Pineda to score their first run.

Grand Prairie tacked on another run in the ninth on a sacrifice fly from Pineda before Josh Dew closed out the game.

Khoury, Kahaulelio, Rodriguez, Ziegler, and Nieves all had multiple hits in the win.  Eight different starters had at least one hit, while all nine reached base at least once.  The win broke an 11-game losing streak at QuikTrip Park dating back to July of 2011.

The Wingnuts return home on Saturday, July 6th when they host the Amarillo Sox at 7:05 p.m.  Ryan Hinson takes on right-hander Jason Johnson.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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AirHogs Beat Wingnuts

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

GRAND PRAIRIE, TX- The Wichita Wingnuts (28-18) lost 7-4 to the Grand Prairie AirHogs (26-18) at QuikTrip Park on Thursday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

Grand Prairie scored three runs in the bottom of the first to take an early lead.  Ryan Pineda, Brandon Pinckney, and Brian Myrow hit consecutive singles to load the bases with no outs.  Juan Richardson singled on a high bouncer to left field to score Pineda and Pinckney.  Myrow scored on a sacrifice fly to center from Kenny Held.

Abel Nieves hit a two-out solo home run to right in the top of the second to get Wichita on the board.  Ryan Khoury added a two-out solo blast to left field in the third to pull the Wingnuts within one run.

With two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the third, an Angel Flores single and back-to-back walks to Rian Kiniry and Micah Gibbs loaded the bases.  Yasutsugu Nishimoto lined a single to short center field to drive in two runs and extend Grand Prairie's lead to 5-2.

Richardson singled home Myrow in the fourth while Myrow hit an RBI single in the sixth to account for the AirHogs' final runs.

The Wingnuts added two in the top of the ninth inning on a Colt Loehrs two-run homer to left-center.

Anthony Capra started and took the loss for Wichita, allowing six earned runs on eight hits in five and one-third innings.  Capra walked four and struck out three.

AirHogs' starter Brandon Bargas picked up the win, allowing two earned runs on six hits in six innings.  Bargas walked none and struck out two.

Nick Walters struck out the side in a scoreless bottom of the seventh.  Josh Stone worked a perfect bottom of the eighth.  Khoury, Loehrs, and Brent Clevlen each finished with two hits for Wichita.

The series concludes Friday night at 7:05 p.m.  Chris Smith takes on right-hander Jorge Lugo.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Saturday, July 6th when they host the Amarillo Sox at 7:05 p.m.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Blanked in Grand Prairie

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

GRAND PRAIRIE, TX- The Wichita Wingnuts (28-17) lost 3-0 to the Grand Prairie AirHogs (25-18) at QuikTrip Park on Wednesday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper

AirHogs' starter Jared Mortensen earned the win, scattering six hits over eight shutout innings.  Mortensen walked one and struck out 10.

Patrick Mincey worked a scorelss top of the ninth to earn his second save of the series.

Grand Prairie scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the third.  Yasutsugu Nishimoto led off with a bloop single to left field.  Nishimoto stole second base and scored on Brandon Pinckney's RBI double to left.

Juan Richardson led off the bottom of the fourth with a line drive single to left.  Richardson went to third on Kenny Held's single to right and scored on a wild pitch from Wingnuts' starter Junior Guerra.

Guerra took the loss, allowing three earned runs on eight hits in five and two-thirds innings.  Guerra walked one and struck out six.

The AirHogs' final run came in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out, RBI single to center from Bubba Dotson.

Wichita received two and one-third scoreless relief innings from Nick Walters, Josh Stone, and Daniel Bennett.  Colt Loehrs had two hits for the Wingnuts.

Game three of the series is Thursday evening at 6:05 p.m.  Anthony Capra takes on left-hander Brandon Bargos.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Saturday, July 6th when they host the Amarillo Sox at 7:05 p.m.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Fall Short in Grand Prairie

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

GRAND PRAIRIE, TX- The Wichita Wingnuts (28-16) lost 2-1 to the Grand Prairie AirHogs (24-18) at QuikTrip Park on Tuesday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

Wingnuts' starter Justin Klipp took a tough loss, allowing two earned runs on six hits over seven innings.  Klipp walked only one for a fourth consecutive start and struck out four.

The AirHogs scored what proved to be the decisive run in the bottom of the fifth.  Kenny Held led off with a line drive single to right field and took third on a hit-and-run single to right from Angel Flores.  After Klipp retired Yasutsugu Nishimoto on a flyball to shallow left, Brandon Kendricks drove in Held with a groundball to shortstop.

Klipp kept the Wingnuts within one run by escaping a first and third jam with no outs in the bottom of the sixth.

Wichita was held hitless over the final four innings by starter Josh Strawn and two AirHogs' relievers.  Patrick Mincey worked around a walk to John Rodriguez in the top of the ninth to earn the save.

Ryan Pineda led off the bottom of the first with a double down the left field line, took third on a groundout to first from Brandon Pinckney, and scored on Brian Myrow's bloop single to shallow left-center.

The Wingnuts tied the game in the top of the third on Jared McDonald's line drive home run to right.

Strawn earned the win, allowing one earned run on six hits in seven innings.  Strawn walked one and struck out five.

McDonald finished the game with two hits.  Jake Kahaulelio also had two hits for the Wingnuts.

The Wingnuts and AirHogs play game two of their four-game series at QuikTrip Park on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m.  Junior Guerra faces right-hander Jared Mortensen.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Saturday, July 6th when they host the Amarillo Sox at 7:05 p.m.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Ziegler Named Batter of the Week

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

WICHITA, KS- Wichita Wingnuts' first baseman C.J. Ziegler has been named the American Association's Batter of the Week for June 24th through June 30th.

Ziegler helped the Wingnuts go 5-1 last week and collected at least one hit in all six games.  The Tucson, AZ native hit .456 (10 for 22) with 10 runs scored, three home runs, and 14 RBI.  On June 24th versus Laredo, Ziegler tied a franchise single-game record with seven RBI in a 20-6 win over the Lemurs.

The 27-year-old slugger ranks prominently in various offensive categories.  Ziegler is tied for eighth in the American Association in batting average (.333), tied for second in runs scored (40), tied for sixth in doubles (15), first in home runs (16), first in RBI (51), fifth in walks (27), second in on-base percentage (.437), and first in slugging percentage (.730).

In game one of a double header on June 14th versus the St. Paul Saints, Ziegler became the Wingnuts' all-time leader in home runs with his 27th longball over the last two seasons.

Ziegler is the third Wingnuts' player to win Batter of the Week this year.  Outfielders Jared McDonald and David Amberson have also captured the award.

The Wingnuts open a four-game series at Grand Prairie on Tuesday night.  First pitch at QuikTrip Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  Justin Klipp faces right-hander Josh Strawn.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Saturday, July 6th when they host the Amarillo Sox.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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“Iron Man Wichita” starring Ryan Khoury

By Jeremy Deckard, Wingnuts' Media Correspondent

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography

Robert Downey Jr. has made millions of dollars portraying the super hero 'Iron Man'.

Cal Ripken Jr. saved baseball with his 'Iron Man' streak of consecutive games played.

For the last two seasons at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, Ryan Khoury has played the role of 'Iron Man' at shortstop for the Wichita Wingnuts.

Khoury played 145 games in a row for Wichita (regular season and postseason) before missing a game on June 26th, after hurting his shoulder on a diving play the night before.  During that 145-game stretch, Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper penciled Khoury's name into the top spot of the batting order and in the shortstop position on the lineup card.

When Khoury’s streak was snapped, Hooper was well aware that his leadoff hitter was upset about being on the bench.

“I want guys in here who want to play every day.  I know it hurt him the other night to not play, but with the off-day following, it was just a smart move.  I’m more worried about having him around long-term than I am of the streak he had going on,” Hooper said.

Khoury’s streak started at the beginning of the 2012 season, a season in which he totaled 106 games played.  Khoury explained his approach to the game and preparing to be in the lineup each and every night.

“It’s one of those things I’ve learned over the years, even when I was just a utility guy  You prepare every day with the exact same routine.  You have to prepare like you are going play every day.  I have always felt that if ‘Hoop’ feels like it gives us a chance to win to have me in there, then I have to prepare my best to help the team,” Khoury said.

Not only did Khoury play every game last season, but his production in the lineup was stellar to boot.  In 100 regular season contests, Khoury reached safely in 87 of them with a hit, walk, or hit by pitch.  And once Khoury reached base, he took full advantage by setting a franchise record with 37 stolen bases.  Khoury also ranked in the top-four in the American Association in runs scored and walks--two other key statistical categories for a leadoff man.  The offensive numbers impressed his manager who gave the shortstop credit for his preparation.

“This game is a grind.  Sometimes we may only have two or three days off in a month.  We are pretty much playing every day.  You have to take care of your body and I think he does a good job of taking care of himself and preparing himself to be in the position to play every day,” Hooper said.

Khoury shared what he thought was the key to staying in game shape and in good health.  Stealing a line from Adam Sandler, it's as simple as "high-quality H2O."

“Hydrating in Wichita is especially important.  Out here in this heat we all have to make sure that we stay hydrated.  I drink of ton of water before the game and after the game.  I try to eat right, and prepare my body to go out there every day,” Khoury said.

Ripken Jr. of course is famous for breaking Major League Baseball’s consecutive games played streak by passing Lou Gehrig’s record of 2,130 during the 1996 season.  Ripken’s streak would end at 2,632 games played in September 1998.

While Khoury would have liked to have played in at least 200 games in a row, he admitted that he could not fathom having a streak as long as the former Baltimore Oriole did at shortstop and third base.

“I can’t even imagine.  That’s just as unreal to me as Ted Williams hitting .400.  He played hard every day--diving all over the infield.  It’s just an amazing feat,” Khoury said.

Khoury played collegiately at the University of Utah and knew that his current streak was only rivaled by the number of games he played on campus.

“I’m pretty sure that I played every game in college during my junior and senior years.  Sometimes when I was in Triple-A, I had a utility role.  It just makes me appreciate being here even more, knowing that I will get the chance to play every game,” Khoury said.

Wingnuts' players were also well aware and equally impressed with Khoury's games played streak.

“He’s the definition of a blue-collar player.  He doesn’t want to miss a game and he’s manned up through some tough injuries.  We play 100 games in a season and he does not want to miss a single one.  That just speaks to his character and hopefully some of that will rub off on us,” second baseman Jake Kahaulelio said.

Khoury’s offensive and defensive production continues to rank at a high level this season.  In 42 games played, Khoury ranks in the top-10 in the American Association in both runs (34) and walks (24).  He also leads the league in being hit by a pitch (10), and has collected 31 RBI--an amazing figure for a leadoff hitter.

Wichita starting pitcher Ryan Hinson expressed his admiration for the tough-as-nails shortstop.  And just as much as every player likes to see a teammate signed to an affiliated league contract, everyone in Wichita hopes Khoury can put together another triple digit games played streak.

“When you have ‘Old Deuce’ you know you are going to get the best defensive effort possible.  He’s a smart player and will come and talk with you when he sees something going on.  A lot of people don’t know how hard it is to come out and play every day.  They have to get treatment and take care of their bodies if they want to play every day,” Hinson said.  “His streak was not quite Ripken-esque, but we play well when he is at the top of the lineup and playing in the six-hole.”

The Wingnuts open a four-game series at Grand Prairie on Tuesday night.  First pitch at QuikTrip Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  Justin Klipp faces right-hander Josh Strawn.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Saturday, July 6th when they host the Amarillo Sox.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Hinson Named Pitcher of the Month

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

WICHITA, KS- Wichita Wingnuts' starting pitcher Ryan Hinson has been named the American Association's Pitcher of the Month for June.

Hinson was 5-1 with a 1.41 ERA in six starts last month.  The left-hander allowed two or fewer earned runs in all six outings, and pitched seven innings or more in five of them.  On June 19th versus Gary SouthShore, Hinson struck out five batters to become the Wingnuts' all-time leader in that category.  In his following start on June 24th versus Laredo, the 26-year-old tossed six shutout innings to earn his 26th win in a Wingnuts' uniform, tying him for the most in team history.

Hinson is 6-2 overall this season in nine starts.  The six wins are tied for first in the American Association.  Hinson also ranks second in ERA (1.75) and second in strikeouts (52).

Hinson is 26-15 with the Wingnuts over the last three seasons with a 3.67 ERA.  The Rock Hill, SC native has pitched at least six innings in 45 of 50 starts during that stretch, and has allowed three or fewer earned runs in 33 of them.

Hinson is the fourth Wingnuts' player to earn league honors this season.  Jared McDonald, David Amberson, and C.J. Ziegler have all been named Batter of the Week.

The Wingnuts open a four-game series at Grand Prairie on Tuesday night.  First pitch at QuikTrip Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  Justin Klipp faces right-hander Josh Strawn.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Saturday, July 6th when they host the Amarillo Sox.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Fall Short in Pitcher's Duel

Photo Credit: Abbygail Wells

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (28-15) lost 2-0 to the Sioux City Explorers (18-24) at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper

Explorers' starter Jason Jarvis threw a seven-hit, complete game shutout to earn the win.  Jarvis scattered seven hits, walked two, and struck out two on 115 pitches.  It was Jarvis' third complete game victory against the Wingnuts over the last two seasons, all of which have snapped winning streaks of five or more games.  Jarvis has not allowed an earned run in 27 innings during that stretch.

Sioux City scratched out two unearned runs against Wingnuts' starter Ryan Hinson to come away with the win.  Anthony Kaskadden led off the game with a single down the right field line, took third on an error by Abel Nieves, and scored on a sacrifice fly to center field from Sam Judah.

In the top of the fifth, Kaskadden singled to center field with one out.  Leugim Barroso reached on an error by Jake Kahaulelio to move Kaskadden to second base.  Judah followed with an RBI single to center field.

Hinson took the loss, allowing zero earned runs on seven hits in eight innings.  Hinson walked two, struck out five, and lowered his season ERA to 1.75.

Daniel Bennett threw a scoreless top of the ninth for Wichita.

The Wingnuts put the tying runs on base with no outs in the bottom of the ninth before Jarvis recorded three consecutive outs to close out the game.  Wichita grounded into three inning-ending double plays in the game.

Nieves and Jared McDonald each had two hits for the Wingnuts.

The Wingnuts open a four-game series at Grand Prairie on Tuesday night.  First pitch at QuikTrip Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  Justin Klipp faces right-hander Josh Strawn.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Saturday, July 6th when they host the Amarillo Sox.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Win Fifth Straight

Photo Credit: Abbygail Wells 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (28-14) won their fifth game in a row on Saturday night, beating the Sioux City Explorers (17-24) 8-7 in front of 5,028 fans at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Abel Nieves 

For a second straight night, the Wingnuts scored four times in the bottom of the first to erase an early 1-0 deficit.  Jake Kahaulelio drew a one-out walk and took second on John Rodriguez's groundout.  C.J. Ziegler reached on an infield single that moved Kahaulelio to third base.  With Brent Clevlen at the plate, Explorers' starter Richard Salazar threw a wild pitch that brought in Kahaulelio with the tying run.  After Clevlen walked, Abel Nieves struck a ground rule double over the right-center field fence to score Ziegler and give the Wingnuts a 2-1 lead.  Cole Armstrong capped the rally with a line drive single to right field that scored Clevlen and Nieves.

Ziegler doubled into the left field corner with two outs in the bottom of the second to score Ryan Khoury from first base to make it 5-1.

Sioux City scored twice in the top of the fourth to pull within two runs.  Peter Barrows reached third base on a leadoff error and scored on Yusuke Inoguchi's RBI double down the left field line.  Inoguchi took third on a sacrifice bunt from Alberto Espinosa and scored on a groundball to third from Adrian Martinez.

The Wingnuts responded in the bottom of the fourth with three more two-out runs.  With two outs and no one on base, Rodriguez and Ziegler hit back-to-back singles.  Clevlen then muscled a single to left-center that drove in Rodriguez with the Wingnuts' sixth run.  Nieves made it 8-3 with a two-run double down the right field line.

Sioux City scored four runs in the top of the eighth to make it a one-run game.  Espinosa hit a two-out, three-run double to left field that cut the lead to 8-6.  Martinez followed with a double down the left field line before Andrew Aizenstadt struck out Brian Bistagne to strand the tying run in scoring position.

Josh Dew threw a perfect top of the ninth on six pitches to lock down his eighth save of the year.

Chris Smith started for the Wingnuts and did not allow an earned run over seven innings to pick up the win.  Smith scattered four hits, walked two, and struck out seven.  Smith twice struck out the side.

Salazar took the loss for Sioux City, allowing eight earned runs on 11 hits in five innings.  Salazar walked four and struck out eight.

Sam Judah singled home Anthony Kaskadden in the top of the first to give Sioux City a quick 1-0 lead.

Eight different Wingnuts had at least one hit, while all nine starters reached base at least once.  Ziegler finished with three hits.  The five-game winning streak ties the longest for the Wingnuts this season.

The series concludes Sunday afternoon at 3:16 p.m.  The Wingnuts send Ryan Hinson to the mound against Sioux City right-hander Jason Jarvis.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Take Down Sioux City

Photo Credit: Abbygail Wells

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (27-14) beat the Sioux City Explorers (17-23) 13-5 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Friday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Ryan Khoury

Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the first, Ryan Khoury, Jake Kahaulelio, and John Rodriguez drew consecutive walks against Explorers' starter Preston Olson to load the bases with no outs.  C.J. Ziegler followed with a grand slam home run on a line drive to right-center field to put the Wingnuts in front for the rest of the night.

In the bottom of the second, David Amberson was hit by a pitch with one out and took second on a groundball single to right field from Khoury.  Kahaulelio made it 5-1 with an RBI single through the right side.  Khoury and Kahaulelio took an extra base on Peter Barrows' throw to the plate, and both scored when Rodriguez singled up the middle.

Sam Judah hit a two-out, two-run inside-the-park home run in the third, while Alberto Espinosa hit an RBI double down the right field line in the fourth to trim Wichita's lead to 7-4.

Josh Stone and Andrew Aizenstadt worked perfect relief innings in the seventh and eighth respectively.

Kahaulelio made it 8-4 with a seventh-inning sacrifice fly, while the Wingnuts scored five times in the bottom of the eighth to break the game open.  Brent Clevlen reached first on a one-out, infield single and moved to second when Abel Nieves walked.  Cole Armstrong followed with a three-run home run to right field.  Kahaulelio added a two-out, two-run double to left-center later in the inning to extend the lead to 13-4.

Sioux City scratched out a run in the top of the ninth on an Espinosa groundout before Daniel Bennett struck out Brian Bistagne to end the game.

Anthony Capra started for the Wingnuts and earned the win, allowing four earned runs on seven hits in seven innings.  Capra walked one and struck out five.

Olson took the loss, allowing eight earned runs on six hits in six and one-third.  Olson walked four and struck out five.

Luke Murton hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the first to give Sioux City a brief 1-0 lead.

Khoury had three hits, reached base five times, and scored four runs.  Kahaulelio had four RBIs in the win.  Ziegler becomes the first player in the league to reach 50 RBIs for the season.  Nieves' 19-game hitting streak was snapped.  Nieves hit .500 (38 for 76) during the streak which is tied for the second-longest in team history.

Game two of the series is Saturday night at 705 p.m.  Chris Smith faces left-hander Richard Salazar.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

An Amazing Baseball Journey: The Career of John Rodriguez

By Jeremy Deckard, Wingnuts' Media Correspondent

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography

Every baseball player has a story of how they got into the game of baseball.

Some have stories of how they made it to baseball's pinnacle--the Major Leagues.

One of those stories, a fascinating one, belongs to Wingnuts' designated hitter John Rodriguez.

Rodriguez grew up in New York City in the Bronx, the same neighborhood that the New York Yankees call home.  Rodriguez was not drafted out of high school and he did not play college ball.

His rise to the Majors is almost a Walt Disney type story that all started with a favor that was granted by a friend of ‘J-Rod’s’ uncle.

“My uncle knew a cop who knew the scout who was running a tryout in 1996.  The cop told him that there was a kid he really needed to see.  Cesar Presbott was the scout and he had 100 kids for the tryout, and I was number 101,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez admitted that he was happy to participate in the tryout, but that his expectations were low.

“I was 18 at the time and I was the only kid who hit three balls into the upper deck.  It was just a favor, though, so I didn't put too much thought into it.  I was there, I did what I was asked to do and I ended up leaving early.

“Just being there as a fan watching the guys play was amazing.  I enjoyed every minute of it and was happy to be a part of it thinking about all of the Hall of Famers and legends who had played there (Yankee Stadium),” Rodriguez said.

The Yankees and Presbott were impressed with Rodriguez’s tryout, but the youngster disappeared for a couple of months.  Rodriguez was not completely off the baseball radar and Presbott caught up with him at a summer league game.

“I played in a wood-bat league in the Bronx with players who were ex-minor leaguers.  I ended up playing well.  I won the Rookie of the Year, batting title, and RBI title--and I was a couple of home runs short of winning the triple crown.  The president of the league called five scouts to come down and they came to see me play one day.  I played well, going 3-for-4 with two home runs (against a left-handed pitcher).  One of the scouts that came happened to be Cesar Presbott,” Rodriguez said.

Apparently Presbott had been looking for the left-handed slugger ever since the tryout at Yankee Stadium, and Rodriguez was signed for $1,000.  Rodriguez played eight seasons in the Yankees’ organization, reaching Triple-A Columbus where he was briefly a teammate of current Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper.

Two other future Major Leaguers that Rodriguez played with during his time with the Yankees were outfielders Juan Rivera and Marcus Thames.  In 2001, the trio put up huge numbers for the Double-A Norwich Navigators.  Thames paced the club with 31 home runs, while 'J-Rod' addded 22 to go along with Rivera's 14.

“Those (Rivera and Thames) are two good friends of mine.  We had a great year in Double-A.  That team was stacked.  Marcus had a great Big League career and Rivera is still going.  We had great times together,” Rodriguez said.

The native New Yorker never did get a chance to don the Yankee pinstripes, and signed a free agent deal with the Cleveland Indians for the 2005 season.  Rodriguez hit five home runs for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons before he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in June.

“We were in Syracuse, and the manager called me into his office and told me I was being traded to St. Louis.  I just took it as a positive that somebody else wanted me.  I went out there and had a great month,” Rodriguez said.

It indeed was a great month, and perhaps the best of his career.  In 34 games for the Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate in Memphis, Rodriguez hit .343 with 17 home runs and 47 RBIs.  Rodriguez earned his first Major League call-up in July after St. Louis' outfielder Reggie Sanders went down with an injury.  In 56 games with the big club, Rodriguez hit five home runs and drove in 24 during the final year of the 'old' Busch Stadium.

He played well enough in St. Louis to earn another chance with the Cardinals in 2006, and was included on their postseason roster that culminated with a World Series championship.

“Knowing what to expect the following year was the biggest thing.  I knew what my role was and I knew what to expect.  In the beginning when I got called up I played every day, but was not sure what to expect.  When Reggie Sanders got back I knew I could be a left-handed bat off the bench.  I expected to play more in 2006, but I knew my role was going to be to provide power off the bench,” Rodriguez said.

It’s been seven years since his last major league at bat, and he’s been playing independent baseball for the last four years--two with the Long Island Ducks and now his second with the Wingnuts.  At an age when most ball players would look for coaching gigs if they weren’t playing with an affiliated team, Rodriguez shows no signs of slowing down.

After winning team MVP honors last year, Rodriguez is hitting .323 in 2013 with seven home runs, 15 doubles, and 29 RBIs in 40 games.  The 35-year-old described what drove him while making his Major League dreams come true and why he still plays the game.

“I did not let things from the outside distract me.  I knew what I wanted and I wasn’t going to let anything or anyone distract me.  I always felt that if you knew what you wanted and you dedicate yourself to putting every tear and drop of sweat into it, then it’s not impossible,” Rodriguez said.  "I've played as hard as I can for 17 seasons, and I feel like I could play three or four more.  I just love playing this game.”

As I wrapped up my interview with Rodriguez for this feature I played a name association game with him.  I asked him to just comment briefly on some of the guys he played with, against, and for.  Here is what he said about each one.

Ivan Rodriguez: “Greatest catcher of all time, but Yadier Molina is right behind him.”

Hal McRae: “Knows a lot about hitting and kept me in the video room teaching me what pitchers were trying to do to me.”

Bucky Dent: “A legend.  He was a great person and a great friend.  A person who understands what young guys go through.”

Larry Walker: “An unbelievably great guy, and the funniest guy in baseball.  He is a Hall of Famer in my eyes.”

Carlos Zambrano: “A great competitor, loves to play the game and loves to win.”

Adam Wainwright: “Another tremendous guy.  He does a great impression of me and my New York accent.  I love the kid.”

Roy Oswalt: “He had the dirtiest, slowest curve ball I have ever seen.”

Tony LaRussa: “Greatest manager of all-time and most intelligent manager I have ever worked with.  He knows how to bring out the best in his players.”

The Wingnuts open a three-game series versus the Sioux City Explorers on Friday night at 7:05 p.m.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Complete Sweep of Laredo

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (26-14) beat the Laredo Lemurs (22-17) 5-3 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Wednesday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

Colt Loehrs broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the eighth with a towering, two-out, two-run home run to left field.  C.J. Ziegler opened the inning with a walk against Lemurs' reliever Mike Benacka.  Benacka struck out the next two hitters before Loehrs came through with his first home run of the season.

Harrison Kain led off the top of the ninth with a walk against Wingnuts' closer Josh Dew.  David Amberson made a diving catch in shallow right field to rob John Allen for the first out.  On the next pitch, Kain was caught stealing at second base for the second out of the inning.  After John Alonso blooped a single to left-center, Dew retired Palmer Karr Jr. on a soft groundball back to the mound to earn his seventh save of the year.

The win helped the Wingnuts finish a three-game sweep in which they outscored the Lemurs 35-11.  Wichita never trailed at any point in 27 innings, and clubbed nine home runs to Laredo's two.

Wichita scored two runs in the bottom of the second to take an early lead for a third straight night.  C.J. Ziegler beat out an infield single on a groundball at shortstop.  Brent Clevlen followed with a two-run homer off the batter's eye in center field.

Wichita made it 3-0 in the third.  Three walks helped the Wingnuts load the bases with one out.  Abel Nieves scored from third on Clevlen's sacrifice fly to left.

Allen hit a two-out, two-run double down the left field line in the top of the seventh to get the Lemurs on the board.  Brian Peterson hit a two-run homer in the top of the eighth to tie the game.

Daniel Bennett earned the win in relief for the Wingnuts.  Benacka suffered the loss.

Junior Guerra started for the Wingnuts and took a no-decision.  Guerra allowed one earned run on four hits over seven innings.  Guerra walked five and struck out six.

Fabian Williamson started for the Lemurs and also took a no-decision, allowing three earned runs on four hits in five and two-thirds innings.  Williamson walked five and struck out two.

Nieves singled up the middle in the bottom of the fourth to extend his hitting streak to 19 games.  Nieves is now just one game shy of tying Josh Horn for the longest streak in team history.  Clevlen has homered in four consecutive games, tying his own team record set in 2011.

The Wingnuts have Thursday off and open a three-game series against the Sioux City Explorers on Friday night at 7:05 p.m.  Anthony Capra takes the mound for Wichita.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Long Home Runs Lead Wingnuts Again

Photo Credit: Abbygail Wells 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (25-14) beat the Laredo Lemurs (22-16) 10-2 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Tuesday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Brent Clevlen

For a second straight night, the Wingnuts used a big first inning to take early control of the game.  Ryan Khoury led off with an infield single behind the third base bag and went to second on a hit-and-run single to left from Abel Nieves.  On the next pitch, John Rodriguez crushed a three-run home run off the middle of the videoboard in left-center field.  After Brent Clevlen flied out to deep center, a walk to C.J. Ziegler and back-to-back singles from Cole Armstrong and Colt Loehrs loaded the bases with one out.  David Amberson came back from an 0-2 count to draw a walk and force home Ziegler with the Wingnuts' fourth run.  Jared McDonald made it 5-0 when he beat out a potential double play groundball to third base.

Laredo scratched out a run in the top of the fourth against Wingnuts' starter Justin Klipp.  Brian Peterson doubled to center field leading off and scored on consecutive groundballs from Garrett Buechele and Jimmy Mojica.

Clevlen responded in the bottom of the fourth with a long, solo home run that struck the top of the scoreboard in left-center.

John Allen doubled leading off the top of the fourth and scored two batters later on Palmer Karr Jr's groundout to shortstop.

The Wingnuts responded again in the bottom half with four runs to break the game open.  Amberson homered on a high flyball to left field to make it 7-2.  After Lemurs' starter Fernando Hernandez retired the next two hitters, a walk to Nieves and a single from Rodriguez set up a two-out, two-run double to center from Ziegler that extended the lead to 9-2.  Clevlen drove in Wichita's final run with a line drive single to left-center.

Klipp earned the win, allowing two earned runs on six hits over seven innings.  Klipp walked one and struck out six.

Hernandez took the loss, allowing 10 earned runs on 13 hits in five innings.  Hernandez walked four and struck out two.

