WICHITA – The Wind Surge fired off for 11 runs on 13 hits in their regular season finale, cruising past Arkansas 11-6 on Sunday afternoon.
The Wind Surge and Travelers combined to score 13 runs on 17 hits through the first five innings of play. Arkansas got on the board first in with an RBI double off the bat of Julio Rodriguez. Wichita got that run back and added two more with one swing of the bat. In the bottom of the first with runners on first and second, Spencer Steer started out his day with a three-run shot to left field. Steer’s 14th of the season traveled 414 feet at 108 miles per hour and took a one-hop off the concourse and out of the stadium.
The Surge were just getting started offensively, rattling off four runs in the bottom of the second to take a 7-1 lead after two innings of play. After Ernie De La Trinidad walked and Austin Martin doubled, D.J. Burt picked up his 26th and 27th RBIs of the season with a rocket to the left field wall for his 11th double. Roy Morales then singled on a groundball to the second base Patrick Frick. Trying to throw out Morales, Frick threw a bouncing ball past the first baseman, allowing Burt to score on the play. Spencer Steer closed out the inning with another hard hit ball to the left field wall. This one took an odd bounced and drove in Morales all the way from first for his fourth RBI of the day and putting the Wind Surge ahead 7-1.
The Travs picked up one run in the third off a Joe Rizzo RBI double and two more runs in the fifth to bring the game to just a two run margin. The Wind Surge made sure to push their lead higher as much as they could, scoring three more runs to place their final tally at 10 runs scored. In the fifth, Andrew Bechtold hit his 18th home run of the year on a towering fly ball to left field to push the lead back to three runs. D.J. Burt hit his third RBI of the day on another line drive shot to center field in the bottom of the eighth to add some insurance to the Surge lead. The scoring was finally capped off by Trey Cabbage. Cabbage hit his 10th double to of the season to center field to drive in Burt and plate the 11th run of the afternoon for Wichita.
The Travelers picked up one more run in the ninth, but the Surge lead was too much to overcome as Wichita cruised to an 11-6 regular season finale victory.
Ben Gross threw 4.0 innings in his first start for Wichita. Gross allowed four runs on seven hits and struck out four in his start. Simeon Woods Richardson earned his first win in a Surge uniform by throwing 2.0 scoreless innings. Woods Richardson allowed just the one hit and struck out one. Alex Phillips and Erik Manoah both received holds.
Ernie De La Trinidad extended his hitting streak to six games.
Wichita will start their postseason run starting Tuesday night in Springdale, Ark. Northwest Arkansas needed a win, some luck and a tiebreaker to get into the playoffs and on Sunday they got all three.
Tickets for the Wind Surge home playoff games are on sale. The Surge are home for Games 3, 4, and 5 if necessary in the best of five game series.