WICHITA, Kansas – The Wichita Wingnuts punched their ticket to the American Association Championship Series Sunday night, eliminating the Sioux Explorers 10-5 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
Sioux City got on the board first, as Ino Patron put the visitors in front with an RBI single in the second.
The Wingnuts answered in the home half. Harrison Kain tied it up with an RBI single, then Martin Medina put Wichita in front with a run-scoring knock of his own. Christian Stringer added to the lead with an RBI double, then a fourth run came in on a passed ball.
The visitors narrowed the gap to two in the fourth, but Brent Clevlen had the answer for Wichita, launching a two-run shot, his second home run of the series, to restore the three-run margin.
Wichita added another in the next inning, as Medina drove in his second run of the night with a single.
The Explorers closed the gap to two with a pair in the sixth, but that was as close as they could get.
Mike Devine (1-0) struck out the side in order in the seventh, then Chad Nading worked a scoreless eighth.
Wichita added three insurance markers with one swing of the bat in the eighth, as T.J. Mittelstaedt tripled in a pair, then scored later on the play on a Sioux City throwing error.
Frankie Reed then came on and finished it off for the Wingnuts in the ninth, giving Wichita their third straight win to close out the series.
The Wingnuts now head to the American Association Championship Series where they will face the winner of the other Division Series between the St. Paul Saints and Winnipeg Goldeyes. Game one will be Wednesday night, with the location of the game depending on who emerges from the Saints-Goldeyes series.