Wichita's Wind Surge beat the Arkansas Travelers for a third consecutive time, winning Thursday night's rain-shortened game 5-0 in eight innings at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock.
It wasn't all bad news for the Travelers.
Travs starter Matt Brash, a recent call-up from High-A Everett, yielded a lead-off home run to Wind Surge shortstop Spencer Steer, and it was about the only mistake Brash made in an 85-pitch performance.
Brash said he had no choice but to shake off the home run ball to the first hitter.
"He was just sitting fastball on a 2-0 count," Brash said. "It was up and away and he put a good swing on it."
Steer's home run, his sixth, turned out to be the only run Wichita needed, with starter Chris Vallimont and reliever Mitchell Osnowitz holding Arkansas to three hits.
The Travelers had some traffic on the bases thanks to five walks, but they couldn't get a big hit off Vallimont or Osnowitz, who combined to strike out 11.
Arkansas was batting in the bottom of the eighth with a runner on first and two outs when a deluge of rain hit.
Rusty Meeks, the Travelers' executive vice president, said his staff had been monitoring the weather, and there was no indication of anything imminent.
"It just popped up out of nowhere," he said. "All of sudden it just came. Very unusual."
The grounds crew got a late start in putting down the tarp, first covering the mounds in the bullpens when the shower started.
Both teams left the field after it was covered, and after a 30-minute delay, the rain started again and the game was called.
The teams are scheduled to meet again tonight in the fourth of their scheduled six-game series.
Long before the rain hit, the announced crowd of 3,713 was treated to a pitcher's duel between Brash and Vallimont (3-4).
Combined, the two right-handers allowed 1 run, 5 hits, walked 4 and struck out 16.
Vallimont, 6-5, 220 pounds, has struck out 76 Class AA-Central batters in 48 innings in 11 starts.
Brash wasn't far behind Vallimont in his second Class AA start.
"It's been a lot of fun," said Brash, originally drafted in the fourth round out of Niagara by the San Diego Padres in 2019. "Same game plan as I had in High-A. Attack the hitters, throw my best stuff."
Brash was the player to be named later in a trade between the Padres and the Mariners in the summer of 2020.
Brash said he found out about the trade about one month after right-hander Taylor Williams went to San Diego.
"I was excited for a fresh new start," he said. "I've had a lot of questions about what even is that. A lot of people ask, what is that?"
The move to AA has been a challenge Brash has accepted.
"It's definitely better competition," said Brash, one of five players from High-A Everett to move to AA in the past two weeks. "The guys are older and more experienced than in High A. It's a real good challenge. I'm just trying to lay it out there and learn and show everybody what I got. One pitch at a time."
ARKANSAS TRAVELERS VS. WICHITA WIND SURGE
WHEN 7:10 p.m.
WHERE Dickey-Stephens Park, North Little Rock
RADIO KARN-AM, 920, in central Arkansas
PITCHERS Travs: LHP Brandon Williamson (2-4, 4.68 ERA); Wind Surge: RHP Austin Schulfer (2-7, 4.38)
TICKETS $12 box; $8 reserved; $6 general admission. Available only online at travs.com; no in-person sales.
PROMOTIONS Postgame fireworks
THE WEEK AHEAD
TODAY vs. Wichita, 7:10 p.m.
SATURDAY vs. Wichita, 6:10 p.m.
SUNDAY vs. Wichita, 2:10 p.m.
TUESDAY at Springfield, 6:35 p.m.
WEDNESDAY at Springfield, 6:35 p.m.
THURSDAY at Springfield, 7:05 p.m.