Wingnuts continue to dominate Lemurs

08/30/2014 11:27 PM

08/30/2014 11:27 PM

If this is supposed to be a playoff preview, the Wingnuts can start looking for second-week accommodations.

Wichita beat Laredo 10-3 Saturday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, its 11th win over the Lemurs in 15 tries this season. The Wingnuts play that well against just about everybody in the American Association, improving to 71-27 and extending the league wins record they set on Wednesday.

The difference with Laredo is that the Lemurs are Wichita’s first-round playoff opponent, and the Wingnuts may hold a mental edge with their dominance in the season series.

Almost all of the success Laredo has had against the Wingnuts this season came from three straight wins in July, after Wichita won the first eight. The rest of the Wingnuts’ supremacy might come from the fact that they’re brushing off the one-sided nature of the rivalry.

“I don’t know if it’s a psychological advantage,” Wingnuts third baseman Chris McClendon said. “We know we’re going to go in and play those guys in the first round of the playoffs, but I still think it’s very important to come out here and finish the regular season strong.

“That’s one of those things that when you get into the playoffs, there’s not just not a switch you can turn it on and off, so I think it’s important that we go into the playoffs hot and feeling good.”

Laredo might need access to that switch, as the first two games of the current series – and many of the 13 before it – have established the Wingnuts’ superior readiness for the postseason.

The Wingnuts took plenty from Laredo Saturday night, with a 14-hit attack that included multiple hits from McClendon and four teammates, and a three-run homer by Chris McMurray, part of a seven-run sixth inning that put the game out of reach.

But the Lemurs handed Wichita plenty, too. Laredo made three errors and had other miscues in the field, presenting an energy level that the Wingnuts exploited to turn a scoreless game after three innings into a blowout.

“Anytime, we feel like this offense can score,” McClendon said. “Our defense plays well every night, and our pitchers are going to give us what they’ve got. Whenever you get a chance to capitalize on other teams’ mistakes, that’s what good teams do and you take advantage.”

Friday night, Laredo used a position player to pitch in the late innings of another runaway, the third of four games Wichita has beaten the Lemurs by five runs or more.

The Wingnuts, meanwhile, continue to treat late-season games like they’re already in the playoffs, matching relievers up to situations and putting together persistent at-bats.

There were several examples of such plate appearances Saturday, like when Ryan Khoury fouled off four two-strike pitches before a fourth-inning RBI double that put the Wingnuts ahead 2-0.

Or when David Espinosa, Wichita’s No. 3 hitter and one of its most important RBI hitters, waited out Michael Suk for a five-pitch, bases-loaded walk that brought in a run without a swing.

“I know we’re going to be fine,” Wingnuts manager Kevin Hooper said. “We’re not changing anything. We’re playing it to win every single night, that’s just how we do things, and that’s what we expect. We’ll continue to do that (Sunday) and Monday and try to finish strong going into what we’re trying to do in the first round.”

Saturday, Wingnuts starter Anthony Capra also embodied the Wingnuts’ urgency. He walked the leadoff batter in three innings, and had five walks overall, but surrendered three hits and didn’t allow a run in six innings.

Capra pitched in a tie game or with a slim lead for most of the night, but his resilience is part of what created an opportunity for the Wingnuts to break it open later.

“We’re hungry, I think, and we have been all year long,” Hooper said. “That’s what’s been so much fun. We just keep adding to that record, which is just crazy. If you sit back and look at it, it’s just nuts. Now our losses are going to be in the 20s, and that’s unheard of.

“It’s all around, everybody. Top to bottom. Relievers, bench guys, top to bottom. And we need everybody. Everybody is as important as everybody else.”

Laredo

Wichita

ab

r

h

bi

ab

r

h

bi

VnSrttn cf

2

0

1

0

Khoury ss

4

0

2

1

Phipps rf

5

1

1

0

McDnald 2b

0

0

0

0

Denker 2b

4

1

1

1

Luce lf

4

1

0

0

Alonso 3b

5

0

2

1

Espinosa rf

2

1

1

1

Wiley 1b

3

0

0

0

Ambrsn rf

1

0

0

0

JRamrz lf

4

1

1

1

Clevlen dh

5

1

2

1

CRamrz c

4

0

1

0

Diaz 1b

5

0

0

1

Brndnbrg ss

4

0

1

0

Nieves 3b-2b

4

1

2

1

Taveras dh

4

0

0

0

Testa cf

4

2

2

0

McMrry c

2

1

1

3

Dean c

2

1

1

0

McClndn 3b

2

2

2

1

Oldham 3b-ss

1

0

1

0

Totals

35

3

8

3

Totals

36

10

14

9

Laredo

000

000

210

3 8 3

Wichita

000

207

10x

10 14 0

E — Alonso 2 (6), Brandenberg (3). DP — Laredo. LOB — Laredo 11, Wichita 10. 2B — Denker (16), Alonso (30), Khoury 2 (25). HR — J. Ramirez (10, McMurray (7). S — Testa. SB — Van Stratten (17).

Laredo

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Suk L,5-2

6

11

9

8

4

2

Povich

1

3

1

0

1

2

Weismann

1

0

0

0

0

1

Wichita

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Capra W,7-2

6

3

0

0

5

4

Zouzalik

1

3

2

2

0

2

Robertson

1

1

1

1

0

0

Johnson

1

1

0

0

1

1

WP — Capra 2 (8). HBP — Espinosa, Luce (by Suk). Balk — Suk. Umpires — home, Harrison Silverman; first, Mayhue Edwards; third, Darius Shani. T — 3:06. A —4,032.

Laredo at Wingnuts

When: 2:05 p.m. Sunday

Where: Lawrence-Dumont Stadium

Records: Laredo 58-40, Wingnuts 71-27

Pitchers: Laredo, TBA; Wingnuts, RH Celson Polanco (0-0, 4.26 ERA)

Radio: KWME, 92.7-FM

Sports Videos

Join the Discussion

The Wichita Eagle is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service