WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (1-0) beat the Joplin Blasters 8-1 on Opening Night at Joe Becker Stadium on Thursday.
It was the Goldeyes’ first season-opening win since 2013. The game was called in the bottom of the sixth due to rain.
Winnipeg’s offence cranked out three home runs in the victory. With two outs and no one on base in the second, Tanner Murphy drove in the first run of the season with a long blast over the right field wall.
In the top of the third, Adam Heisler bounced back from a 1-2 count to single up the middle. Reggie Abercrombie followed with a line drive, two run home run to left-centre. Later in the inning, David Rohm helped extend the inning when he reached on an error by Blasters’ third baseman Geraldo Valentin. After Wes Darvill came back from an 0-2 count to walk, Casio Grider cleared the left field fence for a three-run home run that made it 6-0 Goldeyes.
Goldeyes’ starter Mikey O’Brien (1-0) earned a complete game victory, holding the Blasters to one earned run on four hits in five-plus innings. O’Brien walked two and struck out four.
O’Brien limited damage in the bottom of the third to prevent Joplin (0-1) from climbing back into the game. With the bases loaded and no outs, O’Brien induced an RBI groundout from Willie Cabrera that cut the lead to 6-1. O’Brien struck out Jake Taylor and got Will Soto to line out to shortstop to end the inning.
The Goldeyes tacked on two more runs in the top of the fifth. Abercrombie drew a four-pitch, leadoff walk, and scored from first when Jacob Rogers doubled off the left field foul line. Rohm made it 8-1 when he singled Rogers home from second on an 0-2 count against Blasters’ reliever Jake Meiers.
Josh Evans took the loss for Joplin, allowing six runs, three earned, on four hits over three innings. Evans (0-1) walked three and struck out two. The Goldeyes forced Evans to throw 76 pitches in three innings, and saw 129 total pitches in six team at bats.
Abercrombie’s home run was his 80th in the American Association. He now trails John Allen by seven home runs for the league’s all-time record.
Cabrera’s RBI was his 24th all-time against the Goldeyes in 28 games played.
Game two of the season-opening four-game series is Friday night at 6:35 p.m. Duke von Schamannwill make his Goldeyes’ debut opposite Joplin right-hander Josh Hodges. All the action can be heard locally on 93.7 FM CJNU and worldwide at www.cjnu.ca
The Goldeyes’ 2016 home opener is scheduled for Monday, May 30th versus the Sioux Falls Canaries. Individual tickets for all home games at Shaw Park are on sale now by calling 1-855-GOLDEYE or visiting ticketmaster.ca For information regarding season tickets, 10-Game Mini Packs, or group outings, call the Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-BASE, or visit the Goldeyes’ official website at www.goldeyes.com