WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (53-35) beat the Sioux City Explorers 4-3 at Shaw Park on Tuesday night.
Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Shawn Pleffner singled through the right side with two outs and no one on base. After David Bergin worked a full count walk, Wes Darvill ripped a double down the right field line that scored Pleffner. When Explorers’ starter Cody Forsythe fell behind Mason Katz 2-0, Sioux City elected to issue an intentional walk that loaded the bases. Casey Turgeon then drew a four-pitch, pinch-hit walk that forced home Bergin with the tying run.
“It turned out well,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney. “We didn’t play so well the first half of the game. We didn’t make the adjustments we needed to make (on offence), and kicked the ball around on defence. The second half was good. Zack pitched well for us and gave us seven good ones tonight. We were able to tie it up and bring in Victor. He kept the momentum on our side. Reggie had the stolen base, Pleffner was able to come up big for us, and Chaffee held them off.”
Victor Capellan pitched a scoreless top of the eighth to keep the game tied. With two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the inning. Reggie Abercrombie fought off a single to right field. On the first pitch to Pleffner, Abercrombie stole second and then scored the go-ahead run when Pleffner rifled a double down the left field line.
The Explorers pushed the tying run to third base with two outs in the ninth before Ryan Chaffee retired LeVon Washington on a groundball to second for the game’s final out. Chaffee picked up his 19th save of the year.
“Not really a conventional way to do it with a left-handed pinch hitter against a left-handed pitcher,” said Forney on Turgeon’s at bat in the seventh. “But Forsythe’s best pitch is his change-up, and you want to take that away from him. It kind of forced him to pitch with his third pitch. It was a big at bat by Casey to force in the tying run.”
In the bottom of the first, back-to-back singles from David Rohm and Josh Romanski set up runners on the corners with one out. Rohm scored on a wild pitch to give Winnipeg a 1-0 lead. Forsythe then settled in, retiring the next 13 batters in a row and 18 of the next 19 before Pleffner’s single in the seventh.
The Explorers tied the game in the top of the fourth. With Tyler Ogle on second and one out, Michael Lang singled to centre field. Ogle came home when Lang stayed in a rundown play between first and second.
Washington drew a leadoff walk in the sixth and was followed by a two-run homer to left from Ogle that put Sioux City ahead 3-1. It was Ogle’s ninth home run in his last 18 games.
Goldeyes’ starting pitcher Zack Dodson took a no-decision, allowing three earned runs on just four hits over seven innings. Dodson walked three and struck out two.
Forsythe also took a no-decision, allowing three earned runs on five hits over six and two-thirds. Forsythe walked three and struck out five.
Capellan (3-4) earned the win in relief, while Ryan Flores took the loss (4-4).
Pleffner has hit safely in eight games in a row.
The series continues Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. Kevin McGovern (10-3, 2.63) faces left-hander Kramer Sneed (5-3, 5.14). 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.
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