Ben Graham and Daniel Bennett each worked a scoreless inning of relief to close out the game.  Nieves finished with four hits and extended his hitting streak to 18 games, two shy of the Wingnuts' team record.

Graham was signed prior to the game.  The right-hander is in his third stint with the Wingnuts and played college baseball at Emporia State University.  Graham made his professional debut for the Wingnuts in 2010 before having his contract purchased by the Washington Nationals' organization.  The 25-year-old returned to Wichita at the beginning of 2012 before having his season cut short last June due to injury.

The series concludes Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m.  Junior Guerra takes on left-hander Fabian Williamsnon.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Wingunts Pound Lemurs on Record-Setting Night

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (24-14) beat the Laredo Lemurs (22-15) 20-6 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Monday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

Three team records were either tied or broken in the win.  Wichita scored a franchise-best 20 runs, while C.J. Ziegler tied a Wingnuts' single-game record with seven RBI.  Ryan Hinson tossed six shutout innings to earn the win and tied Derek Blacksher for the most victories in team history (26).

Wichita scored early and often against Lemurs' starter Greg Wilborn.  Ryan Khoury and Abel Nives drew back-to-back walks to start the bottom of the first.  A Khoury stolen base and a wild pitch set up second and third with no outs.  John Rodriguez drove in Khoury with an RBI groundout to shortstop.  Ziegler followed with a monstrous, two-run homer to left-center that cleared the scoreboard and made it 3-0.  On the next pitch, Brent Clevlen homered on a towering flyball that struck halfway up the batter's eye in the center field.

Khoury was hit by a pitch with one out in the second and went to third on a double down the right field line from Nieves.  The double stretched Nieves' hitting streak to 17 games.  After Rodriguez walked to load the bases, Ziegler singled through the left side to score two more runs.  Rodriguez came home later in the inning on a wild pitch to make it 7-0.

The Wingnuts sent 14 men to the plate during a nine-run bottom of the fourth that broke the game wide open.  A Nieves walk and a Rodriguez infield single set up a three-run line drive home run to left-center from Ziegler.  Ziegler's second homer made it 10-0 and tied Juan Richardson's single-game record of seven RBI set on August 27th, 2011 at El Paso.

After Edwin Walker relieved Wilborn in the fourth, Wichita loaded the bases with two outs.  Khoury lined a double to left-center that cleared the bases and made it 13-0.  Nieves and Rodriguez followed with back-to-back RBI doubles, while Clevlen singled home Wichita's 16th run on a line drive to center.

Khoury hit a two-out, RBI single in the bottom of the fifth that scored Colt Loehrs from second base with two outs and made it 17-0 Wichita.  Loehrs had four hits, including three doubles.

Rodriguez doubled in the bottom of the sixth and went to third when Ziegler reached on an error by third baseman Harrison Kain.  Clevlen capped the outburst for the night with a line drive three-run homer to right-center.

The Lemurs scored three runs in the top of the seventh on a solo homer from Palmer Karr Jr. and a two-run double to left-center by Garrett Buechele.  Back-to-back hit batters with the bases loaded and a wild pitch allowed the Lemurs to score three more in the top of the eighth.

Wichita totaled 17 hits in the win with eight different Wingnuts scoring at least one run.  Khoury finished with four RBI and three runs scored.  Nieves and Rodriguez each scored four times.  Nieves' 17-game hitting streak is tied for the fourth-longest in team history.

Josh Stone threw a scoreless top of the ninth to close out the win.  Wichita's previous high in runs for a single game was 19, and was last accomplished on August 27th, 2011 at El Paso.

Game two of the three-game set is Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m.  Justin Klipp faces right-hander Fernando Hernandez.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Another Controversial Call Costs Wingnuts

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

SIOUX CITY, IA- The Wichita Wingnuts (23-14) lost 5-3 to the Sioux City Explorers (16-20) at Lewis and Clark Park on Sunday evening.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

With two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the eighth, the Explorers rallied for three runs to overcome a 3-2 Wingnuts' lead.  Luke Murton and Peter Barrows drew back-to-back walks.  Wingnuts' starter Chris Smith then struck out Yusuke Inoguchi on a pitch blocked in front of home plate.  Smith picked up the ball and threw to C.J. Ziegler at first base.  Ziegler stepped into foul territory and caught Smith's throw with his foot still on the first base bag.  First base umpire Mike Carroll ruled that Ziegler came off the bag and Inoguchi reached to load the bases.  On the next pitch Sam Judah looped a double to right field that hit the foul line and scored all three runners to make it 5-3 in favor of Sioux City.

Chris Bodishbaugh retired the Wingnuts in order in the top of the ninth to earn the save.

Wichita took an early lead when Brent Clevlen lined a home run to left field in the top of the second.

Sioux City tied the game in the bottom of the third.  Alberto Espinosa reached on an infield single, took second on Anthony Kaskadden's sacrifice bunt, and scored two batters later on an infield hit from Leugim Barroso.

Cole Armstrong slugged a solo home run in the top of the fourth to put Wichita in front 2-1.

Kaskadden scored on a line drive single to right by Eliezer Mesa in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game.

The Wingnuts took their third lead of the game in the top of the sixth.  Ziegler walked leading off and went to third when Clevlen doubled to right-center.  Two batters later, Colt Loehrs lined a single to left that scored Ziegler with the go-ahead run.

Smith took the loss and earned credit for his second career complete game.  Smith allowed five earned runs on nine hits in eight innings.  Smith walked three and struck out eight.

Richard Salazar started for Sioux City and took a no-decision.  Salazar allowed three earned runs on seven hits in six innings, walking two and striking out seven.

Abel Nieves had three hits and has hit safely in 16 games in a row.

The Wingnuts return home on Monday to face the Laredo Lemurs in a three-game series.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

A 2006 World Series Reunion

By Jeremy Deckard, Wingnuts' Media Correspondent 

There is a special kind of reunion taking place in Wichita these days.  It’s a reunion of guys who played roles in the 2006 World Series and it is being held in the clubhouse of the Wichita Wingnuts Independent baseball team.

The 2006 World Series featured the Detroit Tigers representing the American League against the National League’s St. Louis Cardinals.

On that Detroit Tiger team was current partial owner of the Wingnuts Nate Robertson.

Playing in left field for 102 games for the Cardinals’ World Series club was Wichita designated hitter John Rodriguez.

To read the entire article, click here.

X's Slip Past Wingnuts in Extras

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

SIOUX CITY, IA- The Wichita Wingnuts (23-13) lost 7-6 in 11 innings to the Sioux City Explorers (15-20) at Lewis and Clark Park on Saturday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

Eliezer Mesa singled home the winning run with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning.  Adrian Martinez was hit by a pitch leading off.  Brian Bistagne pinch-ran for Martinez and advanced to second base on Anthony Kaskadden's sacrifice bunt.  Bistagne scored on Mesa's single down the right field line.

Wichita scored three times in the top of the first to take an early lead.  Ryan Khoury walked, Jake Kahaulelio singled, and John Rodriguez reached on an infield single to load the bases with no outs.  C.J. Ziegler lined a single to center to plate Khoury and Kahaulelio.  Brent Clevlen followed with an RBI single to center that made it 3-0.

Sioux City answered back in the bottom half against Wingnuts' starter Anthony Capra.  A hit batter and two two-out walks set up a triple to right-center from Yusuke Inoguchi that tied the game.

Wichita re-took the lead in the top of the second.  Jared McDonald doubled down the right field line, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on Khoury's groundball single to left through a drawn-in infield.

The Wingnuts made it 6-3 with two more runs in the top of the third.  Clevlen walked while Abel Nieves singled to right.  Two batters later, and with runners on second and third with two outs, David Amberson lined a two-run single to left.

Sioux City scracthed out a run in the bottom of the sixth on an Inoguchi sacrifice fly, and then tied it on back-to-back two-out RBI hits from Bryan Pounds and Luke Murton in the bottom of the seventh.

Daniel Bennett took the loss in relief for the Wingnuts while Chris Bodishbaugh earned the win for Sioux City.

Capra took a no-decision, allowing four earned runs on three hits in five-plus innings.  Capra walked five and struck out three.

Josh Rainwater started and took a no-decision for Sioux City, allowing six earned runs on eight hits in two and two-thirds.  Rainwater walked two and struck out one.

Andrew Aizenstadt threw two and one-third scoreless relief innings for Wichita.  Nieves had three hits and has hit safely in 15 games in a row.  Kahaulelio has hit safely in 10 straight, while Rodriguez is now on a nine-game hitting streak.

The series concludes Sunday evening at 6:05 p.m.  Chris Smith faces former Wingnuts' left-hander Richard Salazar.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Monday, June 24th when they host the Laredo Lemurs.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Help the Wingnuts Battle Hunger on Tuesday

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts, in conjunction with Midwest Dairy Association and Hiland Dairy, will host Dairy Farmer Appreciation Night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Tuesday, June 25th.

The partnership coincides with the celebration of June Dairy Month and focuses on raising awareness of Feeding America and Midwest dairy farmers' commitment to feeding the nation.  The Kansas Food Bank, a local affiliate of Feeding America, will be on-site at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium to collect non-perishable food items or cash donations from fans attending the 7:05 p.m. game against the Laredo Lemurs.

All fans donating five non-perishable food items or $5 cash will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win Wichita Wingnuts' memorabilia, a Hiland Dairy prize package, or the grand prize--a Kindle Fire.

Complimentary general admission vouchers for Tuesday's game are available at Wichita area QuikTrips while supplies last.

Midwest dairy farmers have partnered with Feeding America and local food banks, such as The Kansas Food Bank, to help raise awareness of hunger in our nation and to improve nutrition security.  According to a 2011 Feeding America study, food insecurity affects 428,490 Kansas residents.

Individual tickets for Tuesday's game can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Brilliant Pitching, Early Homers Lead Wingnuts

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography

SIOUX CITY, IA- The Wichita Wingnuts (23-12) shutout the Sioux City Explorers (14-20) 2-0 at Lewis and Clark Park on Friday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Junior Guerra 

Junior Guerra tied a career-high with nine strikeouts and earned the win with seven and one-third scoreless innings.  Guerra walked two and scattered five hits to improve to 4-0.

Wichita scored the only runs of the game in the top of the first.  Jake Kahaulelio lined a solo home run down the left field line two batters into the contest.  Later in the inning, C.J. Ziegler homered on a towering flyball that just cleared the left field fence.  Ziegler narrowly missed a home run earlier in the bat on a deep flyball down the left field line that was ruled foul.

Guerra stranded a pair of runners in the bottom of the first, and picked up a key strikeout of Adrian Martinez with second and third and two outs in the bottom of the fourth.

Daniel Bennett relieved Guerra in the eighth and recorded the final two outs of the inning to keep the shutout intact.

Josh Dew worked a scoreless ninth to earn his sixth save.  Dew retired Leugim Barroso on a groundball to shortstop leading off.  Martinez drew a one-out walk and was pinch-run for by Anthony Kaskadden.  Dew struck out Alberto Espinosa for the second out.  Cole Armstrong ended the game on a pickoff throw to first immediately following the third strike on Espinosa.  Ziegler applied the tag before Kaskadden could dive back safe.

It was Wichita's fourth team shutout of the season.  Nieves had two hits and has hit safely in 14 consecutive games.  John Rodriguez singled in the top of the eighth and stretched his hitting streak to eight games.

Late Wingnuts' bench coach Brian Rose would have turned 35 years old on Friday.

Game three of the four-game series is Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.  Anthony Capra takes on right-hander Preston Olson.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Monday, June 24th when they host the Laredo Lemurs.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Wingnuts Take Series Opener From Sioux City

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

SIOUX CITY, IA- The Wichita Wingnuts (22-12) beat the Sioux City Explorers (14-19) 5-3 at Lewis and Clark Park on Thursday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Justin Klipp 

Justin Klipp earned his first win as a Wingnut, allowing one earned run on seven hits in six innings.  Klipp walked one and struck out three.

Wichita took a 3-1 lead with three runs in the top of the third.  Cole Armstrong walked with one out and advanced to second on a single to right from Abel Nieves.  David Amberson tied the game with a groundball single to right.  Nieves and Amberson took third and second respectively when Peter Barrows' throw came through to home plate.  After Jared McDonald flied out to left, Ryan Khoury made it 3-1 with a sharp, groundball single to center.

Klipp made the lead stand, escaping jams in the fourth and sixth innings.  Klipp retired Alberto Espinosa on a force play with two outs to strand the bases loaded in the fourth.  In the sixth, Klipp worked around a first and second situation with no outs.  Bryan Pounds grounded out to third, while Klipp struck out Leugim Barroso.  Brian Bistagne made the final out with a line drive to right that was caught by Amberson.

Wichita added two more runs in the top of the seventh.  McDonald lined a single to left and came home two batters later when Jake Kahaulelio hit a long home run down the left field line.

Andrew Aizenstadt and Daniel Bennett each worked a scoreless inning in relief of Klipp.

Sioux City rallied for two runs against Kyle Wahl in the bottom of the ninth on a Sam Judah groundout and a Yusuke Inoguchi RBI double.  Josh Dew came in and struck out Peter Barrows, who represented the tying run at the plate, to notch the save.

Bistagne hit a two-out, RBI single in the bottom of the second to account for the only run against Klipp.

Andy Noga took the loss for Sioux City, allowing five earned runs on seven hits in six and one-third innings.  Noga walked three and struck out four.

Nieves had two hits and has hit safely in 13 games in a row.  Kahaulelio has hit in eight straight.

The Wingnuts and Explorers continue their series on Friday night at 7:05 p.m.  Junior Guerra takes on right-hander Dan Jurik.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Monday, June 24th when they host the Laredo Lemurs.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Link Purchased by Detroit Tigers

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

WICHITA, KS- Wichita Wingnuts right-handed pitcher Jon Link has been purchased by the Detroit Tigers' organization.

Link currently ranks first in the American Association in both wins (six) and ERA (1.74).  The 29-year-old Link is also fifth in the league with 38 strikeouts.  Link tossed the first complete game of his nine-year professional career on Monday night versus Gary SouthShore, scattering five hits and notching a season-best nine strikeouts.  The Columbus, OH native has allowed two or fewer earned runs in six of his seven starts, and recently had a string of 24.0 consecutive scoreless innings.

"This is well-deserved," said Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper.  "Jon did everything he possibly could to help us win.  He kept us in every single ballgame that he pitched in.  He deserves another chance in affiliated ball, and I'm glad things have worked out.  We wish him nothing but the best."

Link was originally drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 26th round in 2005 out of Bluefield College in Bluefield, VA.  Link pitched successfully for both the Padres' and Chicago White Sox' farm systems before reaching the Major Leagues with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010.  Working mostly as a closer prior to this season, Link has reached double digits in saves in five of his first eight professional seasons.

Link becomes the 17th player the Wingnuts have sold to a Major League organization, and is expceted to join the Tigers' Double-A Eastern League affiliate in Erie, PA.

Wingnuts Sold to Major League Organizations
OF Dustan Mohr, 2008 - Colorado Rockies
RHP Will Savage, 2010 - Los Angeles Dodgers
RHP Ben Graham, 2010 - Washington Nationals
LHP Justin Dowdy, 2010 - Tampa Bay Rays
OF Ryan Patterson, 2011 - Arizona Diamondbacks
LHP Dustin Pease, 2011 - San Diego Padres
RHP Cephas Howard, 2011 - Texas Rangers
OF Kenny Gilbert, 2011 - Chicago White Sox
OF Brent Clevlen, 2011 - Cincinnati Reds
OF Brent Clevlen, 2011 - Philadelphia Phillies
SS Jose Martinez, 2012 - Houston Astros
LHP Nate Robertson, 2012 - Toronto Blue Jays
RHP Matt Nevarez, 2012 - Tampa Bay Rays
RHP Andrew Aizenstadt, 2012 - Philadelphia Phillies
RHP James Hoyt, 2012 - Atlanta Braves
OF Adam Buschini, 2013 - San Diego Padres
RHP Jon Link, 2013 - Detroit Tigers

The Wingnuts finish a four-game series tonight against the Gary SouthShore RailCats at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Hinson Brilliant Again, Sets Franchise K's Record

Photo Credit: Abbygail Wells

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (21-12) beat the Gary SouthShore RailCats (16-15) 7-1 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Wednesday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

Ryan Hinson became the Wingnuts' all-time leader in strikeouts (219) and allowed one earned run on five hits over eight innings to pick up the win.

Ryan Khoury walked on a full count leading off the bottom of the first.  Jake Kahaulelio followed with a long, two-run home run to left field to give Wichita an early 2-0 lead.

Hinson faced runners on first and second with one out in the top of the second, but induced a double play ball off the bat of Zac Mitchell to end the inning.  Beginning with Mitchell's at bat, Hinson retired 14 consecutive hitters, and set down the leadoff hitter in seven of the eight innings he started.

With two outs and no one on base in the second, David Amberson and Jared McDonald hit back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners.  Khoury made it 3-0 with a line drive double to the left field wall.

The Wingnuts added three more in the bottom of the fifth.  Kahaulelio reached on an infield single and moved to second on a passed ball.  John Rodriguez singled up the middle to drive in Kahaulelio with the Wingnuts' fourth run.  C.J. Ziegler was next and cracked a two-run homer to left-center.

Gary SouthShore scratched out their lone run in the seventh.  Consecutive one-out singles from Cristian Guerrero, Craig Maddox, and Brian Kolb led to an RBI fielder's choice by Drew Martinez.

Ziegler drilled a home run to deep left on the first pitch of the bottom of the seventh to re-extend Wichita's lead to six runs.

Hinson tied Derek Blacksher for the Wingnuts' strikeout record when he fanned Chase Tucker in the top of the sixth.  The record-breaker came in the top of the eighth on Danny Pulfer--the final batter Hinson faced.  Hinson is now just one win shy of tying Blacksher for first place in team history.

Andrew Aizenstadt worked a perfect top of the ninth to finish the game, including two strikeouts.

Eight different Wingnuts collected base hits, while Abel Nieves extended his hitting streak to 12 games.

Aizenstadt was signed by Wichita prior to Wednesday's game.  The 6-foot-4, 200-pound right-hander appeared in 10 games for the Wingnuts as a true rookie last year before having his contract purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies' organization.  Aizenstadt pitched in seven games for the Low-A South Atlantic League's Lakewood Blue Claws this spring.

The Wingnuts travel to Sioux City, IA for a four-game series against the Explorers beginning Thursday night at 7:05 p.m.  Justin Klipp makes the start against right-hander Andy Noga.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Monday, June 24th when they host the Laredo Lemurs.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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RailCats Rally Past Wingnuts

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (20-11) lost 7-6 to the Gary SouthShore RailCats (15-14) in the opener of a day-night double header at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

The RailCats scored twice in the top of the ninth inning to come away with the win.  Adam Klein drew back-to-back, one-out walks to put the tying and go-ahead runs on base.  Cristian Guerrero loaded the bases with a bloop single to left.  Craig Maddox walked with the bases loaded to force home Klein with the tying run, while Massaro scored on Zac Mitchell's sacrifice fly to center to make it 7-6.

The Wingnuts had two hits against RailCats' closer Clay Zavada in the bottom of the ninth but ultimately fell short by one run.  Nine of Wichita's 11 losses this season have been one-run games.

Zavada earned the save while Josh Dew took the loss for Wichita.  Taylor Sewitt earned the win in relief for the RailCats.

Gary scored four times with two outs in the top of the first to take the early lead.  With the bases loaded and two outs, Brian Kolb drew a walk on a full count to force in the game's first run.  Drew Martinez reached first on an infield single on a groundball to shortstop that made it 2-0.  Danny Pulfer followed with a bloop double down the right field line that scored two more runs.

The Wingnuts scored five times in the bottom half to take the lead.  Jake Kahaulelio walked with one out and went to third on a John Rodriguez single to right.  C.J. Ziegler cut the lead to 4-1 when he doubled to the left-center field fence.  Brent Clevlen tied it with a three-run home run to right field.  After Clevlen's homer, Abel Nieves singled to center and stole second base.  Nieves went to third on David Amberson's infield single, and scored on an errant throw to second by Maddox when Amberson tried to steal.

The RailCats briefly tied the game in the top of the fourth when Chase Tucker grounded into a double play.  Ziegler homered to deep left-center in the bottom of the fifth to put Wichita back in front.

Chris Smith started and took a no-decision for the Wingnuts.  Smith allowed five earned runs on six hits in six innings.  Smith walked three and struck out five.

Alain Quijano started for Gary SouthShore and also took a no-decision.  Quijano allowed six runs, five earned, on 10 hits in seven frames.  Quijano walked two and struck out four.

Nick Walters and Daniel Bennett each worked a scoreless inning for Wichita.  Nieves had two hits and has hit safely in 10 straight games.

Game two of Tuesday's double header is at 7:05 p.m.  Anthony Capra faces right-hander Billy Spottiswood.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Morning Start-Times: Impact on Preparation or Not?

By Jeremy Deckard, Wingnuts' Media Correspondent

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

The Wichita Wingnuts recently played their fifth game of the regular season with a start time near the 11:00 a.m. hour.

Baseball is a game of preparations and regimented schedules.  Playing games with odd start times can mess with a ball player’s preparation and forces some to leave the comfort zone of their regular game preparation.

Although few members of the team admitted that it has altered their routines, playing that many early games can still have an impact.

“We’ve had quite a few of them.  One or two here and there is not bad, but we’ve seemed to play in one on every trip.  It’s an early morning.  I don’t want anyone walking around like they are tired.  We have to get our rest and treat it like any other game,” Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper said.

Wichita is 2-3 this year in morning starts.  They split two games in Gary, Indiana and two in Winnipeg, Canada before a loss to the RailCats at home on Tuesday.

Designated hitter John Rodriguez did admit that an early start time is a similar factor on games in comparison with weather-related issues that can impact a ball game.

“Everything just starts earlier.  I try to have the same routine and I try not to get away from it.  It’s easy to get away from your routine when you are at a different stadium, or there’s a weather or wind change, but I try to stay with my same game plan as much as possible--no matter what is thrown at us,” Rodriguez said.  “It doesn’t matter what time or how early it is.  It’s just not me dealing with those circumstances it’s all of us.  Everybody is going through that and it can’t be used as an excuse.”

Tuesday had the added wrinkle of the morning game being the first leg of a day-night double header.  The Wingnuts face the RailCats again later tonight at 7:05 p.m.

Today’s game schedule is one that many of the Wingnuts have rarely, if ever, experienced.

“The big thing is getting your rest in between games.  I’ve only been a part of one of those and that was in my short time in the majors.  It will be different because we play at 11:00, we’ll be done close to 2:00 and then we have to strap it on again at 7:00.  It will be different and a lot of the guys will not have played that kind of a double header before,” Hooper said.

The Wingnuts offense is on a serious hot streak as they just finished a four-game series against St. Paul in which 38 runs were accumulated.  Two key Wichita contributors, first baseman C. J. Ziegler and outfielder David Amberson anticipate the offense staying hot.

“I’ve never played two nine inning games in one day.  It will be a new thing for me.  I just want to make sure that I can maintain my game the whole day,” Ziegler said.

Ziegler leads the team in RBIs with 30 and home runs with 10, while Amberson recently finished a 16-game hitting streak.  Amberson discussed the challenge that the day-night format could present.

“When you play two games in 99-degree heat, it’s going to be a grind.  You have to make sure you get enough sleep and stay hydrated,” Amberson said.

Shortstop Ryan Khoury was one of those who felt like nothing would be much different from these two games than any of the other 98 games scheduled for the regular season.

“I’ve only played in one or two day-night double headers.  I’ll just try to relax, get some food in me, and try not to change anything as far as preparation,” Khoury said.

The Wingnuts and RailCats complete their day-night double header tonight at 7:05 p.m.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Fall in Extras in Nightcap

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (20-12) lost 7-4 in 11 innings to the Gary SouthShore RailCats (16-14) in the nightcap of their day-night double header at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Tuesday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

Chase Tucker singled leading off the top of the 11th and went to second when Adam Klein walked on a close 3-2 pitch.  Mike Massaro then snapped a 4-4 tie with a triple down the right field line that scored Tucker and Klein.  Massaro came home on a wild pitch from Wingnuts' reliever Kyle Wahl.

Wichita put runners on first and third with no outs in the bottom of the 11th before Clay Zavada worked out of the jam to earn the save--his second of the twinbill.

With two outs and no one on base in the top of the fifth, Klein singled to left-center and scored the first run of the game on a Massaro double.  An infield single from Cristian Guerrero led to an error that brought in Massaro to make it 2-0 Gary SouthShore.

The Wingnuts rallied in the bottom of the inning to tie the game.  Brent Clevlen doubled leading off and scored two batters later on an Abel Nieves double down the right field line.  David Amberson scored the tying run later in the frame on a Jared McDonald infield single that also included an error.

C.J. Ziegler doubled home John Rodriguez in the bottom of the sixth to give Wichita their first lead of the game at 3-2.

Klein tripled with two outs in the top of the seventh and scored the RailCats' third run on a wild pitch to tie the game.

In the home seventh, Amberson reached on an infield single, stole second base, and scored on Ryan Khoury's line drive single to left.  The RailCats tied the game in the next half inning when Tucker was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Anthony Capra started for the Wingnuts and took a no-decision.  Capra threw four scoreless innings on one hit.  Capra walked three and struck out six.

Billy Spottiswood also took a no-decision in the start for the RailCats.  Spottiswood allowed two runs, one earned, on six hits in four and two-thirds innings.  Spottiswood walked one and struck out two.

Marco Gonzalez earned the win in relief for the RailCats.  Wahl took the loss for Wichita.

Rodriguez, Nieves, and Amberson each had multi-hit games.  Nieves has hit safely in 11 in a row.  Josh Dew threw two scoreless innings of relief for the Wingnuts.

The series concludes Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m.  Ryan Hinson faces left-hander Ari Ronick.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Amberson Tabbed as Batter of the Week

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

WICHITA, KS- Wichita Wingnuts' right fielder David Amberson has been named the American Association's Batter of the Week for June 10th through June 16th.

Amberson hit .583 (14 for 24) in seven games with seven runs scored and seven RBI.  Amberson is currently riding a 16-game hitting streak in which he is 26 for 55 (.473).  The streak is tied for the fifth-longest in franchise history.  The 25-year-old true rookie collected a season-high four hits and three RBI in Sunday's 18-6 win versus St. Paul.  Amberson finished his collegiate career last season at Western Oregon University.

Amberson becomes the second Wingnut to earn league honors this season.  Jared McDonald was named Batter of the Week for May 27th through June 2nd.

The Wingnuts open a four-game series against the Gary SouthShore RailCats tonight at 7:05 p.m.  Jon Link faces right-hander Will Krout.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Big League Bat Returns to Wingnuts

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts signed former Major League outfielder Brent Clevlen on Monday afternoon.

Clevlen returns to the Wingnuts after spending last year in the high minors of the Arizona Diamondbacks' farm system.  The Austin, TX native opened 2012 in Double-A Mobile and hit .260 with 10 home runs and 39 RBI in 67 games played.  Clevlen then hit .377 over 31 contests after a late-season promotion to Triple-A Reno.  Clevlen added three homers and 17 RBI in Reno, and helped the Aces win both the Pacific Coast League and Triple-A level championships.

Clevlen batted .310 with 15 doubles, 10 home runs, and 32 RBI in 46 games for the Wingnuts in 2011.  On June 27th of that season versus El Paso, Clevlen hit the first inside-the-park home run in team history.  Now 29-years-old, Clevlen had his contract purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies' organization in August of 2011 and went on to hit .336 with six homers and 20 RBI in 32 games for the Double-A Reading Phillies.

Clevlen was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the second round in 2002 out of Westwood High School in Austin.  The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Clevlen first reached the Majors with Detroit in 2006 where he teamed with Winguts' manager Kevin Hooper and co-owner Nate Robertson.  Clevlen spent parts of the next two seasons with the Tigers and also saw time with the Atlanta Braves in 2010.  Clevlen split 54 games this year between Mobile and Reno.

Wichita also acquired right-handed pitcher Kyle Wahl from the United League's Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings.  Wahl saved six games and did not allow a run in eight and two-thirds innings.  The 24-year-old Wahl struck out 16 and walked four.  Wahl pitched in the Minnesota Twins' farm system in 2011 for their rookie level Gulf Coast League affiliate before missing most of 2012 due to injury.

Clevlen and Wahl will be in uniform for tonight's game against the Gary SouthShore RailCats.  Clevlen is in the starting lineup.

The Wingnuts placed right-handed pitcher Lincoln Holdzkom and outfielder Mike Mobbs on waivers.

Wichita and Gary SouthShore begin their series tonight at 7:05 p.m.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Link Delivers Complete Game Win

Photo Credit: Abbygail Wells 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (20-10) defeated the Gary SouthShore RailCats (14-14) 8-2 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Monday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Jon Link 

Jon Link threw the first complete game of his nine-year professional career, allowing two earned runs on five hits over nine innings.  Link walked two and struck out a season-high nine batters.  Link threw just 108 pitches and recorded consecutive out streaks of 11 and nine batters en route to the win.  It was the first nine-inning complete game for a Wingnuts' starter since July 10th, 2011.

