For seven innings Thursday night the Derby Twins threw no-hit ball at the Wellington Heat before the bats finally came alive to erase a three run deficit with four runs in the eighth inning and send the Heat to their 20th win of the year against only one loss. Wellington is atop the league standings at 14-1.
Derek Fischer was on the mound to start the game for the visiting Heat and despite falling behind by the three runs pitched a strong seven innings and then watched his Heat teammates finally unsheathe their bats in the top half of the eighth.
After Rowdy Andrews reached firstbase to lead off the inning David Walker was called on to pinch-hit and responded with a homerun to put the Heat on the scoreboard. Heat head coach Rick Twyman has been pushing the correct buttons for most of the early season and the Walker pinch-hit was enough to get the Heat hitters to come alive.
“Our hitting has been horrible,” coach Twyman said after the game. “And tonight we had some poor at-bats early on. We can’t keep turning it on and off as we have most of the year.”
The Heat kept it turned on in the eighth after the Walker HR with Brett Clark following with a double. Catcher Paul Richmond bunted Clark over to third where he awaited Aaron Siple’s at-bat.
Siple drew a base-on-balls and then swiped second to put runners at third and second with one out, one run down. After a Heat strikeout Kirk Rocha strode to the dish with two down.
The KCAC hitting champ delivered a double to score Clark and Siple with the two runs that put the Heat ahead. That left it for the pitchers to close out the Twins for the final two frames.
“Our pitching has carried us,” coach Twyman said. “ They have a combined ERA of below 2.00 and with our hitters batting about .260 the pitchers have made the difference.”
Friends University’s Brandon McMillan shut the Twins down in the eighth and then Robby Romero entered to add to his half-dozen saves for the season. Derek Fischer was credited with the win after the eight inning rally to move his season record to 3-1.
The Heat entertain the Dodge City Athletics at Hibbs-Hooten Stadium for a weekend series beginning Friday evening. Wellington swept the Athletics in Dodge City earlier this year in a three game set. All games begin at 7:05