LINCOLN, NE — The Winnipeg Goldeyes (18-14) beat the Lincoln Saltdogs 5-2 at Haymarket Park on Wenesday night.
The Goldeyes got on the board early. Andrew Sohn led off with a double off the left field wall and scored three-batters later when Reggie Abercrombie hit an RBI single to right field, that gave Goldeyes the 1-0 lead.
In the top of the third, Sohn led off the inning with a walk and scored on a Derek Gordon wild pitch, that extended the Goldeyes 2-0.
“We had to get batters on base early,” said Goldeyes’ hitting coach Tom Vaeth. “We’re not quite where we want to be with those lead off numbers yet. We can start stacking some of these performances at the plate and get on a streak.”
The Saltdogs responded in the sixth. Cesar Valera hit an infield single off a diving Sohn, Brandon Jacobs doubled to left field that set up a Dashenko Ricardo sacrifice fly that scored Valera and cut the lead to 2-1.
In the top of the eighth, Josh Romanski hit a ground-ball single down the middle and advanced to second one-batter later off a J.R Bunda wild pitch. Shawn Pleffner and David Bergin were both hit by Bunda pitches to load the bases. Wes Darvill hit a two-out infield RBI single after Valera was late coming to the bag at second, Romanski scored and put the Goldeyes ahead 3-1.
The Saltdogs’ Matty Johnson led off the bottom of the eighth with a double, Valera hit an RBI double past Pleffner that scored Johnson and make it a one run game. After Jacobs singled, the Goldeyes’ Daniel Minor came in with one out and two on base. Minor forced a shallow fly by Ricardo and struck out Trever Adams, stranding Valera and Jacobs on base and ending the Saltdogs surge.
In the top of the ninth, Mason Katz led off with a nine-pitch walk, Sohn was walked, and David Rohm bunted to advance the base runners to second and third. Romanski was hit by a Carson McPherson pitch that loaded the bases. Pleffner hit a two-out two-run RBI single to right field that scored Katz and Sohn, and gave the Goldeyes the 5-2 lead.
“Those two-out hits are hard to come by, thats tough in any league,” said Vaeth on the Pleffner hit. “We had a meeting in the cages today, and talked about it. In these situations you just need to keep grinding, and thats what we did.”
Kevin McGovern (5-1) earned the win for the Goldeyes, allowing two runs on eight hits in seven and one-third innings. McGovern walked one and struck out seven.
“A lot of credit to McGovern tonight,” said Vaeth. “He gave us a lot of zeros, especially after we scored early for him. When you get good starting pitching it improves every facet of your game. Pitching wins ball games and championships, without it you can’t win these close games.”
Derek Gordon (1-2) took the loss for the Saltdogs, allowing two runs on four hits in seven innings, he walked four and struck out seven.
Ryan Chaffee (0-1) completed the three-out save and notched his league-leading 10th save of the season.
The Goldeyes play game one of a four-game series Thursday evening against the St. Paul Saints. Zach Nuding (2-3, 5.86) faces right-hander John Straka (3-3, 6.03). All the action can be heard locally on 93.7 FM CJNU and worldwide at www.cjnu.ca
Tickets for all Goldeyes’ home games are on sale now by calling 1-855-GOLDEYE, visiting www.ticketmaster.ca, 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