Kelly Leak hit his second solo HR of the game in the top of the 13th inning as Wild Things outlasted Wonderboy 4-3. In a game that had two ace pitchers on the mound, we never expected the bullpens to star in this game. But that is exactly what we got.
Rick Vaughn started for Wild Things and was given an early 2-0 lead to work with. Wonderboy ace Billy Chapel blinked first in this star-studded matchup allowing an RBI single by Roger Dorn scoring Jack Parkman in the top of the second inning to give Wild Things the 1-0 lead. The next inning it was Parkman driving in Willie Mays Hayes with his own RBI single. Leak then hit his first 2olo HR of the game in the top of the 7th inning giving Wild Things what seemed to be an insurmountable 3-0 lead.
Finally in the bottom of the seventh inning Wonderboy got something going. Jack Elliott led off the inning with a double. Vaughn retired the next 2 batters but Tanner Boyle reached on an error by Roger Dorn pushing Elliott to third. Rudy Suarez then doubled home Elliott making it a 3-1 game. Bobby Rayburn’s solo HR in the bottom of the 8th inning cut the lead to 3-2.
As we headed to the bottom of the ninth inning, Wild Things closer The Duke was ready to go but manager Lou Brown opted to keep Vaughn in the game. Stan Ross led off the inning with a sole HR tying the game at 3. With no one else warming up Brown opted to use his best reliever in a non-save situation as he replaced Vaughn after the HR by Ross. It then became a battle of the bullpens.
Chapel lasted only seven innings and Wonderboys was able to piece together 5 unspectacular but scoreless innings. Blackout Gatling and Carmen Ronzoni each had a scoreless inning each pitching in and out of trouble. Monte Brewster pitched three scoreless innings allowing four hits and pitching out of jams in two of the four innings. Meanwhile, Ryan Dunne entered the game in the tenth inning for Wild Things and pitched 3 scoreless innings allowing only one hit and one walk.
In the top of the thirteenth inning, Wonderboy put Rudy Stein in the game and Leak hit his second HR of the game giving Wild Things what turned out to be a 4-3 win. Cliff Youngsberry pitched a scoreless bottom of the 13th inning to end the game. Tomorrow we have Eddie Harris facing Nuke who has been dominant so far this season.
After the game, we caught up with Wild Things manager Lou Brown. “Rick was pitching great. I wanted to give him the chance to complete the game. Duke was ready and I just got caught using a big bullet in a non-save situation. At least Cliff got back on track.” When asked about facing Nuke tomorrow. “We need to be ready.”
“We battled hard today. That’s a good team we played and Vaughn was nasty. But we feel like we have two aces and today is an important game,” says Pop Fisher