Wichita manufactured two runs in the bottom of the second to take a 2-0 lead.  Cole Armstrong and Abel Nieves singled on back-to-back line drives to center field to open the inning.  David Amberson reached on a force play at second and then stole second base to put runners on second and third with one out.  Jared McDonald drove in Armstrong with a groundout to shorstop.  Ryan Khoury made it 2-0 with a two-out, line drive single to right.

John Rodriguez hit a long, solo home run to center field leading off the bottom of the third to make it 3-0.

The RailCats scored their only runs in the top of the sixth.  A Chase Tucker single and walks to Adam Klein and Ryan Babineau helped Gary SouthShore load the bases with two outs.  Danny Pulfer singled to shallow right to drive in Tucker and Klein.

The Wingnuts broke the game open with a five-run bottom of the seventh.  Khoury drew a one-out walk and advanced to second when Jake Kahaulelio singled to center.  Rodriguez followed with a two-run double down the right field line.  After C.J. Ziegler walked, Brent Clevlen crushed a three-run home run over the video board in left-center that extended Wichita's lead to 8-2.

RailCats' starter Will Krout took the loss, allowing seven earned runs on 10 hits in six and one-third innings.  Krout walked three and struck out six.

David Amberson's 16-game hitting streak came to an end.  Khoury, Rodriguez, and Clevlen all had multi-hit games.

The Wingnuts and RailCats play a day-night double header on Tuesday with games at 11:05 a.m. and 7:05 p.m.  Chris Smith faces left-hander Alain Quijano in the opener, while Anthony Capra takes on right-hander Billy Spottiswood in the nightcap.  Each game requires a seperate admission.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Relentless Wingnuts Take Series From Saints

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (19-10) beat the St. Paul Saints (15-14) 18-6 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and CJ Ziegler 

The Wingnuts reached season-highs in runs and base hits (22) in the win.  For a second straight night, all nine of Wichita's starters collected at least one hit.  Wichita scored in seven of their eight team at bats, and tallied multiple runs in six of them.

Trailing 6-5 in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Wingnuts scored twice to take the lead and scored 13 unanswered runs to finish the game.  Ryan Khoury drew a one-out walk and advanced to second two batters later on a wild pitch.  John Rodriguez singled on a groundball to left field to tie the game at 6-6.  Rodriguez took second base on a throw to the plate and scored the lead run when C.J. Ziegler doubled to left-center.

In the bottom of the fifth, Abel Nieves beat out an infield single leading off and went to third on a double down the right field line from Mike Mobbs.  Nieves scored when Saints' right fielder Brandon Tripp made an errant throw to second base.  Mobbs took third on a sacrifice by David Amberson and scored on a line drive single to right from Jared McDonald.

Wichita broke the game open with a six-run bottom of the seventh in which 12 batters came to the plate.  Mobbs led off with a single to left and was doubled to third by Amberson.  Two batters later, Khoury singled home both runners to make it 11-6.  A Jake Kahaulelio walk and a Colt Loehrs pinch-hit, infield single set up a bases loaded free pass to Ziegler.  Cole Armstrong stretched the lead to 14-6 with a line drive single to center that brought in Kahaulelio and Rodriguez.  Amberson drove in Wichita's 15th run later in the inning when he beat out an infield single on a high chopper to third base.

Kahaulelio hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth while Amberson hit another RBI, infield single to make it 18-6.

Nick Walters, Daniel Bennett, and Josh Stone each worked a scoreless inning of relief.  The trio did not allow a hit over the final three frames.

St. Paul grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-run home run down the left field line from Brad Boyer.  Ziegler answered with a two-run single in the bottom half to tie the game.

After the Saints went in front 3-2 in the second on an Adam Frost groundout to third, Wichita scored two in the bottom half to take their first lead.  Mobbs drew a leadoff walked and scored on an Amberson triple to left-center.  The triple extended Amberson's hitting streak to 16 games.  Amberson scored on a groundout to second from McDonald.

Nieves hit an RBI single in the bottom of the third that made it 5-3 before the Saints rallied for three runs in the top of the fourth against Wingnuts' starter Junior Guerra to take a short-lived 6-5 lead.

Guerra earned the win, allowing six earned runs on 10 hits in six innings.  Guerra walked two and struck out three.

Saints' starter Luke Anderson took the loss, allowing seven runs, six earned, on seven hits in four innings.  Anderson walked four and struck out one.

Amberson and Nieves each had four hits.  Ziegler had four RBI, while Khoury scored four runs.  Rodriguez, Armstrong, and Mobbs also had multi-hit games.

The Wingnuts host the Gary SouthShore RailCats for four games in three days beginning Monday night at 7:05 p.m.  Jon Link is scheduled to start for Wichita.  The RailCats go with right-hander Will Krout.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Seven-Run Sixth Lifts Wingnuts

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (18-10) defeated the St. Paul Saints (15-13) 11-4 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Saturday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Cole Armstrong 

The Wingnuts used a seven-run bottom of the sixth to break a 4-4 tie and take control of the game.  Abel Nieves reached on an infield single leading off and advanced to second when Mike Mobbs was hit by a pitch.  After David Amberson's bunt single loaded the bases with no outs, Jared McDonald struck a two-run, ground rule double to right-center field that scored Nieves and Mobbs.  Ryan Khoury followed with a two-run double down the left field line that made it 8-4 in favor of Wichita.

With Khoury on second and still no outs, Jake Kahaulelio hit an infield single that deflected into right field and allowed Khoury to score Wichita's ninth run of the game.  John Rodriguez chased Kahaulelio to third with a double off the left-center field fence.  Kahaulelio scored on C.J. Ziegler's sacrifice fly to left.  Two batters later, Nieves collected his second hit of the inning when he doubled down the right field line to drive in Rodriguez.

Rookie right-hander Josh Stone earned the win in relief with two shutout innings in his professional debut.

Lincoln Holzkom and Josh Dew each threw a perfect inning of relief to close out the final two innings.

Wichita grabbed an early lead in the bottom of the first.  Kahaulelio singled to right and made a key slide to break up a potential inning-ending double play on Rodriguez's groundball to Saints' starter Wes Roemer.  Ziegler flared a single to shallow right to put runners on the corners with two outs.  Cole Armstrong crushed the next pitch over the right-center field wall for a three-run homer.

Mobbs led off the bottom of the second with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Amberson.

Amberson doubled down the left field line in the bottom of the fourth to extend his hitting streak to 15 games.

St. Paul scratched out a run in the top of the fifth to get on the scoreboard.  Dwight Childs led off with a double and scored on back-to-back groundouts from Dan Kaczrowski and Adam Frost.

The Saints tied the game at 4-4 with three runs in the top of the sixth.  Craig Brazell led off with a double and went to third on Ole Sheldon's single to right.  The Saints cut the lead to 4-3 on a Brandon Tripp double to right and a Jose Hernandez infield single.  Stone relieved Wingnuts' starter Justin Klipp.  Stone allowed a game-tying sacrifice fly to Childs, but retired all three batters to face him in the inning to prevent St. Paul from taking the lead.

Klipp took a no-decision, allowing four earned runs on eight hits in five-plus innings.  Klipp walked one and struck out four.

Roemer took the loss, allowing 10 earned runs on 11 hits in five-plus frames.  Roemer walked one and struck out three.

All nine of Wichita's starters had at least one hit and scored at least one run.  Kahaulelio, Ziegler, Armstrong, Nieves, and Amberson all had multi-hit games.

The Wingnuts and Saints finish their series Sunday at 3:16 p.m.  Junior Guerra faces St. Paul righty Luke Anderson.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Hinson, Ziegler Reach Milestones in Double Header Split

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (17-10) split a double header with the St. Paul Saints (15-12) at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Friday night, winning the opener 7-2 and falling in the nightcap 3-2.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

In game one, Ryan Hinson threw the first complete game of his professional career, allowing two earned runs on six hits in seven innings pitched.  Hinson walked three and struck out eight.

Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the second, C.J. Ziegler and Cole Armstrong singled back-to-back against Saints' starter George Jensen.  Abel Nieves followed with an RBI double to right field that cut the lead in half.  Wichita went on to load the bases with no outs, but Jensen kept the one-run lead intact.

The Wingnuts scored six times in the next inning against Jensen.  Jake Kahaulelio was hit by a pitch leading off.  John Rodriguez followed with a two-run homer to right-center that put Wichita in front.  On the next pitch, Ziegler lined a home run to left that made it 4-2 Wingnuts.  The home run was Ziegler's 27th as a Wingnut and set a new franchise record.  It also gave Wichita back-to-back home runs for the first time since July 26th, 2011.

After Armstrong flied out to center, a single from Nieves and walks to Mike Mobbs and David Amberson loaded the bases with one out.  Jared McDonald lined a single to right field that scored two more runs.  With Amberson on third and McDonald on first, McDonald stole second base.  Saints' catcher Mark Radmacher's throw went into center field, allowing Amberson to score Wichita's seventh run.

Hinson threw 108 pitches in the complete game effort and struck out the side in order in the top of the fourth.

Jensen took the loss, allowing seven runs, six earned, on seven hits in two and one-third innings.  Jensen walked three and struck out two.

The Saints rallied for three two-out runs in the top of the sixth to win game two.  With two outs and no one on base, Willie Cabrera and Brandon Tripp hit back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners.  Jordan Tripp tied the game with an infield single.  Adam Frost put St. Paul in front when he lined a two-run double to right-center.

The Wingnuts pulled within one run in the bottom of the seventh.  Nieves singled leading off, and scored three batters later on a two-out single to center from Amberson.  Saints' starter Mark Hamburger was relieved by Matt Meyer with Amberson on first and two outs.  Meyer retired pinch hitter Cole Loehrs to end the game.

The Wingnuts took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third.  Amberson singled up the middle leading off.  Two batters later, Ryan Khoury tripled home Amberson on a line drive into the right field corner.

Hamburger earned the win, allowing two earned runs on seven hits in six and two-thirds innings.  Hamburger walked one and struck out five.

Nick Walters took the loss for Wichita.

Anthony Capra made a spot start for Wichita in the nightcap.  Capra tossed three scoreless innings on two hits.  Capra walked two and struck out four.

Daniel Bennett worked two shutout innings in game two for the Wingnuts.  With hits in each end of the double header, Amberson has now hit safely in 14 consecutive games.

Prior to the game, Wichita acquired Mobbs from the United League's San Angelo Colts in exchange for future considerations.  Mobbs hit .388 in 19 games for San Angelo.  Wichita also acquired catcher Scott Dalrymple from the Frontier League's River City Rascals in exchange for right-handed pitcher Tyler White.  Dalrymple hit .310 in 13 contests for River City and started game two of the double header for Wichita.  Additionally, the Wingnuts signed rookie right-hander pitcher Josh Stone.  Stone was 8-3 with a 2.15 ERA for Tabor College earlier this spring.  Wichita released catcher Stephen Yoo and outfielder Tim Rotola.

Game three of the four-game series is Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.  Justin Klipp faces right-hander Wes Roemer.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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The Toughest At Bat

By Jeremy Deckard, Wingnuts' Media Correspondent

Photo Credit: Abbygail Wells

Every baseball player who picks up a bat has felt the same feeling at some point in their career.  That is the sinking feeling in the pit of their stomach when facing that one pitcher who just owns you.

The pitcher who throws the ball a foot outside, but you still take a hack at it.

The pitcher who throws slower than your grandma does during a game of backyard catch, but you still can’t touch it.

The pitcher you see on the mound and you just want to ask for a free pass, or to go sit down back in the dugout.  Every player who has carried a Louisville Slugger has had that feeling.

Most of the players on the Wichita Winguts' roster have faced a Major League arm at some point in their career.

When asked who the toughest pitcher they had ever faced was, some could remember the big names.  Others couldn't remember any names at all, but could still envision in their minds the arm with the heater they couldn't catch up with, or the breaking ball they just couldn't lay off.

Wingnuts' designated hitter John Rodriguez logged 332 at bats in the Major Leagues from 2005-06.  His foe was a future hall of famer and four-time Cy Young Award winner.

“I would say Greg Maddux.  He was just a master of spotting the ball in and out.  He would throw a pitch that would look like it was going to hit you, and then it would move over the strike zone.  You just couldn't sit back on a pitch.  It looks like he is aiming at a big bull’s eye and hitting it every time,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez faced Maddux five times over his two seasons in the Majors.  During those five at bats, Rodriguez did manage one hit.  Wingnuts' skipper Kevin Hooper also spent parts of two years in the Major Leagues, as well as six others in Triple-A.  However, Hooper's toughest at bat came in a spring training game.

“Randy Johnson, no questions asked," said Hooper.  "There’s not even an argument.  I faced him in a spring training game and he is just right on top of you.  He releases the ball and it’s just there.  The guy is throwing 98 mph from the left side, and he’s 6-foot-10.  It was tough, but it was fun to face him.”

Johnson was a five-time Cy Young Award winner, and that’s where you see a pattern start to form with the next response from Wingnuts' catcher Cole Armstrong.

“Probably (Justin) Verlander.  I faced him in spring training a couple of times coming from the minor leagues.  He just has four plus-pitches and throws about 100 mph.  Clay Buchholz was another guy who would throw you a fastball and you had no idea where it was going,” Cole Armstrong said.

That’s three former Cy Young winners, all of whom could be enshrined in Cooperstown one day.

Second baseman Jake Kahaulelio remembers another Tigers' pitcher that caused him fits.

“When I was in High-A, I faced Rick Porcello.  He was 19 years old, and he threw 95 mph sinkers.  I just kept chopping balls into the ground.  He’s the toughest guy I have ever faced,” Kahaulelio said.

Kahaulelio faced Porcello in the Florida State League during the 2008 season.  The second-year Wingnut was playing for the Sarasota Reds, while Porcello took the mound for the Lakeland Flying Tigers.  When the two met, Kahaulelio went 0-for-3 against Porcello, but later hit a two-run triple against Flying Tigers’ reliever Derek Witt.  Porcello finished that season with a 2.66 ERA and reached the Majors the following year.  Since then, he has earned 51 wins for Detroit's big club.

Shortstop Ryan Khoury also named a Cy Young Award winner from the past, but stated that his toughest opponent is a young phenom with even nastier stuff.

“The toughest pitcher I have faced is (Stephen) Strasburg.  His change-up is 93 (mph), and it still moves like a change-up.  He has dirty stuff.  I faced Roy Halladay a couple of times, and he was obviously dirty, but Strasburg’s stuff seemed to be more overpowering,” Khoury said.

Then there is young Colt Loehrs, who has not yet reached the affiliated ranks.  He squared off against his toughest pitching opponent just last season.

“The Alpine Cowboys' closer (Alfredo Caballero)--he threw hard and had four pitches.  He seemed to get me every time, but I am proud to say I got him once for a homer.  I felt good about that,” Loehrs said.

Loehrs has good reason to have positive memories of that long ball while playing for the Trinidad Triggers.  Caballero had 12 saves last season for the Cowboys and averaged 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings.  Caballero is now pitching for the United League's San Angelo Colts.

So far in 2013, few pitchers have been able to give Wingnuts' fits the way Maddux, Verlander, and Halladay have in the past.  Entering Thursday, the team ranks second in the American Association with a .291 batting average.

The Wingnuts open a four-game series against the St. Paul Saints, beginning with a double header Friday night.  Game one is scheduled to begin at 5:05 p.m.  One ticket grants admission for both games.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Goldeyes Edge Wingnuts in Rubber Game

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA- The Wichita Wingnuts (16-9) lost 4-3 to the Winnipeg Goldeyes (14-12) at Shaw Park on Wednesday afternoon.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

Wichita jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but Winnipeg scored single runs in the first, third, sixth, and ninth innings to pull away with the win.

Tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth, Nick Liles lined a single to center field with one out.  Nate Samson followed with a first-pitch double to left-center that put runners on second and third.  After Tyler Graham walked, Amos Ramon drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly down the right field line that scored Liles.

Wichita scored in the top of the first for a fifth straight game on their road trip.  Abel Nieves and John Rodriguez hit back-to-back singles.  With first and third and two outs, Cole Armstrong slugged a three-run homer to right-center field off Goldeyes' starter Mark Hardy.

Winnipeg manufactured their first run in the bottom of the first.  Graham struck out leading off but reached on a dropped third strike.  Graham stole second, took third on a throwing error by Armstrong, and scored on Ramon's groundout to shorstop.

Graham and Ramon executed a double steal with one out in the bottom of the third, setting up an RBI groundout to shortstop from Josh Mazzola that cut the Wingnuts' lead to 3-2.

Fehlandt Lentini tied the game for Winnipeg in the sixth on a two-out, line drive single to right field.

Chris Smith started for the Wingnuts and took a no-decision, allowing three runs, two earned, on five hits in six innings. Smith walked one and tied a season-high with eight strikeouts.

Hardy also took a no-decision, allowing three earned runs on six hits in six innings.  Hardy walked two and struck out four.

Patrick Keating recorded two outs in the top of the ninth to pick up the win in relief.  Lincoln Holdzkom took the loss for Wichita.

Daniel Bennett worked one and one-third scoreless relief innings and struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh.

Amberson doubled in the second to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.

The Wingnuts take Thursday off and open a four-game series against the St. Paul Saints beginning with a double header on Friday evening.  First pitch for game one is at 5:05 p.m.  One ticket grants admission for both games.  Ryan Hinson will start for the Wingnuts with Anthony Capra scheduled for the nightcap.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Bounce Back in Impressive Win

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA- The Wichita Wingnuts (16-8) shutout the Winnipeg Goldeyes (13-12) 11-0 at Shaw Park on Tuesday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

Jon Link improved to a league-best 5-1 with eight shutout innings, while the Wingnuts powered their way to victory with a pair of home runs in the middle innings.

Wichita scored in the top of the first for a second consecutive game.  Ryan Khoury doubled down the left field line leading off and took third base on Abel Nieves' groundball to shortstop.  John Rodriguez plated Khoury with a sacrifice fly to deep center field.

Link made the early run stand up, and worked out of a first and second jam with no outs in the bottom of the fourth.  Link struck out Casey Haerther for the first out of the inning, and kept Wichita in front when Leonard Davis grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Wichita broke the game open in the top of the fifth.  Jared McDonald beat out an infield single on a groundball to short with one out and advanced to second when David Amberson lined a single to right.  The single extended Amberson's hitting streak to 11 games.  Tim Rotola made it 2-0 with a soft line drive single to right in which McDonald scored ahead of right fielder Fehlandt Lentini's throw to the plate.  After Khoury walked to load the bases, Nieves hit a grand slam home run on a towering flyball to right-center.  It was Wichita's first grand slam since August 27th, 2011.

In the top of the sixth, Cole Armstrong and Colt Loehrs both singled to left field.  McDonald ripped the next pitch over the right-center field wall for a line drive, three-run homer.

The Wingnuts added two more runs in the top of the seventh.  With the bases loaded and one out, McDonald bounced a single to right that scored Rodriguez from third.  Amberson accounted for the final run of the game when he beat out a potential double play ball at first.

Link retired the leadoff hitter in five of the eight innings that he started.  Link walked one and struck out six in the win.  Link has pitched 18.1 consecutive scoreless innings dating back to his start on June 1st at Sioux Falls.

Josh Dew threw a perfect bottom of the ninth to finish the game.

All nine starters scored at least one run for Wichita, while eight of them had at least one hit.

Goldeyes' starter Matthew Rusch took the loss, allowing nine earned runs on nine hits in six innings.  Rusch walked two and struck out four.  Six of Wichita's nine hits against Rusch came on two-strike counts in which the batter started with an 0-2 count.

McDonald finished with three hits and four RBI, while Nieves, Armstrong, and Rotola each had two hits.

The series concludes Wednesday morning at 11:00 a.m.  Chris Smith faces left-hander Mark Hardy.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.kleyam.com

The Wingnuts return home on Friday, June 14th when they host the St. Paul Saints for a double header beginning at 5:05 p.m.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Add Older Rookie

Photo Credit: Greg Selber

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts have acquired right-handed pitcher Justin Klipp from the United League's Edinburg Roadrunners in exchange for cash.

Klipp was scheduled to start Sunday at St. Paul.  The game postponed due to inclement weather.

Klipp was 2-1 in three starts for Edinburg with a 1.24 ERA.  The 28-year-old true rookie struck out 36 batters and walked only five in 21.2 innings.  Klipp made his professional debut on May 23rd at Fort Worth and struck out 14 batters in six and one-third innings.  The Tarzana, CA native fanned another 14 in his next start during a complete game victory at San Angelo.

"We are excited to give Justin a chance in our rotation," said Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper.  "He is a great story as an older rookie who is finally getting a shot in professional baseball.  Our league will be a good challenge for him.  He is still dreaming of one day pitching in the Major Leagues, and I respect his drive and desire after everything he has been through."

Klipp was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 22nd round in 2007, but did not see live action professionally until this year due to a pair of back injuries.  The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Klipp was drafted following two successful years at Cal State Fullerton.  Klipp posted a 2.15 ERA during his senior seson with the Titans, striking out 28 in 37.2 innings of work.

Klipp fills out Wichita's active roster, which had been at 21 players since May 30th.  Klipp is expected to make his Wingnuts' debut during this weekend's home series against St. Paul.

The Wingnuts open a three-game series tonight against the Winnipeg Goldeyes at Shaw Park.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.  Junior Guerra faces left-hander Peter Gehle.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Friday, June 14th when they play a double header against the St. Paul Saints at 5:05 p.m.  One ticket is valid for admission to both games.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Notable Home Runs Not Enough in Loss to Winnipeg

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA- The Wichita Wingnuts (15-8) lost 7-6 to the Winnipeg Goldeyes (12-12) at Shaw Park on Monday night.

Winnipeg overcame Wichita leads of 5-1 and 6-5, and won the game on Casey Haerther's bases loaded single in the bottom of the ninth.  Haerther finished the game with six RBI.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

Tied at 6-6 in the ninth, Amos Ramon singled to left field leading off.  Ramon went to third on Ryan Scoma's sacrifice bunt that resulted in a throwing error by Wingnuts' reliever Lincoln Holdzkom.  After Wichita intentionally walked Josh Mazzola, Haerther poked a single through a drawn-in Wingnuts' infield to drive home Ramon with the winning run.

Haerther tied the game at 6-6 in the bottom of the seventh on a groundout to first with the bases loaded and one out.

Wichita jumped out to an early lead for a third straight game.  Jake Kahaulelio walked with one out and took third on John Rodriguez's double down the left field line.  C.J. Ziegler followed with another double that drove in Kahaulelio and Rodriguez.

Winnipeg cut the lead in half in the bottom of the first on an RBI double to right-center from Scoma, but Wingnuts' starter Junior Guerra escaped further trouble when Haerther grounded into an inning-ending double play.

In the top of the third, Cole Armstrong walked with two outs.  Abel Nieves extended the lead to 4-1 with a line drive home run to right that was just fair and just cleared the fence.

With two outs and no one on base in the fifth, Ziegler homered to deep left-center to make it 5-1 Wichita.  The home run was Ziegler's 26th in a Wingnuts' uniform over the last two seasons, tying Ryan Patterson's franchise record.

Winnipeg rallied for four runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game.  Tyler Graham singled to right with one out and advanced to second when Ramon reached on an infield single.  Scoma lined out to left field for the second out.  After Mazzola walked to load the bases, Haerther hit an opposite field grand slam to right-center to knot the score.

David Amberson put Wichita back in front with a two-out, solo blast to left in the top of the sixth.  It was the first home run of Amberson's professional career.

Guerra took a no-decision, allowing five earned runs on seven hits in six innings.  Guerra walked three and struck out three.

Goldeyes' starter Peter Gehle also took a no-decision, allowing five earned runs on eight hits in five and one-third.  Gehle walked two and struck out three.

Holdzkom took the loss.  Patrick Keating earned the win in relief for Winnipeg.

Amberson had three hits and has hit safely in 10 games in a row.  Daniel Bennett threw one and two-thirds scoreless innings of relief, and struck out the side in order in the bottom of the eighth.

The series continues Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m.  Jon Link stats for the Wingnuts.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.kleyam.com

The Wingnuts return home on Friday, June 14th when they host the St. Paul Saints for a double header beginning at 5:05 p.m.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Sunday's Game Postponed

ST. PAUL, MN- Sunday afternoon's game between the Wichita Wingnuts and St. Paul Saints has been postponed due to inclement weather.

The game will be made up as part of a double header at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Friday, June 14th beginning at 5:05 p.m.  Both games are scheduled for seven innings.

The Wingnuts open a three-game series against the Winnipeg Goldeyes at Shaw Park on Monday night.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.  Junior Guerra takes the mound for Wichita.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Friday, June 14th when they host the St. Paul Saints.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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McDonald's Whopper Helps 'Nuts Beat Hamburger

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

ST. PAUL, MN- The Wichita Wingnuts (15-7) defeated the St. Paul Saints (12-10) 7-2 at Midway Stadium on Saturday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Jared McDonald 

Jake Kahaulelio homered in the first inning for a second straight night, while Ryan Hinson pitched into the eighth inning for a third time in five starts this season to earn the win.

Ryan Khoury led off the game with a single to right field on an 0-2 pitch from Saints' starter Mark Hamburger.  Kahaulelio followed with a two-run blast to left-center that gave Wichita an early 2-0 lead.

After allowing a one-out double to Adam Frost in the bottom of the first, Hinson retired the next nine batters in a row.

In the top of the fourth, Abel Nieves led off with a line drive single to center.  Two batters later, David Amberson grounded a single to left field to extend his hitting streak to nine games.  Jared McDonald then struck a two-run double off the right-center field fence to increase Wichita's lead to 4-0.

Dwight Childs hit a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning to cut Wichita's lead in half.  Hinson retired the next seven batters in a row.

Wichita responded to the Saints' only runs of the night with a three-run top of the sixth.  McDonald bunted for a single with one out and went to third on a bloop single to right by Ryan Khoury.  Kahaulelio drove in his third run with a groudball single to left that scored McDonald.  After John Rodriguez was intentionally walked, C.J. Ziegler walked with the bases full to make it 6-2.  Cole Armstrong drove in the final run of the game with a sacrifice fly to left field off Saints' reliever Dustin Klabunde.

Hinson retired the leadoff hitter in all eight innings that he started.  Hinson allowed two earned runs on four hits in seven and one-third, walking two and striking out six.

Tyler White threw one and one-third scoreless innings to close out the win for Wichita.

Nieves reached base four times, adding three walks to his fourth-inning single.  McDonald was on base three times.

Hamburger took the loss, allowing seven earned runs on eight hits in five and one-third innings.  Hamburger walked five and struck out two.

The series conlcudes Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m.  Wichita has not yet announced its starting pitcher.  The Saints go with right-hander Anthony Claggett.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Friday, June 14th when they host the St. Paul Saints.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Wingnuts Comeback Falls Inches Short

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography

ST. PAUL, MN- The Wichita Wingnuts (14-7) lost 8-7 to the St. Paul Saints (12-9) at Midway Stadium on Friday night.

Wichita nearly erased a six-run deficit in the late innings, falling inches shy in the top of the ninth when the tying run was thrown out at the plate to end the game.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

Trailing 8-7 in the ninth, John Rodriguez lined a single to center field.  Tim Rotola pinch-ran for Rodriguez and advanced to second two batters later when Cole Armstrong was hit by a pitch.  Stephen Yoo then pinch-ran for Armstrong.  After Abel Nieves was called out on strikes for the second out of the inning, Colt Loehrs ripped a line drive single to left.  Rotola attempted to score from second base and was tagged out by Saints' catcher Dwight Childs who blocked the plate.

The Wingnuts' near-comeback started in the top of the eighth with the Saints leading 8-2.  Ryan Khoury led off with a walk and took third on Jake Kahaulelio's double off the left field wall.  Rodriguez hit a groundball through the legs of Saints' third baseman Joey Becker that scored Khoury and made it 8-3.  C.J. Ziegler and Armstrong drew back-to-back walks to force in Kahaulelio with Wichita's fourth run.

Nieves cut the lead to 8-5 with an RBI groundout to second base.  Loehrs singled home Ziegler on a line drive single to left.  After David Amberson walked to load the bases, Saints' closer Mike Meyer came in for a five-out save.  Wichita scratched out their fifth run of the inning two batters later when Khoury was hit by a pitch.

Kahaulelio homered two batters into the game to give Wichita an early 1-0 lead.

The Saints scored three times against Wingnuts' starter Chris Smith in the bottom of the third.  Adam Front reached on an infield single leading off and went to third on a hit-and-run single to right from Childs.  Dan Kaczrowski doubled to left-center field to tie the game.  Brad Boyer made it 3-1 on a two-run double down the right field line.

St. Paul added a fourth run on a Wingnuts' error in the bottom of the fifth.

Loehrs and Amberson hit consecutive doubles with two outs in the top of the seventh to pull the Wingnuts within two runs before the Saints extended the lead to 8-2 with a four-run bottom of the inning.  Childs hit a three-run double to right with two outs for St. Paul during the frame.

