WICHITA, KS – After taking the first three games of their series with the Laredo Lemurs on the strength of their starting pitching, the Wichita Wingnuts set their sights on a sweep Thursday night. A big seven-run second inning by the visitors that was aided by defensive miscues, put the Wingnuts in a hole they could never climb out of. Former Wingnut Dustin Geiger led the Lemurs on their way to a 12-3 win by hitting a pair of home runs and driving in five.
Alex Koronis (0-1) retired the Lemurs in order in a quick first inning to kick off his debut with Wichita. The second inning was not as smooth sailing. The frame started when David Espinosa had a groundball sneak under his glove to allow D’Vontrey Richardson to reach base. Denis Phipps lined a single to left and then Juan Silverio put the Lemurs (24-23) on the board with his double over the head of left fielder Joash Brodin. A walk, a sacrifice bunt, and a strikeout followed to leave runners on the corners with two outs and Abel Nieves at the plate. The second baseman hit a sinking line drive to right that dropped in front of Taylor Oldham and two more runs scored. Geiger followed a Kevin Taylor walk with his first home run of the night, a three-run blast to left that increased the lead to 7-0. Five of the seven runs were unearned.
Ty Morrison reached base to begin the fourth inning against Koronis and moved to third when the pitcher’s pickoff throw went off the glove of Espinosa and down the line. Brian Peterson followed with a sacrifice fly for his first RBI of the season. Later in the inning, Geiger struck again with a run-scoring double to make it 9-0.
The Wingnuts (25-20) managed their first runs against Luis Pollorena in the bottom of the fourth. Starlin Rodriguez began the threat with a triple to right center and scored on T.J. Mittelstaedt’s fielder’s choice groundout. Brodin smacked a double, moved to third on Matt Padgett’s infield single, and then scored on another single off the bat of John Nester to pull the Nuts within 9-2.
Laredo added to their cushion in the fifth and sixth innings. The fifth began with Jayce Ray mishandling a fly ball deep in the gap from Phipps. Silverio followed immediately with a triple to push the advantage to 10-2. He scored as well on Ty Morrison’s high bouncing infield single to the left side. Geiger provided the final run for Laredo with a solo home run to the power alley in the sixth. The long ball was his tenth of the season.
Wichita added one final run against Pollorena (3-0) in the eighth before the southpaw departed. Oldham ripped a triple to open the frame and then scored on Espinosa’s 22nd RBI of the season. Pollarena allowed three runs on seven hits over 8.0 innings.
The only one of three Wingnuts’ hurlers to work in the game that did not allow a run was right-hander Alex Boshers. He held the potent Laredo offense in check for 3.0 innings and allowed just a pair of hits.
Wichita will begin a new four-game series on Friday by welcoming in-state rival Kansas City to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. RHP Omar Bencomo (4-0) will match up with T-Bones RHP Bobby Doran. It will be National Wild Turkey Federation Night and Teddy Bear Toss with post-game fireworks thanks to Pixius Communications. 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.