(Photo Credit: Ed Bailey)
WICHITA, KS – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (22-22) lost 6-5 to the Wichita Wingnuts at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Tuesday night.
Tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Leo Vargas lined a single to right field and scored the go-ahead run when the ball bounced past David Rohm and to the outfield wall. Two batters later, Christian Stringer singled through the left side and went to third on a ground rule double to right-centre from Brent Clevlen. Stringer scored on a wild pitch, while Clevlen came home on a TJ Mittelstaedt sacrifice fly that made it 6-3 Wichita.
“It was the crooked numbers we allowed in the fourth and fifth,” said Goldeyes’ hitting coach Tom Vaeth. “We just play from behind too much, and that’s tough against good clubs. We’re getting out to a good start and giving us a lead to work with. We’re just having a little trouble maintaining those leads in the middle innings. We battled back to get two, but then give three right back. Credit the boys for cutting the lead to one that next inning.”
In the top of the sixth, Shawn Pleffner lined a single to left and scored when David Bergin tripled to centre field. Bergin scored on a Mason Katz sacrifice fly to pull the Goldeyes within 6-5.
Wichita’s bullpen then closed out the game with scoreless baseball over the final three innings. Seth Harvey struck out two during a perfect ninth to earn his ninth save of the year.
For a fifth straight game, the Goldeyes got off to a quick start. Rohm hit a solo home run to left to give Winnipeg a 1-0 lead two batters into the game.
Goldeyes’ starting pitcher Zack Dodson held the lead until Clevlen hit a two-run home run to left in the bottom of the fourth. Mittelstaedt followed with a triple and scored two batters later on a Martin Medina groundball single to left.
Jordan Ebert and Andrew Sohn opened the top of the fifth with back-to-back doubles to slice the Wingnuts’ lead to 3-2. Sohn then scored the tying run on a two-out, RBI single to right-centre from Reggie Abercrombie.
Dodson (2-3) took the loss, allowing six earned runs on seven hits in four and two-thirds innings. Dodson walked two and struck out one.
Wingnuts’ starter Jordan Cooper (4-0) picked up the win, allowing three earned runs on nine hits in five innings. Cooper walked one and struck out two.
Daniel Minor, Mitchell Lambson, and Victor Capellan combined for three and one-third scoreless innings of relief. Capellan faced a runner on third with no outs in the bottom of the eighth, but worked out of the jam to keep the Goldeyes within one run.
“The bullpen was outstanding,” said Vaeth. “They gave us a chance. It’s definitely a big positive, but just a shame we couldn’t reward it.”
Sohn, Abercrombie, Bergin, Wes Darvill, and Ebert each had multiple hits. Darvill has hit safely in seven straight.
The series concludes Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. Mikey O’Brien (4-2, 4.61) takes on right-hander Tyler Kane (6-1, 3.08). All the action can be heard locally on 93.7 FM CJNU and worldwide at www.cjnu.ca
The Goldeyes return home on Tuesday, July 11th 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, 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