Smith took the loss, allowing five earned runs on 10 hits in six and one-third innings.  Smith walked one and struck out one.

Wes Roemer earned the win for St. Paul, allowing four earned runs on six hits in seven plus innings.  Roemer walked three and struck out four.

Meyer earned the save.

Lincoln Holdzkom threw a scoreless inning of relief for the Wingnuts.  Loehrs and Kahaulelio each finished with three hits.  Kahaulelio turned 28-years-old on Friday.  Amberson has hit safely in eight games in a row.

Game two of the series is scheduled for Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.  Ryan Hinson faces right-hander Mark Hamburger.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Friday, June 14th when they host the St. Paul Saints.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Home Games Now Streamed Live

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts are excited to announce live video streaming of all home games at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, beginning with tonight's contest against the El Paso Diablos.

Each game can be accessed for free at the following link: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/3745544

Live streaming begins 15 minutes before the scheduled first pitch and will be simulcasted with the Wingnuts' radio broadcasts on Oldies 92.7 KWME.  The service offers a DVR feature that allows viewers to watch the game in real time from the start, even if they tune in after the first pitch.  Archives of each game will be available shortly after their completion.

"We are very excited to offer this service," said Wingnuts' General Manager Josh Roberton.  "Our goal is to increase our brand awareness, and provide our fans another means of connecting with our on-field product.  There are many out-of-town supporters who have never had the opportunity to see our historic ballpark.  We are also hoping the added exposure entices Wichita residents who have never been to a Wingnuts' game to take a chance on some of the best family-friendly entertainment in town."

The Wingnuts wrap up their series against the El Paso Diablos tonight at 7:05 p.m.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Blank Diablos to Earn Sweep

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (14-6) shutout the El Paso Diablos (5-14) 1-0 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Thursday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Ryan Khoury 

Jon Link and three Wingnuts' relievers combined on a seven-hit shutout that gave Wichita a four-game sweep.  Wichita's pitching staff allowed just 20 total base hits in the four-game series.

Wichita scored the game's only run in the bottom of the fifth inning.  With two outs and no one on base, Jared McDonald struck a ground rule double over the center field wall.  Ryan Khoury followed with an RBI single through the left side.

Link worked six and two-thirds shutout innings, allowing six hits.  Link walked four and struck out five to earn his fourth win of the year.  Link stranded 10 Diablos on base, including seven in scoring position.

Nick Walters recorded the final out of the seventh and first out of the eighth before giving way to Lincoln Holdzkom.  Holdzkom retired both batters to face him on a combined four pitches.  Josh Dew worked a perfect top of the ninth to earn his fourth save.

Khoury had two hits in the win while David Amberson extended his hitting streak to seven games.

David Casillas took the loss for the Diablos, allowing one earned run on five hits in seven innings.  Casillas walked four and struck out nine.

It was Wichita's second shutout of 2013 and their first in a 1-0 game since blanking El Paso in game one of a double header at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on August 27th of last year.

The Wingnuts open a three-game series against the St. Paul Saints at Midway Stadium on Friday night.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  Chris Smith faces right-hander Wes Roemer.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.kleyam.com

The Wingnuts return to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Friday, June 14th when they host the Saints to start a seven-game homestand.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Stage Late Comeback

Photo Credit: Abbygail Wells 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (13-6) defeated the El Paso Diablos (5-13) 5-4 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Wednesday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Abel Nieves 

The Wingnuts overcame a pair of three-run deficits, and won the game on Abel Nieves' two-out, RBI double in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the seventh, David Amberson and Jared McDonald opened the inning with back-to-back singles.  Ryan Khoury sliced El Paso's lead to 4-2 with a sacrifice fly to left field.

Stephen Yoo doubled to right-center leading off the bottom of the eighth and went to third on Nieves' single to left.  Colt Loehrs followed with a pinch-hit double off the right field wall that scored Yoo to make it 4-3.  Amberson tied the game when he drove in Nieves with a sacrifice fly to center field.

John Rodriguez drew a leadoff walk in the ninth and took second on C.J. Ziegler's groundout to short.  Two batters later, Nieves drove the ball over the head of Diablos' right fielder Brian Joynt to score Rodriguez with the winning run.

Josh Dew earned the win in relief with a perfect top of the ninth.  Lincoln Holdzkom worked a perfect eighth for Wichita.

The Diablos took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third when Maikol Gonzalez, Jose Garcia, and Joynt drew three straight walks.  Gonzalez came home on a wild pitch, while Garcia scored on a groundball to shortstop from Jonathan Cisneros.  Mitch Einertson singled to left to drive in Joynt.

Nieves lifted a sacrifice fly to left field in the bottom of the fourth to get the Wingnuts on the board.  Cisneros hit an RBI double in the next half inning to re-extend El Paso's lead to three runs.

Junior Guerra started for the Wingnuts and took a no-decision.  Guerra allowed four earned runs on five hits in seven innings.  Guerra walked seven and struck out five.

Ryan Bean started for El Paso and also took a no-decision.  Bean allowed one earned run on four hits with five walks and two strikeouts in six innings.

Mike Koons took the loss for El Paso, allowing one earned run in one and one-third relief innings.

Nieves finished with three hits for a second straight night.

The Wingnuts and Diablos conclude their series on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m.  Jon Link faces right-hander David Casillas.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Amado Enjoys Teaching the Art of Hitting

By Jeremy Deckard, Wingnuts' Media Correspondent

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography 

Jose Amado is one of the few people in baseball who can say he was both a Lugnut and a Wingnut.  Truth be told, Amado is nuts about the game of baseball and enjoys coming to the ball park every day and night.

Amado, or ‘Pop’ as he is known around the Wichita Wingnuts' clubhouse, played the game he loved for 14 years.  After playing in such places as Everett, WA, Wilmington, DE, and Bridgeport, CT, Amado landed in Wichita and now enters his fourth season as the Wingnuts' hitting coach.

Amado’s first professional season was spent in Everett WA, which at the time was a Low-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.  Amado played wth the High-A Lansing Lugnuts before signing with the Kansas City Royals.  While with the Royals, Amado played Double-A ball with the Wichita Wranglers and was a member of their 1999 Texas League championship team--the last professional sports championship in the City of Wichita to date.  Some of Amado’s Wrangler teammates included Jaime Bluma, Dee Brown, Shawn Sedlacek and Carlos Febles.

The 37-year-old Amado hit .290 or better in nine of 14 seasons as a pro, and drew 421 career walks versus just 281 strikeouts.  Amado’s progression up baseball’s ladder was slowed by injuries, but he has no regrets and still misses playing the game he loved.

“I remember everything about playing baseball.  I miss playing baseball, hitting every day and everything about playing the game,” Amado said.  “I was not a home run hitter, but I could hit lots of doubles and line drives.  I was a good contact hitter who could hit .300.  I was tough to strike out.  I played in Wichita a couple of years in Double-A and thought I could play in the majors, but injuries really hurt me.”

Amado has had six shoulder surgeries and three knee surgeries.  Yet once he puts that uniform on, he always has a smile on his face.  He reminds people in that way of Andre Dawson.  Dawson was another guy who suffered with knee issues, and teammates of Dawson always commented on the effort it took for him to get ready for a game.

Wichita manager Kevin Hooper was a teammate of Amado’s during the Wingnuts’ inaugural 2008 season and his work ethic impressed the soon-to-be skipper.

With his playing days behind him, Amado focuses on working with hitters and assisting in the recruiting of players, especially those from his home country of Venezuela.

“I rely on him tremendously and I am lucky to have him.  He’s my guy,” Hooper said.  “Venezuelan guys who don’t have jobs, we’re going to get an early crack at signing them.  He works his butt off and is in the cage 24/7.  Jose is a huge help to us when recruiting quality Latin players, because he'll go out and get them.”

Venezuela is a country that has produced baseball stars such as David Concepcion, Andres Galarraga and Omar Vizquel.  However, Amado from San Cristobal, Venezuela stated that he looked up more to his father than any of the Major Leaguers from his home country.

“There was not much baseball where I grew up.  The only person I could look up to was my dad.  He helped me learn about baseball.  He’s the only person that I owe everything too.  I never dreamed of being a professional baseball player, but he believed in me, and pitched to me every day and night.  I learned the hard way thanks to him,” Amado said.

Amado discussed how he at times has assisted Hooper and General Manager Josh Robertson in recruiting athletes from his native country.

“Now (recruiting) is not as hard, because they are hearing from other guys that this is a good place to play and be.  I just try to find good guys that carry themselves well and play the game hard.  Sometimes if it is a guy ‘Hoop’ is not sure on, I just keep pushing and pushing until they can’t say no,” Amado said.

The Winguts have had great success under Amado’s hitting tutelage as the team as hit .295, .311, and .291 in his three full years as a hitting coach.  Through the first 17 games this season Wichita is batting a collective .294--tied for first in the American Association.

Second baseman Jake Kahaulelio is just one of the Wingnuts' batsmen who are flourishing under Amado’s instruction.  Kahaulelio finished first in the American Association last year with a .372 average and is currently hitting .353 for the 11-6 Wingnuts.

“I have had good hitting coaches in my career, but for some reason you just come across a guy where it clicks.  I have to give him (Amado) all the credit for last year.  Jose just calmed me down.  It started last year and it has continued so far this year,” Kahaulelio said.  “I started late this year because I was not sure if I was going to play this season, but right from the start he made me just feel right again.

“He’s patient, and that is what you want in a hitting coach.  You don’t want someone who is going to try to fix your swing in one day--it’s a progression.  With him he just makes you feel so comfortable with the little things that it becomes a quick easy fix.”

With the success that the Wichita offense has had during ‘Pop's’ years as hitting coach, it is no surprise that his name comes up when coaching and managing positions arise.  Amado made it clear, though, that he enjoys working with Hooper and pitching coach Luke Robertson.

“I love those guys.  I learn from 'Hoop' and Luke every single day.  Everything we do we usually agree, and if we don’t, we will talk it out,” Amado said.  “'Hoop' trusts us to do our work and lets us do it.  That is what I like about him.  He lets me do my job.  The thing about us three is we work hard every day to make this team better.”

Amado is also proud to be living and working in Wichita.

“I love Wichita.  It is a very nice city.  I loved playing here, my kids are here, and this will be our home for the rest of my life,” Amado said.

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Capra and Offense Set Early Tone

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (12-6) defeated the El Paso Diablos (5-12) 8-1 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Tuesday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Anthony Capra 

For a second straight game, the Wingnuts were led by a strong performance from their starting pitcher.  Anthony Capra made his first start since the final game of the 2012 regular season and allowed just one earned run on three hits over six innings.  Capra walked two and struck out five, including the 500th strikeout of his professional career.  Capra threw only 78 pitches in his six innings of work.

Wichita took early control of the game, scoring five unearned runs in the bottom of the first.  With one out,  Jake Kahaulelio reached on an error by Diablos' shortstop Maikol Gonzalez.  John Rodriguez followed with a line drive double into the left field corner that scored Kahaulelio from first base with the game's first run.  After C.J. Ziegler grounded out, Cole Armstrong singled through the left side to put runners on the corners.  Abel Nieves, Tim Rotola, and David Amberson then drew three consecutive walks, the latter two of which forced home runs.  Jared McDonald and Ryan Khoury finished the rally with back-to-back RBI, infield singles.

El Paso's lone run came in the top of the fourth on a J.J. Muse sacrifice fly to center field.

With second and third and two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Khoury legged out another infield single that scored Nieves from third base.  Gonazalez's throw on the same play sailed into foul ground and brought in McDonald from second to make it 7-1.

In the bottom of the eighth, Rodriguez doubled home Kahaulelio from first base for a second time in the game for the Wingnuts' final run.

Daniel Bennett, Nick Walters, and Tyler White each worked a scoreless inning of relief to finish the game.  Wichita drew seven walks in the win.  Nieves had three hits, while Amberson reached base three times.  All nine starters reached base at least once with a hit or a walk.  Kahaulelio and Ziegler had their hitting streaks snapped at nine games.

The Wingnuts and Diablos play game three of their four-game series on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m.  Junior Guerra faces right-hander Ryan Bean.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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McDonald Named Batter of the Week

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography 

WICHITA, KS- Wichita Wingnuts' center fielder Jared McDonald has been named the American Association's Batter of the Week for May 27th-June 2nd.

McDonald hit .591 in six games last week with five doubles, seven runs scored, and six RBI.  The Tucson, AZ native had at least one hit in all six contests and helped the Wingnuts go 5-1.  Last Wednesday, McDonald had a four-hit game versus Amarillo, and scored the game-winning run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning.

McDonald is currently batting .370 for the season, which ranks tied for eighth in the American Association.  The 25-year-old outfielder also ranks tied for third with eight doubles.

The Wingnuts open a four-game series against the El Paso Diablos tonight at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Hinson, Offense Lead Wingnuts in Series Opener

Photo Credit: Abbygail Wells

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (11-6) defeated the El Paso Diablos (5-11) 9-2 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Monday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Ryan Hinson 

Wingnuts' starting pitcher Ryan Hinson improved to 14-6 lifetime at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, allowing two earned runs on just four hits over eight strong innings.  Hinson walked two, struck out three, and retired 11 of 12 batters from the fourth inning through the seventh.

Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Wichita scored five runs to take control of the game.  C.J. Ziegler led off and blasted a line drive home run to deep left-center to knot the score at 1-1.  Cole Armstrong followed with a four-pitch walk and went to second when Abel Nieves singled to shallow right field on an 0-2 count.  Newcomer Tim Rotola loaded the bases with no outs when he beat out a sacrifice bunt attempt to the left side of the infield.  David Amberson gave Wichita the lead with a line drive, two-run single to left that plated Armstrong and Nieves.

With runners on first and second, Rotola and Amberson executed a double steal.  Rotola scored when Diablos' catcher Moises Montero's throw to second base bounced into center field.  Amberson took third on the same play and eventually scored Wichita's fifth run on a Ryan Khoury RBI groundout.

Ziegler lined a two-run double off the top of the left field wall in the bottom of the seventh to make it 7-2 Wingnuts.

After the Diablos scratched out a run in the top of the eighth on a wild pitch, Jake Kahaulelio singled home two more runs in the bottom half to provide the game's final margin.

Lincoln Holdzkom threw a perfect top of the ninth to close out the win.

Ziegler and Kahaulelio combined for four hits and five RBI, and both extended their hitting streaks to nine games.

El Paso scored the game's first run in the top of the third.  Montero led off with a ground rule double to center field, took third on Miguel Chacoa's sacrifice bunt, and scored on a groundball to first from Maikol Gonazalez.

Carlos Monasterios took the loss for El Paso, allowing seven runs, six earned, on 10 hits in six and one-third innings.  Monasterios walked two and struck out two.

Amberson finished with three hits, a run scored, two RBI, and a stolen base.

Rotola was 2 for 4 with a double and two runs scored in his Wingnuts' debut.  The 25-year-old Rotola was signed prior to Monday's game and last played in 2011 when he batted .355 for the Pecos League's White Sands Pupfish.  Rotola resides in Wichita and is entering his fourth overall season of professional baseball.  Wichita released outfielder Derek Perren.

The series continues Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m.  Anthony Capra makes his first start of the season and faces El Paso left-hander Kevin Brahney.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Canaries Use Longball to Down Wingnuts

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop 

SIOUX FALLS, SD- The Wichita Wingnuts (10-6) lost 11-6 to the Sioux Falls Canarie (6-11) at Sioux Falls Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

The Canaries scored four unearned runs in the bottom of the third to take a 6-2 lead.  Kevin Dultz reached on an error by Abel Nieves to lead off the inning.  Dultz went to second when Nick Van Stratten beat out a bunt attempt along the third base line.  After Jake Taylor laid down a sacrifice bunt, J.P. Ramirez hit a sacrifice fly to left that scored Dultz with the go-ahead run.  John Alonso, Tim Pahuta, and Nate Baumann added two-out, RBI singles later in the frame.

Alonso and Pahuta hit back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the fifth to extend Sioux Falls' lead to 8-2.

The Wingnuts scored four times in the top of the sixth to pull within two runs.  Wichita loaded the bases with no outs on a double and two walks.  Canaries' starter Adam Champion nearly worked out of the jam before hitting Jared McDonald with a pitch to force home the Wingnuts' third run.  Ryan Khoury followed with a two-out, three-run double down the left field line against reliever Matt Daly to cut the lead to 8-6.

Sioux Falls responded in the bottom half with a two-out, three run homer from Clark.

Chris Smith took the loss for the Wingnuts, allowing eight runs, four earned, on eight hits in five innings.  Smith walked two and struck out four.

Champion picked up the win, allowing six earned runs on six hits in five and two-thirds.  Champion walked four and struck out five.

The Wingnuts took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second.  C.J. Ziegler led off with a double.  Colt Loehrs followed with a double to left-center that scored Ziegler.

Clark and Pahuta each hit solo home runs in the bottom of the second to give Sioux Falls a 2-1 lead.

Wichita tied it in the top of the third on a two-out, RBI single from John Rodriguez.

Ziegler and Jake Kahaulelio extended their hitting streaks to eight games.  McDonald singled in the ninth and has hit safely in six in a row.  Daniel Bennett threw two shutout relief innings for Wichita.  Sioux falls totaled five home runs in the game.

The Wingnuts return home Monday night for a four-game series against the El Paso Diablos.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  Ryan Hinson is scheduled to start for Wichita and will face El Paso right Carlos Monasterios.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Overcome Early Deficit

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

SIOUX FALLS, SD- The Wichita Wingnuts (10-5) defeated the Sioux Falls Canaries (5-11) 7-5 at Sioux Falls Stadium on Saturday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and David Amberson 

Wichita overcame an early 3-0 deficit to win their fifth consecutive game, and clinch their third ever series win at Sioux Falls Stadium.

Trailing 3-0 in the top of the fourth, C.J. Ziegler lined a single to left leading off.  Canaries' starter Jordan Whatcott then walked the next three batters in a row to force home Wichita's first run.  David Amberson cut the lead to 3-2 with an RBI groundout to second base.

John Alonso hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth to extend the Canaries' lead to 4-2, but Wichita took the lead for good with three runs in the top of the sixth.  With first and second and one out, Amberson crushed a double to deep left-center field that scored Abel Nieves to make it 4-3 Sioux Falls.  After Austin Brough relieved Whatcott, Derek Perren scampered home with the tying run on a wild pitch.  With Amberson now on third base, Jared McDonald put the Wingnuts in front with a sacrifice fly to shallow right field in which Amberson slid home ahead of Anthony Trajano's throw.

Jake Kahaulelio tripled to center leading off the top of the eighth and eventually scored the Wingnuts' sixth run when he crossed the plate before Sioux Falls completed an inning-ending, reverse-force double play on a groundball to first hit by Cole Armstrong.

Abel Nieves homered to right-center leading off the top of the eighth to make it 7-4.  The Canaries pulled within two runs on a two-out, RBI single to right from Tim Pahuta in the bottom of the inning before Lincoln Holdzkom retired Jake Taylor to strand the tying runs on base.

Josh Dew threw a perfect bottom of the ninth to earn his third save of the year.

Jon Link earned the win for the Wingnuts, allowing four earned runs on seven hits in seven innings.  Link struck out seven and did not issue a walk.

Whatcott took the loss, allowing five earned runs on seven hits in five and one-third innings.  Whatcott walked four and struck out five.

Sioux Falls scored three runs in the bottom of the second on an RBI single to right from Pahuta and a two-out, two-run home run to right-center by Taylor.

John Rodriguez's 10-game hitting streak came to an end.  Kahaulelio and Ziegler each extended their hitting streaks to seven games.

The series concludes Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m.  Chris Smith faces left-hander Adam Champion.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Monday, June 3rd when they host the El Paso Diablos for a four-game series.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Grind Out Win at Sioux Falls

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography

SIOUX FALLS, SD- The Wichita Wingnuts (9-5) won their fourth game in a row on Friday night, beating the Sioux Falls Canaries (5-10) 5-4 at Sioux Falls Stadium.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Jake Kahaulelio 

Jake Kahaulelio's two-out, infield single in the top of the ninth inning broke a 4-4 tie and gave Wichita their fourth lead of the game.  Jared McDonald doubled to left-center with one out and took third on a wild pitch before Kahaulelio ripped the ball fair behind the third base bag.  Sioux Falls' Tim Pahuta made a diving stop to his right, but Kahaulelio beat the ensuing throw to first base.

Josh Dew worked around a single and a stolen base in the bottom of the ninth to notch his second save of the year.  Dew struck out John Alonso looking to end the game, stranding the tying run on second base.

Lincoln Holdzkom earned the win in relief for Wichita after throwing a perfect bottom of the eighth.

Kirk Clark took the loss for the Canaries, allowing one earned run in one and one-third innings.

Sioux Falls scored the first run of the game on a Jared Clark RBI fielder's choice in the bottom of the first.  The Canaries drew four walks in the inning, but Wingnuts' starter Junior Guerra limited them to the lone run.

Cole Armstrong tied the game in the top of the second with a one-out, solo home run to left field.

Wichita went in front 2-1 in the top of the fourth.  John Rodriguez doubled to left-center leading off, which extended his hitting streak to 10 games.  Rodriguez went to third on C.J. Ziegler's line drive single to left.  Two batters later, Abel Nieves drove in Rodriguez with a groundout to second base.  Nick Van Stratten tied the game for the Canaries with a sacrifice fly to right in the bottom of the inning.

Kahaulelio delivered a two-out RBI single to center in the top of the fifth that scored McDonald, and made it 3-2 Wichita.  Sioux Falls knotted the score in the bottom half on a solo home run to left-center from Alonso.

The Wingnuts took their third lead in the sixth.  With runners on first and second and two outs, David Amberson legged out an infield single on a groundball to second.  Jake Taylor's throw to first went beyond the reach of Canaries' starter Ben Moore who was covering the bag.  The error allowed Armstrong to score from second with the Wingnuts' fourth run.

Sioux Falls answered again in the bottom of the sixth.  With two outs and no one on base, Cory Morales singled to left, stole second, and scored on a J.P. Ramirez groundball single to center.

Guerra took a no-decision, allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits in five innings.  Guerra walked six and struck out five.

Moore also took a no-decision, allowing four runs, three earned, on nine hits in five and two-thirds innings.  Moore walked one and struck out seven.  It was Moore's first walk of the season in 27 and two-thirds frames.

Kahaulelio finished with three hits for the Wingnuts and has hit safely in six in a row.

The Wingnuts and Canaries continue their series on Saturday night with Jon Link facing right-hander Jordan Whatcott.  First pitch at Sioux Falls Stadium is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Monday, June 3rd when they host the El Paso Diablos for a four-game series.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wild Win for Wingnuts on Long Night

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (8-5) defeated the Amarillo Sox (4-9) 7-6 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Wednesday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Josh Dew 

Trailing 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Wingnuts scratched out two runs to win their third game in a row.  Cole Armstrong drew a pinch-hit walk with one out.  After Colt Loehrs pinch-ran for Armstrong, Jared McDonald singled to right field to put the tying and winning runs on base.  Ryan Khoury worked a full count and was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Jake Kahaulelio tied the game on an infield single to second base that scored Loehrs and kept the bases full with one down.  John Rodriguez drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly to left field that scored McDonald.

Amarillo had overcome a 5-1 deficit to take their one-run advantage.  With Trey Ford on first and one out in the top of the fifth, K.C. Serna singled to center field.  Ford scored and Serna went to third when the ball bounced to the fence.  Chris Valencia's sacrifice fly to left scored Serna and cut the Wingnuts' lead to 5-3.

Brandon Jones grounded an RBI double down the left field line in the top of the sixth to make it 5-4, while Joe Weik tied the game with a two-out, bloop single to right in the top of the seventh.

Jason Martin made it 6-5 Amarillo with a two-out, line drive single to left in the eighth.

Josh Dew earned the win for the Wingnuts with a perfect top of the ninth.  Dew retired the side on just nine pitches.

Josh Giles took the loss for Amarillo, allowing two earned runs on one hit in one and one-third innings.

With two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the second, Stephen Yoo hit a ground rule double to left-center field.  After David Amberson walked, McDonald ripped a triple into the right field corner that scored both runners to give the Wingnuts a 2-0 lead.

Rodriguez made it 3-0 Wichita in the bottom of the third with a line drive home run just to the left of the batter's eye in center field.  It was Rodriguez's fourth home run in five games.

The Sox cut the lead to 3-1 in the top of the fourth when David Peralta and Chris Grossman hit back-to-back doubles with two outs.

The game was delayed for two hours and two minutes heading into the bottom of the fourth due to rain.  Upon returning from the delay, the Wingnuts added two runs on a McDonald RBI single and a balk committed by Sox' pitcher Kristhiam Linares.

Ryan Hinson started for the Wingnuts and allowed one earned run on two hits in four innings while taking a no-decision.  Hinson struck out four and did not issue a walk.

Jason Mitchell took a no-decision in the start for Amarillo.  Mitchell allowed three earned runs on four hits in three innings.  Mitchell walked one and struck out three.

McDonald was 4 for 4 with three RBI.  Rodriguez had two hits and extended his hitting streak to nine games in a row.

Linares was traded by the Wingnuts to Amarillo prior to the game in exchange for a player to be named later.

The Wingnuts take Thursday off and open a three-game series at Sioux Falls on Friday night at 7:05 p.m.  Junior Guerra takes the mound for Wichita at Sioux Falls Stadium.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home on Monday, June 3rd when they host the El Paso Diablos for a four-game series.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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This Missing Link is Missing Bats

By Jeremy Deckard, Wingnuts' Media Correspondent

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

If Wichita were Las Vegas and had a legalized sports book, one of the more popular bets would have to be the over/under on the number of starts Jon Link makes for the Wichita Wingnuts.

With the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase’s recent visit to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, I was reminded of another former professional wrestler known as “The Missing Link.”  The Missing Link painted his face green and blue, shaved his head and fought like a savage.

When you watch Jon Link pitch for the Wichita Wingnuts, you see some of that same untamed aggression.  That aggression has turned into a pure artwork on the mound over his first three starts.

“Basically I try to be as aggressive as I can be with every hitter.  I want to put them on the defensive, and in turn, that helps me to get ahead and stay ahead.  It also helps my fielders stay loose, and hitters tend to put a lot of balls in play when they are swinging defensive,” Link said.

Wichita Manager Kevin Hooper talked about Link’s approach on the mound as his No. 1 starter prepared for his start Monday night against the Amarillo Sox.

“I love his approach.  He just gets the ball and goes.  You can usually tell if a guy has pitched for awhile based on his tempo,” Hooper said.  “He’s on his toes, always ready to go and works really quick.  He has a great fastball and sinker, and he’s smart.”

Link played his college ball at Bluefield College in Virginia, and while there, watched several pitchers at Baltimore Orioles games who used an aggressive approach.  One of those pitchers was flame thrower Armando Benitez.  Benitez had 37 saves while in an Orioles uniform and was known for his aggressive approach and fastball.  He finished with a career save total of 289 over a 14-year MLB career with the O’s, Mets, Mariners, Marlins and Giants.

“I grew up around Baltimore and going to Orioles games.  I watched Mike Mussina and Armando Benitez pitch a lot.  I got to watch Randy Johnson throw when he would come to town,” Link said.  “I like Benitez’s aggressiveness.  I like Mussina’s command and Johnson’s slider.  That was kind of the mixture I was going for.  I wish I threw as hard as Benitez, but you can’t win them all.”

Link pitched in relief for the 2010 Los Angeles Dodgers, but as a starter this season, he owns an ERA of 1.71 and strikeout to walk ratio of 3-to-1.  Link’s early success has many folks around the Wingnuts staff wondering just how many starts the team can get from Link before he gets another shot in affiliated ball.

“My experience was a good one.  I got to play for a Hall of Fame manager in Joe Torre.  I had a Hall of Fame announcer in Vin Scully--that was pretty cool,” Link said.  “I debuted in Cincinnati which was one of my favorite teams growing up and my favorite player Pete Rose was there.  They showed him on the JumboTron.  It was a once in a lifetime experience for a guy like me who did not get highly drafted.  I had to really work to get there so it was special for me.”

Link is a high-energy guy and when he is not on the mound you can usually catch him sitting on the top step of the dugout watching his Wingnuts' teammates, as well as the hurlers for the opposing team.  He’s studying the game.  He takes his research and observations and applies them to his game while offering tips to his teammates.  Some Wingnut pitchers have given credit to Link for some of the advice he has given them early in the season.

Link commented on his approach in assisting teammates.

“It’s not that I have been to the Big Leagues that gives me credibility, it's that I study pitching and have learned from some good guys.  I worked with Sandy Koufax with the Dodgers and he is one of the greats," Link said.  “I will only give a pitcher advice if I think I can really help him.  Little bits and pieces here and there that I can pass on to a guy is what I will do for them.”

Hooper has also noticed the semi-coaching role that Link has established around the field and clubhouse.

“He has a willingness to help everyone I think.  He is one of those guys who likes to have his hand in everything.  He is a high-energy guy and likes to help whoever he is around.  It’s good to have guys like that around,” Hooper said.

