The Wingnuts lost 15-0 to Gary SouthShore Saturday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, but at least it was festive.
Live music from the River Festival blared across the Arkansas River during most of the game, possibly distracting fans from their worst-ever loss but also providing an upbeat soundtrack for the Wingnuts’ unraveling.
Fifteen-run defeats will happen in baseball occasionally, even though Wichita’s previous most lopsided losses came from four 12-run defeats. The Wingnuts, though, compounded the blowout with mental mistakes, untimely walks, and poor defense.
Four multi-run innings by the RailCats were more than enough to halt the Wingnuts’ winning streak at five games.
“I don’t mind losing, you know that,” Wingnuts manager Kevin Hooper said. “We’re going to get beat like this sometimes, but I wasn’t really happy tonight with the way we handled ourselves on the field. We’ll see how we respond (Sunday).”
Wichita starting pitcher Anthony Capra allowed more runs in the first inning Saturday than he had in his three previous starts combined, and his outing got worse after a triple and two singles staked Gary to an early 2-0 lead.
Capra surrendered Gary’s second home run of the season in the third, a two-run shot that put the RailCats ahead 4-0. To that point, the Wingnuts’ problems mostly belonged to Capra, but that changed with a two-base error by Ryan Khoury that preceded an RBI single and the first of three unearned runs allowed by Capra.
The other two were tallied an inning later, when two runs scored on an error by first baseman J.T. Wise with two outs. Making the play would have gotten the Wingnuts out of the inning, but only after Capra had allowed two hits and three walks – two with the bases loaded.
No errors were charged to Wichita in the fifth, a statistic that didn’t account for its sloppy defense. Center fielder Brent Clevlen, second baseman Jake Kahaulelio and Khoury failed to communicate on a fly ball in shallow center, and it dropped between them for a hit.
Later in the fifth, left fielder Carlo Testa overshot the cutoff man on a sacrifice fly, allowing Ryan Babineau to move from second base to third. It was a mistake that didn’t lead to a Gary run, but it was another negative mark against the Wingnuts.
“Especially at this level, that can’t happen, and especially as many that happened in one game tonight,” Hooper said. “The focus was gone tonight, you could tell. We’re going to get beat – we’re not going to win every game – but the way you get beat goes a long way with me, and that wasn’t a good showing tonight from us, anywhere, from the start.”
Wichita’s prior most one-sided shutout loss was 9-0, and Gary matched that through four innings. The RailCats tallied 20 hits; 16 through the first four innings, when they scored all their runs.
“We’ll cover that stuff,” Hooper said of Wichita’s mental mistakes. “I’m not concerned with it. We’ll see how we bounce back (Sunday). This is over with. We all need to forget about it, throw it away.”
|Pulfer 3b||5||3||2||2||Khoury ss||3||0||0||0|
|Martinez rf||4||3||3||1||Oldham ss||2||0||0||0|
|Bishop lf-rf||1||0||0||0||Testa lf||4||0||2||0|
|Taylor lf-rf||1||0||0||0||Kahalelo 2b||4||0||0||0|
|Romanski lf||5||2||3||3||Clevlen cf||4||0||4||0|
|Babineau c||3||1||1||2||Wise 1b||4||0||0||0|
|Maddox c||1||0||1||0||Hrnndz dh||3||0||0||0|
|Hamilton 1b||6||0||4||3||McMurray c||3||0||0||0|
|Gominsky cf||6||0||0||1||Loehrs 3b||4||0||0||0|
|Backman dh||5||2||2||0||Amberson rf||3||0||2||0|
E — Khoury (5), Wise (3). LOB — Gary 9, Wichita 10. 2B — Hamilton (5), Backman (5), Mitchell (4). 3B — Pulfer (2). HR — Romanski (1). CS — Babineau (1).
|Capra L,1-1||3 2/3||8||9||4||4||4|
Umpires — Home, Bryan Childe; first, Bill Montgomery; third, David Frame.
T — 3:02. A — 3,008.