Wichita Wind Surge in minor league baseball playoff games


Trey Cabbage crushed 10 home runs in just 36 games with the Wichita Wind Surge this summer.

Trey Cabbage crushed 10 home runs in just 36 games with the Wichita Wind Surge this summer.

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The Wichita Wind Surge will need to win three straight games at Riverfront Stadium this weekend in order to win the Double-A Central Minor League Baseball Championship.

Wichita finds himself in a 2-0 hole in the best-of-five championship series against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, after losing 7-5, 5-1 Tuesday and Wednesday in Springdale, Arkansas.

As the series returns to Wichita for a must-see Match 3 at Riverfront Stadium at 7:05 p.m. Friday, players are still confident they can pull off what would be a magical race to a league title.

“We definitely need a packed house and everyone to be excited,” said Wind Surge outfielder Trey Cabbage. “That’s what you’ve been playing all season for. It’s a long season. We’ve been playing since May and we’ve been training for that since 2020. That’s what it all comes down to.

Returning to the series, Wichita is hoping to show some of the power that made Wind Surge a dominant hitting team in August when they smashed 50 home runs, 10 more than the league’s closest team to. 10 teams.

Players recognize the Minnesota Twins’ organization’s commitment to baseball analysis, which has helped players better understand the game, and advanced scout reports help them research any shots they can see at home plate .

“When we get the scout report, we have all the locations, his bike (city), his heat maps,” Cabbage said. “It gives you an idea of ​​what to look for when you approach the plate, instead of going in and just seeing what it throws at you. Now we know what it’s going to look like, what window it’s going to come from, all of it. Now we have an idea of ​​what we can skip.

Wind Surge coach Ryan Smith said he was impressed with the receptiveness of Wichita players this summer. It also helps to have powerful hitters like Jermaine Palacios, Andrew Bechtold and Trey Cabbage, who have combined to hit 55 home runs this season.

Wichita finished the season with the most hits and highest batting average in the league.

“We tell them that a good hitter is swinging the right pitches, the right pitches, getting the balls out of the strike zone and hitting hard when they get the chance,” Smith said. “We’re trying to figure out how we can make these guys big leagues.

“And we just have a lot of guys here who can rake. When you get a bunch of good hitters who are good baseball players and they buy into what we do as an organization, then you’re going to see a lot of balls leaving the court.

While players can study launch angles and exit speed to prepare for games, Cabbage said these are just preparation tools. They don’t actively think about them while they’re on the plate.

“It’s incredibly hard to hit a baseball to start and it’s even harder to hit home runs,” Cabbage said. “All we do is try to put ourselves in the best positions to do the damage we want to do. You can’t go in there thinking, “I have to hit this 25 degree ball at 98 mph and it’s going to die out.” Then you sit there and try to manipulate your swing and it changes your approach.

“We have a lot of guys with a lot of pop. We want to do a lot of damage, even if it’s not home runs every time. Our approach is to stay loose, stay aggressive, and trust the process.

If Wichita continues to win this weekend, the Wind Surge would host the Naturals for Game 4 at 7:05 p.m. Saturday night, and then for a deciding Game 5 at 5:05 p.m. Sunday night.

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