When the Wingnuts lose big, they make it historic – and, sometimes, dramatic.
Wichita already suffered the franchise’s most lopsided loss earlier this season, and a 13-10 win by Fargo-Moorhead on Sunday at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium that was a rout for 8 1⁄2 innings featured another rarity.
Ronnie Bourquin, Fargo’s third baseman, hit for the cycle, the first time an opponent has done that in the Wingnuts’ seven years. He completed the feat with a seventh-inning grand slam that put the RedHawks ahead 11-2. The lead reached 13-4 before the Wingnuts scored six in the bottom of the ninth.
Bourquin stole attention from Wingnuts slugging designated hitter J.T. Wise, who had two more home runs on Sunday. Wise finished the three-game series going 6 for 13 with five homers and 13 RBIs while expanding his hitting streak to 11 games.
Bourquin also overshadowed his teammates, four of whom had multiple hits on Sunday and five who delivered an RBI. Fargo totaled 19 hits and forced the Wingnuts to throw more than 200 pitches as it salvaged the finale of the three-game series.
“The first two games didn’t quite go how we wanted,” Bourquin said. “You try to keep the same approach throughout the season and game by game, but collectively we were able to swing it pretty good today.”
Bourquin’s good fortune came in the sixth inning, after which he’d already doubled and singled. He hit a bloop to shallow left field, forcing a diving attempt by Carlo Testa, who was unable to make the play before the ball bounced away from him and allowed Bourquin to cruise into third base.
It was Bourquin’s first triple since 2011 and 10th of his nine-year career.
“It’s funny because I’ve been a triple away a couple times the last couple years,” Bourquin said. “I told the guys it’s going to take either a ball off the wall or one of the outfielders to fall down for me to get a triple. Fortunately for me, (Testa) tried to make a nice play and it just worked out.”
None of five Wichita pitchers could contain the RedHawks, a trend that started with starter Tim Brown, who had an uncharacteristic outing.
Brown is a groundball specialist and can often escape trouble via double-play grounders. He didn’t afford himself that possibility too much on Sunday, though, and Fargo’s hitters did damage against balls left up in the strike zone.
Brown’s inability to finish hitters off also caught up to him – he allowed three two-strike hits during the third and fourth innings, when Fargo totaled five runs, and couldn’t emerge from deep counts, throwing 77 pitches over innings 2-4.
“Good hitting team, too, good lineup,” Wingnuts manager Kevin Hooper said of the RedHawks. “A lot of veteran guys, and they made (Brown) pay for the mistakes he made. Kind of an atypical day for him. Chalk it up to one of those days, I hope.”
The Wingnuts teed off on Justin Erasmus in the ninth, scoring six runs against him before he was relieved without recording an out. Wise launched a grand slam before Erasmus’ exit, but that left the bases empty for Coty Woods, who recorded three groundball outs in a row.
One of those outs was by Wichita pitcher Justin Klipp, who pinch-hit for another pitcher because the Wingnuts once again ran out of position players. Miguel Mendez, signed to play Sunday after Colt Loehrs injured his wrist on Saturday, also left with an injury.
Jake Kahaulelio is expected to return Monday after attending a family wedding over the weekend, but Mendez’s injury will leave Wichita with an empty bench.
“You sign a guy for one day and that’s probably going to be it,” Hooper said. “So I don’t know what we’re going to do. We’ll get on the wire and try to find somebody out there. Even if we have to activate (hitting coach Jose Amado) for an emergency or something, we’ll figure something out until we get some healthy bodies in here.”
|Penprase ss||3||0||1||0||Khoury ss||2||2||1||0|
|Kaskadden ss||3||1||2||1||Amberson rf||4||1||1||0|
|Bourquin 3b||6||3||4||5||Testa lf||4||2||2||0|
|Carroll lf||3||2||0||1||Clevlen cf||4||2||2||2|
|Rethrfrd 1b||6||1||1||1||McMurray c||4||1||1||2|
|Jackson cf||5||0||4||2||Wise dh-1b||5||2||2||6|
|Paramore dh||6||0||1||0||McClndn 3b||5||0||0||0|
|Alberts rf||4||1||2||1||Oldham 1b-2b||5||0||2||0|
|Newton 2b||4||3||1||0||Mendez 2b||4||0||0||0|
|Higgs c||5||2||3||1||Zouzalik p||0||0||0||0|
E— Newton (5), Clevlen (1). DP— Fargo , Wichita. LOB— Fargo 13, Wichita 8. 2B— Bourquin (7), Jackson (6), Higgs (4), Clevlen (14), Oldham 2 (4). 3B — Bourquin (1). HR — Bourquin (5), Higgs (2), Wise 2 (8). SB — Khoury (11), Amberson (12). SF — Alberts, McMurray,
|Bowlin W,2-0||6 1/3||5||3||3||3||3|
|Brown L,5-2||5 1/3||10||6||5||2||5|
HBP — by Bowlin (Khoury). WP — Bowlin. Umpires—Home, Trent Delmont; first, Art Thigpen; third, Sam Burch.
T— 3:34. A— 5,577.