WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (44-31) lost 9-7 to the Wichita Wingnuts at Shaw Park on Thursday night.
Trailing 9-5 in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Goldeyes mounted a comeback that ultimately fell short. Maikol Gonzalez drew a leadoff walk and later scored on a two-out double to left from Josh Romanski. David Rohm cut the lead to 9-7 with a line drive single to right-centre.
In the top of the ninth, the Wingnuts loaded the bases with no outs, but Brandon Shimo relieved Jimmer Kennedy and escaped the jam to keep Winnipeg within two. Shimo struck out Richard Prigatano and induced an inning-ending double play off the bat of Brent Dean.
The Goldeyes put the tying runs on base with one out in the bottom of the ninth against all-star closer Frankie Reed, before Reed notched the final two outs for his 16th save of the year.
Wichita struck first in the opening inning. Christian Stringer bunted for a single leading off the game. Two batters later, TJ Mittelstaedt walked. After a passed ball moved the runners ahead, Matt Chavez doubled home both on a drive to right-centre.
Leo Vargas hit a two-out, solo home run in the second to make it 3-0.
The Goldeyes rallied to take the lead in the bottom of the second. Reggie Abercrombie doubled to centre leading off and scored Winnipeg’s first run on a single to centre by Romanski. Rohm fought off a single to right, setting up a sacrifice fly to right from Casio Grider. On the play, Romanski initially held at third, but eventually scored after reading a high throw from Prigatano in right field. Wes Darvill lined an RBI double to left-centre that scored Rohm with the tying run, while Adam Heisler lifted a two-out double to left that plated Darvill to make it 4-3 Winnipeg.
The Wingnuts re-took the lead in the next half inning. Zack Cox singled up the middle and took third when Mittelstaedt doubled down the right field line. Chavez and Harrison Kain then hit back-to-back sacrifice flies to bring in the tying and go-ahead runs.
Romanski singled to centre with two outs in the bottom of the third and advanced to second on an error by Kain. Rohm hit a sharp, groundball single to centre that evened the score.
The Wingnuts took the lead for good in the fourth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Vargas scored on a wild pitch.
Vargas added a two-out RBI single in the top of the fifth, while Dean came home on a wild pitch to stretch Wichita’s lead to 8-5.
Chavez hit a towering solo homer to left in the top of the sixth for the Wingnuts’ final run.
Kevin McGovern (5-3) started for the Goldeyes and took the loss. McGovern allowed six earned runs on six hits in three and two-thirds innings. McGovern walked two and struck out six.
Alex Boshers (10-3) picked up the win for Wichita, allowing seven runs, six earned, on 10 hits in seven and two-thirds innings. Boshers walked one and struck out four.
Kyle Anderson worked three strong innings of long relief, allowing just the homer to Chavez. Anderson struck out three. Romanski finished the night with three base hits.
The series continues Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Edwin Carl (7-5, 4.45) takes on left-hander Anthony Capra (0-1, 6.11).
Tickets for all Goldeyes’ home games are on sale now by calling 1-855-GOLDEYE, visiting www.goldeyes.com, or stopping by any Ticketmaster location, including the box office at Shaw Park. For information on season tickets, 10-Game Mini Packs, or group outings, call the Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-2273.