During the regular season the Wingnuts were capable of, but not reliant upon, scoring runs in bunches via home runs.
In the first two games of their playoff series against Laredo, Wichita has been carried by homers. The Wingnuts hit five on Thursday — bringing their two-game total to seven — in a 9-5 road win over the Lemurs.
The Wingnuts lead the American Association best-of-five series 2-0, with Game 3 Friday night in Wichita. Games 4 and 5 will also be at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, if necessary.
All of Wichita’s runs were scored on home runs, and John Rodriguez had a pair of two-run shots that highlighted the Wingnuts’ two four-run innings. The Wingnuts’ 77 regular-season homers ranked sixth in the 13-team league, but Wichita was more likely to score runs by drawing walks and stringing together multiple hits.
“No cheapies, either,” Wingnuts manager Kevin Hooper said about Thursday’s power outburst. “Especially to right field here, the wind blows in hard.… The boys are just ready to hit. We put up nine in a hurry, so once again it was a lot of fun to watch offensively.”
David Peralta and Greg Porter also hit two-run blasts for the Wingnuts, and Kahaulelio added a solo shot; Kahaulelio has four of his eight total home runs this season (regular season plus playoffs) since August 29.
Ryan Hinson protected the Wingnuts’ early 4-0 lead. He allowed three hits and a run in the second, but during Hinson’s 6 2/3-inning outing, Laredo had one other hit against him. He followed Josh Lowey’s seven shutout innings in Game 1, and Derek Blacksher will attempt to continue the pattern of excellent pitching on Friday.
“We’re all ready to finish it (Friday) night,” Hooper said. “One more. There’s no reason to mess around and drag things along. You’ve got to come out ready to go (Friday) night and take advantage of the opportunity to finish things.”
|Khoury ss||4||1||0||0||Douglas cf||4||0||1||1|
|Kahaulelio 2b||4||2||2||1||Mojica ss||5||0||1||0|
|Rodriguez dh||4||2||3||4||Karr dh||4||1||0||0|
|Ziegler 1b||3||1||0||0||Allen lf||2||1||1||0|
|Porter 3b||5||2||2||2||Brito 1b||3||1||0||0|
|Peralta rf||4||1||2||2||Marquez 3b||3||0||0||1|
|Mier c||4||0||0||0||Peterson c||4||0||0||0|
|Conroy cf||3||0||0||0||Pearson rf||4||2||2||3|
|Stanley lf||4||0||1||0||Scelfo 2b||3||0||1||0|
E—Kahaulelio (1), Ziegler (1), Douglas (1), Scelfo (1). LOB—Wichita 7, Laredo 7. DP— Wichita 2, Laredo 1. 2B— Kahaulelio (2). HR — Kahaulelio (2), Rodriguez 2 (2), Porter (1), Peralta (1), Peasrson (1). SF — Marquez. CS — COnroy.
|Hinson W,1-0||6 2/3||4||1||1||5||3|
|Chavez L,0-1||4 2/3||8||9||9||3||2|
HBP — by Jones (Rodriguez). WP — Wilson 2. Umpires — home, Justin Post; first, Kurt Brannin; second, Joe Pascucci; third, Dixon Sturman. T — 2:55. A — 2,100.