06/29/2017 10:24 PM
WICHITA -- The Texas AirHogs hit 4 home runs and accumulated 13 hits but dropped the series finale in Wichita Thursday evening, 7-6. Charley Thurber became the 1st AirHog with a multi-homer game this season by hitting 1 in the 2nd and 1 in the 8th. Texas returns to Grand Prairie tomorrow to begin a 3-game series vs. Salina.
The AirHogs got off to a terrific start, scoring 3 times in the opening inning vs. Wichita starter Jordan Cooper. The team started the game with 4 straight hits, including an RBI single by Levi Scott and a 2-run home run by Denis Phipps. The homer was the 4th of the season for Phipps.
Thurber tagged Cooper for his 1st homer of the season in the 2nd, and Beamer Weems added his 2nd long ball of the series (3rd of the season) in the 4th to expand the lead to 5-0.
Starter Michael Freeman held the Wingnuts scoreless by stranding 4 over the 1st 3 innings. The Wingnuts got to him for an unearned run in the bottom of the 4th to trim the lead to 4-1.
Trailing 5-1, the Wingnuts exploded for 7 of their 8 hits in the game in the 6th, scoring twice against relief man Jared Mortensen before adding 4 more against Josh Blanco. DH Brent Clevlen put an exclamation point on the rally with a bases-clearing, 3-RBI double that put Wichita in front 7-5.
The AirHogs loaded the bases but failed to capitalize in the 7th before Thurber drew the team within 1 on a solo blast off James Campbell in the 8th. Denis Phipps reached in the 9th with a walk vs. Seth Harvey but the AirHogs left the tying run aboard -- 1 of 9 stranded in the game -- in the final frame.
Blanco dropped to 0-1 with the loss. Jesse Pratt, who threw 2 ⅔ innings of scoreless ball after Cooper was knocked from the game before the 5th, improved to 1-0. Seth Harvey earned his 7th save of 2017.
The AirHogs (11-29) begin a 9-game, 10-day homestand tomorrow at 7:05. RHP Tyler Bremer (2-4, 4.20 ERA) is expected to start for the AirHogs vs. LHP Troy Mannebach (0-1, 8.10 ERA) for Salina (4-36). A live broadcast will be available at mixlr.com/TXAirHogs and americanassociationbaseball.tv.
Tickets for the AirHogs’ upcoming homestand starting tomorrow vs. Salina are available. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. For the latest information on the AirHogs, follow the team on Twitter and Facebook @TXAirHogs.
[FRONT PAGE PANEL PHOTO BY ED BAILEY]