FARGO, ND – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (11-11) lost 11-8 to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks at Newman Outdoor Field on Friday night.
Trailing 11-4 in the top of the ninth, the Goldeyes rallied to bring the tying run to the plate. Errors by second baseman Ryan Pineda and third baseman Josh Mazzola allowed Jacob Rogers to score with two outs. Tanner Murphy followed with an RBI double down the left field line that cut Fargo’s lead to 11-6. An Adam Heisler single and a Maikol Gonzalez walk loaded the bases before Josh Romanskisingled up the middle to score two more runs. RedHawks’ left-hander Will Mathis was summoned from the bullpen to face David Rohm as the tying run at the plate. After an eight-pitch battle, Mathis struck out Rohm to end the game and earn his first save of the year.
“We gave ourselves a chance and brought the tying run to the plate,” said Goldeyes’ hitting coach Tom Vaeth. “We just let ourselves get behind early in the game. It was tough there for a while. We’re not a quick-strike offence. We have to build our offence.”
Rogers gave Winnipeg an early 1-0 lead with a two-out, RBI single to left-centre that scored Romanski.
The RedHawks took the lead with three runs in the third. With first and second and two outs, Keury de la Cruz doubled to centre field to drive in Luke Bailey and Bryan Johns. After de la Cruz stole third, Mazzola hit an RBI infield single to make it 3-1.
The RedHawks manufactured three more runs in the fourth. Kes Carter drew a bases loaded walk. Pineda then beat out a potential double play ball in which both K.D. Kang and Johns were able to score.
Ryan Wagner hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth to extend the RedHawks’ lead to 8-1. It was Wagner’s first professional home run.
“We have to get better,” said Vaeth. “You hope you build some momentum for tomorrow. Everybody’s going to go through funks. We’ve just hit ours early. The next day is always a new day. We’ll just try to come out and put our best on the field.”
Romanski lifted a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth. The RedHawks answered back in the bottom half when Mazzola homered to deep left.
Reggie Abercrombie and Kang traded solo homers in the seventh. For Abercrombie, it was his 82nd home run in the American Association, pulling him within five of the league’s all-time record.
Romanski hit a solo homer to right in the top of the eighth to bring the Goldeyes within 11-4.
Romanski finished the game with four RBI. Heisler had two hits and has hit safely in seven games in a row.
Kevin McGovern (0-1) took the loss for Winnipeg, allowing eight runs, seven earned, on nine hits in five innings. McGovern walked three and struck out three.
Tyler Alexander (3-1) picked up the win for the RedHawks. Alexander allowed four runs, three earned, on five hits over eight innings. Alexander walked four and struck out nine.
Brandon Shimo pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth for the Goldeyes with two strikeouts. Conor Spink fanned five over two innings of relief.
Game three of the four-game series is Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. Duke von Schamann (1-2, 7.20) takes on right-hander Jose Almarante (1-0, 2.03). All the action can be heard locally on 93.7 FM CJNU and worldwide at www.cjnu.ca beginning with Around the Association at 5:00 p.m. Saturday’s game will also be carried on 89.5 “The Lake” in Kenora, Ontario.
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.