FARGO, ND – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (51-34) beat the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 8-2 at Newman Outdoor Field on Saturday evening.
It was the Goldeyes’ 51st win of 2017, which clinches a winning record for a 21st time in the franchise’s 24-year history.
Trailing 2-1 in the top of the sixth inning, Josh Romanski led off with a walk. After Reggie Abercrombielined a single to centre, Shawn Pleffner hit a groundball to first base that moved runners to second and third with one out. David Bergin gave the Goldeyes the lead with a line drive single to centre that scored Romanski and Abercrombie.
The RedHawks threatened in the bottom half with runners on the corners and one out. However, Goldeyes’ starting pitcher Mikey O’Brien struck out Trever Adams on three pitches, and then retired Yhoxian Medina on a popup to second base that ended the inning.
“Mikey was really good,” said Goldeyes’ hitting coach Tom Vaeth. “He gave us a really good start and battled his rear end off, especially when the game was close and we weren’t really getting a lot of runs. He kept us right in the game, and it was nice to see the offence put two up right after they had scored. That looked like Mikey from the playoffs last year tonight.”
Wth the Goldeyes still leading 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh, the RedHawks put runners on first and second after Keury de la Cruz and Chris Grayson hit back-to-back singles. Victor Capellan relieved Evan Rutckyj and struck out Josh Mazzola to keep the Goldeyes ahead.
In the top of the eighth, Romanski doubled to right-centre field leading off. Abercrombie walked, and Pleffner followed with a single to left-centre that plated Romanski. Bergin made it 5-2 with a double into the left field corner. Will Dennis relieved Tyler Thompson, and after Dennis recorded a groundout, Mason Katz ripped a single down the right field line to drive in Pleffner and Bergin to make it 7-2.
“We kept talking in the dugout, keep grinding at bats out,” said Vaeth. “We were having good at bats, just not a lot to show for it. We kept battling and finally got some runners on. A lot of credit to the players. They’re hungry and want to get back to the playoffs.”
Capellan struck out the side in order in the bottom of the eighth. David Rohm led off the ninth with a triple to left-centre and scored the Goldeyes’ eighth run on an error charged to Dennis.
Ryan Chaffee struck out two during a perfect ninth to close out the game.
O’Brien (9-4) earned the win, allowing two runs, one earned, on eight hits in six and two-thirds innings. O’Brien walked one, struck out three, and was pitching on three days of rest for a fourth time in his last five starts.
Tyler Stirewalt (0-1) started and took the loss for the RedHawks. Stirewalt allowed three earned runs on six hits in five and one-third innings. Stirewalt walked two and struck out one.
Romanski doubled to left-centre with two outs in the top of the first and scored the game’s first run when Abercrombie singled through the left side.
The RedHawks took the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Adams reached on a leadoff error and advanced to second when Medina singled to right. After Brandon Tierney sacrificed the runners ahead, Adams scored the tying run on a wild pitch. Devan Ahart then doubled home Medina with the go-ahead run.
Romanski scored three runs, Abercrombie had three hits, and Bergin picked up three RBI.
Game three of the four-game series is Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. Charle Rosario (9-5, 3.33) faces right-hander Tyler Herron (7-3, 3.36). All the action can be heard locally on 93.7 FM CJNU and worldwide at www.cjnu.ca
The Goldeyes return home on Tuesday, August 22nd when they host the Sioux City Explorers. Tickets for all Goldeyes’ home games are on sale now by calling 1-855-GOLDEYE, visiting www.ticketmaster.ca/goldeyes, or visiting any Ticketmaster location, including the box office at Shaw Park.
For information on Winnipeg Goldeyes’ season tickets, 10-game mini packs, and group outings, call the Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-BASE or visit the Goldeyes’ official website at www.goldeyes.com