WICHITA, Kan. | Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, home of the Wichita Wingnuts, is an interesting case in extremes.
Built in 1934, the stadium surface is all turf, with the only dirt on the pitcher's mound. The basepaths have been painted brown to appear as dirt, so it has the facade of a baseball diamond, but the balls take a ping pong-like bounce off the surface because it's practically concrete underneath.
The walls are shorter in height than what you'd see at U.S. Steel Yard. It's 385 to a curve in right and left fields, and 400 to straight-away center. There are power alleys at about the right-center and left-center marks, which reaches about 375, so if the ball takes a good hop, it isn't playable off the wall, it'll simply jump over.
Beyond the batter's eye is downtown Wichita, tall buildings, hotels and a downtown area.
The Wingnuts are taking their batting practice until 5:15, with the RailCats on the field until 6 p.m.
LF Adam Klein
RF Mike Massaro
DH Cristian Guerrero
C Ryan Babineau
1B Reid Fronk
3B Brian Kolb
CF Nick Liles
SS Ryan Brockett
2B Daniel Pulfer
RHP Billy Spottiswood
SS Ryan Khoury
2B Jake Kahaulelio
DH John Rodriguez
1B CJ Ziegler
CF Brent Clevlen
3B Abel Nieves
C Cole Armstrong
RF David Amberson
LF Jared McDonald
LHP Anthony Capra
RailCats manager Greg Tagert said that he opted to start Liles in center and Brockett at short to counter the left-handed starter. This gives the RailCats three lefty hitters instead of the normal five.
"I think the theory is 'let's try to left-hand the RailCats club,' because we have so many left-handed hitters," Tagert said. "Without (Christian) Vitters it's a little more balanced, but there were times we were running out seven left-handed hitters out there, especially when we had Vitters and Fronk together."
Adam Klein is walked to open the game. Mike Massaro strikes out swinging. Cristian Guerrero flies out to center. Klein takes second on a ball pitch to Ryan Babineau. Babs is also walked. Reid Fronk hits an infield single to load the bases. Brian Kolb singles into right, scoring Klein; Babineau is out at home trying to make it a two-run single. Mid 1st inning: RailCats 1, Wingnuts 0
Ryan Khoury strikes out looking. Jake Kahaulelio singles into left field. On a 3-1 pitch to John Rodriguez, Kahaulelio is caught stealing second. Rodriguez is walked. CJ Ziegler grounds out to second. End 1st inning: RailCats 1, Wingnuts 0
Nick Liles flies out to right. Ryan Brockett grounds out to short. Danny Pulfer flies out to right. Mid 2nd inning: RailCats 1, Wingnuts 0
Brent Clevlen opens with a triple. Abel Nieves singles to score Clevlen. Cole Armstrong lines out to second and Nieves is caught off base for the double play. David Amberson grounds out to short. End 2nd inning: RailCats 1, Wingnuts 1
Adam Klein singles. Mike Massaro flies out to center field. Cristian Guerrero singles. Ryan Babineau is walked to load the bases. Reid Fronk is walked with the bases loaded to score Klein. Brian Kolb is walked with the bases loaded to score Guerrero. Nick Liles grounds into a double play at third. Mid 3rd inning: RailCats 3, Wingnuts 1
Jared McDonald pops out to short. Ryan Khoury is hit by a pitch. Jake Kahaulelio flies out to center. End 3rd inning: RailCats 3, Wingnuts 1
Ryan Brockett strikes out swinging. Danny Pulfer grounds out to second. Adam Klein singles up the middle. Mike Massaro flies out to left. Mid 4th inning: RailCats 3, Wingnuts 1
John Rodriguez is walked to open the inning. CJ Ziegler singles to put two on. Brent Clevlen singles to load the bases. A single into right by Abel Nieves scores Rodriguez and Ziegler. Cole Armstrong strikes out swinging for the first out. David Amberson pops out foul to first base. Jared McDonald grounds out to second. End 4th inning: RailCats 3, Wingnuts 3
