ROSEMONT, IL – The Winnipeg Goldeyes beat the Chicago Dogs 6-5 at Impact Field on Saturday night.
Tied at 5-5 in the top of the ninth inning, Grant Heyman hit a solo home run to right-centre field on a 1-2 count to put the Goldeyes in front.
“He had some good pitches to hit in the at bat before against that lefty,” said Goldeyes’ hitting coach Tom Vaeth. “His head was just in the wrong place, and that’s why he missed his pitches and fouled them off. Before he went up to the plate in the ninth, I told him as long as he keeps his head down and gets set early, he’s going to get it. He got a pitch he could handle, and that sucker was loud off the bat.”
In the bottom of the ninth, the Dogs put the tying and winning runs in scoring position with one out. Victor Capellan induced a comebacker from Trey Vavra to hold the runners and record the second out of the inning. Capellan then retired Matt Dean on a flyball to centre field. Reggie Abercrombie secured the out with a sliding catch on wet grass while battling a steady rain. Capellan earned his seventh save of the year.
“It was nice to keep battling,” said Vaeth. “‘Bo’ was able to settle in and give us some quality innings. He threw the ball much better tonight. Much credit to ‘Bo,’ he never let the lead get too far from us. We were able to stay in it, and a couple of big, two-out hits helped reclaim the lead. We just did a good job of grinding it out. That’s a good ‘grind out’ win.”
For a second straight night, the Goldeyes struck early with a home run. Heyman was hit by a pitch with one out in the top of the first. Reynaldo Rodriguez followed with a line drive, two-run homer to left. Both Heyman and Rodriguez have hit safely in 11 straight games. For Heyman, the 11-game streak ties a career-high set in 2015.
Vavra answered back with a two-out, solo home run down the left field line in the bottom of the first.
In the bottom of the second, Jonathan Moroney singled through the right side and took second when Dalton Blaser walked. After Matt Telesco’s comebacker advanced the runners, Michael Baca hit a squibber towards the mound. Goldeyes’ starter Alex Boshers fielded the ball and flipped it to catcher Kevin Garcia. Moroney was ruled safe at home ahead of Garcia’s tag on a close play. Ryan Gyrion followed with an infield, RBI single along the first base line that plated Blaser and gave the Dogs a 3-2 lead. Boshers escaped further trouble when Zach Racusin grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Boshers then settled in, putting up a zero in each of the next four innings. Boshers took a no-decision, allowing three earned runs on six hits over six innings. Boshers walked one, struck out three, and threw just 71 pitches. 12 of Boshers’ 18 outs recorded came on groundballs.
With two outs and no one on base in the top of the seventh, Josh Mazzola reached on an error by Vavra at third, and hustled to second to put the tying run in scoring position. On the next pitch, Andrew Sohn drove a triple to right-centre field that scored Mazzola. Victor Cruzado then ripped a single to right-centre that put the Goldeyes back in front at 4-3.
“You have to have two-out hits to be a good offence in this league,” said Vaeth. “It started with ‘Maz’ just grinding out an at bat and finding a way to get on base with the error. Sohn had a big hit, and then Cruzado right behind him. It was good to see those guys get the barrel to the baseball and come up with a big hit for us.”
In the top of the seventh, Rodriguez drew a one-out walk and took second when Abercrombie singled through the left side. Two batters later, Mazzola hit a pop fly single to right that fell short of a charging Moroney. Rodriguez scored the Goldeyes’ fifth run on the play.
Racusin doubled to left with one out in the bottom of the seventh and took third when Edwin Arroyo singled through the left side. Josh Blanco relieved Brandon Bingel and struck out Vavra for the second out. With pinch hitter Matt Dean at the plate, Arroyo stole second base. Dean then lined a single to right-centre that scored Racusin and Arroyo with the tying runs.
Jack Charleston (1-1) earned the win in relief for the Goldeyes, retiring both batters to face him in the bottom of the eighth.
Tommy Thorpe (0-2) took the loss for the Dogs, allowing two earned runs in two and one-third relief innings.
Michael Wagner started for the Dogs and took a no-decision, allowing four runs, two earned, on seven hits in five and two-thirds innings. Wagner walked two and struck out five.
The series concludes Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. Charle Rosario (1-0, 2.00) faces right-hander Josh Goossen-Brown (0-2, 4.91). All the action can be heard locally on 93.7 FM CJNU and worldwide at www.cjnu.ca
The Goldeyes return home for six-game homestand on Friday, June 8th when they host the Dogs. Tickets for all Goldeyes’ home games are on sale now by calling 1-855-GOLDEYE, visiting www.ticketmaster.ca/Goldeyes, or visiting any Ticketmaster location, including the box office at Shaw Park.