The Wichita Wingnuts (24-14) beat the Laredo Lemurs (22-15) 20-6 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Monday night.
Three team records were either tied or broken in the win. Wichita scored a franchise-best 20 runs, while C.J. Ziegler tied a Wingnuts' single-game record with seven RBI. Ryan Hinson tossed six shutout innings to earn the win and tied Derek Blacksher for the most victories in team history (26).
Wichita scored early and often against Lemurs' starter Greg Wilborn. Ryan Khoury and Abel Nives drew back-to-back walks to start the bottom of the first. A Khoury stolen base and a wild pitch set up second and third with no outs. John Rodriguez drove in Khoury with an RBI groundout to shortstop. Ziegler followed with a monstrous, two-run homer to left-center that cleared the scoreboard and made it 3-0. On the next pitch, Brent Clevlen homered on a towering flyball that struck halfway up the batter's eye in the center field.
Khoury was hit by a pitch with one out in the second and went to third on a double down the right field line from Nieves. The double stretched Nieves' hitting streak to 17 games. After Rodriguez walked to load the bases, Ziegler singled through the left side to score two more runs. Rodriguez came home later in the inning on a wild pitch to make it 7-0.
The Wingnuts sent 14 men to the plate during a nine-run bottom of the fourth that broke the game wide open. A Nieves walk and a Rodriguez infield single set up a three-run line drive home run to left-center from Ziegler. Ziegler's second homer made it 10-0 and tied Juan Richardson's single-game record of seven RBI set on August 27th, 2011 at El Paso.
After Edwin Walker relieved Wilborn in the fourth, Wichita loaded the bases with two outs. Khoury lined a double to left-center that cleared the bases and made it 13-0. Nieves and Rodriguez followed with back-to-back RBI doubles, while Clevlen singled home Wichita's 16th run on a line drive to center.
Khoury hit a two-out, RBI single in the bottom of the fifth that scored Colt Loehrs from second base with two outs and made it 17-0 Wichita. Loehrs had four hits, including three doubles.
Rodriguez doubled in the bottom of the sixth and went to third when Ziegler reached on an error by third baseman Harrison Kain. Clevlen capped the outburst for the night with a line drive three-run homer to right-center.
The Lemurs scored three runs in the top of the seventh on a solo homer from Palmer Karr Jr. and a two-run double to left-center by Garrett Buechele. Back-to-back hit batters with the bases loaded and a wild pitch allowed the Lemurs to score three more in the top of the eighth.
Wichita totaled 17 hits in the win with eight different Wingnuts scoring at least one run. Khoury finished with four RBI and three runs scored. Nieves and Rodriguez each scored four times. Nieves' 17-game hitting streak is tied for the fourth-longest in team history.
Josh Stone threw a scoreless top of the ninth to close out the win. Wichita's previous high in runs for a single game was 19, and was last accomplished on August 27th, 2011 at El Paso.
Game two of the three-game set is Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. Justin Klipp faces right-hander Fernando Hernandez. 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