The Wichita Wingnuts beat the Gary SouthShore RailCats 6-2 at U.S. Steel Yard on Saturday night.
Wichita scored three times in the top of the second and never looked back, while Jose Perez pitched six strong innings to earn his first win of the season.
C.J Ziegler opened the second with a single up the middle and took third on Jared McDonald's hit-and-run single to center. David Peralta drove in Ziegler with a sacrifice fly to center. Following the play, Steve Carrillo pinch ran for McDonald at first due to an apparent injury. After Salomon Manriquez grounded out to third base, Mike Conroy walked to put runners on first and second. Ryan Khoury ripped a single through the left side to drive in Carrillo with the Wingnuts' second run. A walk to Jake Kahaulelio loaded the bases, and set up another free pass to John Rodriguez that made it 3-0.
Mitch Einertson singled with one out in the top of the fifth. With Einertson running on a 3-2 pitch, Ziegler hit a groundball to shortstop Kyle Haines. Haines' flip to second baseman David Cooper was late in trying to force out Einertson, and Cooper's relay to first was thrown into the Wingnuts' dugout. With runners on second and third after the error, Carrillo lined a single to left that scored Einertson. Peralta lifted his second sacrifice fly of the night to deep right to give Wichita a 5-0 lead.
Gary SouthShore chipped away in the bottom of the fifth. Haines drew a leadoff walk and took second on Sean Smith's bunt single to third base. Ryan Babineau hit into a fielder's choice that left runners on the corners. Cooper singled through the right side to score Haines and cut the lead to 5-1. Adam Klein hit a sinking liner to right field that was caught by a diving Peralta for the second out. Babineau scored the RailCats' second run on the play.
Perez allowed just the two earned runs in the fifth, and finished strong with a perfect sixth inning. Perez allowed five hits, walked one, and struck out three.
Wichita's final run came in the top of the sixth on a wild pitch that scored Khoury.
Matt Nevarez, Nick Walters, and Jared Simon each pitched a scoreless relief inning.
Derek Drage started and took the loss for the RailCats. Drage allowed three earned runs in one and two-thirds innings. Drage struck out none, walked three, and yielded four hits.
The series wraps up on Sunday afternoon at 2:10 p.m. Derek Blacksher takes the mound for the Wingnuts. Gary SouthShore has yet to announce their starter. All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 FM KWME, and worldwide at www.kleyam.com
The Wingnuts return home for a seven-game homestand on Friday, June 1st when they host the Grand Prairie AirHogs at 6:05 p.m. Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com
For season tickets, group outings, and party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com