06/15/2018 10:23 PM
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – Li Ning finished with three hits, a stolen base and an RBI, but the Texas AirHogs dropped the opener of a three-game set to Wichita 4-1 Friday night.
The catcher enjoyed his first three-hit game of the season and helped to guide starter Meng Weiqiang to a one-run performance through six innings. The righty hurler ran into trouble in the seventh, loading the bases before exiting the game. Wichita took advantage against the AirHogs bullpen, scoring three times in the seventh to break a 1-1 tie.
Casio Grider finished with two hits for Texas. After the AirHogs fell behind 1-0 in the top of the first, Grider doubled in the bottom half vs. Wichita starter Casey Harman. He tried to score later in the first on a bouncer to third by Correlle Prime but was caught at the plate.
The AirHogs evened the game at 1-1 in the fifth on the RBI single by Li Ning to score Du Xiaolei. The Wingnuts took advantage of three total walks, two hits and a Texas error in the seventh to build the 4-1 advantage. The AirHogs left seven baserunners in the game vs. eight for Wichita.
Qi Xin, Ran Song, Cui Enting, and Liu Yu all pitched in relief for Texas behind Meng Weiqiang (2-3). Harman (3-1) picked up the win after limiting Texas to six hits and one run (one earned) over eight innings. James Campbell earned his second save of the season with a scoreless ninth. The Wingnuts outhit the AirHogs 7-6.
Texas (5-21) and Wichita (15-12) continue the three-game series tomorrow at 7:05. LHP Tyler Matzek (0-2, 7.13 ERA) is expected to start for the AirHogs. RHP Charlie Gillies (1-0, 0.00 ERA) is expected to start for the Wingnuts.
The AirHogs – powered by Beijing Shougang Eagles will close the current homestand with games vs. Wichita Saturday and Sunday. Visit AirHogsBaseball.com for more information. For the latest news, follow the team on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @TXAirHogs. Media inquiries: email@example.com.
[FRONT PAGE PHOTO BY KAREN HARMON]