The Wichita Wingnuts and Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks played a crazy game for the second day in a row on Sunday at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, but this time it was the visiting team that came out ahead 13-10. Ronnie Bourquin hit for the second cycle in RedHawks’ history and Drew Bowlin (2-0) allowed three runs through a season-high 6.1 innings to put the Wingnuts behind the eight-ball early on
After each team went scoreless in the opening two innings, Fargo-Moorhead (21-15) jumped on Wingnuts’ starter Tim Brown (5-2) for five runs during the second and third frames. With the bases loaded in the third, Nic Jackson cleared the bases by driving in two on a double off the right field wall. The third run scored when Miguel Mendez, playing his first professional game, misplayed the relay throw from centerfielder Brent Clevlen and allowed C.J. Retherford to come home and make it 3-0. In the fourth, Bourquin struck again with an RBI single and later Carroll bounced into a run-scoring fielder’s choice to extend the lead to 5-0.
In the bottom of the fourth J.T. Wise continued his power surge by blasting his fourth home run of the series, and seventh of the season, to score Clevlen and trim the lead to 5-2 in Fargo’s favor.
However, those two runs were cancelled out when the nine-hitter of the RedHawks’, catcher Travis Higgs, hit a solo home run off of Brown to begin the sixth. After Alan Williams replaced the starter, Ronnie Bourquin singled and C.J. Retherford drove him home two batters later to take a 7-2 advantage.
Needing just a home run to complete the cycle, Bourquin stepped to the plate against Matt Robertson in the seventh. Bourquin crushed a high fastball over the wall in right field for a grand slam to complete the rare achievement. The only other Fargo-Moorhead hitter to hit for the cycle was Richard Austin in 2005. The second-year RedHawk finished the game 4-6 with five RBI and three runs scored.
Wichita (25-12) gained two back in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI double by Clevlen and a sacrifice fly to deep center by Chris McMurray.
After Anthony Kaskadden drove in a run on a bloop single over second base, Tim Alberts pushed the lead to 13-4 with a sacrifice fly of his own in the top of the ninth off of Mike Zouzalik to set the stage for a late comeback attempt by the home team
The inning began with reliever Justin Erasmus allowing three consecutive hits to Ryan Khoury, David Amberson, and Carlo Testa to load the bases. Clevlen then drew a five-pitch base on balls from the right-hander, forcing in a run and cut the deficit to eight at 13-5. McMurray followed with a sharp single to left and the Wingnuts were within seven and had Wise coming to the plate and the bases still loaded, with nary an out. Wise jumped all over a belt-high fastball and hammered it out to left for a grand slam that put his team right back in the game at 13-10. The long ball was Wise’s fifth of the series and eighth of 2014. The former Los Angeles Dodger prospect finished the day with six RBI and two home runs in a 2-5 showing at the dish. After Wise’s smash, the RedHawks brought in Coty Woods to try and finish the deal. He forced three straight hitters to bounce out to second base and the game was over just like that.
Khoury stole the 100th base of his career in the game’s first inning off of Bowlin. Wise, Clevlen, and McMurray combined for all 10 of the team’s RBI. Nic Jackson of Fargo also found success at the plate in this one, going 4-5 with a double and two RBI.
The Wingnuts open a four-game series with division rival Grand Prairie on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Justin Klipp (5-1) will get the start while the AirHogs hurler is to be decided. For information on 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.