The Wichita Wingnuts (65-31) tied an American Association record with their 65th win of the season, beating the Lincoln Saltdogs (48-48) 5-4 at Haymarket Park on Thursday night.
Tied at 4-4 in the top of the eighth inning, Cole Armstrong singled to deep right-center field. Madison Beaird pinch ran for Armstrong, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and stole third. With two outs, Jared McDonald ripped an RBI double down the right field line to score Beaird with the go-ahead run.
Daniel Bennett and Josh Dew combined for two perfect innings to finish out the win. Dew recorded his 25th save of the year in the bottom of the ninth.
Jake Kahaulelio lifted a sacrifice fly to center field in the top of the third to give Wichita a 1-0 lead.
Lincoln scored three times against Wingnuts' starter Junior Guerra in the bottom of the fifth to take their first lead of the series. With the bases loaded and one out, David Espinosa drew a walk to force in the tying run. Curt Smith followed with a sacrifice fly to right field that made it 2-1. Ian Gac added a two-out, RBI single to left.
Wichita answered right back in the top of the sixth. C.J. Ziegler walked and took second when Brent Clevlen reached on an error by third baseman Bryan Pounds. Abel Nieves advanced the runners on a groundball to second base. Cole Armstrong then tied the game with a double off the right field fence that scored Ziegler and Clevlen. Two batters later, Armstrong scored from second on an error by shortstop Yasel Gomez that put Wichita in front 4-3.
Smith hit an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game at 4-4.
Lincoln Holdzkom earned the win in relief for Wichita. P.J. Zocchi took the loss for the Saltdogs.
Guerra took a no-decision, allowing three runs, two earned, on three hits in six innings. Guerra walked five and struck out three.
Mike Burns started for Lincoln and also took a no-decision. Burns allowed four runs, two earned, on five hits in seven innings. Burns walked four and struck out four.
The Wingnuts join the 2006 Lincoln Saltdogs (65-31, .677) and the 2012 Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (65-35, .650) for the most wins in an American Association season. Wichita has four games remaining on their regular season schedule.
The series concludes Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Chris Smith faces right-hander Luis Chirinos. All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com
The Wingnuts play their final three regular season home games beginning this Saturday against the Kansas City T-Bones.
The 2013 American Association Division Series begins Wednesday, September 4th. The Wingnuts host Game Three of the on Friday, September 6th as well as the "if necessary" Games Four and Five on the 7th and 8th. Individual tickets for all home playoff games 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