The Wichita Wingnuts lost 5-2 to the Lincoln Saltdogs at Haymarket Park on Saturday night.
Lincoln used a four-run fourth inning to break a scoreless tie and take control of the game. After Wingnuts' starter Ryan Hinson retired the first 10 batters to face him, Curt Smith hit a line drive home run that just cleared the left-center field fence to give Lincoln a 1-0 lead. Phil Hawke drew a four-pitch walk and then scored when Jon Nelson doubled to the fence in left-center. Maikel Jova hit another double to left-center field to make it 3-0 and scored two batters later on a double down the right field line from Robby Alcombrack.
The Wingnuts cut into the lead in the next half inning. Thomas Fitzgerald singled with one out and moved to second when Josh Horn reached on an error by shortstop Kevin Rios. After a wild pitch advanced Fizgerald and Horn an extra 90 feet, Jorge Cortes hit a two-out, two-run double to right-center to bring the Wingnuts within two.
Lincoln added another run in the sixth on an infield single from Gavin Dickey.
Wichita had runners on in every inning from the second through the ninth, but left nine on base in the loss.
Lincoln's P.J. Zocchi worked around a leadoff walk in the top of the ninth to earn the save.
Hinson worked seven full innings in the loss, allowing five earned runs on seven hits. Hinson struck out three and walked one.
Tim Brown earned the win for Lincoln, allowing two unearned runs in 6.2 innings. Brown walked one and struck out three.
Gary Lee worked a perfect eighth inning in his Wingnuts' debut. Cortes, Jorge Delgado, and Josh Workman each had two hits in the game.
Prior to Friday night's game, the Wingnuts made two corresponding roster moves. Wichita signed right-handed pitchers Justin Murray and Lee. Murray is an alumnus of Kansas State and is expected to start for the Wingnuts next week at home. Lee opened the season with the Fort Worth Cats. Wichita placed left-hander Eric Gilliland on the 7-Day DL, retroactive to last Tuesday, and also released right-hander David Miller.
The Wingnuts and Saltdogs finish their series on Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. Nick Singleton takes the mound against right-hander Alessandro Maestri.