WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes (34-24) beat the St. Paul Saints 11-5 at Shaw Park on Wednesday afternoon.
The Goldeyes homered four times in the bottom of the first inning to jump out to an early 5-0 lead. After starting pitcher Zack Dodson worked a perfect top of the first, Andrew Sohn led off the bottom half with a line drive home run to left. David Rohm followed with a towering home run to left-centre. Two batters later, Reggie Abercrombie crushed a solo shot to left that made it 3-0. Shawn Pleffner lined a single to right-centre, setting up a two-run homer to left-centre from David Bergin. Bergin has now reached base in 41 consecutive games.
“Guys came out to play today,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney. “Obviously they understand the importance of this morning’s game. There is a big difference being up three and being up one. Tom (Vaeth) did a fantastic job getting the hitters woken up this morning and ready to put good swings on early in the game. You’re happy to win the series. When the opportunity presents itself, you have to go for sweeps. You can’t lay down any day for the rest of the season.”
The Goldeyes threw up another five-run frame in the second. Abercrombie led off with a single down the right field line, stole second, took third on a groundball from Pleffner, and scored Winnipeg’s sixth run when Bergin lined a single to left-centre. After Wes Darvill walked, Mason Katz ripped a single up the middle that scored Bergin to make it 7-0. Two batters later, Sohn singled to centre to drive in Darvill. Rohm capped the inning with an RBI double down the right field line. Katz scored on the play, and Sohn eventually came across on an errant throw to second from right fielder Breland Almadova.
The Saints cut into the lead in the top of the fourth when Tony Thomas hit a two-out, two-run single to centre.
In the bottom of the fifth, Sohn launched his second home run of the afternoon, a solo shot to left that re-extended the Goldeyes’ lead to 11-2.
“Great to sweep one of our big rivals,” said Sohn. “They got us a couple of series ago. Our bats have been hot and we’ve been scoring early. It kind of gets other teams on their heels. Rohm got one, Reggie, then Bergin. It was a fun first inning. I’ve been seeing the ball well this whole homestand. I love hitting here at Shaw Park. It’s big when the whole team is into it like right now. We’re on a streak. It feels good, and we’re putting everything together.”
The Saints manufactured a pair of runs in the sixth on a Nate Hanson single through the left side and a Thomas sacrifice fly to centre.
St. Paul’s final run came in the top of the ninth when Kes Carter scored on a wild pitch. Ryan Chaffee retired Ben Beurkle on a foul popup to Darvill to end the game.
Dodson (5-3) picked up the win, allowing four runs, three earned, on six hits over seven innings. Dodson walked three and struck out eight.
Robert Coe (0-1) took the loss for the Saints, allowing five earned runs on five hits in one-third of an innning. Coe walked one and struck out none.
Victor Capellan struck out two during a perfect top of the eighth in relief of Dodson.
Josh Romanski’s hitting streak ended at 13 games, which ties a career high set twice already this season. Sohn and Bergin each had three hits and three RBI. The Goldeyes have now outscored the opposition 74-12 in the first inning this season.
The Goldeyes have a day off Thursday and then open a three-game series at Kansas City on Friday night. First pitch from CommunityAmerica Ballpark is at 7:05 p.m. Mikey O’Brien (6-3, 5.40) takes on right-hander Gabe Perez (5-3, 5.09). All the action can be heard locally on 93.7 FM CJNU and worldwide at www.cjnu.ca
The Goldeyes return home on Thursday, July 27th when they host the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. 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.
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