WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (20-21) lost 6-5 in 12 innings to the St. Paul Saints at Shaw Park on Saturday night.
Tied at 5-5 in the top of the 12th inning, Richard Prigatano drew a one-out walk, stole second base, and scored the go-ahead run when Max Murphy doubled to left-centre field.
In the bottom of the inning, Matt McCann drew a one-out walk to put the tying run on base, and went to third on a Josh Romanski single down the right field line. Jake Matthys worked through the rest of the inning to strand both runners and close out the game.
St. Paul (22-19) took an early 1-0 lead when Burt Reynolds led off the top of the second with a home run to left. It was Reynolds’ ninth home run and 21st RBI in 23 career games against the Goldeyes.
Jeff Malm led off the top of the third with a bloop double to centre. Malm was sacrificed to third by JJ Gould, and scored St. Paul’s second run on a Kes Carter groundout to second.
St. Paul held the 2-0 lead until the bottom of the eighth when the Goldeyes scored four runs to take their first lead. Kevin Garcia led off with a single to left. Dave Sappelt was next, and ripped a groundball hit through the left side of the infield. With third base left unoccupied, Garcia went first to third, and when Prigatano’s throw went to third, Sappelt hustled into second with a double. McCann walked to load the bases with no outs, and left-hander Kenneth Frosch relieved right-hander Beck Wheeler.
After Frosch struck out Romanski, right-hander Mike Devine took over. Reggie Abercrombie beat out a potential inning-ending double play on a groundball to shortstop. Garcia scored from third, and as the Saints argued the call at first base, Sappelt raced home from second with the tying run. Grant Heyman then came back from an 0-2 count before crushing a two-out, two-run home run to right-centre on a 3-2 pitch from Devine.
The Saints regrouped and tied the game with two runs in the top of the ninth. Dante Bichette Jr. drew a leadoff walk and went to third on a double to right from Justin O’Conner. Malm and Gould followed with back-to-back RBI groundouts.
O’Conner put the Saints in front 5-4 in the top of the 11th with a solo home run to left-centre with one out.
In the bottom of the 11th, Andrew Sohn tripled to right-centre leading off. Two batters later, Jamey Smart lined a single to left that scored Sohn with the tying run. It was Smart’s first career base hits in what was his first professional game.
Carter Johnson (1-1) took the loss for the Goldeyes, while Matthys (2-3) picked up the win for the Saints.
Alex Boshers started for the Goldeyes on three days of rest and took a no-decision. Boshers allowed two earned runs on four hits over six innings. Boshers walked none, struck out five, and threw just 75 pitches.
Eddie Medina started for St. Paul and also took a no-decision. Medina threw six shutout innings on two hits, walking two, and striking out four.
Jack Charleston pitched a scoreless relief inning for the Goldeyes. Abercrombie received two RBI on the eighth-inning fielder’s choice, pushing his American Association record total to 500.
Garcia left the game due to injury attempting to beat out a double play ball in the bottom of the ninth. Garcia was taken off the field on a stretcher, but returned to the dugout on crutches later in the game.
The series concludes Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. Both teams have not yet announced their starting pitcher. Tickets for all Goldeyes’ home games are on sale now by visiting www.ticketmaster.ca/Goldeyes, or visiting any Ticketmaster location, including the box office at Shaw Park.