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Wingnuts Smash Boulders

BaseballProvident BankCole Armstrong

The Wichita Wingnuts (52-25) won their seventh game in a row on Wednesday night, beating the Can-Am League's Rockland Boulders (38-36) 15-3 at Provident Bank Park.Chris Smith earned his eighth win of the season with seven dominant innings.  Smith allowed two earned runs on just two hits and retired the final 13 batters to face him.  Smith walked two and struck out four. 

Trailing 2-1 in the top of the third, Wichita took the lead for good with three runs.  John Rodriguez singled up the middle leading off and took second when C.J. Ziegler walked.  Brent Clevlen tied the game with a double to left that scored Rodriguez.  Two batters later, Cole Armstrong gave the Wingnuts a 3-2 lead with a groundball to second.  Madison Beaird capped the inning with a two-out, RBI double to left-center.

In the top of the fifth, Jake Kahaulelio singled through the left side with one out.  Rodriguez then hit a groundball along the first base line that was fielded by Boulders' relief pitcher Marcos Frias.  Frias threw the ball towards a vacated first base bag which put runners second and third.  Ziegler made it 5-2 with a groundout to third base while Clevlen knocked in the Wingnuts' sixth run with an RBI infield single to shortstop.

Wichita broke the game wide open in the top of the sixth.  The Wingnuts scored eight runs on seven hits and sent 14 batters to the plate.  Beaird singled up the middle to start the rally and went to second on a walk to Jared McDonald.  Ryan Khoury lined a hit-and-run single to left that drove in Beaird.  After Kahaulelio was retired, Rodriguez lifted a two-run double to left-center that scored McDonald and Khoury to make it 9-2 in favor of Wichita.

Walks to Ziegler and Clevlen loaded the bases.  Abel Nieves ushered in Rodriguez with an infield single.  Armstrong then pulled an RBI single through the right side to increase the Wingnuts' lead to 11-2.  With the bases still loaded, Beaird ripped a two-run double down the right field line.  Three batters later, Kahaulelio finished the eight-run outburst with a line drive single to left.McDonald drew a bases loaded walk in the top of the sixth to account for the Wingnuts' final run.Ryan Scoles worked the final two innings for the Wingnuts to close out the win.  Scoles allowed an unearned run in the eighth when Danny Bomback doubled home Donnie Webb.Rodriguez hit a two-out, solo home run in the top of the first inning to give Wichita a 1-0 lead.

With two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the third, Webb walked and scored the tying run on a double to left from Bomback.  Jerod Edmondson gave the Boulders a brief 2-1 lead with a line drive single to left-center.

Rockland starter Bo Budkevics took the loss, allowing four earned runs on seven hits in four innings.  Budkevics walked two and struck out one.

All 11 of Wichita's position players reached base at least once, while eight had at least one hit.  Beaird and Rodriguez had four hits each.  Rodriguez scored four runs and has now hit safely in 11 games in a row.  Kahaulelio extended his hitting streak to nine games.

The four-game series concludes Thursday at 6:00 p.m. Central Time.  Justin Klipp starts for the Wingnuts.  All the action can be heard locally on Oldies 92.7 KWME and worldwide at www.pressboxproductionsradio.com

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