The “day-night” aspect of the Wingnuts doubleheader with Gary SouthShore on Tuesday could barely contain two games, as Game 2 nearly stretched into early Wednesday morning.
After a difficult loss in the opener that started at 11 a.m., the Wingnuts lost another late lead in the nightcap, a 7:05 start. The doubleheader was scheduled to give Wichita a travel day for a long trip home from the East Coast.
The Railcats scored three times in the top of the 11th in Game 2 to win 6-4 and take two games in which they trailed in the eighth inning or later. Mike Massaro’s second triple of the game drove in a pair of runs to break the tie.
The Wingnuts got two singles to start the bottom of the 11th, but the next three batters were retired, two on strikeouts.
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Gary won the opener 7-6 with two runs in the ninth against Wichita closer Josh Dew.
“Long day,” Wingnuts manager Kevin Hooper said. “Tough day. We’ve got to find a way to win (close) games. Good teams find a way to win those games. Bottom line, we’ve got to find a way to finish games. We had an opportunity to finish both games and we didn’t.”
Daniel Bennett recorded back-to-back strikeouts after a leadoff single in the eighth in the night game but was replaced by Nick Walters, Wichita’s left-handed specialist. Walters, who was shaky in his Game 1 appearance, hit three straight batters to bring in the tying run before escaping the bases-loaded trouble.
The Wingnuts’ best apparent chance to win came in the bottom of the 10th, when 3-4-5 hitters John Rodriguez, C.J. Ziegler and Brent Clevlen were due up. Rodriguez hit a screaming line drive that was snared by first baseman Daniel Pulfer, and after Ziegler was hit by a pitch, Clevlen grounded into a double play.
With no relief options remaining, Wichita went to newcomer Kyle Wahl in the 11th, and it was evident early that the 24-year-old veteran of 27 professional games was overmatched.
Chase Tucker started the 11th with a single, followed by a hit by Adam Klein before Massaro’s triple scored them both. Another run scored on a wild pitch, and right fielder David Amberson prevented a larger deficit with a diving catch to end the half-inning.
The Wingnuts were forced to exhaust their pitching staff in Game 2 because Anthony Capra, pitching on three-days’ rest, is scheduled to make another start on short rest on Saturday.
Capra, who is taking the rotation spot vacated by Jon Link after Link was sold to the Detroit Tigers organization on Tuesday, pitched four innings and left in a scoreless game.
No Wingnuts reliever pitched more than two innings, and Wahl worked the 11th after warming in the bullpen several times during the day. It seemed the Wingnuts were attempting to avoid that situation, but to no avail.
The teams traded two-run fifth innings, but the Wingnuts took the lead in the sixth and again in the seventh after Gary tied it 3-3. Wichita didn’t record a hit after scoring in the seventh, squandering one-out walks in the eighth and ninth innings and failing to produce a run via the middle of the order in the 10th.
Clay Zapada earned saves in both games. Dew allowed his first earned run of the season in Game 1, walking three batters and allowing a hit. The Wingnuts scored five runs in the bottom of the first after Gary scored four in the top half. Clevlen hit his second three-run homer in two days.
“We had both those games, too, that we had a chance to finish out and we didn’t,” Hooper said. “Pretty unfortunate to lose both of those.”
|Klein lf||4||2||1||0||Khoury ss||4||0||0||0|
|Massaro rf||4||1||0||0||Kahaulelio 2b||4||1||2||0|
|Guerrero dh||3||1||1||0||Rodriguez dh||5||1||1||0|
|Maddox c||3||1||1||1||Ziegler 1b||4||2||2||2|
|Liddle 1b||3||0||0||0||Clevlen cf||4||1||1||3|
|Mitchell pr/ss||0||0||0||1||Nieves 3b||4||1||2||0|
|Kolb 3b||4||1||1||1||Dalrymple c||4||0||2||0|
|Martinez cf||4||1||2||1||Amberson rf||4||0||2||0|
|Pulfer 1b/ss||4||0||2||2||McDonald lf||4||0||1||0|
|Gary||400||100||002||—||7 9 1|
|Wichita||500||010||000||—||6 13 0|
E— Maddox. DP— Gary 1, Wichita 2. LOB— Gary 8, Wichita 6. 2B— Pulfer (2),, Ziegler (12). HR – Ziegler (10), Cleveln (2). SF – Mitchell (1). SB – Tucker (3). CS – Amberson (3), McDonald 2 (3).
|Sewitt W, 2-0||1||1||0||0||0||1|
|Zavada S (3)||1||2||0||0||0||1|
|Dew L, 2-1||1||1||2||2||3||0|
WP — Quijano (4), Dew (1). Umpires—Home, Jon Durante; first, Sean Hicks; third, Mitch Morgan.
T— 3:05. A— 3573.
|Klein lf||4||3||2||0||Khoury ss||5||0||1||1|
|Massaro dh/rf||6||2||4||3||Kahaulelio 2b||5||0||1||0|
|Guerrero rf||5||0||1||0||Rodriguez dh||5||1||2||0|
|Babineau c||3||0||1||0||Ziegler 1b||4||0||1||1|
|Coombs pr||0||1||0||0||Clevlen cf||4||1||1||0|
|Maddox c||2||0||0||0||Armstrong c||4||0||0||0|
|Pulfer 1b||5||0||0||0||Nieves 3b||5||0||2||1|
|Kolb 3b||5||0||1||0||Amberson rf||5||2||2||0|
|Martinez cf||4||0||0||0||McDonald lf||3||0||1||0|
|Gary||000||020||110||03||—||7 10 1|
|Wichita||000||021||100||00||—||4 11 1|
E— Pulfer (5), Ziegler (4). DP— Gary 2, Wichita 1. LOB— Gary 11, Wichita 9. 2B— Massaro (8), Ziegler (13), Clevlen (1), Nieves (8), Amberson (6). 3B – Klein (4), Massaro 2 (6). HBP – Guerrero (2) by Wahl; Martinez (2) by Walters; Mitchell (1) by Walters; Tucker (1) by Walters; Ziegler (1) by Gonzalez. SB – Kolb (5), Nieves (4), Amberson (7). CS – Nieves (2).
|Zavada W, 3-1||1||1||0||0||1||2|
|Dew L, 2-2||2||1||0||0||1||0|
WP – Bennett (1), Wahl (1). HBP — Guerrero by Wahl (1) Bennett (1), Wahl (1); Martinez by Walters (1); Mitchell by Walters (2); Tucker by Walters (3). Umpires—Home, Sean Hicks; first, Mitch Morgan; third Jon Durante.
T— 3:55. A— 3814.