GRAND PRAIRIE, TX – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (3-0) beat the Texas AirHogs 6-2 at AirHogs Stadium on Saturday night.
Trailing 1-0 in the top of the fourth, and with two outs and no one on base, Josh Romanski pulled a single to right-centre on a 1-2 count to extend the inning. Romanski stole second, and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Luan Chenchen. After James Harris walked, Kevin Garcia lifted the Goldeyes’ first home run of the season over the right field wall to give Winnipeg a 3-1 lead.
In the top of the fifth, Wily Garcia lined a single to centre with one out. Dominic Ficociello hit into a fielder’s choice, and Garcia helped extend the inning by breaking up a potential double play. Josh Prince’s relay attempt to double off Ficociello went into foul territory, allowing Ficociello to advance to second.
A 34-minute rain delay then ensued. When play continued, Reggie Abercrombie crushed a two-out, two-run home run to left-centre that stretched the Goldeyes’ lead to 5-1.
The AirHogs (0-3) pulled within 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth on a two-out, RBI single from Li Ning.
With Chenchen on second and one out in the bottom of the seventh, Ning pushed a bunt along the first base line. Kevin Garcia grabbed the ball before throwing it past Ficociello at first. Second baseman Alex Perez backed up the play, however, and Perez fired back to Garcia who retreated to the plate and tagged out Chenchen who attempted to score. Ning then tried to advance to second, but was thrown out by Garcia to complete the unorthodox, inning-ending double play.
The Goldeyes made it 6-2 in the top of the eighth on a two-out, RBI single from Kevin Lachance. Romanski opened the inning with a double to right-centre and scored on Lachance’s hit.
Harrison Cooney (1-0) started for Winnipeg and picked up the win, allowing two earned runs on four hits in five innings. Cooney walked one and struck out seven.
Travis Ballew (0-1) started for the AirHogs and took the loss, allowing four earned runs on six hits in four innings. Ballew walked one and struck out five.
Texas took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a Stewart Ijames sacrifice fly.
Christian Torres and Brandon Bingel each worked two scoreless innings in relief of Cooney. Goldeyes’ pitching combined for 11 strikeouts and only two walks. Romanski finished with three hits.
The Goldeyes and AirHogs conclude their series Sunday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. Parker French (0-0, 0.00) takes the mound for Winnipeg opposite right-hander Kevin Hilton (0-0, 0.00). All the action can be heard locally on 93.7 FM CJNU and worldwide at www.cjnu.ca
The Goldeyes’ 2019 home opener is scheduled for Friday, May 24th versus the Kansas City T-Bones. 2019 season tickets, 10-game mini packs, and group tickets are on sale now. For more information, call the Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-BASE, or visit the Goldeyes’ official website at www.goldeyes.com