Now back to that over/under bet.  Link made his third start of the season Monday night against Amarillo, holding the Sox to just two runs on four hits over eight terrific innings.  Like every other independent baseball player in the game, Link is balancing that play-for-now approach while keeping an eye on returning to affiliated baseball.

“I love Wichita.  It is a great place to play and they have a great staff.  The guys here play for the team.  Guys in affiliated ball play more for themselves because they are trying to get promoted.  We’re having a great time here and Wichita has been good to me so far,” Link said.  “It’s just about being at the right spot at the right time.”

No matter how many games Link throws for Wichita, Hooper, teammates, Wingnuts' fans, and Link himself just hope that opposing batters continue to miss his aggressive pitches.

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Another Team Effort Leads Wingnuts

Photo Credit: Abby Wells

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (7-5) beat the Amarillo Sox (4-8) 10-4 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Tuesday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Jared McDonald 

Wichita's offense clicked on all cylinders for a second straight night, collecting 15 base hits.  Eight different Wingnuts had at least one hit, while seven scored at least one run.

The Wingnuts scored three first-inning runs after there were two outs and no one on base.  John Rodriguez and C.J. Ziegler singled back-to-back, setting up a line drive, RBI single to center from Derek Perren.  After Abel Nieves walked to load the bases, Stephen Yoo made it 3-0 with another line drive single to center.

Amarillo manufactured a run in the top of the third on a sacrifice fly to center from K.C. Serna, but the Wingnuts answered back with two in the bottom of the fourth.  David Amberson legged out an infield single leading off, stole second base, and took third on Jared McDonald's line drive to deep center.  Ryan Khoury brought in Amberson with a sacrifice fly.  On the next pitch, Jake Kahaulelio homered to deep left-center to make it 5-1 in favor of Wichita.

A two-run single from Chris Valencia in the top of the fifth, and a Chris Grossman solo home run in the top of the sixth pulled the Sox within one run.

Wichita again responded, scoring two in the bottom of the sixth to open a 7-4 lead.  Amberson led off the inning with a single up the middle and went to third on an infield hit by McDonald.  John Holdzkom relieved Sox' starter Joe Newby and allowed McDonald to steal second base.  Khoury drove in the Wingnuts' sixth run with a sacrifice fly to center field.  After the Wingnuts loaded the bases with two outs, McDonald scored from third when Sox' catcher Trey Ford made an errant throw into center field on a backpick attempt at second base.

A McDonald double and a Khoury single opened the bottom of the eighth, setting up an RBI single to center from Kahaulelio that made it 8-4.  Two batters later, C.J. Ziegler was intentionally walked, and the Wingnuts scored their final runs of the night when Perren hit a two-run single through the left side.

Chris Smith earned the win for the Wingnuts, allowing four runs, three earned, on five hits in six and two-thirds innings.  Smith walked three and struck out two.

Nick Walters and Tyler White combined for two and one-third innings of scoreless relief, and retired the final seven Sox' hitters in a row to finish the game.

Newby took the loss, allowing seven runs, six earned, on 10 hits in five-plus innings.  Newby walked two and struck out five.  Rodriguez had three hits for Wichita and has hit safely in eight consecutive games.  Amberson and McDonald had multi-hit games for a second straight night.

The Wingnuts and Sox conclude their series on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m.  Ryan Hinson faces right-hander Jason Mitchell.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts' Balanced Effort Beats Sox

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (6-5) beat the Amarillo Sox (4-7) 13-2 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Monday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and CJ Ziegler 

Wichita plated six runs in the bottom of the first inning in support of starting pitcher Jon Link and never looked back.  Eight of Wichita's 13 runs were scored with two outs.  Eight different Wingnuts had at least one hit and scored at least one run.  Wichita totaled 16 hits on the night.

Ryan Khoury and Jake Kahaulelio drew back-to-back walks to start the bottom of the first before executing a double steal of second and third.  John Rodriguez drove in Khoury with the game's first run on a groundout to second base.  C.J. Ziegler made it 2-0 on a line drive single to left that scored Kahaulelio.

After Derek Perren flied out to right, Abel Nieves sliced a double down the right field line that chased Ziegler to third.  The double was Nieves' 500th career base hit.  Stephen Yoo singled on a line drive to center field to make it 4-0.  David Amberson followed with an infield single to shortstop.  Yoo scored while Amberson went to second base when K.C. Serna's throw to first bounced into foul territory.  Jared McDonald capped the inning with a double to right-center that ushered in Amberson.

The Sox scored their only two runs of the game in the top of the second with two outs.  Serna lined a single to center to score Joe Weik from second.  Serna stole second base and then scored on Joe Anthonsen's RBI double to left-center.

Wichita grabbed the runs right back in the bottom of the second.  With second and third and two outs, Nieves singled on a sharp groundball up the middle to make it 8-2.

Ziegler stretched the lead to 9-2 with a line drive, solo home run in the bottom of the fourth.

The wingnuts added four more runs in the fifth.  Yoo led off with a single to center and went to third two batters later on McDonald's second double of the night.  Khoury hit a two-run double to center that brought in Yoo and McDonald.  John Rodriguez finished the inning with a two-out, two-run home run to left-center.  Rodriguez has homered in three consecutive games and has hit safely in seven straight.

Beginning with a called third strike on Chris Valencia that ended the top of the second, Link retired 16 consecutive batters en route to the win.  Link pitched eight innings, allowing just the two earned runs on four hits.  Link issued two walks, struck out four, and recorded 17 of his 24 outs on groundballs.  Link also retired the leadoff hitter in seven of eight innings.

Wichita's offense put the leadoff hitter on base in seven of its eight team at bats.  Khoury, Kahaulelio, Ziegler, Nieves, and Yoo all scored multiple runs.  Ziegler, Nieves, and McDonald each finished with three hits.

Josh Dew worked a perfect top of the ninth to close out the game.

Sox' starter Jason Johnson took the loss, allowing nine earned runs on nine hits in four innings.  Johnson walked four and struck out one.

The Wingnuts and Sox continue their series Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m.  Chris Smith faces right-hander Joe Newby.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Jackals Take Series From Wingnuts

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (5-5) lost 7-6 to the New Jersey Jackals (5-5) at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Saturday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

With the Wingnuts leading 3-1 in the top of the third inning, Yasanberty Arbelo hit a two-out, three-run home run to left field off Wingnuts' starter Kristhiam Linares to put the Jackals in front 4-3.  New Jersey held the lead through the end of the game.

New Jersey shortstop Jeremy Barnes hit a two-run homer to center field in the top of the fifth before Linares was relieved by Anthony Capra.  Capra struck out seven and allowed one earned run in three innings of long relief.

Wichita pulled within 6-4 on a Cole Armstrong sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth before Barnes homered again in the top of the seventh to re-extend New Jersey's lead to three runs.

John Rodriguez hit a solo home run to right in the bottom of the seventh to once again pull the Wingnuts within two.

Wichita came within inches of tying the game in the bottom of the eighth.  With two outs and no one on base, Ryan Khoury was hit by a pitch.  Jake Kahaulelio followed with a walk to put the tying runs on base.  Rodriguez then doubled to right-center field to score Khoury.  Kahaulelio was on his way to the plate when the ball bounced over the fence for a ground rule double.  Kahaulelio was forced to go back to third, and Jackals' reliever Tim Adleman escaped the inning with the one-run lead intact.

Wichita put the tying run on first twice in the bottom of the ninth before Keith Cantwell closed out the game to earn his second save of the series.

Wichita scored the game's first run in the bottom of the first.  Kahaulelio doubled down the left field line with one out and scored two batters later when C.J. Ziegler's popfly to left field fell in between two New Jersey defenders for an RBI double.

Kyle Nisson tied the game with an RBI groundout in the top of the second.  The Wingnuts responded with two runs in the bottom half to move in front 3-1.  Abel Nieves was hit by a pitch leading off and stole second base with Derek Perren at the plate.  After Perren walked, David Amberson laid down a sacrifice bunt.  Jared McDonald scored Nieves with a sacrifice fly to center, while Khoury knocked in Perren with a two-out, RBI single up the middle.

Linares took the loss, allowing six earned runs on six hits in four-plus innings.  Linares walked five and struck out one.

David Filak earned the win for New Jersey, allowing four earned runs on four hits in five innings of work.  Filak walked four and walked one.

Nick Walters, Daniel Bennett, and Lincoln Holdzkom combined for two shutout relief innings in the eighth and ninth.  Rodriguez, Ziegler, Nieves, and Perren all reached base three times.  Wichita left 11 runners on base in the loss.

The Wingnuts nearly made one fan $10,000 richer in the top of the eighth inning.  Had Wichita struck out the side in order, a registered fan would have won the grand prize.  Walters struck out Jaren Matthews and was relieved by Bennett.  Bennett fanned Jose Cuevas and reached an 0-2 count on Nisson before the Jackals' catcher grounded out to shortstop.

The Wingnuts take Sunday off and begin a three-game home series against the Amarillo Sox on Monday night at 7:05 p.m.  Jon Link will be on the mound.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Bounce Back Against New Jersey

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (5-4) beat the New Jersey Jackals (4-5) 10-5 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Friday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Ryan Khoury 

With two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the third, Wichita rallied for three runs to overcome a 1-0 deficit and take control of the game.  After starting with an 0-2 count, Ryan Khoury eventually worked out a hit batsman and scored the tying run when Jake Kahaulelio doubled to left-center field.  John Rodriguez followed with a two-run homer off the bottom of the scoreboard in left-center that made it 3-1.

Wichita broke the game open with a four-run bottom of the fifth.  Khoury walked leading off and went to second when Kahaulelio was hit by a pitch.  Rodriguez singled up the middle to drive in Khoury with the Wingnuts' fourth run.  C.J. Ziegler made it 6-1 with a line drive, two-run double to right-center field.  Ziegler later scored on a wild pitch.

Wingnuts' starter Junior Guerra allowed just one earned run on nine hits over seven innings to pick up the victory.  Guerra struck out eight and did not issue a walk.

Cole Armstrong tacked on another run for the Wingnuts in the bottom of the seventh on a two-out, RBI single to right.

After the Jackals scored three unearned runs in the top of the eighth to cut Wichita's lead to 8-4, Khoury and Kahaulelio each delivered run-scoring hits with two outs in the bottom of the inning.  New Jersey added one more unearned run in the top of the ninth before Tyler White struck out Nick Giarraputo and Yasanberty Arbelo back-to-back to end the game.

Jose Cuevas lined a two-out, RBI single to center in the top of the second to account for the first run of the night.

Jackals' starter Craig Bennigson took the loss, allowing seven earned runs on seven hits in four and one-third innings.  Bennigson walked one and struck out two.

Kahaulelio finished with three hits, while Khoury and Rodriguez each scored three runs.  Khoury made three highlight-caliber defensive plays in the late innings, including two on back-to-back plays in the top of the seventh.

The Wingnuts and Jackals conclude their series on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.  Kristhiam Linares faces Jackals' right-hander David Filak.

The WWE's Ted DiBiase, "The Million Dollar Man", will be at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium for Saturday's game.  The Wingnuts will give away $10,000 to one lucky fan if the team strikes out the side in order in the top of the eighth inning.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Hinson Sets Team Record in Tough Loss

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (4-4) lost 1-0 to the New Jersey Jackals (4-4) at Lawrence-Dumont Staduim on Thursday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

Wingnuts' starter Ryan Hinson set a single-game franchise mark with 13 strikeouts, but took a tough-luck loss.

The game's only run came in the top of the second inning.  Jackals' third baseman Nick Giarraputo lined a double to right-center leading off.  After Hinson struck out Yasanberty Arbelo and Danny Rams back-to-back, Jose Cuevas doubled home Giarraputo to give New Jersey a 1-0 advantage.

Hinson had multiple strikeouts in four innings, and struck out the side in the second and seventh.  The lefty scattered five hits over eight innings of work, did not issue a walk, and finished at just 91 pitches.  The 13 strikeouts break Chad Sherman's previous team record set on July 13th, 2011 versus the Shreveport-Bossier Captains.  Hinson faced 29 batters and did not face a three-ball count.

Jackals' starter Craig Heyer earned the win, keeping the Wingnuts' scoreless for seven innings.  Heyer allowed five hits, walked none, and struck out three.

Daniel Bennett struck out two during a scoreless top of the ninth for Wichita.

Keith Cantwell threw a perfect bottom of the ninth to earn the save for New Jersey.

Wingnuts' shortstop Ryan Khoury finished with three hits.

The Wingnuts and Jackals play game two of their three-game series Friday night at 7:05 p.m.  Junior Guerra faces New Jersey left-hander Craig Bennigson.

Fans are encouraged to bring a new or gently-used teddy bear to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, and can throw them onto the field of play after the Wingnuts score their first run.  A fireworks spectacular will follow the game.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Smith Leads Wingnuts to Winning Road Trip

Photo Credit: Mark Fanta 

GARY, IN- The Wichita Wingnuts (4-3) defeated the Gary SouthShore RailCats (4-3) 5-1 at U.S. Steel Yard on Wednesday afternoon.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Chris Smith

The Wingnuts scored four runs before an out was recorded in the top of the first inning.  Ryan Khoury was hit by a pitch leading off the game and went to third on Jake Kahaulelio's single through the right side.  John Rodriguez followed with a single through the middle that scored Khoury with the game's first run.  C.J. Ziegler caped the rally with a line drive three-run home run off the bottom of the scoreboard in left-center field.

In the top of the fourth, Derek Perren drew a leadoff walk and went to third on a hit-and-run groundball from Stephen Yoo.  Jared McDonald drove in Perren with a sacrifice fly to left that made it 5-0 Wichita.

The RailCats got on the board against Wingnuts' starter Chris Smith in the bottom of the sixth.  Mike Massaro singled to right with two outs and scored from first on Cristian Guerrero's bloop double down the right field line.

Gary SouthShore loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, but Lincoln Holdzkom retired Ryan Babineau on a flyball to right field to escape the jam.

Josh Dew worked a scoreless bottom of the ninth to close out the game.

Smith earned the win, allowing one earned run on four hits in seven innings.  Smith walked one and struck out five, and retired 16 consecutive batters from late in the first inning into the seventh.

Stephen Hiscock took the loss for Gary SouthShore, allowing five runs, four earned, on seven hits in five innings.  Hiscock walked one and struck out one.

Ziegler finished with three hits and a walk, while John Rodriguez and Abel Nieves also had multi-hit performances.

The Wingnuts begin a six-game homestand on Thursday when they welcome the Can-Am League's New Jersey Jackals for a three-game series.  Thursday's first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Catch Tough Break

Photo Credit: Mark Fanta 

GARY, IN- The Wichita Wingnuts (3-3) lost 2-1 to the Gary SouthShore RailCats (4-2) at U.S. Steel Yard on Tuesday afternoon.

Postgame comments from Kevin Hooper 

The RailCats scored what proved to be the decisive runs on a controversial play in the bottom of the fourth inning.  With runners on first and second and two outs, Drew Martinez hit a soft flyball to left field.  Wingunts' left fielder Colt Loehrs appeared to make a diving catch as he slid across the outfield grass, but the play was ruled a trap.  Craig Maddox and Brian Kolb scored on the play to give the RailCats a 2-1 lead.

Three RailCats' relievers preserved the one-run advantage after starter Ari Ronick pitched the first six innings.  Marco Gonzalez earned the save with a perfect top of the ninth.

C.J. Ziegler accounted for Wichita's lone run with a solo homer to deep left-center in the top of the fourth.

Jon Link took a tough loss for Wichita, allowing two earned runs on six hits in six innings.  Link walked two and struck out four.

Ronick earned the win, allowing one earned run on four hits in six frames.  Ronick walked two and struck out four.

Anthony Capra and Nick Walters each threw a scoreless relief inning for Wichita.  John Rodriguez and Jared McDonald each had two hits.  Wichita left eight runners on base in the loss.

The Wingnuts and RailCats continue their series on Wednesday morning at 11:10 a.m.  Chris Smith takes the mound for Wichita against Gary SouthShore right-hander Stephen Hiscock.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home for a six-game homestand on Thursday, May 23rd when they host the Can-Am League's New Jersey Jackals.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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RailCats Take Series Opener

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography

GARY, IN- The Wichita Wingnuts (3-2) lost 5-1 to the Gary SouthShore RailCats (3-2) at U.S. Steel Yard on Monday night.

Mike Massaro singled with one out in the bottom of the first and scored on Cristian Guerrero's double down the left field line to give the RailCats an early 1-0 lead.

With runners on first and second and one out in the bottom of the third, Steve Liddle hit into a force play started by second baseman Jake Kahaulelio.  Ryan Khoury's relay throw to first base on the same play went into the Wingnuts' dugout, and allowed Guerrero to score the RailCats' second run.

The RailCats manufactured a third run in the bottom of the fourth on a 'butcher boy' groundball double from Chase Tucker.  With first and second and no outs, Tucker pulled back a bunt attempt and slapped the ball through a vacated hole on the left side of the infield.

The Wingnuts rallied for their lone run in the top of the eighth when John Rodriguez doubled into the right field corner to score Khoury from first base.  Wichita eventually put the tying runs on first and second before RailCats' reliever Ian Durham escaped the jam.

Adam Klein hit a two-out, two-run single on a line drive to right in the bottom of the eighth to make it 5-1.

Wingnuts' starter Kristhiam Linares took the loss in his Wichita debut.  Linares allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits in five innings.  Linares walked three and struck out five, including the final four batters to face him.

Alain Quijano earned the win for Gary SouthShore with six shutout innings.  Quijano allowed five hits, zero walks, and struck out three.

Anthony Capra worked one and two-thirds perfect relief innings after taking over for Linares in the bottom of the fifth.  Khoury had three hits for Wichita.

The Wingnuts and RailCats continue their series on Tuesday morning at 11:10 a.m.  Jon Link takes the mound for Wichita and faces Gary SouthShore lefty Ari Ronick.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home for a six-game homestand on Thursday, May 23rd when they host the Can-Am League's New Jersey Jackals.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Win on Stormy Sunday

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography 

KANSAS CITY, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (3-1) defeated the Kansas City T-Bones (1-3) 3-2 in a rain-shortened affair on Sunday evening at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

The game was called after six complete innings due to a heavy thunderstorm that swept through the area.

With one out in the top of the fourth inning, Cole Armstrong hit a ground-rule double down the right field line.  After Abel Nieves fouled out, Derek Perren singled on a line drive to right that scored Armstrong with the game's first run.  Armstrong used a head-first slide to evade Matt Padgett's relay throw to home plate.

The T-Bones briefly tied the game in the bottom of the fifth on a solo home run to left from Jairo Perez, but the Wingnuts re-gained the lead in the top of the sixth when Armstrong hit an opposite field, two-run shot to left-center.

In the bottom of the sixth, Kansas City made a bid to tie the game before the tarp was put on the field.  Brandon Jones drew a one-out walk and scored on Ray Sadler's groundball double into the left field corner.  Padgett then walked to put runners on first and second with the Wingnuts still ahead 3-2.  Jake Kahaulelio saved the lead when he robbed Felix Molina on a groundball in the hole at second.  Kahaulelio made a sliding stop to his left and made a spinning throw to Ryan Khoury to force out Padgett.  Khoury's relay to first nabbed Molina to complete the inning-ending--and ultimately game-ending--double play.

The game was delayed heading into the top of the seventh and officially called at 7:45 p.m.

Junior Guerra started for the Wingnuts and earned credit for a complete game win.  Guerra allowed two earned runs on four hits in six innings.  Guerra walked two and struck out six.

Brian Murphy took a complete game loss for Kansas City, allowing three earned runs on eight hits in six frames.  Murphy walked two and struck out five.

The Wingnuts head to Gary, IN for a three-game series against the Gary SouthShore RailCats beginning Monday night at 7:10 p.m.  Left-hander Kristhiam Linares makes his Wingnuts' debut and faces RailCats' lefty Alain Quijano.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home for a six-game homestand on Thursday, May 23rd when they host the Can-Am League's New Jersey Jackals.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Clutch Hits, Clutch Bullpen Lead Wingnuts

Photo Credit: Jeremy Deckard

KANSAS CITY, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (2-1) defeated the Kansas City T-Bones (1-2) 4-3 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark on Saturday night.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper

After falling behind 3-0 in the bottom of the first, Wingnuts' pitchers combined for eight shutout innings to finish the game, setting up a come-from-behind win.

C.J. Ziegler sliced Kansas City's lead to 3-1 with a solo home run to left field in the top of the second inning.  Ziegler has homered in three consecutive games to start the season, one shy of a team record.

With two outs and no one on base in the top of the third, Ryan Khoury worked a nine-pitch at bat before grounding a sharp single up the middle to bring the tying run to the plate.  Two pitches later, Jake Kahaulelio homered into the Wingnuts' bullpen in left-center to knot the game at 3-3.

Khoury gave the Wingnuts their first and only lead in the top of the fifth.  With the bases empty and two outs, Jared McDonald doubled to left field.  After McDonald advanced to third on a wild pitch, Khoury lined a single to right field on the seventh pitch of his at bat to make it 4-3 in favor of Wichita.

Wingnuts' starter Ryan Hinson settled in after allowing a two-out, three-run homer to Matt Padgett in the bottom of the first.  Hinson retired eight of the final nine batters he faced to earn his first win of the year.  Hinson allowed six hits, walked two, and struck out three.

Anthony Capra led a series of four Wingnuts' relievers who combined for four scoreles frames to close out the win.  Capra went one and two-thirds before giving way to Nick Walters, who struck out Brandon Jones for the final out in the bottom of the seventh.

Daniel Bennett escaped a jam in the bottom of the eighth.  With runners on second and third and one out, Bennett struck out Jairo Perez on three pitches before retiring Brandon Pearl on a lineout to right.

Josh Dew earned his first save of the year with a scoreless ninth.  Dew retired Brandon Jones on a sharp groundball to first to strand the tying run on base.

Lucas Irvine took the loss for Kansas City, allowing four earned runs on seven hits in six innings.  Irvine walked one and struck out four.

Seven different Wingnuts had hits in the win.

The Wingnuts and T-Bones wrap up their season-opening series on Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m.  Junior Guerra starts for Wichita against T-Bones' right-hander Aaron Tullo.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home for a six-game homestand on Thursday, May 23rd when they host the Can-Am League's New Jersey Jackals.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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T-Bones Sneak Past Wingnuts

Photo Credit: Meryl Loop

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (1-1) lost 5-4 to the Kansas City T-Bones (1-1) at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Friday night.

Highlights and Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper 

The T-Bones took the lead for good when they scratched out a run in the top of the seventh inning.  Tied at 3-3, Brandon Pearl chopped a single just passed a drawn-in Ryan Khoury at shortstop to drive in Felix Molina from third base with the go-ahead run.

In the top of the ninth, Kansas City manufactured an insurance run.  Pearl led off with an infield single, took second base on a groundout to second from Kennard Jones, and took third on a groundout to shortstop from Justin Bass.  Brandon Jones beat out a high chopper to shorstop that scored Pearl with the T-Bones' fifth tally.

C.J. Ziegler led off the bottom of the ninth with a solo home run to left field against T-Bones' closer Jhonny Montoya that cut the lead to 5-4, but Montoya eventually stranded the tying run on first base to record the save.

Kansas City starter Aaron Meade earned the win, allowing three unearned runs in seven innings.  Meade gave up four hits, two walks, and struck out four.

Daniel Bennett took the loss for Wichita.

The T-Bones scored three runs in the top of the fourth, all with two outs, against Wingnuts' starter Chris Smith.  Matt Padgett, Devin Goodwin, and Felix Molina hit consecutive RBI singles to make it 3-0.

With Khoury on second and two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Molina made a throwing error on a John Rodriguez groundball that resulted in runners on the corners.  Ziegler fought off a single to right field that scored Khoury, while Cole Armstrong followed with a two-run double to left that tied the game.

Smith took a no-decision, allowing three earned runs on four hits in six innings.  Smith struck out eight and walked one.

Nick Walters worked one and one-third scoreless relief innings.

The Wingnuts travel to Kansas City's CommunityAmerica Ballpark to take on the T-Bones for two games beginning Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts return home for a six-game homestand on Thursday, May 23rd when they host the Can-Am League's New Jersey Jackals.  Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Win on Emotional Opening Night

Photo Credit: Abbygail Wells

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts (1-0) beat the Kansas City T-Bones (0-1) 8-0 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Thursday night.

Highlights

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Jon Link 

Brian Rose Ceremony 

Prior to the game, the Wingnuts retired the number "3" in honor of their late bench coach Brian Rose who passed away on January 31st of this year.  A video celebrating Rose's life was shown, while Rose's wife Lupe threw out the ceremonial first pitch and was presented with Brian's game-worn jerseys.

Starting pitcher Jon Link fired seven shutout innings to earn the win, allowing just three hits and never letting a runner past second base.  Link struck out four, did not issue a walk, and retired the final nine batters to face him.

Offensively, the Wingnuts were led by two returning players.  C.J. Ziegler slugged a three-run home run down the left field line in the bottom of the third inning that gave Wichita a 4-0 lead.  Ziegler also accounted for an unearned run in the bottom of the first when T-Bones' second baseman Devin Goodwin made an errant throw to first on a fielder's choice.

Jake Kahaulelio had four hits and four RBI in the win.  With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the fourth, Kahaulelio doubled down the left field line to make it 7-0.  Kahaulelio drove in the final run of the night with a line drive solo homer to left-center that led off the bottom of the sixth.

Wichita totaled 14 hits in the win, including multi-hit efforts from Kahaulelio, John Rodriguez, Ziegler, and Abel Nieves.  Lincoln Holdzkom and Tyler White each threw a scoreless inning of relief.

Shaun Garceau started and took the loss for Kansas City.  Garceau allowed seven runs, six earned, on 10 hits in five innings.  Garceau walked two and struck out two.

The Wingnuts close out the home portion of their season-opening four-game series against the T-Bones on Friday night at 7:05 p.m.  Former Major Leaguer Chris Smith takes on T-Bones' left-hander Aaron Meade.  For tickets, call (316) 755-SEAT, or visit www.selectaseat.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Close Out Spring With Win

Photo Credit: Jeremy Deckard

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts closed out their spring training schedule with a 9-6 win over the Winnipeg Goldeyes at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Jake Kahaulelio 

The Wingnuts won in their final turn at bat, scoring three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 3-3 tie.  Stephen Yoo led off with a double to left-center field, took third on Abel Nieves' single to right, and scored the go-ahead run on Colt Loehrs sacrifice fly to center field.  Nieves took second base on the same play, and scored one batter later on a David Amberson infield single that resulted in an error by Winnipeg third baseman Leonard Davis.  Jake Kahaulelio finished the rally with a groundball single through the middle that plated Amberson.

Josh Dew threw a perfect top of the ninth inning with two strikeouts to earn the save.

Nick Walters earned the win in relief, throwing a scoreless top of the eighth.

Winnipeg built an early 3-0 lead through four innings.  Davis cracked a two-out, RBI double off the top of the right-center field wall in the third to drive in the game's first run, while Amos Ramon and Jordan Guida produced run-scoring outs in the fourth.

The Wingnuts rallied for six runs in their half of the fifth, five of which came with two outs.  Loehrs doubled home Nieves from third base to get Wichita on the board.  After Loehrs went to third on Amberson's lineout to center field, Jared McDonald cut the lead to 3-2 on a drag bunt that rolled to second base.  Ryan Khoury singled through the right side to sustain the rally, while Kahaulelio tied the game on a line drive single to left.  John Rodriguez put the Wingnuts in front with a two-run double that carried to the left-center field fence.  C.J. Ziegler knocked in the final run of the inning on a grondball single to left.

Winnipeg scored three runs in the top of the sixth to tie the game.  Mazzola hit a leadoff home run to center field to trim Wichita's lead to 6-4.  Fehlandt Lentini and Nick Liles added RBI singles to knot the score at 6-6.

Ryan Hinson started for the Wingnuts and took a no-decision.  Hinson pitched two innings of shutout ball, allowing no hits, two walks, and striking out three.

Pete Gehle also took a no-decision in his start for Winnipeg.  Gehle allowed three earned runs on two hits in four and two-thirds.  Gehle walked two and struck out two.

Nine different Wingnuts had at least one hit.  Tyler White and Daniel Bennett each worked a scoreless inning of relief.  The Wingnuts close out their exhibition schedule with a 6-2 record.

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony celebrating the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.  Jon Link will pitch for the Wingnuts and face Kansas City right-hander Shaun Garceau.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wichita Wingnuts 2013 Promotions

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts announced their 2013 promotional schedule on Wednesday.

Full 2013 Promotional Schedule 

The season kicks off Thursday night with a tribute to late Wingnuts' bench coach Brian Rose.  Prior to the game, a video celebrating Rose's life will be displayed while his jersey number "3" will become the first retired number in the team's six-year history.  Several members of Rose's family will be on hand, including his wife Lupe who will throw out the first pitch.  The first 2,000 fans in attendance receive a Wingnuts' magnet schedule, courtesy of Peak Performance and Alta Mere.

