AMARILLO, TX — The Wichita Wingnuts defeated the Amarillo Sox 12-11 at Amarillo National Bank Sox Stadium on Friday night.
The Wingnuts used seven pitchers, totaled 19 hits, and overcame two four-run deficits to pull out the win. 10 Wingnuts' position players had at least one hit in the game.
With the game tied 10-10 in the top of the eighth, Josh Workman led off with a single through the middle. Workman advanced to second on Edwin Bellorin's hit-and-run groundout, and scored when Mike Conroy tripled to the fence in center field. Conry came home with an insurance run on Evan Button's second sacrifice fly of the night.
Cephas Howard worked a scoreless bottom of the eighth, helped by a huge defensive play by Juan Richardson. With the tying runs in scoring position and two out, Richardson snared Cyle Hankerd's sharp one-hopper to the left side of the infield, before throwing to first to end the inning.
Kevin Butler hit an RBI single against Josh Dew in the bottom of the ninth to cut the lead to 12-11, but Dew retired Adam De La Garza on a flyout to left field that ended the four-hour and 15-minute ballgame.
The Sox scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the first, helped by three errors charged to the Wingnuts' infield. With one out, Matthew Tucker reached when Button's throw to first went into the Wingnuts dugout. Hankerd followed and reached first when Jorge Delgado dropped Richardson's throw from third base on a ground ball. After Lee Cruz flied out to left, Chris Nash loaded the bases, reaching on an error charged to Richardson. Tim Alberts and Butler then drew back-to-back walks to force home two runs. Following the walk to Butler, Wingnuts' starter Dan Grybash was removed from the game due to an apparent injury.
In the top of the second, Delgado led off with a double down the left field line and scored on a bloop single into short left from Workman.
Amarillo scored three more runs in their half of the second. Jason White, Fehlandt Lentini, and Tucker drew consecutive walks to open the inning. After Brandon Mathes retired Hankerd on a line drive to second, Cruz worked out another bases loaded walk to make it 3-1.
David Miller relieved Mathes and faced Chris Nash, who lifted a sacrifice fly to right that extended the Sox' lead to 4-1. Amarillo made it 5-1 when Tim Alberts' infield single plated Tucker.
Two-out, RBI singles in the third inning from Delgado and Workman cut the lead to 5-3, but Amarillo pushed across two more in their half on another bases loaded walk and a sacrifice fly.
The Wingnuts made it a one-run ballgame with a three-run fourth. Button singled through the left side with one out and moved to second on a wild pitch. Horn drove in Button with a single to center field. After a double by Ryan Patterson that moved Horn to third, Thomas Fitzgerald, who subbed into the game for Jorge Cortes, singled home Horn. Richardson added a sacrifice fly to make it 7-6. Cortes left early in the game after an apparent injury on a first-inning pickoff attempt.
Button hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game in the top of the fifth, but consecutive, two-out RBI doubles from Hankerd and Cruz in the bottom half put Amarillo back in front 9-7.
The Wingnuts finally took their first lead of the night in the top of the sixth, scoring three runs. Fitzgerald, Richardson, and Delgado hit three straight long doubles to knot the game at 9-9. Bellorin hit a two-out single up the middle later in the inning for the lead run. Amarillo re-tied it in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out, RBI single from Jason White.
Jared Simon earned the win, pitching 1.1 scoreless innings and collecting four strikeouts. Simon fanned Butler with the bases loaded in the seventh to end the inning and keep the game tied.
Tyler Pearson took the loss, allowing the two earned runs in the top of the eighth.
The Wingnuts combined for 10 walks allowed and committed four errors on defense in the win. Horn, Patterson, Fitzgerald, Delgado, Workman, and Bellorin all had multi-hit nights.