Wichita Wingnuts

Christian Stringer delivers walk-off single in 3-2 Wingnuts win

Christian Stringer’s game-ending single on Saturday night was barely his best moment in a 10-minute span.

In the top of the ninth inning, Stringer helped turn a fancy double play that got the Wingnuts out of potential trouble in a tie game against Lincoln. In the bottom of the ninth, Stringer lined a first-pitch fastball into right field, scoring Harrison Kain to give the Wingnuts a 3-2 win at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

Wichita avoided an 0-3 start behind Stringer’s heroics and eight strong innings from starting pitcher Tim Brown, who retired 16 straight at one point.

“That’s what you ask for,” said Stringer, the Wingnuts’ second baseman. “Guys are getting on base in front of me and giving me a chance to knock somebody in, so that’s a credit to them for getting in scoring position.”

With a runner on first against Wichita closer Frankie Reed, Curt Smith hit a hard ground ball just to the left of second base that seemed destined for center field.

But Wingnuts shortstop Leo Vargas fielded it on a dive to his left and flipped to Stringer, who bare-handed the catch and threw to first to retire Smith. Rene Leveret followed with a pop-up to end the half-inning.

Kain started the bottom of the ninth with a walk against Matt Shepherd, and pinch-hitter Richard Prigatano walked after a wild pitch to put runners on first and second. On the first pitch to Stringer a left-handed batter, Shepherd finally found the strike zone.

“He was struggling and couldn’t find his slider for a strike,” Stringer said of Shepherd. I think he’s a fastball-slider guy, so I didn’t think he wanted to throw that slider first pitch and get behind (in the count) right off the bat. I was sitting dead-red fastball and he put it in there.

“I changed bats for that last at-bat but it worked out. A little superstitious for me, but it came out all right.”

All of the Wingnuts’ offense came after Lincoln starter Ryan O’Sullivan exited with no outs in the fifth inning because of an apparent back or side injury. Reliever Jeff McKenzie walked the first batter he faced, leading to Wichita’s first run.

The Wingnuts got two hits against O’Sullivan but had 10 baserunners after he exited. They tied it on T.J. Mittelstaedt’s RBI single in the sixth inning following a walk and an error.

“It’s just a matter of guys putting together good at-bats,” Wingnuts manager Pete Rose Jr. said. “We’ve had a lot of chances with two-out RBIs or runners in scoring position with less than two outs. I think they’re just over-anxious, which rightfully – I’ve been there before.

“It’s just matter of them setting in and just kind of being themselves. I think they’re going to start to settle in and just relax and start playing hard-nosed baseball.”

Brown allowed two runs in the second inning on three hits, including a two-run double by Ryan Wiggins that barely bounced fair over third base. That was the only blemish against Brown for most of the game, as he retired Lincoln in order in every other inning until the eighth.

In the eighth, Brown threw four pitches despite allowing two hits. The other two pitches were a sacrifice bunt and a double play as Brown deftly handled his first threat in a while.

“You’re always going to have those times during games when you’ve got to get through it,” Brown said. “I got bailed out again by some great defense. Guys just make plays behind you and that’s what it’s all about, coming out and picking each other up.”

Lincoln

Wichita

ab

r

h

bi

ab

r

h

bi

Ibarra 3b

4

0

0

0

Stringer 2b

5

0

1

1

Colon cf

4

0

1

0

Cox 3b

4

0

0

0

Smith 1b

4

0

0

0

Clevlen rf

2

0

0

0

Leveret dh

4

1

1

0

Geiger 1b

3

1

1

0

Smith rf

3

0

0

0

Mittlstdt lf

4

0

2

1

McKenna ss

3

1

1

0

Chavez dh

4

0

0

0

Jacobs lf

3

0

1

0

Kain cf

2

2

0

0

Wiggins c

2

0

1

2

Dean c

4

0

1

0

Kelly 2b

3

0

1

0

Vargas ss

3

0

1

0

Prigatano ph

0

0

0

0

Totals

30

2

6

2

Totals

31

3

6

2

Lincoln

020

000

000

2

Wichita

000

011

001

3

E— McKenzie. DP— Lincoln 1, Wichita 2. LOB— Lincoln 2, Wichita 9. 2B— Wiggins. SB – Clevlen, Kain, Dean, Vargas. S – Wiggins.

Lincoln

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

O’Sullivan

4

2

1

1

2

2

McKenzie

1 2/3

2

1

0

1

1

Orosey

1 1/3

0

0

0

0

1

Westcott

1

1

0

0

1

2

Shepherd L,0-1

 1/3

1

1

1

2

1

Wichita

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Brown

8

5

2

2

0

4

Reed W,1-1

1

1

0

0

0

0

WP — Shepherd.

T— 2:15. A— 3,582.

Lincoln at Wingnuts

  • When: 1:05 p.m. Sunday
  • Where: Lawrence-Dumont Stadium
  • Records: Lincoln 2-1, Wingnuts 1-2
  • Radio: KGSO, 1410-AM
  Comments