The following night (Friday, May 17th), the Wingnuts are hosting a Funniest home Videos contest.  Fans may submit their entries via the Wingnuts' official Facebook page.  The top three will be played over the videoboard with the grand prize winner voted on by Wingnuts players and staff.

For a second straight year, a WWE superstar visits Lawrence-Dumont Stadium for Wichita's match against the New Jersey Jackals on Saturday, May 25th.  Ted DiBiase "The Million Dollar Man" will be on hand, and one lucky fan will win $10,000 if the Wingnuts strike out the side in order in the top of the eighth inning.  Following the game, all Boy Scouts in attendance are welcome to camp out on the field.

Multicultural Night, presented by United Healthcare, returns to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Saturday, June 15th when the Wingnuts play the St. Paul Saints.  The night features many events and performances highlighting cultural diversity in Wichita.  This year's Wingnuts' roster features players of Canadian, Hawaiian, Kiwi, Korean, Puerto Rican, and Venezuelan descent.

Saturday, June 29th is Salute to America's Heroes and Girl Scouts Night, presented by Kansas One Call and KAKEland.  The Wingnuts will pay tribute to those responsible for protecting the country, while the annual Girl Scouts' campout will take place on the field after the game.

Fans can kick back and enjoy their favorite beverage on Saturday, July 6th when the Amarillo Sox are in town.  A limited number of Wingnuts' Slap Koozies will be handed out at the gate.

Die-hard sports fans will want to be in attendance on Saturday, July 20th for the Wingnuts' Trading Card giveaway.  A limited number of baseball card sets featuring the 2013 Wichita Wingnuts players and coaches will be available when fans enter Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

Ducked Dynasty Night is on Saturday, August 24th against the Grand Prairie AirHogs.  Following the game, all fans in attendance are encouraged to head onto the field in an attempt to break the world record for the largest game of "Duck-Duck-Goose".

With school back in session, the Wingnuts welcome several children's favorites on Saturday, August 31st against the Kansas City T-Bones.  Curious George, Super Why!, and Daniel Tiger will all be on hand, courtesy of KPTS.

The tradition of postgame fireworks will continue in 2013 with nine spectacular shows planned for prime weekend dates.  Fans can enjoy fireworks following all seven of the Wingnuts' Friday games, as well as both Saturday games during the month of June.

Postgame Fireworks Spectaculars
Friday, May 17th vs. Kansas City
Friday, May 24th vs. New Jersey
Friday, June 14th vs. St. Paul
Saturday, June 15th vs. St. Paul
Friday, June 28th vs. Sioux City
Saturday, June 29th vs. Sioux City
Friday, July 19th vs. Lincoln
Friday, August 16th vs. Fargo-Moorhead
Friday, August 23rd vs. Grand Prairie

Another Wingnuts' fan-friendly tradition takes place after every Saturday game with postgame autographs.  Immediately following every Saturday contest, fans are invited down on the field to meet and greet their favorite Wingnuts players.  A final autograph session featuring the entire team takes place on Fan Appreciation Night, which is Monday, September 2nd against Kansas City.

The Wingnuts have once again partnered with various local businesses to offer Buy-In Nights.  Fans can stop by any of the presenting sponsor's locations to pick up a complimentary general admission voucher that can be upgraded to a lower box or upper chairback seat at a discount rate.  This year's Buy-In partners include American Family Insurance (Tuesday, June 4th), Midwest Dairy Farmer Association (Tuesday, June 25th), Credit Union of America (Sunday, June 30th), and Delta Dental (Tuesday, July 23rd).

Fans can also stop by any Wichita area Kwik Shop for a $1 general admission voucher for every Monday game.  The seven Kwik Shop Dollar Days include May 27th (vs. Amarillo), June 3rd (vs. El Paso), June 17th (vs. Gary SouthShore), June 24th (vs. Laredo), July 8th (vs. Amarillo), June 22nd (vs. Amarillo), and September 2nd (vs. Kansas City).  Select concession and gift shop items will also be on sale for just $1 during each Monday.

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony celebrating the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Making the Pieces Fit

By Jeremy Deckard, Wingnuts' Media Correspondent

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography 

The Rubik's Cube, now that was a puzzling test of skill.

Solving the nation’s debt crisis is a puzzle, which like an onion, has many layers.

For Wichita Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper, assembling a winning roster in the American Association is as tough as putting together any 3D puzzle on the market today.  Yet, for the last four years--and once again in preparation for the 2013 season--Hooper and Wichita General Manager Josh Robertson have solved that puzzle.

“Josh and I talk about the process all the time and comparing it to a puzzle--it really is like putting a puzzle together.  There's the salary cap, there's classification limitations--it’s tough.  It’s a big time challenge,” Hooper said.  “Sometimes you have guys pop up that you really want but can’t get because of those limitations.  That forces some tough decisions.”

The roster rules for American Association teams can get complicated.  The test is building a 22-man roster within those constraints that each league manger and general manager hopes will serve as the foundation for a winner.

There are seven classifications of players in the league's roster structure.  They range from “rookie” to “veteran” with five categories in between.  To have rookie status, a player must not have exceeded 75 at bats or 30 innings pitched in any given year for a full-season professional team.  Each team must carry a minimum of four rookies.

At the other end of the spectrum, a player with six or more years of experience in professional baseball is considered to be a veteran.  A team cannot carry more than five players who are classified as veteran ball players.  Everyone else on the roster is slotted into a 'limited service' category also determined by their accumulated years of experience.  A player's age can also play a factor in their classification.

General managers and coaching staffs are therefore looking to build a roster balanced between young players and those who have experienced resumes.

This can pose a challenge in recruiting players to the independent level of baseball, but Hooper feels that working within the structure of the salary cap poses more of a challenge than the roster classifications.

“The biggest challenge is the salary cap.  I always tell these guys, ‘I wish I could pay you $3,000 or 10 grand a month,’ but it is what it is,” Hooper said.  “When you get an LS-3 player, the money is comparable to what they might have been making in affiliated ball.  But when you get a veteran, it is not even close to what they have been making at say, the Triple-A level."

Becuse of this, Hooper admits there are two unique areas for recruiting that become very important.  The first is recruiting experienced players that fit the model the organization utilizes for building a roster.

“I am an old school guy.  We try to build this thing around pitching and defense and just let everything else fall into place.  Having a guy like John Rodriguez, who I played with in Triple-A in ’04, when a guy like that calls and says ‘hey I want to play for you guys’--then that’s a no brainer. That’s a World Series champ and that made my decision easy,” Hooper said.

The make-up of the veteran’s on this year’s roster will be tilted more to the pitching side of the game, as the Wingnuts have two pitchers with Major League experience holding veteran tags.  Jon Link and Chris Smith should serve as the core of the Wingnuts’ starting rotation.  Smith played in parts of three MLB seasons with the Red Sox and Brewers, while Link made nine appearances for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010.

“This year we have two guys who have pitched in the Majors in our starting rotation, which is a first for us.  I have never used those veteran spots for pitchers, because in the past I have wanted those guys to be everyday players.  So this year we are taking a different approach and these guys I felt I could not pass on,” Hooper said.

As much pride as every American Association team takes upon seeing their players sign minor and Major league contracts, and as much as every independent league player wants to earn a return ticket to affiliated ball; roster builders still look to maintain a core of players to avoid a yearly revolving door of players coming and going.

This is an area that the 2013 Wingnuts have proved adept at as nine players from the 2012 Central Division Championship roster are returning for action in 2013.

“I think word has gotten out that we treat guys the right way, and that I have a lot of respect for our guys.  We travel well, we dress well, we eat well, and we try to take care of our guys in a professional manner.  I just do things the right way so that guys feel comfortable and want to come back,” Hooper said.  “I hold players accountable.  I have had players come back to tell me that they appreciated that and enjoyed playing here.

The Wingnuts open the 2013 season tonight against the Kansas City T-Bones at 7:05 p.m. at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony celebrating the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Stalwart Hinson Completes Wingnuts' Roster

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts finalized their 22-man 2013 Opening Night roster on Tuesday with the return of left-handed pitcher Ryan Hinson.

Hinson was 9-8 for the Wingnuts in 2012 with a 4.85 ERA in 24 appearances, 21 of them as a starter.  The third-year Wingnuts' pitcher walked just 39 batters in 137.1 innings while striking out 93.  Hinson earned the win in Game Two of last year's Division Series at Laredo, holding the Lemurs to one earned run in five and two-thirds innings.

The 26-year-old Hinson ranks second all-time in Wingnuts' history in wins (20), third in strikeouts (177), and fifth in winning percentage (.606).  Hinson was 11-5 for Wichita in 2011 while ranking fifth in the American Association with a 3.35 ERA.  The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Hinson is also one of only two pitchers in team history to start a game in multiple postsesons (2011 and 2012).

Hinson enters his fifth year of professional baseball with a 21-16 career record and a 4.72 ERA over 324.1 innings of work.  The Rock Hill, SC native was originally drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 10th round out of Clemson University in 2009.  Hinson posted a 3.70 ERA during his four seasons with the Tigers, striking out 200 batters in 219.1 collegiate frames.

Former Major Leaguer Jon Link is expected to start for the Wingnuts on Opening Night this Thursday against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

2013 Wichita Wingnuts Roster
#2 Ryan Khoury, SS
#4 Stephen Yoo, C
#5 Derek Perren, OF
#7 Nick Walters, LHP
#11 Jake Kahaulelio, 2B
#13 Abel Nieves, 3B
#15 Tyler White, RHP
#16 Jared McDonald, CF
#17 Kristhiam Linares, LHP
#18 Josh Dew, RHP
#19 Junior Guerra, RHP
#21 Daniel Bennett, RHP
#22 Anthony Capra, LHP
#23 Jon Link, RHP
#24 Cole Loehrs, IF/OF
#25 John Rodriguez, DH
#26 Chris Smith, RHP
#30 David Amberson, OF
#33 C.J. Ziegler, 1B
#37 Cole Armstrong, C
#44 Ryan Hinson, LHP
#45 Lincoln Holdzkom, RHP

The Wingnuts close out their exhibition schedule on Wednesday morning against the Winnipeg Goldeyes.  First pitch at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium is scheduled for 11:05 a.m.  Tickets are just $7 general admission and can be purchased at the gate.

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony celebrating the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Take Down T-Bones in Joplin

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography

JOPLIN, MO- The Wichita Wingnuts defeated the Kansas City T-Bones 8-7 at historic Joe Becker Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Trailing 4-0, the Wingnuts scored eight unanswered runs, highlighted by a five-run bottom of the fifth.  Abel Nieves started the comeback with an RBI single to center in the bottom of the fourth that scored Ryan Khoury from second base.

Wichita then scored five times, all with two outs, in the bottom of the fifth.  With the bases loaded and two away, David Amberson blooped a single to shallow center that scored Blake Bergeron and Kieran Bradford.  Cole Armstrong followed with a two-run double into the right field corner to make it 5-4 Wichita.  Colt Loehrs capped off the rally with an RBI double to straightaway center.

Khoury and Ambeson each drove in runs in the bottom of the sixth to extend the lead to 8-4.

The T-Bones rallied for three runs in the top of the eighth, before Daniel Schmidt closed out the game with a scoreless top of the ninth.  Schmidt stranded the tying and go-ahead runs on base when Bergeron robbed Jairo Perez on a groundball along the first base line.  Schmidt earned the save with three innings of work in the Wingnuts' victory.

Bryce Shafer picked up the win for Wichita, allowing two earned runs in three innings of relief.

Kristhiam Linares started for the Wingnuts and took a no-decision.  Linares allowed one earned run on one hit in three innings, striking out one and walking two.

Shaun Garceau started for Kansas City and also took a no-decision.  Garceau allowed one earned run on three hits in four innings with six strikeouts and one walk.

Kyle Roliard suffered the loss, allowing five unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Kansas City scored the first run of the game in the top of the first when Felix Molina homered on the second pitch of the afternoon.  Trevor Coleman's two-run single in the top of the fourth was the key hit in a three-run inning for the T-Bones that allowed them to build a 4-0 advantage.

Khoury had two doubles and two runs scored in the win.  Amberson reached base three times and finished with three RBI.  Seven different Wingnuts had at least one hit.

The Wingnuts close out their exhibition schedule on Wednesday morning against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  First pitch is scheduled for 11:05 a.m.  Tickets are just $7 general admission and can be purchased at the gate.

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony celebrating the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Defeat Sioux Falls

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography 

SIOUX FALLS, SD- The Wichita Wingnuts defeated the Sioux Falls Canaries 12-2 at Sioux Falls Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Postgame Comments From Cole Armstrong 

Already leading 4-2 in the top of the seventh, the Wingnuts scored five runs to break the game open.  With two outs and no one on base, Ryan Khoury singled down the right field line.  An Abel Nieves walk and a David Amberson infield single helped Wichita load the bases.  Cole Armstrong then slugged a three-run double to left-center that made it 7-2.  After Cole Loehrs was hit by a pitch, Jared McDonald doubled to the left field fence to plate two more runs.

Wichita added three more runs in the top of the ninth on a single from Armstrong, a double from Loehrs, and a sacrifice fly from Blake Bergeron.

Chris Smith earned the win in relief for the Wingnuts, allowing one earned run on two hits in three innings.  Smith struck out four and walked three.

Tyler White, Daniel Bennett, and Lincoln Holdzkom each threw an inning of scoreless relief.  Bennett struck out the side in order in the bottom of the eighth, while Holdzkom worked a perfect bottom of the ninth on just eight pitches.

The Canaries took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on a two-out, RBI single to right-center from Kevin Dultz.

Loehrs briefly tied the game for the Wingnuts in the fourth when he singled home Amberson from second base with two outs.  A Cory Morales two-out, RBI single in the bottom of the inning put the Canaries back in front at 2-1.

Wichita took their first lead with a three-run top of the fifth.  Stephen Yoo hit a two-run double to left-center, while Nieves drove in the Wingnuts' fourth run with a sacrifice fly to right.

Junior Guerra started for the Wingnuts and took a no-decision, allowing one earned run on three hits in three innings.  Guerra struck out two and walked three.

Jordan Whatcott started for Sioux Falls and also took a no-decision, allowing one earned run on one hit in four innings  Whatcott struck out two and walked four.

Ben Moore allowed all three of Wichita's runs in the fourth and took the loss.

McDonald reached base four times, while Amberson and Armstrong, and Loehrs reached three times each.

The Wingnuts travel to Joplin, MO to face the Kansas City T-Bones at historic Joe Becker Stadium on Sunday afternoon at 2:05 p.m.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.kleyam.com  The Wingnuts finish their exhibition schedule on Wednesday, May 15th when they host the Winnipeg Goldeyes at 11:05 a.m.  Tickets are just $7 general admission and can be purchased at the gate.

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony celebrating the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Acquire Local Product Loehrs

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts acquired outfielder Colt Loehrs from the United League's Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings on Friday in exchange for a player to be named later.

Loehrs (pronounced LEERS) was an all-star in the Pecos Leauge last season, hitting .353 with 15 home runs and 44 RBI in 51 games for the Trinidad Triggers.  The 24-year-old Loehrs hit safely in 42 of 51 contests and went consecutive games without a base hit just once the entire season.  Loehrs--who has rookie status in the American Association--began his professional career in 2011 with the Pecos League's Las Cruces Vaqueros where he batted .429 and collected a hit in each of the 11 games he played in.

A right-handed hitter and fielder, Loehrs is a graduate of Arkansas City High School and played two seasons of college baseball at Arkansas Tech University.  Loehrs hit .332 for the Wonder Boys during his senior season in 2011 with six homers and 37 RBI in 50 games.  Loehrs also played two years at Cowley County Community College where he earned All-Conference honors as a sophomore in 2009.

Outfielder/right-handed pitcher Damon Sublett has been removed from Wichita's spring training roster due to injury.

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony celebrating the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Fall in 'Border Wars'

LINCOLN, NE- The Wichita Wingnuts fell in both ends of a round robin double header at Lincoln's Haymarket Park on Friday night.

In the opener, the Wingnuts took their first loss of the spring, falling 4-2 to the Kansas City T-Bones.  T-Bones' shortstop Felix Molina broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning with a two-run single to center field that plated Devin Goodwin and Brandon Pearl.  Jhonny Montoya worked around a leadoff walk during a scoreless top of the seventh to earn the save.

Ryan Khoury drove in the first run of the game with an RBI groundout in the top of the second.  Kansas City responded with two unearned runs against Wingnuts' starter Mike Burns in the bottom of the third.  Wichita tied the game at 2-2 on Jared McDonald's sacrifice fly in the Wingnuts' half of the fourth.

Burns took a no-decision, allowing zero earned runs on four hits in four innings.  Burns struck out four and walked two.

Joe Testa took the loss for Wichita.  Ethan Cole earned the win for the T-Bones with a scoreless top of the sixth.

Aaron Tullo started for Kansas City and also took a no-decision.  Tullo allowed one earned run on one hit in three innings with four walks and zero strikeouts.

Jake Kahaulelio had two hits in the loss.  Josh Dew and Nick Walters each pitched a scoreless relief inning.

In the nightcap, the Wingnuts fell 7-6 to the host Lincoln Saltdogs.  Lincoln rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to erase a 6-4 Wichita lead.  With the bases loaded and one out, David Espinosa tied the game on a two-run single to right field.  Two batters later, Matt Forgatch pushed the winning run across the plate on a fielder's choice to shortstop.

Wichita built an early 2-0 lead in the top of the second behind consecutive doubles from Colt Loehrs, Abel Nieves, and Derek Perren.  Loehrs and Nieves each drove in a run in the following inning to make it 4-0.

Forgatch hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth to cut Wichita's lead to one run, and tied the game in the sixth with an RBI single to center.

The Wingnuts re-gained the lead in the seventh on a Ryan Khoury sacrifice fly to left.  Wichita's sixth run came home on an error by Lincoln second baseman Brad Payne.

Nathan Kilcrease took the loss for Wichita while Lincoln's Travis Parker earned the win in relief.

Jon Link started for the Wingnuts and took a no-decision.  Link struck out four in three shutout innings in which he allowed two hits.  Tony Butler started for Lincoln and also took a no-decision, allowing four earned runs on four hits in three frames.

The Wingnuts continue their exhibition schedule on Saturday afternoon against the Sioux Falls Canaries at Sioux Falls Stadium.  First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

The Wingnuts travel to Joplin, MO to face the T-Bones on Sunday, and close out spring training on Wendesday, May 15th when they host the Winnipeg Goldeyes at 11:05 a.m.  Tickets are just $7 general admission and can be purchased at the gate.

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony celebrating the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wichita to Host Annual Region VI Tournament

WICHITA, KS- The NJCAA Region VI Super-Regional tournament returns to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium this weekend.

The eight-team, double elimination bracket includes Seward County Community College, Cowley County Community College, Garden City Community College, Fort Scott Community College, Coffeyville Community College, Colby Community College, Kansas City Community College, and Neosho County Community College.

The first series of games is slated for Friday at 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m.  Saturday and Sunday follow identical schedules to Friday, with the semi-final and championship games set for 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Monday respectively.  An "if necessary" championship game would take place Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.

Admission for all games is just $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for students.

Action began last weekend with a 16-team opening round that took place at the home fields of the higher seeds.  The winner of this weekend's tournament moves on to the Junior College World Series in Grand Junction, CO beginning May 25th.

A full tournament bracket can be found here: http://www.kjccc.org/baseball/13/2013_Region_Bracket.pdf

2013 Region VI Super-Regional Participants
No. 1 Seward County Community College
No. 2 Cowley County Community College
No. 3 Garden City Community College
No. 4 Fort Scott Community College
No. 6 Coffeyville Community College
No. 7 Colby Community College
No. 8 Kansas City Community College
No. 12 Neosho County Community College

For more information, call the Wingnuts' office at (316) 264-NUTS.

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Wingnuts Power Past T-Bones

Photo Credit: Jeremy Deckard

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts defeated the Kansas City T-Bones 12-3 in an exhibition game at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

Postgame comments from David Amberson

Wichita used an eight-run bottom of the third inning to take control of the game.  Trailing 2-0, David Amberson legged out an infield single on a groundball to second base to start the rally.  Jared McDonald walked to put runners on first and second.  Two batters later, Jake Kahaulelio ripped a line drive, three-run home run to left-center that gave the Wingnuts their first lead of the game.  John Rodriguez followed with a double down the left field line, and took third on C.J. Ziegler's line drive single to left.  Cole Armstrong made it 4-2 on a groundball single through the right side that scored Rodriguez.  Amberson and McDonald each slugged two-run doubles later in the inning to finish the outburst.

Matt Padgett hit a solo home run to right-center in the top of the fourth to account for the T-Bones' final tally.

Ziegler drove in the Wingnuts' ninth run with a double to left field in the bottom of the fourth.  Ziegler eventually scored on a passed ball and throwing error by Kansas City catcher Michael Thomas.

In the bottom of the fifth, Amberson led off with a single to center and stole second base.  Kahaulelio beat out an infield single on a groundball to third which allowed Amberson to score from second and give the Wingnuts an 11-3 lead.

Abel Nieves drew a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the eighth to make it 12-3.

Kristhiam Linares earned the win for Wichita, allowing one earned run on one hit in three innings of relief.

Bryce Shafer started for the Wingnuts, allowing two earned runs on one hit in three frames.  Shafer walked three and struck out two in a no-decision.

Lucas Irvine started and took the loss for Kansas City, allowing eight earned runs on eight hits in three innings.  Irvine struck out two and walked one.

Joe Testa, Daniel Bennett, and Daniel Schmidt each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.  Bennett and Schmidt were perfect on 10 and eight pitches respectively.

Wichita took its at bat in the bottom of the ninth inning and added another run on a solo home run to left from Stephen Yoo.  Amberson finished with three hits and three runs scored.  Kahaulelio, Rodriguez, and Ziegler also had multi-hit games.

The Wingnuts are now 3-0 this spring, and continue their exhibition schedule with a Friday double header at Lincoln's Haymarket Park.  The Wingnuts face the T-Bones at 6:00 p.m. before taking on the host Saltdogs at 8:00 p.m.  The Wingnuts return home to close out spring training on Wednesday, May 15th against the Winnipeg Goldeyes at 11:05 a.m.

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony celebrating the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Renew Radio Partnership

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts announced the continuation of their radio partnership with Johnson Enterprises and Oldies 92.7 FM KWME on Tuesday.

All 100 regular season Wingnuts games will be carried on KWME, which can be heard clear throughout Wichita and the surrounding areas.  The station will also carry any potential Wingnuts postseason games, as well as select spring training contests.  A 20-minute pre-game show precedes every broadcast.  Additionally, KWME will carry at least one feature game during each night of the 2013 NBC World Series.

Every game can be heard worldwide on the internet by visiting www.pressboxproductionsradio.com, or by searching "KWME" on the TuneIn radio app for smart phones.

The Wingnuts hit the airwaves beginning Wednesday morning at 11:00 a.m. for their School Kids Day game against the Kansas City T-Bones.

Wingnuts Spring Training Broadcast Schedule (All games on 92.7 FM)
Wednesday, May 8th vs. Kansas City - 11:05 a.m.
Saturday, May 11th at Sioux Falls - 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 12th vs. Kansas City (Joplin, MO) - 2:05 p.m.
Wednesday, May 15th vs. Winnipeg - 11:05 a.m.

The Wingnuts continue their spring training schedule Wednesday morning when they host the Kansas City T-Bones at 11:05 a.m. at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Tickets are just $7 general admission, and can be purchased at the gate.

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony celebrating the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Big Inning Helps Wingnuts Past ESU

Photo Credit: Jeremy Deckard 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts defeated Emporia State University 6-4 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Monday night.

Trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Wingnuts plated four runs to take the lead for the remainder of the game.  David Amberson drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on Jared McDonald's double to right-center field.  A Ryan Khoury single and a Jake Kahaulelio walk allowed Wichita to load the bases with no outs.  John Rodriguez then ripped a double to right-center that brought home McDonald and Khoury.  C.J. Ziegler drove in Kahaulelio with a sacrifice fly to deep left field to cap off the rally.

Tyler White, Nathan Kilcrease, and Lincoln Holdzkom each worked a scoreless inning of relief to finish off the game.  Holdzkom struck out two during a perfect, eight-pitch top of the ninth to earn the save.

The Wingnuts scored the first runs of the game in the bottom of the first.  With second and third and two outs, Cole Armstrong lined a single to right field that scored Khoury and Kahaulelio.

Emporia State cut the Wingnuts' lead in half in the top of the third on a two-out, RBI triple to right from Jordan Slade.

The Hornets added three runs in the fifth to take a 4-2 advantage.  Zack Carlson hit a two-run double to right field while Aaron Rea picked up an RBI single to center.

Chris Smith started for the Wingnuts and took a no-decision, allowing one earned run on two hits in three innings of work.  Smith walked one and struck out four.

Hornets' starter Keith Picht also took a no-decision, allowing two earned runs on one hit in two innings.  Picht walked two and struck out one.

Junior Guerra earned the win in relief for the Wingnuts.  Guerra allowed three earned runs and struck out four over three frames.  Parker McDaniel absorbed the loss for Emporia State, allowing three earned runs during Wichita's sixth-inning rally.

The Wingnuts took their at bat in the bottom of the ninth and tacked on four more runs.  Blake Bergeron and McDonald had RBI singles, while Amberson and Khoury also chipped in RBIs.

The Wingnuts continue their exhibition schedule Wednesday morning at 11:05 a.m. against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Tickets are just $7 general admission and can be purchased at the gate.

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony celebrating the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Open Spring With Win

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts defeated Friends University 5-1 in their 2013 spring opener at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Postgame Comments From Kevin Hooper and Jared McDonald

With the bases loaded and two outs, Derek Perren broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the seventh inning on a fielder's choice.  After Jared McDonald walked to re-load the bases, Ryan Khoury pulled a double down the left field line to extend Wichita's lead to 4-1.

The Wingnuts tacked on a fifth run in the bottom of the eighth when David Amberson scored from second base on a dropped flyball by center fielder Evan Gilbert.

Joe Testa earned the win in relief with a scoreless top of the seventh.  Nick Walters and Josh Dew added perfect frames in the eighth and ninth to close out the win.

Wingnuts' pitching combined for 17 strikeouts, including six each from Jon Link and Mike Burns.  Link started the game and pitched three perfect innings while taking a no-decision.

Andrew Miller drove in Friends' lone run with a two-out, RBI triple in the top of the fourth.

The Wingnuts tied the game in their half of the fifth when John Rodriguez singled home McDonald from second base with two outs.

Josh Yates took the loss for Friends, allowing three earned runs in one and two-thirds relief innings.

Ryan Householder started for the Falcons and took a no-decision.  Householder worked five scoreless innings while striking out four and walking two.

The Wingnuts took their at bat in the bottom of the ninth and plated two more runs with Perren and McDonald collecting RBI singles.

McDonald finished the game with three hits, including two doubles.

Wichita continues its exhibition schedule on Monday evening against Emporia State University.  First pitch at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.  Tickets are just $7 general admission, and can be purchased at the gate.

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony celebrating the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Former Shocker Star Completes Wingnuts Roster

Photo Credit: Drew Gallant Photography 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts completed their 2013 spring training roster on Friday, signing former Wichita State University standout Damon Sublett.

Sublett (pronounced suh-BLET) has spent the last three seasons with the New York Yankees' Double-A affiliate in Trenton, NJ.  In 2011, Sublett batted .280 for Trenton in 54 games with eight doubles, seven triples, 28 RBI, and a .389 on-base percentage.  A Wichita native and Northwest High graduate, Sublett has played all three outfield positions during his six-year professional career, and also owns a .957 fielding percentage in 151 games at second base.  Sublett is expected to play a significant role in both the Wingnuts' outfield and bullpen.

"Damon is a local guy who lives in Wichita and played at WSU," said Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper.  "'Sub' is going to give us a 'two-way' player, which is something I have never had as a manager.  He will be an outfielder for us, as well as a key piece in our bullpen.  He also has experience on the infield, which is only an added bonus."

Sublett is a .271 lifetime hitter with a .380 on-base percentage and a .420 slugging percentage in 340 professional games.  A left-handed hitter, but a right-handed pitcher, Sublett has averaged 31 doubles, 12 triples, 10 home runs, 14 stolen bases, 97 walks, and 12 outfield assists per 162 games in his career.  During his rookie professional season in 2007, Sublett finished third in the New York-Penn League (Short-Season A) in both batting average (.326) and on-base percentage (.426), while topping the circuit in slugging percentage (.531).  Two years later, Sublett ranked second in the High-A Florida State League with 11 triples.  The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Sublett attended Major League spring training with the Yankees in 2010 and 2011.

Sublett was drafted by the Yankees in the seventh round in 2007 following a stellar, three-year career at Wichita State.  Sublett hit a combined .351 in a Shockers' uniform with 145 runs scored and 126 RBI in 180 games.  In 2006, Sublett was named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year.  As a collegiate pitcher, Sublett compiled a 0.51 ERA with 16 saves and 60 strikeouts in 35.1 innings.  Sublett will be the 11th former Shocker to play for the Wingnuts in the franchise's six-year history.

