The Wichita Wingnuts (32-18) lost 3-2 to the Amarillo Sox (28-23) at Amarillo National Bank Sox Stadium on Tuesday night.
Wichita mounted a late comeback that ultimately fell one run short, with Amarillo's bullpen stranding the tying run in scoring position in both the eigth and ninth innings.
Trailing 3-0 in the top of the sixth, Jared McDonald reached on an error by second baseman Jake Opitz. Two batters later, Ryan Khoury tripled into the right field corner to put the Wingnuts on the board.
In the top of the eighth, Mike Conroy singled up the middle to chase out Sox' starter Justin Garcia. Khoury followed with an RBI double down the left field line against reliever Wes Littleton. Littleton then retired Zac Mitchell and John Rodriguez back-to-back to keep Amarillo in front.
Gerardo Avila led off the top of the ninth against Amarillo closer Chase Johnson with a single down the left field line and was sacrificed to second by Steve Carrillo. After Blake Bergeron pinch ran for Avila at second, Johnson retired David Peralta on a flyball to right and struck out Justin Tellam looking to close out the game.
Garcia earned the win, allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits in seven and one-third innings. Garcia walked one and struck out three. Garcia faced the minimum 15 batters over the first five innings. Johnson earned the save.
Josh Lowey started for the Wingnuts and took a tough loss. Lowey allowed three earned runs on 11 hits in six and two-thirds innings. Lowey walked one and struck out three. Lowey retired 11 of 13 batters to face him from the Buschini single in the third into the bottom of the seventh.
Matthew Tucker hit a solo home run with one out in the bottom of the first to put Amarillo in front 1-0. Jason White's two-out, RBI single to center in the bottom of the second made it 2-0. Adam Buschini drove in what proved to be the decisive run with a line drive single to left in the bottom of the third.
Edgar Martinez worked one and one-third scoreless relief innings for Wichita. Peralta's 13-game hitting streak came to an end.
The Wingnuts return home on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. for a two-game series against the Kansas City T-Bones. 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