(Photo Credit: Betsy Bissen)
ST. PAUL, MN – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (18-18) beat the St. Paul Saints 9-6 in 12 innings at CHS Field on Sunday evening.
Tied at 5-5 in the top of the 12th, Reggie Abercrombie hit a two-run home run to centre field. Jacob Rogers followed with a solo blast to deep right-centre. Casio Griderwalked, stolen second, and scored two batters later on Carlton Tanabe’s groundball single to right.
In the bottom of the inning, Angelo Songco hit a two-out, RBI single through the right side before Brandon Shimo induced a game-ending fielder’s choice from Tony Thomas. Shimo recorded all three outs in the 12th, and had thrown 40 pitches over two and one-third innings the night before.
“It would have been tough to let this one get away tonight, but we stuck on them,” said Goldeyes’ hitting coach Tom Vaeth . “A lot of guys are swinging the bat and starting to come around. Reggie’s starting to heat up now. Carlton had a big home run. It was nice to see Jake get one. You’ve got to take advantage of the opposition, and that was a young lefty who was making his professional debut.”
Tanabe had briefly given Winnipeg the lead in the top of the 11th, clubbing a long homer into the Goldeyes’ bullpen in left. It was Tanabe’s first home run of the year. In the bottom of the inning, Willie Argo drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a passed ball, stole third, and scored the tying run on Chad Christensen’s sacrifice fly to right.
The Saints initially forced extra innings following a controversial call in the bottom of the ninth. With the Goldeyes leading 4-3, Argo drew a lead off walk. After Kyle Lotzkarstruck out Tony Caldwell, Argo moved to second when Christensen was hit by a pitch. Aaron Gretz flied out to left for the second out of the inning. Breland Almadova hit a groundball to first base that was fielded by Rogers. It appeared Rogers beat Almadova to the bag, but Almadova was ruled safe allowing Argo to score the tying run.
Eric Eadington (2-1) worked the 10th and 11th to earn the win in relief for the Goldeyes.
Rookie left-hander Eric Veglahn (0-1) took the loss, allowing all four runs in the 12th. Veglahn was making his professional debut.
The Goldeyes struck early for a second straight night. Wes Darvill doubled off the right field wall with one out in the first and scored the game’s first run on a two-out, RBI triple from Josh Romanski.
In the top of the second, Ridge Hoopii-Haslam singled with two outs, advanced to third on an error by Songco at first base, and scored on a two-out, RBI single from Maikol Gonzalez.
Aaron Gretz hit a two-run homer to right in the bottom of the third to tie the game, but the Goldeyes regained the lead in the next half inning on an RBI single form Tanabe.
Abercrombie hit his first homer of the game, a solo shot, with two outs in the top of the fifth. Abercrombie now has five home runs on the year, and 84 during his seven years in the American Association. Abercrombie now trails John Allen by three home runs for the league’s all-time record.
Argo cracked a solo homer off the batter’s eye in centre leading off the bottom of the seventh.
Mikey O’Brien started for Winnipeg and took a no-decision, allowing three earned runs on five hits in seven and one-third innings. O’Brien walked one and struck out two.
Robert Coe started for the Saints and also took a no-decision, allowing four runs, three earned, on nine hits in seven innings. Coe walked three and struck out four.
Conor Spink and Cameron McVey each retired the lone batter to face them in relief of O’Brien in the bottom of the eighth.
David Rohm had two base hits and has now hit safely in 10 games in a row. For a second straight night, all nine of the Goldeyes’ starters had at least one hit. Gonzalez, Darvill, Rohm, Abercrombie, and Tanabe each had multiple hits.
The four-game series concludes Monday night at 7:05 p.m. Kevin McGovern (1-1, 4.38) takes on right-hander John Straka (5-1, 5.49). All the action can be heard locally on 93.7 FM CJNU and worldwide at www.cjnu.ca.
The Goldeyes return home on Tuesday, June 28th for a three-game series against the Gary SouthShore RailCats. 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.