The Wingnuts also placed right-handed pitcher Kyle Wahl on waivers.  The addition of Sublett completes the Wingnuts' 28-man spring training roster.  Camp begins Saturday, May 4th.  The Wingnuts' first exhibition game is scheduled for Sunday, May 5th against Friends University at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Tickets for the 2:05 p.m. game are just $7 general admission and can be purchased at the gate.

2013 Wichita Wingnuts Spring Training Roster
OF David Amberson
C Cole Armstrong
RHP Daniel Bennett
IF Blake Bergeron
C Kieran Bradford
RHP Mike Burns
LHP Anthony Capra
RHP Josh Dew
RHP Junior Guerra
RHP Lincoln Holdzkom
2B Jake Kahaulelio
RHP Nathan Kilcrease
SS Ryan Khoury
LHP Kristhiam Linares
RHP Jon Link
IF/OF Jared McDonald
3B Abel Nieves
OF Derek Perren
DH John Rodriguez
LHP Daniel Schmidt
RHP Bryce Shafer
RHP Chris Smith
OF/RHP Damon Sublett
LHP Joe Testa
LHP Nick Walters
RHP Tyler White
C Stephen Yoo
1B C.J. Ziegler

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony celebrating the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.  For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Media Day Tuesday

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts' sixth annual Media Day is scheduled for Tuesday, May 7th at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium at 1:45 p.m.

All television, radio, print, and electronic media are encouraged to attend the on-field event.  The 2013 Wichita Wingnuts players and coaches will be available for interviews.  Media outlets are also welcomed to arrive early and collect 'B' roll while the Wingnuts take their annual team photo.

Spring training is scheduled to begin this Saturday (May 4th) with the Wingnuts' first exhibition game set for Sunday against Friends University at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Tickets for the 2:05 p.m. game are just $7 general admission and can be purchased at the gate.

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony celebrating the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Add Tough Lefty to Pen

Photo Credit: kkthemook 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts signed pitcher Joe Testa on Monday.

Testa struck out 37 batters in 42.2 innings pitched last season while splitting time with the Washington Nationals' High-A (Potomac) and Double-A (Harrisburg) affiliates.  In 2011, the left-hander posted a 1.42 ERA for Potomac with 34 strikeouts and just 26 hits allowed over 38.0 innings.  Testa has struck out 91 of the 305 (30 percent) left-handed hitters he has faced during his professional career, while holding them to a .174 batting average.

"Joe is going to give us another great, left-handed option down there in the pen," said Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper.  "He has a lot of experience and very good career numbers.  He will add more depth to a solid bullpen that we have already put together.  He was a starter in college and gives us an option on that side if we were to ever get into a jam."

Testa is entering his sixth year of professional baseball with an 18-11 career record, 12 saves, and a 3.36 ERA.  The Belleville, NJ native has struck out 286 batters in 265.0 lifetime innings (9.7 strikeouts per nine innings), and has finished with an ERA of 3.18 or better in four of his first five seasons.  The 27-year-old Testa has also helped his team reach the postseason four times, and was a member of the Potomac Nationals' Carolina League championship squad in 2010.  Testa has a 2.16 ERA over seven career playoff appearances.  The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Testa was originally signed by the Minnesota Twins as a non-drafted free agent in 2008.  Testa played four seasons at Wagner College in Staten Island, NY where he departed as the school's all-time leader in wins and strikeouts.

The Wingnuts' roster now stands at 28 players officially under contract for the 2013 season.  American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins Saturday, May 4th.

2013 Wingnuts Signings
OF David Amberson
C Cole Armstrong
RHP Daniel Bennett
IF Blake Bergeron
C Kieran Bradford
RHP Mike Burns
LHP Anthony Capra
RHP Josh Dew
RHP Junior Guerra
RHP Lincoln Holdzkom
2B Jake Kahaulelio
RHP Nathan Kilcrease
SS Ryan Khoury
LHP Kristhiam Linares
RHP Jon Link
IF/OF Jared McDonald
3B Abel Nieves
OF Derek Perren
DH John Rodriguez
LHP Daniel Schmidt
RHP Bryce Shafer
RHP Chris Smith
LHP Joe Testa
RHP Kyle Wahl
LHP Nick Walters
RHP Tyler White
C Stephen Yoo
1B C.J. Ziegler

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony celebrating the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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From Protecting the Plate to Protecting the Streets

By Jeremy Deckard, Wingnuts' Media Correspondent

Catcher Jessie Mier began his professional career in 2007, but has decided to trade in his bat and glove for a nightstick and sidearm.

Mier has announced his retirement from baseball and will make a career transition into law enforcement.  Mier--who is set to join the Orange County Sheriff's Department in California--believes that his time in baseball guided him down his new career path.

"I am excited about it just because you still get that sense of working as a team with everybody around you.  I see a lot of similarities between law enforcement and baseball," Mier said.  "Baseball helped me get through my early 20s, which I believe is when you really begin to become a man.  The game of baseball taught me a lot about life, how to go about your business, and how to handle responsibilities.  I played ball from 18 to 27, and I think those are the times when you take a turn for the better or for the worse.  I am very thankful for baseball."

Mier played his collegiate ball at Lewis and Clark State in Lewiston, ID, and was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 12th round in 2007.  He reached the Double-A level within the Dodgers' organization before playing for the Wingnuts during the second half of 2012.

Mier played in 42 games with the Central Division champion Wingnuts, collecting 45 base hits and 19 RBI.  He finished the season with a career-high 10 doubles, nine of which came in a Wingnuts' uniform.  The backstop also ranked second in the American Association with a 37 percent success rate in throwing out base stealers.  Mier gave credit to the winning season and the winning atmosphere in Wichita for making his decision to retire a little less stressful.

"The last thing I wanted to do was retire on a bad note or with a negative outlook on baseball.  Being a part of the Wingnuts made me at ease about leaving the game.  I was able to go out with a bang.  I don't think I can put into words how special it was to me," Mier said.  "You could tell that their goal was not only in building a winning team, but also in putting good guys in the clubhouse.  It was always fun to walk into the clubhouse.  In my whole professional career, I have never had such a good time playing the game.  I have been on some good teams and bad teams, but as far as the clubhouse and just playing the game itself, I have never had that much fun.  I loved it.

"You look at someone like 'Rosie' (Brian Rose) and what he was going through, and he was still out there supporting us every night.  To me, that represented what the organization was all about."

Wingnuts' skipper Kevin Hooper appreciates the hard work that catchers put in night in and night out, and understands the impact that the position can have in a game.

"Jessie was a big part of our staff and the way we did things.  He was a heckuva defensive catcher.  He was probably one of the best arms we have ever had behind the plate.  He would 'back pick' runners at second that turned into game changers.  He single-handedly got us out of jams when he did that.  I take a lot of pride in that position, and we have been fortunate to have a good line of catchers," Hooper said.

Mier made one of those outstanding defensive plays at the plate in Game Two of the 2012 Division Series at Laredo.  In that playoff contest, the Wingnuts had built an early 4-0 lead.  In the Lemurs' half of the second inning, Laredo started a rally putting runners on first and second with two outs.  A double was hit to left field, which led to a play at the plate as the trail runner, Laredo's Anthony Scelfo, tried to score.  Mier received a perfect relay throw from shorstop Ryan Khoury, and then held onto the ball after absorbing a major collision with Scelfo.  The hard-nosed play recorded the final out of the inning, and prevented Laredo from bringing the tying run to the plate.  Jake Kahaulelio--a longtime friend of Mier's--led off the top of the third with a home run, and the Wingnuts cruised to a victory and a 2-0 series lead.

"That stopped Laredo's momentum at that point in time.  It takes a tough guy to play the catcher position, and Jessie Mier fit that mold perfectly," Hooper said.

"This last season, I really got the big picture of what I was playing for," said Mier.  "That one moment for me, it really decided that it is either now or never.  It was a situation where taking that hit had to be done.  There was no doubt in that situation because of the atmosphere in the clubhouse and the whole organization."

Mier is thankful for the way that his career ended, and will remember his time with the Wingnuts.

"I want to thank the Wingnuts' organization as a whole.  The fans, Josh (Robertson), Kevin Hooper, and everyone working hard in the office.  You could tell that everyone was committed to the organization, and it was really nice to work for," Mier said.

Mier won't completely stop paying attention to baseball as his younger brother Jio has started the 2013 season with the Houston Astros' Double-A affiliate in Corpus Christi, TX.

“Baseball still lives in me through my brother and I will live vicariously through him,” Mier laughed.

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony celebrating the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Wingnuts Sign Dynamic Trio of Relievers

Photo Credit: University of Alabama Athletic Department

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts strengthened their bullpen on Wednesday, signing relief pitchers Nathan Kilcrease, Daniel Bennett, and Tyler White.

Kilcrease (pictured) posted dominant numbers last season, splitting time at the Low-A level with the Midwest League's Burlington Bees (Oakland Athletics) and the South Atlantic League's West Virginia Power (Pittsburgh Pirates).  The right-hander finished with a combined 1.28 ERA in 37 games, and was a perfect 15 for 15 in save opportunities.  Kilcrease struck out 42 and walked only 11 in 49.1 total innings.  The Columbus, GA native did not allow an earned run in 32 of 37 appearances, and had a stretch of 16 consecutive appearances without allowing an earned run from May 31st through July 23rd.

"Nathan had many opportunities to go elsewhere in our league, and I feel very fortunate to have been able to sign him," said Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper.  "His career numbers are outstanding and he deserves to have another shot in affiliated ball.  I have heard nothing but great things about him, and I am very excited about him being a key piece in our bullpen."

Kilcrease is entering his third season of professional baseball and owns a 1.81 ERA in 57 lifetime appearances.  The 5-foot-6, 180-pound Kilcrease has averaged 7.9 strikeouts versus 1.8 walks, and has yielded just one home run in 79.2 career innings.  Kilcrease was originally drafted by the Athletics in the 30th round in 2011 following a stellar, four-year career at the University of Alabama.  The 23-year-old Kilcrease served as both a Friday night starter and a closer during his time with the Crimson Tide, and holds Alabama's record for career appearances.

Bennett spent last season in the Detroit Tigers' organization, and was 7-3 with 11 saves and a 2.94 ERA between High-A Lakeland (Florida State League) and Low-A West Michigan (Midwest League).  A right-hander who works from a sidearm angle, Bennett struck out 61 and allowed just two home runs in 52.0 innings pitched.  Bennett did not allow an earned run in 37 of 46 total appearances, and held right-handed hitters to a .175 average.  Bennett helped Lakeland capture the Florida State League championship, and struck out nine in five and two-thirds postseason innings.

"Daniel is another guy who deserves a second chance in affiliated ball given his career numbers," said Hooper.  "After losing Jared Simon to retirement, we were fortunate to find another sidearm right-hander for our bullpen.  He gives us yet another piece that will be a key contributor in our bullpen."

Bennett is also in his third season of professional baseball, and is 9-4 with 22 saves and a 2.13 ERA in 84.2 career innings.  The Tallahassee, FL native has struck out 100 against 30 walks and three home runs over his first two pro campaigns.  Bennett was drafted by the Tigers in the 19th round in 2011 after playing two seasons of college baseball in his hometown at Florida State University.  Bennett was a combined 8-2 with 18 saves and a 2.73 ERA for the Seminoles, and helped them reach the 2010 College World Series.  The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Bennett struck out five and allowed one earned run in four innings of long relief during Florida State's elimination game at Omaha that season.  A 24-year-old, Bennett also pitched two seasons at Tallahassee Community College where he holds school records for both single season and career appearances.

White was a teammate of Kilcrease at Alabama, and a teammate of Bennett in the Tigers' organization.  A right-hander, White fanned 67 batters in 57.1 innings over 32 appearances last season while pitching for both Lakeland and West Michigan.  White worked more than one inning in 21 of his 32 outings, and pitched two innings or more in 19 of them.  The Flowood, MS native did not allow a run during the postseason, and helped Lakeland win the Florida State League title.

"Tyler is a right-handed power arm with great strikeout numbers in his career," said Hooper.  "He is going to be another great option for us down in the bullpen.  He pitched at a big-time college program at Alabama, and I have received nothing but great reports on him."

White is in his fourth year of professional baseball and is 3-4 in his career with four saves and a 4.38 ERA over 61 games.  The 6-foot-3, 200-pound White has averaged 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings, while allowing just two home runs in 98.2 lifetime innings.  The 23-year-old pitched to a 1.17 ERA in 2011, and has finished with more strikeouts than innings pitched in each of his first three pro seasons.  White was drafted by the Tigers out of Alabama in the 20th round in 2010 and posted a 2.28 ERA for the Crimson Tide with 37 strikeouts in 27.2 innings as a redshirt freshman in 2009.

The Wingnuts have also placed infielder Marc Tarantola on waivers, leaving their roster at 27 players officially under contract for the 2013 season.  American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins May 4th.

2013 Wingnuts Signings
OF David Amberson
C Cole Armstrong
RHP Daniel Bennett
IF Blake Bergeron
C Kieran Bradford
RHP Mike Burns
LHP Anthony Capra
RHP Josh Dew
RHP Junior Guerra
RHP Lincoln Holdzkom
2B Jake Kahaulelio
RHP Nathan Kilcrease
SS Ryan Khoury
LHP Kristhiam Linares
RHP Jon Link
IF/OF Jared McDonald
3B Abel Nieves
OF Derek Perren
DH John Rodriguez
LHP Daniel Schmidt
RHP Bryce Shafer
RHP Chris Smith
RHP Kyle Wahl
LHP Nick Walters
RHP Tyler White
C Stephen Yoo
1B C.J. Ziegler

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony celebrating the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Announce 2013 Spring Training Schedule

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts unveiled their 2013 spring training schedule on Thursday.

This year's exhibition slate features eight games, including four at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

Spring action begins Sunday, May 5th when the Wingnuts host Friends University at 2:05 p.m., and continues the following evening at 6:05 p.m. against Emporia State University.  Wichita also hosts two School Kids Day events on Wednesday, May 8th versus Kansas City and Wednesday, May 15th versus Winnipeg.  Both School Kids Day games begin at 11:05 a.m.

Tickets are just $7 general admission for the four home dates and can be purchased at the gate one hour before the scheduled first pitch.  Special pricing is available to students and teachers attending as a group for the two School Kids Days.

Sandwiched between the two morning games are four road matches over a three-day span.  The Wingnuts play a round robin double header on Friday, May 10th against Kansas City and Lincoln at Lincoln's Haymarket Park.  Wichita plays at Sioux Falls the following afternoon and then travels to historic Joe Becker Stadium in Joplin, MO for another game against Kansas City on Sunday, May 12th.

2013 Wichita Wingnuts Spring Training Schedule
May 5th vs. Friends University - Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, 2:05 p.m.
May 6th vs. Emporia State University - Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, 6:05 p.m.
May 8th vs. Kansas City T-Bones - Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, 11:05 a.m.
May 10th vs. Kansas City T-Bones - Haymarket Park, 6:00 p.m.
May 10th at Lincoln Saltdogs - Haymarket Park, 8:00 p.m.
May 11th at Sioux Falls Canaries - Sioux Falls Stadium, 2:00 p.m.
May 12th vs. Kansas City T-Bones - Joe Becker Stadium, 2:05 p.m.
May 15th vs. Winnipeg Goldeyes - Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, 11:05 a.m.

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony celebrating the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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James Baker Retires From Professional Baseball

By Jeremy Deckard, Wingnuts' Media Correspondent

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography

Baseball players spend so much time with each other over the course of a season, or over many seasons for that matter, that the bonds between them can last a lifetime.  These bonds are often similar to the ones a man may have with his brother or other family members.

Wingnuts' reliever James Baker--who is retiring from professional baseball--joined the Wingnuts in July 2012 at a time when he needed those bonds worse than ever.  Baker had lost his father prior to the season and had a huge family bond to fill.

"I had lost my dad shortly before arriving in Wichita.  It was a tough time emotionally, but I knew my dad would want me to continue to play.  I stayed at home while my mother was grieving, but she knew I would be happy playing ball and doing what I do best," Baker said.

Baker opened the season with the Atlantic League's Southern Maryland Blue Crabs before the Wingnuts made a concerted effort to acquire him via trade in July.

"In Southern Maryland, there were some former Major Leaguers in front of me," said Baker.  "When I found out I was being traded to the Wingnuts, it was going to be a better opportunity.  The manager really wanted me, I was going to pitch more, he knew what I could do, and they needed help in the bullpen.  It was nice to be wanted.  I was happy to play and be a part of a routine after my dad died.  I was at a point where I was down, but the Wingnuts really became family and helped pick me up."

Baker appeared in 24 games during the Wingnuts push to the playoffs.  On the field, he did not disappoint, posting a 2.49 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 25.1 innings of work.  Baker discussed his role as a reliever and why he enjoyed it so much.

"I tried to keep things as simple as possible.  Baseball is a simple game.  You have to be prepared to pitch every single day," Baker said.  "You can't say to yourself, 'I've pitched two days in a row and might get the day off.'  You have to take the approach that you are going to pitch that day.  That's what I loved about being a reliever--you know you have the chance to pitch in every single baseball game.  Your job is to take the ball whenever the manager hands it to you, regardless of the situation."

The man making the call to the 'pen and handing the ball to Baker was Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper.  Hooper and Baker formed one of those strong bonds in the short time the two spent together in the closing months of the 2012 season.

"I did not even have 'Bake' for a whole year, but he is one of my all-time favorite players," said Hooper.  "He's a smart baseball guy, very knowledgeable, and he knew what he wanted to do every time he got the baseball.  He was just a great team guy, and did whatever he could to help us win ball games, night in and night out.  I just loved sitting with him at a table and talking about whatever, whenever."

Hooper understood the loss that Baker was feeling, and felt the family environment in Wichita was a place that could help him cope.

"I knew right when I had heard about his father that Wichita was the place he needed to be," Hooper said.  "I am a true family man and understand the importance of a family, and know that I'm not where I am today without the support of my family.  When these guys come to Wichita, they become a part of our family and are welcomed with open arms.  Myself being this way, and our organization being the same, I just knew that once we got 'Bake' onto our team that we would be a huge help for him in many ways."

Baker admitted to developing a quick admiration for Wichita's manager and the Wingnuts' organization.

"I feel like 'Hoop' became an instant friend and someone I looked up to," said Baker.  "He is one of the best baseball people I have ever come across.  You couldn't ask for a better friend or a better manager than a guy like 'Hoop'.  He is filled with positive energy and always wanted the best for his players, both individually and as a group."

Baker finished his seven-year professional career with a record of 18-16 and a 3.49 ERA in 230 appearances.  He made stops with independent teams in the Atlantic, CanAm, and Northern Leagues, and posted an ERA of 2.57 or better in four of his seven pro seasons.  Yet, it is the memories from his final games with the Wingnuts that he will hold at a separate, special level.

"It was a great run and a lot of fun," said Baker.  "I really feel my memories are around the relationships I built with people on the team and coaching staff.  The Wingnuts are the best team I have ever been a part of, from 'A' to 'Z'.  The way the Wingnuts are built--they are built around bringing in quality people at every level--made it the time of my life.  From the moment I got there until the end of the run we had, it was a great experience.  The Wingnuts really bring in the right folks.  Everyone got along, and we loved each other.  We genuinely wanted others to do well.  It was a really solid unit.  In a lot of ways, it was like a family."

Baker shared that he will not only miss the relationships he had in baseball, but also the simply joy of coming to the ballpark each day.

"Everyday, I looked forward to going to the ballpark, putting on that uniform, and going out and getting my work in before games," said Baker.  "I took great pride in the work and preparation I did before and after games.  I really loved that grind.

"I want to thank my parents--they were my number one fans.  I also want to thank all of my managers and coaches for their guidance and support over the last seven years.  And I definitely want to thank all of the teammates who I went to battle with during the good times and bad.  Seven years and going out the way I did could not have been any better.  The Wingnuts are exactly what I stand for as a baseball player.  It would have been an experience tough to duplicate, so it was time to step away from the game."

Hooper will miss Baker as well, but knows the bond between the two will last.  He also hopes to build 22 similar bonds as the Wingnuts' 2013 season becomes increasingly closer.

"'Bake' was all about the team, and wanted nothing more than for our team to be successful," said Hooper.  "He was well-respected in the clubhouse, and you couldn't ask for a better teammate or individual.  I know I have said it many times before, but 'Bake' and I had a special bond from day one.

"I will never forget the day when he arrived at my hotel room in Amarillo.  We talked about baseball, our philosophies as an organization, and just life itself for an hour.  I will truly miss having him around, and wish him nothing but the best in the future.  I always tell guys when recruiting them that I want this to be a family-type atmosphere, and that's exactly how we treat each other."

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony honoring the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Re-Sign Team MVP, Former World Series Champ

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts re-signed designated hitter John Rodriguez on Wednesday.

Rodriguez had one of the best offensive campaigns in Wingnuts' history last year, hitting .332 with 16 home runs and 81 RBI in 94 games played.  The veteran hitter ranked prominently on the American Association leaderboards, and finished tied for sixth in batting average, tied for ninth in home runs, tied for fourth in RBI, 12th in on-base percentage (.400), and 11th in slugging percentage (.515).  Rodriguez hit safely in 71 different games, and tallied multiple hits in 38 of them.  A left-handed hitter and fielder, Rodriguez batted an impressive .374 with runners in scoring position (123 at bats), and added five more RBI in six playoff contests.  Rodriguez struck out just 44 times all season, and posted a .329 batting average against left-handed pitching.  At the end of the year, Rodriguez was named the Wingnuts' Most Valuable Player.

"I have known John Rodriguez for a long time, and I can't say enough about what he means to our team," said Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper.  "'J-Rod' had a tremendous year for us, and having him is like having another coach.  He is our leader and our go-to guy."

Rodriguez played two seasons in the Major Leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals (2005-06), helping the Redbirds win back-to-back National League Central Division crowns, as well as the 2006 World Series.  The New York City native hit .298 with 46 runs scored, 18 doubles, seven home runs, and 43 RBI in 158 Major League games.  During his time with St. Louis, Rodriguez collected base hits against numerous all-stars, including Roger Clemens, Trevor Hoffman, Greg Maddux, and John Smoltz.

Rodriguez enters his 17th year of professional baseball and was originally signed by the New York Yankees as a non-drafted free agent in 1996.  Rodriguez is a career .280 hitter with 1,439 base hits, 214 home runs, and 864 RBI in 5,145 at bats over 1,538 games played.  The 6-foot, 220-pound Rodriguez owns a lifetime .366 on-base percentage and a .477 slugging percentage.  Rodriguez has averaged 91 runs scored, 31 doubles, 23 home runs, 92 RBI, and 66 walks per 162 games as a pro.  The 35-year-old Rodriguez has a .301 batting average in more than 1,100 at bats with runners in scoring position, and has slugged eight career grand slams.  In addition to his time with the Cardinals, Rodriguez has nine years of experience at the Triple-A level, and was a teammate of Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper with the International League's Columbus Clippers in 2004.

Rodriguez gives the Wingnuts 25 players officially under contract for the 2013 season.  American Association club may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins May 4th.

2013 Wingnuts Signings
OF David Amberson
C Cole Armstrong
IF Blake Bergeron
C Kieran Bradford
RHP Mike Burns
LHP Anthony Capra
RHP Josh Dew
RHP Junior Guerra
RHP Lincoln Holdzkom
2B Jake Kahaulelio
SS Ryan Khoury
LHP Kristhiam Linares
RHP Jon Link
IF/OF Jared McDonald
3B Abel Nieves
OF Derek Perren
DH John Rodriguez
LHP Daniel Schmidt
RHP Bryce Shafer
RHP Chris Smith
IF Marc Tarantola
RHP Kyle Wahl
LHP Nick Walters
C Stephen Yoo
1B C.J. Ziegler

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony honoring the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Jared Simon Announces Retirement

Written by Jeremy Deckard, Wingnuts' Media Correspondent

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography

The decision one makes to walk away from a game they have played since they were a little kid is often a difficult one.  The choice to retire is even harder to swallow after a great season ends with a gut-shot loss.

After six seasons of professional baseball--the last two played with the Wichita Wingnuts--Jared Simon decided to put his playing days behind him and focus on coaching the game that he loves.

Wichita finished with a 59-41 record last season, winning the American Association’s Central Division, and enjoyed a three-game sweep of Laredo in the Division Series.  However, a loss to Winnipeg in the championship round abruptly ended Simon's favorite season, and made the decision to retire a tough one emotionally.

"Last year was definitely my best experience playing baseball," said Simon.  "I can't say enough about the players or management.  I could not have asked for a better team to spend my last year with.  We were almost in shock that we were actually done, and that was the way the season was going to end.

"You could not believe that grown men would be sporting all those tears.  It was really emotional, just because of how close we were.  It was really hard to leave those guys.  Last year, it seemed like everyone was really close, and we still talk and keep in touch."

Simon retires as the Wingnuts' all-time leader in appearances, taking the ball 104 times from 2011-12, and helping the Wingnuts capture back-to-back division titles.  His 57 appearances last summer set an American Association record for durability along with teammate and friend Nick Walters.

Simon, a native of Wichita, played his college ball at Wichita State University and ended his professional career back in his hometown.

“I got to start and end my career in Wichita," said Simon.  "After college, I really didn't think that baseball would be in my life, but I got the opportunity to go to 'indy' ball to see what professional baseball was like.  I took what I learned in college from (Wichita State pitching coach) Brent Kemnitz, and that gave me some success--which led me to the Phillies."

After going undrafted following his senior season at Wichita State, Simon started his professional career with the Frontier League's Slippery Rock Sliders.  He posted a 1.46 ERA during his rookie season in 2007, and became a true independent baseball success story when he was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies.

Simon notched a 30-save season with Low-A Lakewood during the 2008 campaign.  He would advance to High-A Clearwater the following year before his career hit a roadblock when he went on the shelf with a hip injury.

"I had 30 saves in my first year, but the next year, I hurt my hip," said Simon.  "When I had hip surgery--that was definitely the lowest point in my career.  After rehabbing and feeling better, I was released, and learned that is part of the nature of the business."

Simon returned to independent baseball in 2010, pitching to a 1.89 ERA for the Frontier League's Evansville Otters.  He was acquired by Wichita that winter, and closes out his playing career with an 18-17 record with 51 saves and a 3.18 ERA.  In five of his six professional seasons, Simon finished with an ERA of 3.56 or lower.

"I think that (the appearance record) is part of the reason I knew I couldn't play this year.  I would want to go out and do what I did last year, if not more," said Simon.  "I would want to go out there 69 times if I could.

"I think me and 'Walt' had a great relationship.  We knew our roles and both took it to heart.  It was almost a game for us to see who would get the call that night.  We took pride in getting that many appearances.  But more than just the appearances, we also wanted to go out there and have quality appearances."

As a setup man and middle reliever for the Wingnuts, Simon was called upon in a variety of situations--many of which included runners on base.  He thrived when asked to help the club escape a tight situation, and viewed it as a responsibility to his teammates.

"I felt like I owed it to the guy before--not to plate his runs," said Simon.  "I really took it to heart to keep those runners that I inherited from scoring.  I would be more upset if I let one of them score than if it was my own run."

Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper fully understands the luxury he has had with Simon over the last two seasons.

"He (Simon) was a sidearmed right-hander that will be dearly missed," said Hooper.  "He was a big contributor for us out of the bullpen the past two years.  He was a trooper and wanted that ball every single night.  You don't break an appearance record if you don't want it.  He always wanted the ball and obviously that is a blessing to have as a manager."

When reflecting on his career, Simon was grateful for the opportunities that independent baseball provided him.

"I can look back now and say that I have a lifetime of memories of the places I've been and the people I have met," Simon said.

Simon also hopes to take with him some of the learned behavior he has witnessed in the Wingnuts' dugout and clubhouse in his role as pitching coach at Maize South High School.

"The biggest thing is just the way I coach," said Simon.  "You never saw him (Hooper) in a bad mood.  The main thing I have taken with me is encouraging guys, and not letting them down--going out there with a positive attitude."

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony honoring the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Return Frontline Starter

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts signed pitcher Junior Guerra on Monday.

Guerra returns to the Wingnuts after spending last season with the Mexican League's Leones de Yucatan.  Guerra was 1-3 with a 5.46 ERA for Yucatan in five starts, striking out 20 batters over 28.0 innings pitched.  The right-hander allowed three or fewer earned runs in four of his five outings.

In 2011, Guerra was one of the American Association's premier starting pitchers, and helped the Wingnuts win the first of back-to-back Central Division titles.  Guerra was 9-3 that season with a 3.57 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 128.2 innings.  Now 28 years of age, Guerra ranked tied for ninth in the league in ERA, seventh in strikeouts, and third in opponents' batting average (.229).  A native of San Felix, Venezuela, Guerra allowed three or fewer earned runs in 14 of his 20 starts, and finished the season by going 8-1 with a 2.30 ERA over his final 12.  On July 13th, Guerra pitched the first seven and one-third innings in Wichita's combined no-hitter versus the Shreveport-Bossier Captains.

