Silence fell over the Baltimore Arena in the fourth quarter last night when the last-place Wichita Wings were cruising toward a 9-2 victory over the Baltimore Blast.
The crowd of 9,080 was stunned to see the Wings blitzing the home team.
Wichita had not won a game at the Arena in more than two years before last night.
But the Wings (18-27) not only beat the Blast (20-24) but they also embarrassed Baltimore in a game that never really was in doubt.
As a result, Wichita moved within 2 1/2 games of the Blast in the battle for third place in the Major Soccer League Eastern Division and the final playoff spot.
Wichita had lost nine straight at the Arena and was 2-21 overall in the history of the franchise in Baltimore.
Wichita was led by Dale Ervine (2 goals, 2 assists), rookie Steve Pittman (2 goals, 1 assist) and Chico Borja (1 goal, 3 assists).
Baltimore went to a sixth attacker in Billy Ronson at the start of the fourth quarter when the Wings held a 6-0 lead.
Borja made the Blast pay for the move quickly, scoring on the empty net for a 7-0 advantage at 1:54 of the final period.
Baltimore finally scored to break the shutout at 4 minutes, 58 seconds of the fourth when Mobilio tapped in a shot from 20 feet for a 7-1 deficit.
However, Wichita came back with two goals in 1:15 to surge ahead, 9-1, at 7:27 of the fourth.
Wichita padded its 4-0 halftime lead with two goals in the third quarter.
Rookie defender Vincent Beck scored his first goal in the Major Soccer League at 11:56 of the third quarter and Goran Hunjak scored at 13:53 for the 6-0 advantage.
The Wings built their lead to 4-0 at 13:20 of the second quarter on back-to-back power-play goals by Pittman.
Pittman scored two almost identical man advantage goals in less than two minutes from 35 feet out on the left side.
The first Pittman goal came at 11:32 of the second quarter off a pass from Byrne at the red line for a 3-0 lead.
A two-minute tripping penalty against Manning in the box gave Wichita a shootout and the first power play.
&Opponent: San Diego Sockers
Site: Baltimore Arena, 2:35 p.m.
TV: Channel 45
Radio: WCAO (600 AM)
Outlook: The Blast has lost 4 straight home games to the Sockers, who make their final regular-season appearance at the Baltimore Arena this season. Three of those losses have come this season, in which San Diego owns a 5-1 overall advantage over Baltimore. The Blast's lone win over the Sockers this season came on Nov. 15 in San Diego. San Diego has already clinched a playoff berth and leads the Western Division by 2 1/2 games over the St. Louis Storm. Dale Mitchell (35 goals, 33 assists) leads the Blast, and Brian Quinn (18 goals, 42 assists) leads the Sockers.