The Wichita Wingnuts (27-8) defeated the Sioux City Explorers (17-20) 5-2 at Lewis and Clark Park on Saturday night.
Wichita has won eight games in a row.
Ryan Hinson delivered eight great innings to improve to 5-1 and earn his 16th win all-time as a member of the Wingnuts. The 16 victories over the last two years tie him with Brad Davis for third most in team history.
Wichita grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning. Jared McDonald led off with a double down the right field line, and took third on Mike Conroy's sacrifice bunt. Ryan Khoury drove in McDonald with a line drive single to right-center.
Sioux City tied the game in the bottom of the third. Mike Bisenius was hit by a pitch leading off, advanced to second base when Mike Murphy beat out a sacrifice bunt attempt, and then to third on Brandon Newton's fielder's choice groundball to second. Bisenius scored on a passed ball.
Wichita manufactured another run in the fifth to go in front 2-1. David Peralta led off with a sharp grounder to first base that went off Kirs Sanchez's glove and down the right field line. Peralta took third when Bisenius mishandled the ball. Two errors were charged on the play. Justin Tellam drove in Peralta with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Sioux City answered again in the bottom of the inning. Wally Backman Jr. reached first on a leadoff infield single. After Bisenius sacrificed Backman to second, Murphy doubled down the left field line to tie the score at 2-2.
Wichita went in front for good in the top of the sixth. Khoury drew a leadoff walk and took second on Jake Kahaulelio's line drive, hit-and-run single to left-center. Explorers' starter Richard Salazar managed to record two outs to keep the game tied, but C.J. Ziegler lined a three-run home run over the left-center field wall to provide the game's final margin.
Sioux City brought the tying run to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth before Nick Walters retired Backman on a groundout to first to record his first save of the year.
Hinson allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits. Hinson struck out three and did not issue a walk. The eight innings pitched tied Hinson's career-high for a single game.
The Wingnuts' defense turned three double plays in the win. Conroy was 2 for 3 in the game, and is now 9 for 13 over the last three nights with four stolen bases.
Salazar took the loss, allowing five runs, four earned, on eight hits. Salazar walked two and struck out five.
The series concludes on Sunday evening at 6:05 p.m. Nate Robertson makes his second start with Wichita and faces right-hander Jason Jarvis. All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxbproductionsradio.com
The Wingnuts return home on Tuesday, June 26th when they host the St. Paul Saints. 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