"Junior had a tremendous season for us in 2011," said Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper.  "Having the opportunity to get him back will only make our rotation better.  He is a power arm with electric stuff, and is one of the most durable starters we've been able to have.  He is also very valuable to us because he still holds rookie status in our league."

A converted catcher, Guerra enters his eighth overall season of professional baseball.  The 5-foot-11, 210-pound Guerra is 11-9 in his pitching career with four saves and a 3.98 ERA over 219.1 innings.  During his time behind the plate, Guerra foreshadowed his excellence on the mound by throwing out 36 percent of opposing base stealers from 2003-06.  Guerra was originally signed by the Atlanta Braves as an international free agent in 2001, and later spent one year in the New York Mets' farm system.  Prior to joining the Wingnuts, Guerra helped Sant Boi of the Spanish Elite League to a championship with an 11-1 record and a 0.89 ERA in 2010.

Guerra gives the Wingnuts 24 players officially under contract for the 2013 season.  American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins May 4th.

2013 Wingnuts Signings
OF David Amberson
C Cole Armstrong
IF Blake Bergeron
C Kieran Bradford
RHP Mike Burns
LHP Anthony Capra
RHP Josh Dew
RHP Junior Guerra
RHP Lincoln Holdzkom
2B Jake Kahaulelio
SS Ryan Khoury
LHP Kristhiam Linares
RHP Jon Link
IF/OF Jared McDonald
3B Abel Nieves
OF Derek Perren
LHP Daniel Schmidt
RHP Bryce Shafer
RHP Chris Smith
IF Marc Tarantola
RHP Kyle Wahl
LHP Nick Walters
C Stephen Yoo
1B C.J. Ziegler

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony honoring the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Sign Third Major League Arm

Photo Credit: Jon SooHoo

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts signed pitcher Jon Link on Friday.

Link appeared in nine games for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010 while spending most of last season at the Triple-A level.  A right-hander, Link was 1-2 with three saves and a 3.48 ERA for the Baltimore Orioles' Triple-A affiliate in Norfolk, VA.  Link was even better at the end of the season for the Pacific Coast League's New Orleans Zephyrs (Miami Marlins), earning seven saves and pitching to a 0.75 ERA in 11 appearances.

"Jon is yet another guy who has Major League experience that we have added to our staff," said Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper.  "He has had great success as a reliever in his career, and is willing to come and fill out a spot in our rotation if it helps make our team better.  I commend him for that.  He is another guy who will bring tremendous experience and leadership to our team, both on and off the field."

Link had a 4.15 ERA in nine relief appearances for the Dodgers in 2010.  The Columbus, OH native made his Major League debut on April 20th of that season with two shutout relief innings against the Cincinnati Reds.  During his time in the Majors, Link recorded outs against Matt Holliday, Buster Posey, and Albert Pujols.  He joins Mike Burns and Chris Smith as former Major Leaguers who are all expected to join the Wingnuts' rotation.

Link enters his ninth season of professional baseball and was originally drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 26th round out of Bluefield College (Bluefield, VA) in 2005.  The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Link is 25-21 in his career with 93 saves and a 3.82 ERA over 377 appearances.  The 29-year-old Link has averaged 8.63 strikeouts per nine innings in 466.0 lifetime frames, and has finished in the top-10 in his league in saves on three occassions.  The veteran right-hander has averaged 41 saves per 162 games in his career, and was named the Double-A Southern League's Relief Pitcher of the Year in 2008 with the Birmingham Barons (Chicago White Sox).  During his time in the White Sox' organization, Link was a teammate of recently-signed Wingnuts' catcher Cole Armstrong.

Link gives the Wingnuts 23 players officially under contract for the 2013 season.  American Association teams may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins May 4th.

2013 Wingnuts Signings
OF David Amberson
C Cole Armstrong
IF Blake Bergeron
C Kieran Bradford
RHP Mike Burns
LHP Anthony Capra
RHP Josh Dew
RHP Lincoln Holdzkom
2B Jake Kahaulelio
SS Ryan Khoury
LHP Kristhiam Linares
RHP Jon Link
IF/OF Jared McDonald
3B Abel Nieves
OF Derek Perren
LHP Daniel Schmidt
RHP Bryce Shafer
RHP Chris Smith
IF Marc Tarantola
RHP Kyle Wahl
LHP Nick Walters
C Stephen Yoo
1B C.J. Ziegler

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony honoring the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Land Veteran Catcher

Photo Credit: Andres Leighton/Associated Press 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts signed veteran catcher Cole Armstrong on Wednesday.

Armstrong (pictured right) joins the Wingnuts with four years of experience at the Triple-A level and three others in Double-A.  The experienced backstop appeared in 37 games last season for the Miami Marlins' Pacific Coast League affiliate in New Orleans.  In 2011, Armstrong hit .284 with nine home runs and 30 RBI in 68 games for the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees (Los Angeles Angels).  A left-handed hitter, Armstrong posted a .374 on-base percentage, a .500 slugging percentage, and hit safely in 42 of 68 contests for Salt Lake.  This past fall, Armstrong helped Team Canada qualify for the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

"Cole brings invaluable experience to our team behind the plate, which has always been a priority for me," said Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper.  "He is a left-handed bat who will be penciled into the middle of our lineup.  Cole will provide leadership both on the field and in the clubhouse, and I'm very excited to see him work with our entire pitching staff."

Armstrong is entering his 11th season of professional baseball, and is a lifetime .259 hitter with 65 home runs and 314 RBI in 685 games played.  The Surrey, British Columbia native has averaged 56 runs scored, 34 doubles, 16 home runs, 75 RBI, and 53 walks per 162 games in his career, while throwing out 29 percent of opposing base stealers.  The 29-year-old Armstrong was originally drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 16th round in 2003 out of Chipola Junior College in Florida.  Armstrong was later selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 2005 Rule V Draft, and was a member of Chicago's 40-man roster in 2009.  The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Armstrong earned all-star honors in the rookie level Appalachian League in 2004, and has twice attended Major League spring training (White Sox in 2010 and Angels in 2011).

Armstrong gives the Wingnuts 22 players officially under contract for the 2013 season.  American Association teams may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins May 4th.

2013 Wingnuts Signings
OF David Amberson
C Cole Armstrong
IF Blake Bergeron
C Kieran Bradford
RHP Mike Burns
LHP Anthony Capra
RHP Josh Dew
RHP Lincoln Holdzkom
2B Jake Kahaulelio
SS Ryan Khoury
LHP Kristhiam Linares
IF/OF Jared McDonald
3B Abel Nieves
OF Derek Perren
LHP Daniel Schmidt
RHP Bryce Shafer
RHP Chris Smith
IF Marc Tarantola
RHP Kyle Wahl
LHP Nick Walters
C Stephen Yoo
1B C.J. Ziegler

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony honoring the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Record-Setting Reliever Returns

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts re-signed pitcher Nick Walters on Monday.

Walters returns for a second year in Wichita after a record-setting performance in 2012.  The left-hander posted a 1.73 ERA and set an American Association mark (along with teammate Jared Simon) with 57 appearances.  Former Wingnuts' pitcher Dustin Pease held the previous record, appearing in 54 games during the 2010 season.  Walters did not allow an earned run in 49 of 57 appearances and struck out 53 batters in 52.0 total innings.  Including the postseason, left-handed hitters were just 3 for 91 (.033) against Walters with 30 strikeouts.  The Phoenix, AZ native was tough on right-handed bats as well, holding them to a .210 average.  The 6-foot-2, 170-pound Walters recorded the final four outs in the Wingnuts' clinching game against the Laredo Lemurs in last year's Division Series.

"'Walt' put up unbelievable numbers for us last year, and I can't describe how valuable he was to our team," said Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper.  "He wanted the ball every night, and more often than not we were able to give it to him.  He is as tough as they come against left-handed bats, and he has the ability to step into any situation and get us big outs."

Walters enters his ninth season of professional baseball with an 18-16 record, 15 saves, and a 2.97 ERA in 299 relief appearances.  The 27-year-old lefty has averaged 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings versus 6.6 base hits.  Walters has struck out 41 percent of the left-handed batters to face him during his career, while holding them to a .158 batting average.  Walters has been especially dominant over the last three seasons where he has averaged just 3.8 hits allowed per nine innings.  Walters was originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 31st round in 2004 out of Dixie State College, and later spent three seasons in the Oakland Athletics' organization.

Walters gives the Wingnuts 21 players officially under contract for the 2013 season.  American Association teams may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins May 4th.

2013 Wingnuts Signings
OF David Amberson
IF Blake Bergeron
C Kieran Bradford
RHP Mike Burns
LHP Anthony Capra
RHP Josh Dew
RHP Lincoln Holdzkom
2B Jake Kahaulelio
SS Ryan Khoury
LHP Kristhiam Linares
IF/OF Jared McDonald
3B Abel Nieves
OF Derek Perren
LHP Daniel Schmidt
RHP Bryce Shafer
RHP Chris Smith
IF Marc Tarantola
RHP Kyle Wahl
LHP Nick Walters
C Stephen Yoo
1B C.J. Ziegler

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony honoring the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.

Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.  Fans can resolve outstanding balances on cash cards from previous years until June 1st, 2013.

For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Lawrence-Dumont Stadium to Accept Cash in 2013

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts announced Wednesday that Lawrence-Dumont Stadium will be accepting cash at all events for the 2013 season.

The announcement follows the completion of the Wingnuts' five-year agreement with Total Venue Control (TVC) signed prior to the club's inaugural season in 2008.  In addition to cash, debit and credit cards will still be accepted at all Wingnuts and NBC World Series games.  The transition applies to all points of sale at the stadium, including concession stands, skyboxes, in-stadium vendors, and the team gift shop.

"We are very excited that fans will be able to use cash at our stadium this year," said Wingnuts' General Manager Josh Robertson.  "Total Venue Control has been a great partner of ours since the formation of the team, but with our agreement expiring after last year, we have decided to explore the benefits of providing a cash ballpark.  We wish Cameron Wall and his staff the best of luck, and will continue to serve as a reference for their company."

Existing TVC cards with outstanding balances may be redeemed at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium up until June 1st, 2013.

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony honoring the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.  For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts to Play Exhibition in Joplin

Photo Credit: Missouri Southern State University 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts are excited to announce their participation in a spring training game at Joe Becker Stadium in Joplin, MO on Sunday, May 12th.

The official announcement was made by Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr at a press conference on Friday afternoon.  First pitch on May 12th is scheduled for 2:05 p.m., with the Wingnuts squaring off against division rival Kansas City.

"We are very excited for the opportunity to showcase two of the very good organizations within the American Association in the great city of Joplin, Missouri," said Wingnuts' General Manager Josh Robertson.  "We hope that this will help start the movement to bring professional baseball back to Joplin."

Tickets are just $5 for adults and $3 for children (ages three to 12).  With the game falling on Mother's Day, all mothers may enter the park for free with the accompaniment of a paid admission.

"Joe Becker Stadium is a great venue for baseball, and we're eager to have this event in this historic ballpark," said Rohr.  "Professional baseball was a part of Joplin's history, and it can be part of our future too.  We encourage fans of American's greatest pastime to come out for the day.  We hope many repeat what the unofficial anthem to baseball says, 'Take me out to the ballgame', and families enjoy the day at Becker, as many have done for years."

Historic Joe Becker Stadium is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.  Built in 1913, the 2,000-seat ballpark was the home of Hall of Fame outfielder Mickey Mantle during his second year in professional baseball.  'The Mick' batted .383 for the Western Association's Joplin Miners in 1950.  Today, the Stadium plays host to various local teams of all levels, including semi-pro, amateur, collegiate, and high school.

The Wingnuts will announce their complete spring training schedule in the near future.  The first day of camp is set for May 4th.

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony honoring the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.  For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Add Outfielder and Infielder

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts signed outfielder Derek Perren and infielder Marc Tarantola on Friday.

Perren (pictured) starred for the North American League's Edinburg Roadrunners last year, hitting .327 with 45 runs scored, 21 doubles, two home runs, 50 RBI, and 10 stolen bases.  The Arcadia, CA native ranked 11th in the North American League in batting average, tied for fifth in doubles, 11th in RBI, third in walks (48), and fifth in on-base percentage (.407).  Perren hit safely in 67 of 94 games played, and fanned just 25 times all season.  The 27-year-old outfielder had 31 multi-hit contests and never went more than two consecutive games without collecting at least one hit.

"Derek had great college numbers at USC and has had a great start to his professional career," said Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper.  "He will compete for one of our outfield spots, and is yet another left-handed bat we can possibly add to our lineup.  His career numbers show that he can definitely handle the bat, and I think this is going to be a great opportunity for him."

A fifth-year professional, Perren is a lifetime .306 hitter and has averaged 85 runs scored, 34 doubles, six home runs, 75 RBI, and 69 walks per 162 games played.  A left-handed hitter and fielder, Perren has struck out just 99 times in 850 career at bats, and owns a .381 on-base percentage.  Perren played two seasons of college baseball at the University of Southern California and hit .362 for the Trojans during his senior season in 2008.  The 5-foot-9, 185-pound Perren also played two seasons at Los Angeles Pierce College.  Near the end of the 2011 season, Perren was a teammate of current Wingnuts Mike Burns and C.J. Ziegler with the North American League's Calgary Vipers.

Tarantola is a true rookie from Southwestern Oklahoma State University.  A right-handed hitter and fielder, Tarantola hit .265 as a senior in 2012 with 19 runs scored, five doubles, three home runs, and 15 RBI in 34 games played as the Bulldogs' starting shortstop.  Defensively, the 24-year-old native of Tucson, AZ committed just five errors all season.  Prior to Southwestern Oklahoma State, Tarantola played at Arizona Western College where he hit .275 as a Sophomore in 2010.  The 5-foot-8, 180-pound Tarantola also played in the 2011 NBC World Series as a member of the Casa Grande Cotton Kings.

"Marc will come into camp competing for our utility spot," said Hooper.  "He is mainly an infielder, but can also play the outfield.  From the reports I have received, his bat will always play, and I know he is excited for the opportunity we have given him."

Perren and Tarantola give the Wingnuts 20 players officially under contract for the 2013 season.  American Association teams may carry up to 28 players during Spring Training, which begins May 4th.

2013 Wingnuts Signings
OF David Amberson
IF Blake Bergeron
C Kieran Bradford
RHP Mike Burns
LHP Anthony Capra
RHP Josh Dew
RHP Lincoln Holdzkom
2B Jake Kahaulelio
SS Ryan Khoury
LHP Kristhiam Linares
IF/OF Jared McDonald
3B Abel Nieves
OF Derek Perren
LHP Daniel Schmidt
RHP Bryce Shafer
RHP Chris Smith
IF Marc Tarantola
RHP Kyle Wahl
C Stephen Yoo
1B C.J. Ziegler

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony honoring the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.  For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Add Two Pitchers

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts signed pitchers Lincoln Holdzkom and Kristhiam Linares on Wednesday.

Holdzkom (pictured left) brings eight years of experience in affiliated ball, including two seasons at the Triple-A level and three others in Double-A.  Holdzkom last pitched in 2009 for the Pittsburgh Pirates' Double-A affiliate in Altoona, PA where he chalked up 17.0 shutout innings over 14 relief appearances.  An intimidating presence on the mound, Holdzkom stands in at 6-foot-5, 250-pounds and represented the New Zealand national team last fall in the World Baseball Classic qualifier.  Lincoln's younger brother John--who was in training camp with the Wingnuts in 2011--also pitched for New Zealand.

"Lincoln is a big guy with a big arm," said Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper.  "He will more than likely be at the tail-end of our bullpen, helping us finish games in the later innings.  I know Lincoln from my early days with the Marlins.  He is a hard worker and wants to give baseball one more shot to see where it takes him.  If he is anything close to what he has been in the past, you are going to be seeing some electric stuff."

Holdzkom has a lifetime 16-25 record with 21 saves and a 2.96 ERA in 227 appearances.  The right-hander has allowed just 269 hits and seven home runs in 337.2 career innings, while striking out 330.  Holdzkom--who will be 31 on Opening Night--has finished with an ERA of 2.97 or lower in six of his eight professional seasons, and was originally drafted by the Florida Marlins in the seventh round in 2001 out of Arizona Western College.  Holdzkom was a teammate of Wingnuts' pitchers Mike Burns and Chris Smith on the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox in 2007.

Linares (pictured right) has spent the last two seasons pitching in Italy.  The left-hander was 5-5 with a 1.66 ERA for Bollate last year, allowing just 53 hits in 103.0 innings.  Linares struck out 165 versus 33 walks and three home runs.  The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Linares was even better in 2011 while pitching for Codogno where he was 8-4 with a 1.48 ERA and 211 strikeouts in 127.2 innings.  Most recently, Linares posted a 4.73 ERA without allowing a home run in 13.1 innings for the Venezuelan Winter League's Bravos de Margarita.

"Kristhiam is a left-hander who will come into camp competing for a spot in our rotation," said Hooper.  "He came highly-regarded from many of Jose Amado's Venezuelan connections, and we are excited to see how he can help contribute.  He has some experience out of the bullpen as well, which makes him very valuable."

Linares has four seasons of experience in affiliated ball, and was originally signed by the Florida Marlins as an international free agent in 2004.  The 26-year-old Linares was a combined 6-15 with one save and a 4.30 ERA during that stretch, and reached the Double-A level with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2009.  A native of Caracas, Venezuela, Linares has 172 strikeouts in 198.2 affiliated innings, and has averaged just 0.2 home runs for every nine frames.

Holdzkom and Linares give the Wingnuts 18 players officially under contract for the 2013 season.  American Association teams may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins May 4th.

2013 Wingnuts Signings
OF David Amberson
IF Blake Bergeron
C Kieran Bradford
RHP Mike Burns
LHP Anthony Capra
RHP Josh Dew
RHP Lincoln Holdzkom
2B Jake Kahaulelio
SS Ryan Khoury
LHP Kristhiam Linares
IF/OF Jared McDonald
3B Abel Nieves
LHP Daniel Schmidt
RHP Bryce Shafer
RHP Chris Smith
RHP Kyle Wahl
C Stephen Yoo
1B C.J. Ziegler

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony honoring the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.  For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Bullpen Ace Back With Wingnuts

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts re-signed closer Josh Dew on Friday.

Dew heads into his third season as a member of the Wingnuts, and is the franchise's all-time leader in saves with 29.  Last season, Dew posted a 2.70 ERA in 16.2 innings and notched the record-breaking save with a scoreless ninth on May 18th versus Lincoln.  In 2011, the right-hander tied the club's single-season mark with 20 saves, and finished the year with a 1.12 ERA in 40.0 innings.  Over his two seasons in Wichita, Dew has combined for 82 strikeouts in 56.2 innings, while allowing just 39 hits and one home run.  Dew has helped his team reach the postseason each of the last three years.

"I can't describe the feeling a manager has when you have a guy like Josh Dew down in the bullpen to close things out for your team in the ninth inning," said Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper.  "He is arguably the best closer in the league, and we are very fortunate to have him returning for the 2013 season.  He has that bulldog mentality and always wants the ball at the end of the game in a save situation."

Dew enters his sixth season of professional baseball with 53 saves and a lifetime 2.88 ERA in 234.1 innings over 200 relief appearances.  The 28-year-old Dew has allowed just 197 hits and eight home runs in his career, while averaging 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings.  Dew was originally drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 14th round out of Troy University in 2007.  The Montgomery, AL native was a two-way star while at Troy and earned All-American honors as a senior.  The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Dew pitched to a 2.69 ERA and hit .321 with 98 RBI in 110 games during his final two collegiate seasons.

Dew gives the Wingnuts 16 players officially under contract for the 2013 season.  American Association teams may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins May 4th.

2013 Wingnuts Signings
OF David Amberson
IF Blake Bergeron
C Kieran Bradford
RHP Mike Burns
LHP Anthony Capra
RHP Josh Dew
2B Jake Kahaulelio
SS Ryan Khoury
IF/OF Jared McDonald
3B Abel Nieves
LHP Daniel Schmidt
RHP Bryce Shafer
RHP Chris Smith
RHP Kyle Wahl
C Stephen Yoo
1B C.J. Ziegler

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony honoring the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.  For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

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Wingnuts Sign Experienced Third Baseman

Photo Credit: Joliet Slammers

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts signed third baseman Abel Nieves on Wednesday.

Nieves (full name pronounced ah-BELL nee-AY-vis) was a Frontier League all-star for the Joliet Slammers last season.  The Maracay, Venezuela native ranked second in the Frontier League with a .320 batting average while adding 56 runs scored, 19 doubles, eight home runs, and 44 RBI in 89 games played.  Nieves also participated in the Frontier League All-Star Game's home run derby.  The 27-year-old third baseman walked 56 times versus only 40 strikeouts, and finished sixth in his league with a .421 on-base percentage.  Nieves played six different positions last season, and was scheduled to play all nine of them during the Slammers' final regular season home game.  The game was ultimately cancelled due to inclement weather.  Nieves had an 11-game hitting streak (19 for 41, .463) from May 23rd through June 6th and hit .361 in 72 at bats with runners in scoring position.

"Abel comes highly-recommended by many individuals I have spoken to," said Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper.  "As of today, he will be our Opening Night third baseman.  He can play all over the diamond which makes him very versatile and valuable in case we need his help at another position.  Abel adds some experience to our team and comes highly-regarded not only as a player, but as a person too.  I can't wait to see him take the field for us."

Nieves is entering his eighth season of professional baseball, and is a career .272 hitter with 260 runs scored, 81 doubles, 20 home runs, 215 RBI, and 280 walks in 543 games played.  A right-handed hitter and fielder, Nieves was drafted by the Anaheim Angels in the 50th round out of Middle Georgia College in 2004.  Nieves spent six seasons in the Angels' system, reaching Triple-A Salt Lake three times and Double-A Arkansas twice.  The 6-foot, 205-pound Nieves' best season with the Angels came in 2008 where he batted .318 with 24 doubles and 54 RBI in 101 games for the High-A California League's Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.

Nieves gives the Wingnuts 15 players officially under contract for the 2013 season.  American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins May 4th.

2013 Wingnuts Signings
OF David Amberson
IF Blake Bergeron
C Kieran Bradford
RHP Mike Burns
LHP Anthony Capra
2B Jake Kahaulelio
SS Ryan Khoury
IF/OF Jared McDonald
3B Abel Nieves
LHP Daniel Schmidt
RHP Bryce Shafer
RHP Chris Smith
RHP Kyle Wahl
C Stephen Yoo
1B C.J. Ziegler

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony honoring the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.  For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

Wingnuts Re-Sign Versatile McDonald, Add Two Rookies

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography 

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts signed Jared McDonald, Blake Bergeron, and David Amberson on Monday.

McDonald returns to Wichita after hitting .248 with five home runs and 37 RBI in 89 games last season.  McDonald--who also played briefly for the Lincoln Saltdogs--added 42 runs scored, 11 doubles, five triples, and was 17 for 21 in stolen base attempts.  The Tucson, AZ native had an eight-game hitting streak (15 for 32, .469) from June 15th through June 24th, and batted .333 in 39 at bats with two outs and runners in scoring position.  On June 27th, McDonald supplied a three-run homer during a six-run bottom of the ninth in Wichita's 6-5 win versus St. Paul.  The versatile McDonald played six different positions in 2012, and has played every position but catcher during his professional career.

"'J-Mac' is going to have the opportunity to be our everyday center fielder this season," said Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper.  "He is one of the most athleic guys I have ever had the privilege of managing, and he can pretty much play anywhere on the field.  I think the sky is the limit for Jared, and I plan on him being a big contributor for us."

The 25-year-old McDonald is entering his fifth season of professional baseball.  A left-handed hitter and right-handed fielder, McDonald hit .329 with 17 doubles, 53 RBI, and 17 stolen bases for the North American League's Yuma Scorpions in 2011.  McDonald was originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 21st round in 2009 out of Arizona State University.  The 6-foot-1, 190-pound McDonald played for the Sun Devils in the 2009 College World Series, and also spent two seasons at Pima Community College where he hit .422 as a freshman and sophomore.  McDonald is a lifetime .270 hitter with 114 runs scored, 35 doubles, nine triples, 14 home runs, 111 RBI, and 36 stolen bases in 235 games played.

Bergeron (pronounced BAR-zhur-ahn) appeared in 14 games for the Wingnuts as a true rookie during the middle of last season.  The Houma, LA native hit .250 with two home runs and four RBI, while splitting time at first and third base.  A right-handed hitter and fielder, Bergeron went 3 for 4 in his professional debut on July 3rd at Grand Prairie, and slugged his first career home run 10 days later at Kansas City.

"Blake will come into camp and compete for a spot on our roster," said Hooper.  "He is a very strong kid with a lot of power.  We were fortunate enough to be able to see him for a period of time last year.  I am looking forward to seeing what kind of improvements he has made this winter.  Blake is capable of playing both corner infield spots, and we are going to work him in the outfield as well, which should make him even more valuable."

Bergeron played four seasons of college baseball at Nicholls State University, hitting a combined .265 with 15 home runs and 110 RBI in 175 games from 2009-12.  The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Bergeron also stole 22 bases over his final two collegiate seasons.  Bergeron, 24, helped the Liberal Bee Jays win the 2010 NBC World Series, and earned tournament MVP honors with a .361 average, three home runs, and 15 RBI in just eight games.

Amberson is a true rookie who recently played for the Australian Baseball League's Perth Heat where he was a teammate of Ryan Khoury and Daniel Schmidt.  A right-handed hitter and fielder, Amberson hit .380 for Perth in 19 games with five doubles, two triples, one home run, seven RBI, and nine stolen bases.  The 25-year-old outfielder finished his college career at Western Oregon University last year, hitting .300 with 51 runs, 13 doubles, and 20 stolen bases in 46 contests.  Amberson's season earned him All-Great Northwest Athletic Conference honors.  The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Amberson also played two seasons at Everett Community College in his home state of Washington.

"David played with Ryan Khoury in Austrailia this winter and comes highly-regarded from both 'Ryno' and many others I have spoken to," said Hooper.  "He will have a chance to win one of our outfield spots this spring.  I have received reports on David saying he can flat-out run and has a plus arm from the outfield.  I am very excited to see him in action."

The three players give the Wingnuts 14 players officially under contract for the 2013 season.  American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins May 4th.

2013 Wingnuts Signings
OF David Amberson
IF Blake Bergeron
C Kieran Bradford
RHP Mike Burns
LHP Anthony Capra
2B Jake Kahaulelio
SS Ryan Khoury
IF/OF Jared McDonald
LHP Daniel Schmidt
RHP Bryce Shafer
RHP Chris Smith
RHP Kyle Wahl
C Stephen Yoo
1B C.J. Ziegler

The 2013 season of Wichita Wingnuts baseball begins Thursday, May 16th against the Kansas City T-Bones at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.  Prior to the game, a ceremony honoring the life of bench coach Brian Rose will take place.  For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com

-Wingnuts-

League Batting Champion Returns to Wichita

Photo Credit: Jancy Ireland Photography

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Wingnuts re-signed second baseman Jake Kahaulelio on Thursday.

Kahaulelio (pronounced kuh-HAU-lay-lee-oh) was the American Association's all-star second baseman last year, and captured the league's batting crown with a .372 average.  Kahaulelio added 60 runs scored, 19 doubles, six home runs, and 11 stolen bases in 59 games played.  The Petaluma, CA native also finished second in the American Association in on-base percentage (.448) and seventh in slugging percentage (.536).  Kahaulelio hit safely in 47 of 59 contests, had four hitting streaks of at least seven games, and batted an incredible .475 with runners in scoring position.  A right-handed hitter and fielder, Kahaulelio was 4 for 12 (.333) with five runs scored, two home runs, and three RBI during Wichita's three-game sweep of Laredo in the Division Series.

"Receiving the news that Jake would be returning for the 2013 season was a welcomed surprise," said Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper.  "Jake had a monster year in all facets of the game.  He plays with such energy and enthusiasm, and has a true passion for baseball.  He is also a great teammate and one of the better people you will ever be around."

Defensively, Kahaulelio was a key contributor to the Wingnuts' league-leading .980 fielding percentage, and teamed with shortstop Ryan Khoury to form one of the most exciting double play combinations in recent memory.  The 27-year-old Kahaulelio committed just three errors all season, and led American Association second basemen with a .990 fielding percentage.

Kahaulelio enters his sixth season of professional baseball with a lifetime .264 batting average, 29 home runs, and 177 RBI in 453 games played.  The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Kahaulelio was originally drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 20th round in 2007 out of Oral Roberts University.  Kahaulelio has three years of experience at the Double-A level, including an all-star campaign with the Southern League's Carolina Mudcats in 2010.  For his career, Kahaulelio has averaged 90 runs scored, 37 doubles, 11 home runs, 64 RBI, 15 stolen bases, and 58 walks per 162 games.  Kahaulelio hit a combined .319 during his two seasons at Oral Roberts and also spent two years at Santa Rosa Junior College where he won a California State championship in 2005.

Kahaulelio gives the W