WICHITA, Kans. (August 18, 2017) – Jake Taylor lifted a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth, and the Texas AirHogs completed a late-inning comeback to clip the Wichita Wingnuts 4-3 on Friday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
Wichita (50-33) led 3-1 heading into the eighth, but the AirHogs (34-49) rallied against Wingnuts starter Alex Boshers. Beamer Weems led off the frame by sneaking a solo homer just inside the left field foul pole to trim the deficit to 3-2, then with two outs Alvaro Rondon and Casio Grider reached to put men at the corners. James Campbell entered out of the Wingnuts pen and surrendered a run-scoring single to Levi Scott, evening the score at 3-3.
After Wichita came up empty in the bottom of the eighth, Ryan Kussmaul (5-5) allowed a pair of one-out singles before Taylor drove home the winning run with a fly to left-center. The Wingnuts managed a one-out walk in the bottom half of the ninth against AirHogs closer Rob Tasin, but a groundout and pop out helped Tasin escape with his fourth save.
Texas grabbed an early 1-0 advantage against Boshers in the third when Rondon poked a hit-and-run single to score Taylor all the way from first. But the Wingnuts responded promptly in the home half of the frame, as Martin Medina connected for a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 1-1.
Wichita took their first lead in the fourth, courtesy of a Zac Fisher solo homer. Fisher then added an RBI double in the fifth, extending the Wingnuts edge out to 3-1. The Wingnuts designated hitter finished the night 3-for-4, adding an eighth inning single to his line.
Jared Mortensen (7-1) picked up the victory for Texas with eight solid innings, allowing six hits and only two earned runs. The right-hander struck out six and did not walk a batter. Boshers ended with a no-decision, tossing 7.2 innings and allowing three runs.
The Wingnuts and AirHogs continue their three-game set Saturday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Wichita will send right-hander Danny Gutierrez (0-0, 0.00) to the bump, while Texas will counter with fellow righty Leuris Gomez (4-3, 4.65). All the action will be broadcast on 1410 AM/93.9 FM, and at americanassociationbaseball.tv.