Wind Surge are one win away from clinching playoff birth

Wichita Wind Surge

Courtesy: Ed Bailey

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita Wind Surge dropped game one of the series against the Arkansas Travelers after a two-day affair.

On Tuesday, Sept. 14, the Wind Surge were the first on the board although they did not make the most of their opportunity. After Spencer Steer singled, Jermaine Palacios was hit by a pitch, and Leobaldo Cabrera singled, the Surge had the bases loaded and no outs looking to breakthrough in a big way. Aaron Whitefield brought in a run with a ground ball up the middle to a diving shortstop Patrick Frick. Frick had the ball bounce off his glove, allowing runners to advance safely and plate Steer for the first run of the game. Arkansas’ Tyler Herb limited Wichita to just the one run in the inning as he struck out the side with the bases loaded.

Simeon Woods Richardson had a great bounce-back performance on the mound for Wichita. In 3.0 scoreless innings, Woods Richardson allowed just two hits and struck out five batters.

In the top of the fourth inning, the weather began to become a factor as the rain started pouring down on Riverfront Stadium. The Travelers happened to be at-bat during the storm and allowed them to take the lead with aid from Mother Nature. Arkansas picked up three runs off three RBI singles and two outs in the top of the fourth to take the lead. The rain started to pour even harder, making it near impossible for the Wind Surge defense to catch a routine fly ball with the wind howling around the stadium. After a wild pitch from Ben Gross allowed another runner to trot home, the game was officially delayed after the Travs scored their fourth run. 30 minutes into the delay and no end to the storm in sight, the game was suspended and was scheduled to resume the next afternoon.

After 19 and a half hours, the game resumed in the top of the fifth inning. Just four batters into the resumed game, Trey Cabbage brought the score within one run with a two-run home run that sailed over the right field wall. Cabbage’s 18th home run of the year trimmed the Traveler lead down to 4-3. The ball was flying all over the yard on a hot, summer afternoon at Riverfront. Arkansas made the most of it with five runs in the top of the sixth to seal the win in game one of the series. Following two walks and a single, the bases were loaded for Jack Laresen. Laresen brought everyone home with one swing of the bat as he hit a towering grand slam over the right field wall. A Wind Surge error later in the inning allowed another runner to score, bringing the Traveler lead to 9-3.

For the second time this game, the Wind Surge had bases loaded and no one out. Andrew Bechtold was the first one to drive in a run with a soft single to center field to move everyone up a base. In the next at-bat, Aaron Whitefield allowed Spencer Steer to score with a groundout to the pitcher. Once again, the Arkansas pitching staff was able to escape the inning giving up little damage. Arkansas added one more run in the ninth off an RBI double from Kaden Polcovich to score their 10th run of the day and bringing the final tally to 10-5.

Trey Cabbage picked up three hits in game one. Cabbage also drove in two and scored twice to lead Wichita. Melvia Acosta made his Wind Surge debut during the first game of the day. Acosta threw 3.0 innings of relief and allowed one run on one hit and struck out one on the afternoon.

Notes from Game One: Wichita added pitcher Melvi Acosta from high-A Cedar Rapids. Roy Morales extended his hitting streak to six games.

GAME TWO / 7 | Arkansas 4, Wichita 6

The Wind Surge picked up a much-needed win as they were able to hold off Arkansas in a 7 inning match. Wichita is now just one win away from clinching a playoff spot.

Arkansas and Wichita exchanged two runs in the first two innings with Arkansas on the board first. Zach DeLoach hit a two-run home run in the top of the first to give the Travelers the early lead. In the bottom half of the second, the Wind Surge were able to tie it up off two RBI singles. Leobaldo Cabrera doubled to the center field wall and then was brought home by Jermaine Palacios on a line drive to left field. A couple batters later, Andrew Bechtold drove in Palacios from second with another line drive single to left field for his 47th RBI of the season and tying the game at 2.

Another two-run inning in the top of the fourth gave Arkansas back the lead momentarily. With runners on first and second, David Sheaffer doubled on a ground ball to the left field corner to plate the two runners on base. Spencer Steer decided to one-up Sheaffer with a three-run double in the bottom of the fifth. After Austin Martin drew a tough 3-2 count walk to load the bases, Steer brought everyone home with a rip to the right center field wall. Williams, Morales, and Martin all raced home while Steer slide into second base safely for his 10th double of the season, and Wichita found their first lead of the day in a 5-4 ballgame. The Wind Surge tacked on another insurance run in the bottom of the sixth thanks to the legs of Aaron Whitefield. Whitefield drew a walk in the sixth to get on base and then proceeded to steal second. Not satisfied with just one stolen base, Whitefield decides to steal third base and does so successfully for his 32nd of the year. Arkansas’ catcher Jake Anchia tried to catch Whitefield stealing but bounced it off the third baseman’s glove and allowed the speedy Australian to slide into home on a close play at the plate. Two runs was all Jordan Gore needed to close out the game for Wichita and bringing the magic number for the postseason down to two games.

In his 20th start of the year, Jordan Balazovic pitched 3.2 innings. Balazovic allowed four runs on four hits and struck out five on the evening. Evan Sisk picked up his first win with 1.1 innings of scoreless relief. Sisk allowed just one run and struck out three on the appearance. Jordan Gore earned his sixth save of the season after 2.0 innings of scoreless and hitless relief.

Notes from Game Two: Roy Morales extended his hitting streak to seven games.

COMING UP: Wichita will play game three of the series against the Arkansas Travelers tomorrow evening (09/16). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. from Riverfront Stadium. Wichita will start RHP Chris Vallimont (5-7, 6.11 ERA) against Arkansas RHP Matt Brash (6-3, 2.26 ERA). RADIO/TV: KGSO 1410 AM and 93.9 FM, MiLB.TV and

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