07/19/2017 10:12 PM
GRAND PRAIRIE -- Starter Billy Waltrip struck out 12 over 5 innings to help the AirHogs win for the 13th time in 17 games Wednesday. Texas downed Wichita 9-3 to clinch its 6th straight series.
Waltrip was magnificent in just his 2nd American Association start. The former Oklahoma Sooner allowed just 2 runs on 5 hits over 5 innings while striking out 12. He twice recorded 3 strikeouts in a frame and struck out multiple batters in every inning. The southpaw dominated a Wingnuts lineup that came into play hitting .331 against lefties this season. He earned his 1st win of 2017.
The AirHogs got to his counterpart Tim Brown for 9 runs over 3 ⅔ innings to give Waltrip all the support he needed. Texas overcame an early 1-0 deficit with 3 runs in a bottom of the 1st, a mini-rally highlighted by a 2-RBI double from Denis Phipps.
Leading 4-1 in the 4th, the team really broke out, batting around against Brown in a high-octane, 5-run trip to the plate. Alvaro Rondon, Casio Grider and Levi Scott would each finish the game with 2 hits and 2 runs scored. Brian Ragira pitched in 2 RBIs and Phipps finished with 3 RBIs in one of the best all-around performances for the offense in 2017.
Kevin Hilton stranded 5 and allowed just 1 run over 3 innings pitching behind Waltrip, and Rob Tasin put the punctuation mark on a great night for AirHogs pitching with a scoreless 9th. The win improved Waltrip to 1-3. The loss dropped Brown to 1-1. He remains tied with Jon Link atop Wichita’s all-time wins list. Each has 30 in his career.
The AirHogs (24-33) and the Wingnuts (38-19) finish the series tomorrow at 7:05. Texas will look for the sweep behind RHP Jared Mortensen (3-1, 4.15 ERA). Wichita is expected to throw RHP Tyler Kane (6-1, 4.37 ERA). A live broadcast of the contest will be available at mixlr.com/TXAirHogs as well as American Association Baseball TV.
Tickets for the current homestand, running July 18-23rd vs. Wichita and Sioux Falls, are available. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. For the latest information on the AirHogs, follow the team on Facebook and Twitter @TXAirHogs.