06/09/2012 10:00 AM - In a game where Kansas City had been in control from the start, clutch hitting from the experienced Wichita Wingnuts proved to the difference in a come-from-behind 6-5 victory for the Wingnuts on Friday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
Kansas City led much of the game, including its 5-3 advantage in the top of the ninth. T-Bones closer Jake Wiley issued a four-pitch walk to leadoff hitter Mitch Einterston. With David Peralta reaching two batters later on a one-out single, Taylor Freeman launched a three-run home run over the left field fence, giving Wichita its first lead of the night, 6-5.
“It’s the same story that when you fall behind hitters you can get into trouble, especially against a good-hitting club like Wichita,” T-Bones manager Kenny Hook said. “When you have a two-run lead in the ninth, you have to pitch to hitters and not give up walks.”
Wingnuts manager Kevin Hooper called on righty Matt Nevarez in the bottom half of the ninth. Nevarez struck out the first two batters he faced before allowing a walk to shortstop Jose Duran. Brandon Jones, representing the winning run, lined out to left field, ending the game.
Kansas City left fielder Brandon Jones got the T-Bones on the board in the third inning with a two-run, two-out double over Eintertson’s head. Wichita came back with a solo home run in the top of the fourth, when John Rodriguez went deep off of T-Bones starter Josh Rainwater.
Kansas City extended its lead to 4-1 as shortstop Jose Duran blooped a single into shallow left center field that scored Justin Bass. A sacrifice fly from Jones capped the two-run inning as his fly ball to center field scored newly acquired second baseman Bridger Hunt.
In the top of the sixth, Wichita cut into the lead once again, this time with a deep, two-run homer by third baseman Juan Richardson, making the score 4-3. Rainwater seemed to regain his composure and had two outs in the seventh when he left the game with an injury.
“He just had an odd cramp in his arm,” Hook said. “He tried talking me into letting him finish the inning, but I told him that I’d let him finish the hitter and then we’d take him out as a precaution.”
Rainwater, who gave up three runs and struck out seven, gave way to right-hander Lucas Irvine with runners on first and second. With a full count, Irvine was able to induce a ground ball to Wingnuts shortstop Ryan Khoury to get the T-Bones out of the inning with a 5-3 lead.
The T-Bones drop to 10-11 on the season, while Wichita improves to a league best 16-5. The three-game series continues Saturday night with first pitch scheduled for 7:05. Tickets are available by calling the T-Bones box office at 913-328-5618.