The Wichita Wingnuts beat the Gary SouthShore RailCats 6-4 in 10 innings in Game Two of the American Association Championship Series at U.S. Steel Yard on Wednesday night.
The best-of-five series is now tied 1-1 heading back to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
The Wingnuts took their third lead of the night in the top of the 10th inning. Tied at 4-4, Jake Kahaulelio was hit by a pitch leading off and took second on a sacrifice bunt from John Rodriguez. After C.J. Ziegler was intentionally walked, Brent Clevlen sliced a double to right-center field that scored Kahaulelio with the go-ahead run. Abel Nieves was intentionally walked, leading to a Cole Armstrong's sacrifice fly to center field.
Josh Dew struck out Cristian Guerrero leading off the bottom of the 10th. Andrew Aizenstadt then relieved Dew and struck out Reid Fronk looking. A Craig Maddox double and back-to-back walks to Brian Kolb and Drew Martinez loaded the bases. 23-year-old true rookie Erik Lambe came in from the bullpen and struck out Zac Mitchell on three consecutive pitches to end the game.
Dew earned the win in relief, while Lambe picked up his first career save.
Kyle Lindquist took the loss for the RailCats.
The RailCats sent the game to extras with two runs in the bottom of the ninth. Kolb led off with a triple down the right field line and scored on an infield single from Martinez. Mitchell sacrificed Martinez to second. Two batters later, Adam Klein singled to left-center to tie the game at 4-4.
The Wingnuts scored first for a fifth straight game this postseason. With Nieves on first and two outs in the top of the second, Armstrong lifted a double to right-center field that made it 1-0 in favor of Wichita.
Klein tied the game in the bottom of the third with an RBI single down the right field line.
Kolb pulled a single down the left field line in the bottom of the fourth to give the RailCats a 2-1 lead.
Rodriguez, Ziegler, Clevlen, Nieves, and Armstrong strung together five consecutive singles in the top of the sixth to give Wichita a 4-2 lead. Nieves' single came with the bases loaded and drove in two runs. Armstrong accounted for the third run in the frame and finished the night with three RBI.
Chris Smith started for Wichita and took a no-decision. Smith allowed two earned runs on seven hits in seven and one-third innings. Smith walked one and struck out six.
Stephen Hiscock started for the RailCats and also took a no-decision. Hiscock allowed four earned runs on eight hits in five and two-thirds. Hiscock walked one and struck out three.
The teams take Thursday off before the series shifts to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium for Game Three on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Anthony Capra faces right-hander Billy Spottiswood. Individual tickets can be purchased by calling (316) 755-SEAT, or by visiting www.selectaseat.com
Beginning this season, fans can use cash at all points of sale in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Debit and credit cards will still be accepted.
For season tickets, group outings, or party packages, call the Wingnuts' main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts' official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com