The Washington Wild Things used a big first inning and solid pitching from Tim Flight to defeat River City 7-2 and take the three-game series on Thursday evening at CONSOL Energy Park.
Washington (27-36) immediately got to River City starter Joe Scanio (7-4) for five runs on five hits in the first inning. Scott Kalamar started the scoring with a RBI single and David Popkins followed with a RBI double to the deepest part of the park.
Austin Wobrock then busted the game open after a Andrew Heck two out walk with a bases-clearing double to make it 5-0 and chase Scanio after only eight batters.
“That was a big at bat,” said Wild Things manager Bob Bozzuto. “Austin has been doing a nice job for us. You’ve been seeing growth with him. His average is only .247, but he’s had some big hits. Those 3 RBI were the key to us jumping out early because we feel we are just as good as they are or better.”
It was the only offense Washington produced until a Carter Bell solo home run in the sixth as reliever Joe Pavlovich retired 15 of the 19 batters he faced over 5.1 innings of work while striking out three.
Washington later added another insurance run in the seventh on an Andrew Heck RBI single.
The seven runs were plenty for Flight (3-5) as he was able to overcome four hits and four walks to only allow an unearned run — a Josh Ludy RBI groundout that followed a fielding error — in six innings of work.
“He’s been pitching great for us,” said Wobrock. “He always goes out and battles and we go and battle for him. I love playing behind Flight. He’s quick, fast to the plate and the game goes by faster which is nice.”
River City (34-28) didn’t have much success against the Wild Things bullpen as they could only score once off of the trio of Matt Purnell, Matt Soren and Kolin Stanley, who each pitched an inning while recording a strikeout.
Washington takes two-of-three from River City and will now begin a three-game set against Florence beginning Friday evening at 7:05.
(WAS) Flight (W, 3-5): 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 5 K’s. 100 Pitches (57 Strikes).
(RC) Scanio (L, 7-5): 0.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1BB, 1 K. 28 Pitches (16 Strikes).
(Photo Credit: Washington Wild Things)