The Wichita Wingnuts (23-14) lost 5-3 to the Sioux City Explorers (16-20) at Lewis and Clark Park on Sunday evening.
With two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the eighth, the Explorers rallied for three runs to overcome a 3-2 Wingnuts' lead. Luke Murton and Peter Barrows drew back-to-back walks. Wingnuts' starter Chris Smith then struck out Yusuke Inoguchi on a pitch blocked in front of home plate. Smith picked up the ball and threw to C.J. Ziegler at first base. Ziegler stepped into foul territory and caught Smith's throw with his foot still on the first base bag. First base umpire Mike Carroll ruled that Ziegler came off the bag and Inoguchi reached to load the bases. On the next pitch Sam Judah looped a double to right field that hit the foul line and scored all three runners to make it 5-3 in favor of Sioux City.
Chris Bodishbaugh retired the Wingnuts in order in the top of the ninth to earn the save.
Wichita took an early lead when Brent Clevlen lined a home run to left field in the top of the second.
Sioux City tied the game in the bottom of the third. Alberto Espinosa reached on an infield single, took second on Anthony Kaskadden's sacrifice bunt, and scored two batters later on an infield hit from Leugim Barroso.
Cole Armstrong slugged a solo home run in the top of the fourth to put Wichita in front 2-1.
Kaskadden scored on a line drive single to right by Eliezer Mesa in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game.
The Wingnuts took their third lead of the game in the top of the sixth. Ziegler walked leading off and went to third when Clevlen doubled to right-center. Two batters later, Colt Loehrs lined a single to left that scored Ziegler with the go-ahead run.
Smith took the loss and earned credit for his second career complete game. Smith allowed five earned runs on nine hits in eight innings. Smith walked three and struck out eight.
Richard Salazar started for Sioux City and took a no-decision. Salazar allowed three earned runs on seven hits in six innings, walking two and striking out seven.
Abel Nieves had three hits and has hit safely in 16 games in a row.
The Wingnuts return home on Monday to face the Laredo Lemurs in a three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com
Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.
For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com