Excellence in three facets of the game allowed the Wingnuts to win Game 1 of their American Association first-round playoff series 6-0 over Laredo on the road on Wednesday night.
Josh Lowey pitched seven scoreless innings, David Peralta made an important running catch in the second inning, and the Wingnuts got home runs from Jake Kahaulelio and Rhyan Khoury plus a pair of crucial hits from Greg Porter.
Game 2 of the best-of-five series is Thursday night in Laredo.
“I’m a pitching and defense guy,” Wingnuts manager Kevin Hooper said. “I think if you throw enough offense in there you’re going to give yourself a good chance. That showed you tonight what that’s all about. I said ‘pitching and defense’ about three times tonight, and we did both of those very well.”
After missing chances to take an early lead after stranding two runners in scoring position in the first two innings, the Wingnuts faced a deficit when Laredo loaded the bases with two outs in the second. Anthony Scelfo hit a deep fly ball to right field that Peralta caught as he raced near the wall, saving three runs.
The Wingnuts began to solve Laredo starter Matt Way in the following half-inning. Porter’s first two-out RBI hit, on a 3-0 pitch, brought home the first run, and Wichita continued to add to its lead while Lowey shut down the Lemurs.
Kahaulelio homered on a first-pitch fastball from Way in the fifth, and three batters later Porter’s single to left scored John Rodriguez. Khoury homered in the sixth, and Steve Stanley and C.J. Ziegler delivered run-scoring singles in the late innings.
Lowey, who set a league record with 15 regular-season wins, allowed no runs in seven innings for the second time in his last three starts while equaling the feat he accomplished at Laredo on July 15. After Lowey’s laboring second inning Laredo rarely threatened, and the win was finished off with scoreless innings by Nick Walters and James Hoyt.
“I don’t even know if he was his best,” Hooper said. “That’s what he does, he competes. The curveball, he was trying to find it early in the game, then he got to throwing it (successfully) later in the game. That’s what good pitchers do _ they feel what they’re not doing it right, they make an adjustment and they figure it out.”
|Khoury ss||4||1||2||1||Douglss cf||3||0||0||0|
|Kahllio 2b||4||2||2||1||Mojica ss||4||0||0||0|
|Rodrigz dh||5||2||1||0||Karr dh||4||0||0||0|
|Ziegler 1b||5||0||3||1||Allen lf||3||0||2||0|
|Porter 3b||5||0||2||2||Brito 1b||4||0||1||0|
|Peralta rf||5||0||1||0||Marqz 3b||4||0||2||0|
|Mier c||4||0||1||0||Peterson c||4||0||0||0|
|Conroy cf||3||1||0||0||Pearson rf||1||0||0||0|
|Stanley lf||4||0||1||1||Scelfo 2b||3||0||0||0|
E— Mojica 2. LOB— Wichita 9, Laredo 7. DP— Wichita 1. 2B— Kahaulelio (1), Ziegler (1), Allen (1), Marquez (1). HR — Khoury (1), Kahaulelio (1). SB — Khoury 2 (2), Conroy (1), Marquez (1). CS — Kahaulelio, Allen. .
Umpires — home,Dickensen Sturnana; first, Justin Poste; second, Kurt Branen; third, Joe Pastcucci. T — 3:07. A — 1,226.