WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – After back-to-back weeks on the road, the Wind Surge returned home Tuesday night and opened it with a 6-5 win over Midland at Riverfront Stadium.
Things looked to be off to a rocky start in tonight’s game one after Midland’s Devin Foyle ripped a line drive to right field off the first pitch he saw for a leadoff triple. Cole Sands kept that run from scoring as he then recorded a popout and two strikeouts to get out of the leadoff triple. The Wind Surge offense did what the RockHounds could not do, and that was score in the first inning. Batting second tonight, BJ Boyd grazed his eight home run of the season just over the left-field wall for a 1-0 lead for the Surge.
Spencer Steer plated another run for the Surge in the bottom of the third. With two outs in the inning, Steer hit a rocket to the center-field wall that bounced just below the top of the wall, landing him a two-out double. Steer then advanced to third and advanced home on two back-to-back wild pitches by Midland’s Matt Milburn to put Wichita ahead 2-0.
After the RockHounds tied the game in the fourth, the Surge took the lead right back with three runs in the bottom of the inning. This time, D.J. Burt started the two-out rally with a base hit to right field. Matt Milburn left one hanging for Aaron Whitefield in the next at-bat and Whitefield crushed it into the Wichita bullpen for his sixth of the season. Austin Martin continued the rally with a single on a soft fly to center field. BJ Boyd picked up his second RBI in as many at-bats with a deep double to right field. Martin, originally on first base, hustled home and outran a relay home to slide home past a diving catcher. With the third run in the inning, Wichita reclaimed a 5-2 lead. The RockHounds cut into the lead with a two-run home run by Kyle McCann to make it a one-run ball game in the sixth inning.
The Wind Surge tacked on another run in the home half of the sixth off an Aaron Whitefield sacrifice fly to right field, allowing Trey Cabbage to tag and score from third. The RockHounds had a golden opportunity to take the lead and tack on extra runs in the top of the seventh inning. Midland had the bases loaded and nobody out but managed to only plate one run. Austin Woods ended the inning on a double-play ball as he stepped on second and fired to first to end the threat. That inning proved to be huge as the Wind Surge held on for the one-run victory, 6-5 to start the series on a winning note.
Cole Sands pitched 3.2 innings in his 10th start of the season. Sands allowed two runs on three hits and struck out six batters in his continued path back from rehab. Mitchell Osnowitz pitched a scoreless two innings to halt the Midland comeback effort. Osnowitz gave up just three hits while striking out two in his relief. Chris Nunn picked up his first save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning including one strikeout.
NOTES: D.J. Burt extended his hitting streak to nine games. Wichita released infielder Wilbis Santiago and added Austin Martin. Simeon Woods Richardson acquired from Toronto will be placed on Wichita temporary inactive list as he is currently playing in the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
COMING UP: Wichita will play game two against the Midland RockHounds tomorrow evening (8/4). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. from Riverfront Stadium. Wichita will start LHP Bryan Sammons (2-4, 7.08 ERA) against Midland’s LHP Ty Darmon (2-2, 5.13 ERA).