Cristian Guerrero grounds out to second. Ryan Babineau flies out to left field. Reid Fronk strikes out swinging, the ball is dropped and he's out at first on the throw from catcher Cole Armstrong. Mid 5th inning: RailCats 3, Wingnuts 3
Ryan Khoury is walked. Jake Kahaulelio grounds out to short, where Khoury is taken out on the fielder's choice. John Rodriguez is walked. That's the third time Rodriguez has walked this evening. That'll bring a meeting on the mound with Jake Upwood. CJ Ziegler flis out to center. Brent Clevlen strikes out looking. End 5th inning: RailCats 3, Wingnuts 3
Brian Kolb strikes out looking. Nick Liles is walked. Ryan Brockett singles past third base two put two on. Danny Pulfer grounds into a double play. Mid 6th inning: RailCats 3, Wingnuts 3
Abel Nieves grounds out to short. Cole Armstrong grounds out to first. David Amberson grounds out to short. End 6th inning: RailCats 3, Wingnuts 3
Adam Klein doubles to open the inning. Mike Massaro grounds to third, the third baseman touches the bag thinking he has Klein out, but it's not a force out. The throw to first isn't in time. It's ruled a fielder's choice all around, no error. New pitcher is Daniel Bennett, Capra leaves with 4K in 6-plus. An infield single by Guerrero scores Klein. Massaro and Guerrero execute a double steal to put both in scoring position. A single by Ryan Babineau to left scores Massaro, Guerrero gets the stop sign and third and Babineau takes second on the throw home to try to take out Guerrero. New pitcher is Nick Walters. Reid Fronk hits a sac fly to score Guerrero and put Babineau on third. Justin Klipp will be the fourth pitcher of the inning. Brian Kolb grounds out to third. Drew Martinez will pinch hit for the RailCats. Martinez flies out to center. Mid 7th inning: RailCats 6, Wingnuts 3
Chuck Fontana relieves Billy Spottiswood. Jared McDonald grounds out to short. That's it for Fontana as Will Krout enters the game. Ryan Khoury strikes out swinging. Jake Kahaulelio hits an infield single. John Rodriguez loops a single into left. Krout walks CJ Ziegler. That's enough for a pep talk from pitching coach Jake Upwood. Brent Clevlen hits an infield single to score Kahaulelio. The bases are still loaded. A two-run single to right by Abel Nieves scores Rodriguez and Ziegler. Estevan Uriegas relieves Krout and Johnny Bowden will pinch hit for Armstrong. Bowden flies out to center. End 7th inning: RailCats 6, Wingnuts 6
Ryan Brockett grounds out to short. Danny Pulfer grounds out to second, a ball caught on the dive by Jake Kahaulelio. Adam Klein singles with a slow hopper to short. Mike Massaro hits a slow hopper to almost the exact same spot, that's an infield single, too. Cristian Guerrero singles into center, Klein runs through the stop sign at third and scores when the ball is bobbled at home. Klein runs around what he thought was the tag and scrambles back to the plate to score. Ryan Babineau grounds out to third. Mid 8th inning: RailCats 7, Wingnuts 6
Kyle Lindquist will throw the eighth for the RailCats. David Amberson strikes out swinging. Jared McDonald grounds out to first. Ryan Khoury singles into left. Jake Kahaulelio grounds to third where Khoury is taken out at second. End 8th inning: RailCats 7, Wingnuts 6
Klipp returns for the ninth. Reid Fronk strikes out looking. Brian Kolb grounds out to third. Drew Martinez flies out to center, a ball caught on the dive by Brent Clevlen. Mid 9th inning: RailCats 7, Wingnuts 6
Marco Gonzalez will close for the RailCats. Zac Mitchell comes in at short and Brockett moves to second with Pulfer at first. John Rodriguez grounds out to first. CJ Ziegler grounds out to second. Brent Clevlen flies out to right field. FINAL: RailCats 7, Wingnuts 6