JOPLIN, MO – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (2-1) lost 6-5 to the Joplin Blasters at Joe Becker Stadium on Saturday night.
With the Goldeyes leading 5-3 in the bottom of the ninth, Joplin rallied for three two-out runs. Will Soto drew a one-out walk against Jailen Peguero. After Peguero struck out Juan Medina, Zack Burling reached first on a swinging third strike that bounced near the Joplin on-deck circle. Aaron Brill cut the lead to 5-4 on a bouncing ball single to centre field. Mitch Glasser hit a soft, groundball single to right that scored Burling with the tying run. Brill attempted to go from first to third, and was awarded home plate when the ensuing relay bounced into the Blasters’ dugout.
Winnipeg had climbed back from an early 3-0 deficit to take the lead. Jacob Rogers started the comeback with two outs in the top of the fourth when he launched a solo home run to left-centre. It was the second homer in as many nights for Rogers, and the Goldeyes’ fifth in three games as a team.
In the top of the sixth, Wes Darvill worked an eight-pitch at bat to drive in David Rohm from third base to make it 3-2. Rohm doubled with one out and advanced to third on a wild pitch to set up Darvill’s RBI.
Ridge Hoopii-Haslam lined a single to right field with one out in the seventh, and stole second base representing the tying run. After Maikol Gonzalez flied to deep right to move Hoopii-Haslam to third,Adam Heisler tied the game with a line drive single to centre. Heisler stole second and scored the go-ahead run on a Reggie Abercrombie groundball single through the left side of the infield.
Brandon Shimo relieved Goldeyes’ starter Kevin McGovern in the bottom of the seventh and worked two shutout innings.
Winnipeg tacked on a run in the top of the ninth. Gonzalez doubled down the right field line with one out, took third on a wild pitch, and raced home with the Goldeyes’ fifth tally on a groundball to second from Heisler.
McGovern took a no-decision, allowing three runs, one earned, on nine hits over six innings. McGovern struck out two and did not issue a walk.
Joplin (1-2) scored two runs in the bottom of the first to take an early 2-0 lead. Glasser hit a one-out double down the right field line and scored on an error charged to Casio Grider. Later in the inning, Jesus Solorzano singled home Valentin. On the same play, Abercrombie gunned down Jake Taylor who tried advancing from first to third.
Joplin’s third run came in the bottom of the third on a fielder’s choice RBI from Valentin. The Blasters went on to load the bases with one out, but McGovern allowed just the lone run to keep the Goldeyes within reach. McGovern threw only 80 pitches in his six innings.
Joplin starter Carlos Fuentes also took a no-decision, allowing one earned run on four hits in four-plus innings.
Keith Picht (1-0) earned the win in relief for the Blasters, while Peguero (1-1) took the loss for Winnipeg.
The series concludes Sunday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. Edwin Carl faces left-hander Josue Montanez. All the action can be heard locally on 93.7 FM CJNU and worldwide at www.cjnu.ca
The Goldeyes’ 2016 home opener is scheduled for Monday, May 30th versus the Sioux Falls Canaries. Individual tickets for all home games at Shaw Park are on sale now by calling 1-855-GOLDEYE or visiting ticketmaster.ca For information regarding season tickets, 10-Game Mini Packs, or group outings, call the Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-BASE, or visit the Goldeyes’ official website at www.goldeyes.com